Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 100

It was a chilly night even though the hostal was heated. I'm now in the last leg of the trip to Ushuaia and have roughly 1600km to go. Today I was riding along in the middle of nowhere and on the horizon I saw this little scurrying animal crossing the road. From a distance I could see that it had a shell and I thought that it was the fastest turtle that I've ever seen. It turned outto be an Armadillo and I quickly halted the bike and grabbed my camera before the little guy went to far. Apparently people find these armadillos to be quite tasty, however, I will not be trying one.

I left Rio Sengor and headed down Ruta 40 in the rain toward Gobernor Gregorio. It was a long wet ride that was wreaking havoc on the bike. I just replaced the rear brake pads only 1000km ago and just before I hit the long stretch of dirt road. The mud was so abrasive that it totally ate the pads just from the disc roatating and significantly wore out the chain and sprockets. I guess I should have taken the day off as this has now put me in a predicament in that I have to replace the pads now with my last set that I figured I wouldn't even need. I noticed that the rear brakes were not working and stopped to investigate. When I looked down, it was only metal on metal. Luckily I saved the old pads from the previos change and put them in rather than destroy a new set right off the bat.

With Gobernor Gregorio within sights I was getting worried about my fuel situation. It had been 300 km since my last fuel and I had been on the bike for 10 hours covering 600 km on all dirt road. Suddenly the 1000km marker appeared on the horizon. I had butterflies in my stomach as it came closer and I pulled over to get the milestone shot. A little further down the road I saw a homemade sign with the words touristica hotel carved into it. It was a little off the road so I was hesitant to drive up the 2km farm road to inquire. Finally I decided what the hell and rode up the long drive way to the little farm surrounded in trees in the middle of the scrub and desert like landscape.

I found myself at the Estancia Santa Thelma. This farm was run by Marc Antionne and his wife Paullene. Marc's farm consisted of windmills to generate electricity which was stored in 40 2volt batteries. He had 28000 hectares of land and two farms with 67 horses and 2000-8000 sheep at any given time. Aside from his farm he also hosts guests who come from all over to ride horses on day trips and into the Patagonia mountain on multi day excursions. At the farm while I was there 3 women from france were staying to ride horses and 2 fellows, one from The U.S and the other from Germany. Marc hosted the fellows as part of a W.W.O.O.F program. (World Wide Organic Organized Farms) The fellows worked for room and board doing what ever the farm needed.

I was exhausted from the big day and sat down with with the family and guests for a late night dinner and crashed with anticipation of working on a few projects that Marc indicated needed fixing by someone like me.

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