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Tucumán!

Yesterday I cycled almost 90km from San Pedro to Termas de Rio Hondo. The first about 35km of the road were good, and I stopped at a service station shortly before Lamadrid for a break, and to have a lemonade. Then I took the provincial road to Las Termas, and even though it was tarmac, at least initially the surface was pretty bad. I wasn't even sure I preferred this before a dirt track. As I don't have a suspension fork, this was pretty hard on my hands.

At least there was little traffic, but the wind was blowing from the front now, which made cycling harder. And the clouds had disappeared, so now it was getting hot.

According to my maps - both, the paper map and OpenStreetMap - there wasn't anything between Lamadrid and Las Termas de Rio Hondo, but there were actually quite a few houses along the road, and very small villages. About 15km before Las Termas I came throught a slightly larger village, and stopped at a kiosk to have another break and a lemonade. The heat was pretty bad now, but I still had about an hour to go - or even more as I was pretty slow by now.

More than an hour later I finally arrived to Las Termas de Rio Hondo - quite a tourist place. There were lots of hotels everywhere, and I first made my way to a restaurant where I had a lemonade and some pasta. After that, I went to look for a campsite, which I found at the river.

The campsite was quiet, but it felt a bit like it was ruled by a pack of street dogs - as was Las Termas de Rio Hondo generally. And the pack of dogs was fighting it out over a female dog all over the campsite.

It was pretty hot all day, and didn't even cool down much in the evening - at 10pm it probably was still close to 30C. It was hard to sleep at these temperatures, and I wished for a tent with air conditioning ...

 

Today, I got up at 6:00am again, to pack my tent and set off. I left the camping in the dark, and went to a service station in the centre of Las Termas de Rio Hondo where I had some breakfast, and also stocked up on water. I had been told that there would be nothing in between Las Termas and Tucumán. I set off at about 6:40am, and first did quite a good speed for the first 35km or so, when I got to some health clinic where there was shade, so I stopped for a break.

I set off from there after a short while, and now it was getting hot. I stopped from time to time to drink some water, and after another 30km I began to watch out for a place to stop, but for a while there wasn't really anything, although I was passing through some very small villages along the road. About 15-20km before Tucumán I saw a kiosk off the road, and I stopped. I had avoided Coca Cola so far, but unfortunately the only small bottle or better can of lemonade they had was Coca Cola, and I needed some sugar... 

After a short break I set off again, and soon I got to the turn to Tucumán. Getting into town wasn't too hard, and I quickly arrived at the Plaza de Independencia, where some pre-carneval stuff was going on.

I was tired and hungry by now, so I didn't hang around for long, but went to a restaurant nearby, where I again had some pasta. From there, I went to the Tucumán Hostel, where I'm now staying. The hostel has a nice courtyard, which isn't too hot even during the midday heat, so it's a good place to spend the midday hours, when everything is closed. And there is a swimming pool at the back.

 Tucumán means that by now I made another 725km since Cordoba, if I can believe the data from Cloudmade.

Larger map: http://maps.cloudmade.com/?lat=-29.878755&lng=-65.126953&zoom=6&directions=-31.40104,-64.19402,-31.65725,-64.42585,-31.590234076606855,-64.5721435546875,-31.42168,-64.49933,-31.08333,-64.5,-30.780483281706953,-64.50004577636719,-30.580883687221622,-64.36477661132812,-30.42475,-64.34691,-30.22426,-64.49628,-29.27747,-65.06282,-28.63689,-65.13015,-27.95657659786118,-65.16883850097656,-27.68352808378776,-65.22308349609375,-27.50766239596439,-64.86259460449219,-26.83037,-65.20381&travel=car&styleId=1&geocoding=city:san+miguel+de+tucuman;+country:argentina&active_page=0&results_number=10&search_bbox=-27.676839402769925+-65.31440734863281,-27.452227661315074+-64.61814880371094&bbox=-27.676839402769925+-65.31440734863281,-27.452227661315074+-64.61814880371094&opened_tab=1

Together with the 1047km from Colonia del Sacramento to Cordoba, I now made 1772km in less than a month, if I count 7 January - the day I left from Colonia - as the first day of the cycling trip. That's 1772km in 30 days, or an average of 59km (including the rest days in the count).

 

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