Sunday 13th November
Mileage - 340kms (guess)
Well just about the hightlight of the day was breakfast. Boiled eggs, now there's a surprise ! also nice white bread, and jam that was recognisable as having come from fruit rather than being a colour and very sweet. A little bit of Germany set us up for the day.
Today was I suspect a taste of many days to come...dull, hot...and boring. It's the same anywhere when you have to cover the ground. North to South France in a day is dull indeed, and if you look at a map of Argentina it is fairly obviously long and thinner the further you get down. There is the promise of a huge mountain range down one side...but first you gotta get there.
We followed the Rio Parana most of the day, the border between Paraguay and Argentina. It would have been nice to have crossed from Paraguay somewhere most west, but for the lack of bridges.
The river itself is immense, the occassional views fromit's south side made you think it was the sea, no sign of the other bank.
It was scorching, regulary 36/37, and up to 42 in town. So imagine the effect sitting on a bike for hours with no clouds in the sky, and hardly a tree to been seen. Pretty unpleasant whatever gilding you try to put on it. I don't like riding in the heat, don't mind it off the bike, in fact when cycling the hotter the better, but on the motorbike, it disagrees with me. Strongly. Hopefully a few days will acclimatise me, in the interim it;s be bloody awful dry skin on me face making me look pretty grim....well grimmer than usual anyway.
It actually quite hard riding too, an absolute falicy that it nice and cool, no roof, no cool air, all the gear and a helmet. You boil.
If the roads at least had a few bends it would help, as it is there is nothing, and I mean nothing. Roll on a few days time...we hope.
Riding along with Nik your mind wanders through all sorts of day dreams, riding a staggered side by side it's like flying with a wing-man. The real benefit of course is covering overtaking moves, holding you space of the road, and particularly providing two headlights when viewed from further down the road for oncoming vehicles. One light might suggest a small bike and vehicles will pull out to overtake thinking it's moving slower than we are.
The only hotels we came across were what is titled as 'Love Hotels'. Not entirely sure if the origins are as innocent as suggested, but they say they're set up for couples who live with their parents due to families living together and no privacy. But suspect there is a big business with prostitution as well, if not mainly. We came across a hotel sign and pulled it.
It was a bizzare combination of safari lodge and eastern block themed camp site. It was also last looked after at least 10 or 20 years ago. The rooms had been dusted a little more recently, but only just. 75% of the bulbs didn't work, or more, and the place was dank and musty. And the best thing...in the pictures it will look great ! Little round houses like a safari themed park. The safari connection went further - there were bloody monkeys in the trees...what...yes monkeys. It was our worst accommodation yet, £4 each, so not even cheap compared to other places.
A new form of casino game has been discovered, frog fruit machine ! Surprised me, I flushed the toilet and two frogs jumped onto the rim...really...need three for jackpot ! So no prize, must try harder. Theye were tree frogs too so very capable of running across vertical tiles and the ceiling. Weird !
Had to get food as bugger all of anything on site. Everwhere was shut, until we stunbled upon one supermarket open. It was still baking, near 40 and I stayed outside with the bikes. The security guards came across and offered me some of their iced water which was very kind.
Tea was simple, cheese, bread, salami's beer etc. It would have been preety hideous camping in this heat, so grateful for small mercies. At least the AC worked in the rooms and made it bearable.
If you'd care to relive the experience, put your oven on full, chuck a cup of ants into the kitchen, half a bucket of frogs, a buckets or two of water and settle doen for a few hours...no...thought you might not fancy it.
We're very lucky that we don't have to eek out cash and camp all the time. If we can get accommodation for £5 I won't even entertain camping, no point. There will be places where we have to camp, or we choose to to be 'in' the scenery, but apart from that we take rooms. Most of the time we share with Nik as that helps his budget and it's not a problem for us, but sometimes we can get two rooms as cheap.
Sunday 13th November
Resistencia to San Fransisco
Mileage - 414 miles
boring, boring, boring
hot again, but lower 30's
Very little to recount. Too much travelling yesterday and today, but with pupose, we want out of the heat, and into some scenery. It is so blood flat and featureless in general. Only highlights today were palms growing in a field on sunflowers- you don't see that in France, and an huge area of scrub that was identical to the Serengeti last year - hence the monkeys I suppose.
At one point there were Indians selling a pair of Lovebirds and also monkey at side of road...very odd. the indiginous people have changed again in this area. A truck Nik was overtaking ran over 1m lizard, luckily not him, bit messy
Continued assesment of Shell stations, buy stopping for drinks and ice-creams, would be nice to try some of the 'local' stalls, but to be honest too bloody hot, and the AC at the petrol stations is very welcome after 3 or 5 hrs riding.
An upturned truck was an interlude. Only accident we've seen to date. Vehicle standards are pretty appaling at times, but driving standards are fairly good.
The best condition vehicles are the long distance buses, and security vans ! Interesting. There are more newer vehicles here than the other counties, but still a fair share of wrecks on the road.
Found a hotel (Canadian) in San Fransciso, and that's wre we are now. three single beds, big cooling fan, £5
each, and quite what we needed after a couple of long hard days.
boring, boring, boring I'm afraid. Tommorrow a very short day to hopefully get to a place near the hills of Cordoba that is an entirely German. Was set up by the survivors of the Graf Spee aparently...from which I assume it sank near South America...which I never knew. but I'm adviced it scuttled aftercthe River Plate. A chance for more German language practice.
Next HU Events
- Brazil: Feb 22-23
- Germany: May 29-June 1
- HUBB UK: June 19-22
- NEW! Canada Maritimes: July 4-6
- USA Colorado: July 11-13
- Ireland: July 18-20
- Canada West: Aug 21-24
- USA North Carolina: Sept. 4-7
- Canada Ontario: Sept. 11-14
- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
- USA California: Sept. 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 14-16
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