Cycling in Latin America

Colón to Villaguay

Today I had the longest trip yet – about 105km from Colón to Villaguay, on the Ruta 130 to Parana. And this might not be the longest trip for long …

As usual, I set off early – at 7am Argentinian time (which is equivalent to 8am Uruguayan summer time). Getting out of Colón took a while, but it was already quite some distance. I went via San Jose, and then got onto a long and pretty bad road which linked to Ruta Nacional 14 and Ruta Nacional (RN) 130. The latter one was the one I needed.

Paysandú to Colón

Today was an easy day, as I just crossed the border from Uruguay to Argentina, and didn't really plan for anything else. I left Paysandú relatively early – at 9am Uruguayan time – and went to the international bridge over the Rio Uruguay which connects Paysandú in Uruguay with Colón in Argentina. Border formalities went really smooth, and there wasn't much traffic, so I was done very quickly.

Puerto Viejo to Paysandú

Today I did my last cycling in Uruguay - from Puerto Viejo to Paysandú. I got up a little later - at 7:30am - as I wanted to have breakfast at the parador of the camping, and they had told me the night before that they wouldn't open before 8:30am. So there was no point in getting up earlier. However, this didn't give me more sleep, as a group of younger and less young Uruguayans did party all night through - the music hadn't stopped by the time I left at about 9am.

Mercedes to San Javier/Puerto Viejo

On 10 January was my longest trip yet – more than 90km from Mercedes to Puerto Viejo near San Javier, on the Rio Uruguay.

As usual, I left early to get out of Mercedes early. Having found alcohol for my Trangia burner the day before, I prepared myself a coffee and had some breakfast before I set off – again at about 8am. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to pay for my camping, as there was nobody in the office yet, and the other staff working there told me to just leave... so I did.

Dolores to Mercedes

Dolores to Mercedes was a short trip – just a little under 40km – so I took it easy. Nevertheless, I got up early again, and had some nice breakfast at the hotel, and set off at about 8:30am, again fully loaded with in total 3.5l of water (of which this time I used less than 0.75l).

Carmelo to Dolores

Today I had another about 70km on my bike, from Carmelo to Dolores. I again left early - again at about 8am, but this time without breakfast - and was out of Carmelo quickly. The road was easy going initially, and again there was little traffic. I crossed through some wetlands again, and after a bit more than one hour and 20 or so kilometres I reached Nueva Palmira, where I managed to find a cafe to have some fried egg, toast and cafe for breakfast.

Colonia to Carmelo

I got up early to go from Colonia to Carmelo, a trip of about 77km. I set off at about 8am, after a small breakfast, and both water bottles filled. Getting out of Colonia was easy, and soon I was on Ruta 21, which goes all the way to Carmelo.

Colonia del Sacramento (Uruguay)

Buenos Aires by bike

In the last days, I have been cycling around Buenos Aires a bit. Buenos Aires is a pretty big city, with huge streets - six lanes on the major streets does happen, and then it's not fun to cycle. Some "ciclovias" help to get around more or less safely, but they are not necessarily in the best shape - especially when it comes to crossing roads.

Buenos Aires - off we go

On 1 January early in the afternoon I went to Heathrow airport to check in for my flight. After I had been unable to get anything in writing from Alitalia about their bicycle policy, and contradictory statements from their customer "services" helpline (I called them four times in total), everything went extremely smoothly.


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