Back in Mendoza after a nice visit to Colorado.
I swapped in a new front tire and went for a test ride. All seems well. Nice to have a new tire, two new spares, a new mirror, new gloves and a new Camelbak. After almost three weeks off the bike, it will be nice to ride again.
Monday is Chilean Independence Day. The agreement that I had with the hotel was two nights reservation in return for their keeping my stuff while I was gone. This way they don’t as easily get stuck with an empty room that Chileans might otherwise rent for a long weekend in Mendoza. If there had been a window of good weather followed by worse weather, e.g. wind/rain coming, then I might have gone early but forecasts look good for a while and I have some time, so one day in Mendoza to put everything in place for departure.
Plans can always adjust but following is the rough idea for the next nine weeks until I need to be in Puerto Montt (purple pin) to meet TDA:
- Start cycling from Mendoza (red pin) to Bariloche (yellow pin) (AB). Distance is slightly less than 1500km and looks to be mostly paved. Towns are found along the way, but it will be mostly two-day gaps between towns.
- At the two-week point, end of September, make a rough decision between “ferry” or “school” and make appropriate reservations:
- Ferry: After Bariloche, another 1600+ kilometers to Puerto Natales (green pin) along Ruta 40 (BD). A little tougher than before but should still be possible in the time I have. At Puerto Natales, a car ferry leaves once a week and takes four days to go to Puerto Montt (purple pin).
- School: In Bariloche, there are two Spanish language schools. One looks interesting and also has a homestay option with a local family. Sign up for appropriate number of weeks depending on my Bariloche arrival dates and then the week before TDA arrives, cycle over to Puerto Montt (BC).
From Puerto Montt, TDA takes 29 days to get to Ushuaia including 16 cycling + 6 rest days to Puerto Natales and 6 cycling + 1 rest day to Ushuaia. So if I do cycle to Puerto Natales on the Argentina side, then I will see bits of Patagonia from multiple angles. First two weeks of cycling before I get too far ahead of myself.