An easy ride today, both downhill and down wind.
I have figured out more about these red shrines that appear everywhere along the route. In this posting, I’ll include five photos which are about half those I passed today. As photo above indicates the shrines honor/thank Gauchito Gil. A complete story is at the link, but Gauchito Gil is a legendary Argentinan folk here. A sort of “Robin Hood” who was an outlaw but also helped protect the needy, the poor and those less fortunate. The shrines thank Gauchito Gil for requests fulfilled.
Hualfin hosteria was a nice place to stay and even had a restaurant to get food in the evening. Since I didn’t have far to go today, I left a little later. People from around town seemed to have a cleanup day and were busy painting and otherwise cleaning the entrance to their town.
Nice desert scenery that alternated between wide open places and some more narrow canyons.
The road continued to be good and even had a paved shoulder for a bunch of the way.
Gauchito Gil shrine.
Another Gauchito Gil shrine.
Cattle family portrait.
Not every shrine was to Gauchito Gil. This one with “Taxi” on top didn’t have the distinctive red color.
Another Gauchito Gil shrine (I took pictures of about half of them, so they occurred more frequently than every 8km (five miles) on the route today.
A narrower section of canyon today.
Gauchito Gil memorials here too.
It was early when I arrived in Belen. This is more of a tourist town and even has a bike shop. I haven’t been inside yet since it was closed for siesta. The hotel even has reasonable wifi connection (first in a while). Once the shops open after siesta will get a chance to see more of the town. Also expect a two or three day gap from here to Chilecito, depending on the wind, so get some food for along the way.
Also in town today were Laura and Ernie from pedalling2patagonia.com. They passed me on the way to town, though I haven’t seen them around yet. Several of us cycle tourists leapfrogging each other all headed towards Mendoza.