Lars goes Latin

Hola Larsito,

Gracias por las estorias!

Buen viaje,

La pampa


The second day I left Lincoln I sat in General Villegas, a small town in the middle of nowhere. Just bought some bread and sat outside to eat some.
A car stops, asking me in american english if that was a colorado plate on my bike ( when I once was in the united states I found after a week this number plate and put it at the back of my bike. That was in 2003 and it still is there, just for fun )
So I said yes, it is and just as we started to communicate a lot happened at the same time : A young man from the panaderia ( bakery ) gives me a brown bag.
A car stops and a reporter jumps out, television camera ready.
The reporter gives me a hand, I look in the brown bag and see all these snacks from the bakery. Reporter asks if I like an intervieuw, I thank the young man for the snacks, wave goodbye to the american, get on my feet and give intervieuw nr 2.
Just as I am finished and sit again to eat some more bread another reporter from the newspaper arrives, intervieuw nr 3 ... Some pictures as well.
Many other people stop and one even invites me to his house, argentinian people are sure competing with the turks and iranian people for hospitality nr 1 !
Amazing ...

For the rest of in nothing happened, found many nice places to camp, one particular day when I had the wind against and was very tired, riding this sandy road I wanted to stop at 100 km and guess what, no trees for many kilometers and at 99,52 km the first little bush is just next to the road, how lucky a man can be !

Many truck drivers and othe cars as well wave at me, is it because they saw some of my intervieuws on television or are they just that nice ?!?

Drove 1100 km in 10 days through pampa, pampa and pampa.
Oh yeah, the last day saw also a sand storm when I just finished a brake, drinking a cold coke. The sand storm was close but not yet at the place where I was. So I jumped on my bike and I was so lucky again. The wind had turned, in 15 minutes time. Now coming from behind, and really strong ... Where I rode uphill the last 10 km it was now going down, very little but still. So here I rode, on the highway, doing 45 - 55 km an hour !!!!
Hahaha I rode 20 km in I think 25 minutes !!!
And stayed in front of the sand storm, yahooo !!!
Very pleased I rode into San Luis, where I am now. Had one of my resting / washing clothes day.
Tomorrow I hit the road again, riding the 147 NW to San Antonio / Huactaran, then the 20 W to Encon and the 142 SW to Mendoza where I will stay a day.
Also tomorrow or the day after I will visit my first national park here, Grand Canyon like so I look forward to it, hope the wind is good so I can cycle the 120 km in one day.

Greetings Lars
De verhalen van Lars moeten echt in boekvorm worden uitgegeven! Geweldig :) . Is je/de fiets inmiddels vrij van slingers?
Ha Lars
Heerlijk jou verhalen. Je haalt er in ieder geval de voorpagina van de website van de WF mee! Geweldig.
Geniet en tot mails
Hola !

The day I left San Rafael I went to the south, what a surprise, I am going to the south !
A great route through Canyon de Atuel, had the best campsite sofar, in the canyon, near a small river and a very nice vieuw on the mountains.

Next day was one of those days ... cycling out of the canyon was very nice but ...
When I reached the top of a hill there was this increadible vieuw on the mountains in the distance, like a hundred or more km to the west.
A long straight road towards them ...
Pampa on the left and pampa on the right ...
The wind in the back and me just cycling there, awesome !!!
When I rode a 100 km I just stopped, walked to the ( cattle ) fence 50 meters from the road, carried all my bags and bike over it, walked another 200 meters and found a very nice campsite, for me alone !
With a million dollar vieuw, just great !
At night I was a little cold, I had to close my sleeping bag all the way. In the morning I knew why, looking at my thermometer I saw -8 degrees !!!
Within 1 1/2 hour it read 23 degrees with the sun shining.

Next day I moved on, 10 km without wind. But the it struck me, blew me almost of my bike ... A wind so strong, from the north so a side wind but, man o man ...
Doing only like 10 km an hour.
After a couple of hours I decided to go for a lift.
When a car stopped they told me 3 other cyclist were behind me, only 5 km !
A second car told me it was more like 20 km so I didn´t want to wait for those cyclists.
A third car took me with my bicycle to this tiny place, now only 15 km away from were the road went south, with a wind blowing from the north it seemed a good idea ...
So I road for like 3 km with the wind in the back, doing 40 km an hour but then the wind decided to change direction, coming from the west, slowing me down to another 10 km an hour ...
From that day I am fighting the wind, making it very tough, especially after 10 am, then it growes in strenght ...
Further south I reached ruta 40 and had another ´one of those days`.
Me riding through this wide valley, snow topped andes at the right, in the middle this sometimes gravel road and the river, at the left some mountains, here and there a vulcano ...
Again awesome !!!

Now in Chos Malal, had to take another lift to get here, I had to do 130 km yesterday but in the afternoon with this wind again, 6 or 7 bft ... pfff
Tomorrow I will go south to Las Lajas and Zapala.
Then road nr 13 to the west to Lago alumine. S to Junin de los Andes and san Martin de los Andes.

Oh, the other 3 cyclist ?
Heared that they were like 200 km behind me now ...

Ciau !
Great to hear you are amusing yourself in the Wild West!

I hope you don't get into a sandstorm like I did a few thousand kilometers to the North... :roll:
Seems you are riding the part that I missed a few years ago. :wink:
Deze is per ongelijk als apart onderwerp geplaatst zie ik ineens, kan ik dat aparte onderwerp ´ going south ´ verwijderen ???

Alsnog :

Going south

Hahaha nee joh Eric, af en toe een mailtje is toch ook leuk ?

Komtie dan :

Hola !

Where did I leave you, before Mendoza ?
Think so ...

Well, before I arrived in Mendoza I went to a National Park, Quijadas.
Very beautiful and the day I left the park, to go to Mendoza I went to this little kiosko, to buy some bread, cheese and milk.
Sitting outside, enjoing my meal ther was this funny little guy, age 6 or 7.
We chatted a little bit and then his dog came along.
Hahaha John probably knows what comes next, we did it in India many times ...
He I said, what a big cat is that !
The boy looked at me and said, no, it is a dog.
I said, yeah, but what a big cat it is !
The boy said again, no it is a dog !
I said, yeah ... miauw !
Hola big cat !!!
The boy said again, no, it is a dog !!! Shouting already a little and rolling with his eyes ...
Look he said, a cat is like this big, has long white hairs on his face and walks like this : and he even walked like a cat
I was laughing already, funny little boy.
I said again, yeah, but I never saw such a big cat, miauw, miauw !!!
This time the boy was jumping on his feet and shouting like 10 cm from my ear : IT IS NO CAT, IT IS A DOG !!!!
Hahaha, tears from laughter were rolling down my cheeks !

Several days later still had to laugh about it Always is funny hahaa.

Mendoza was great, always like the cities after a few days in the desert.
Where it is like 36 degrees ...

Cycling out of Mendoza I slept in a wineyard.
Too hard to find a place in nature because everything here is wineyard, never saw so much !
And never so beautifull, with snow peaked mountains of the Andes so close ....

Today I am in San Rafael, where I had half a resting day.
I couls have stayed two nights on the camping ground but like to cycle out of town this afternoon. 35 km south there is 40 km of very nice nature, canyons !!!
Prefer to find a camp site there !

So I better do some groceries now, by food for two days.

Route will be like south to El Nihuil, road nr 144 to El Sosneado. road 40 to Chos Malal.

Adios !
Hola !

In Zapala is a great museum, I was eye to eye with a skull ...
A dinosar skull !
A real one !!!
I could have touched it if I wanted to but ofcourse you do not do that. But awesome it was, a dakosuarus skull, approximately 90 cm long, teeth as big as my fingers ...

I forgot to tell you about Ruta 40, a 4467 km long road from northern Argentina all the way to the south. Some of it paved, some of it unpaved.
It is what Route 66 is for northern america, an adventurous nostalgic road with great scenery !
Great to bike !

I cycled towards Lago Alumine, passing Primeros Pinos which means first pine trees.
A remote dirt road up in the mountains.
And yes, I saw not the first trees but yes many of them, you could call it even small forests ;-)
Lago Alumine was the first lake I passed, many of them would follow. Beautiful blue, surrounded by forest and on the back white snow capped mountains. Following the river down was one of those days ... such a perfect day ... The wind in the back, a perfect gravel road, the blue river on my side, nice mountains, really great !

When I was asking at a school where I could buy some bread they gave me one, baked on their own, still hot. Mjammie !!! Very generous people.

In Junin de los Andes I took a 28 km detour to see, according to my books, one of the most beautiful vulcano´s / mountains in the world.
Very curious I saw all the way a white ´ vulcano shaped ´ mountain but I tought this wasn´t THE mountain, because it was not that high I tought and not so spectacular. The whole 28 km I tought : this must be the mountain, but it can´t be. ( Because yesterday when I arrived in Junin I saw this mighty vulcano from an different angle, it looked much higher and more spectacular so until I arrived at the lake where Vulcano Lanin is located I wasn´t sure.
At the lake I was a little disappointed; is this the most beautiful mountain of the world ???
Oke, it was nice but ...
I had second breakfast behind some bushes out of the wind and the cycled back to Junin, on my way to San Martin, thinking about this mountain and suddenly I was not disappointed anymore ...
What if it WAS the most beautiful mountain of the world ?
It would mean that all the other mountains I may see in the rest of my life would be less beautiful. I would maybe think, oke, this is a great mountain but that time in south america, Vulcano Lanin, THAT was a great mountain. I passed a field with horses and flowers, the white mountains at the back. Hahaha I loved that sight even more than the vulcano ...
Happy with my thoughts I moved on.

In San Martin I slept in the Bike Hostel, this guy made a bike out of bamboo and cycled it to Buenos Aires, I met him on the road and he gave me his adress, a very nice hostel !

Cycling out of San Martin I road Ruta de 7 Lagos, first day was great but second day was rainy, cloudy and very windy. But is was a nice road to cycle with all the lakes.

My original plan was to go to Chile, Puerto Montt from here but ...
I knew I had to take a ferry or 2 at the beginning of Caratera Austral and read in a book they only sail in january and februari. So I have to make a change of direction.
Now I will cycle to El Bolson and Esquel, mabe ride the Patagonia Express for a day ( an historic steam train ) and from there enter Chile.

Bicycle is doing good, after tightening the bolts from my Rohloff speed hub it stopped leaking very little oil and the Rohloff is doing very good, I love it. Suspension is also very good as are my hydraulic disc brakes.
The mountains are very good and the gravel roads are most of the time also good.

And me ?
I am more than good ;-)

Hope you are too.

Hi Lars,

it's good to hear that you doing well and that you enjoy yourself. Have fun and take care.

Nog iets meer dan 2 weken, Lars, dan komen Hetty en ik je achterna. Jouw verhalen geven ons zovast een voorproefje van wat ons wacht. Zie "Trektocht door Chili en Argentinie"

Because my mom is serious sick again I decided, with some help from my dearest little sister, to return home as soon as possible.
Which is tomorrow.
Be home on sunday.
Last week did some great cycling, with some help because of the great weather and I met very nice company, Max from germany,to travel with and talk to ...
I do the rest of the trip to the south some other time, inshallah ...

Greetings to you all

With love, especially for my mom


ik wens je veel beterschap met je moeder. hoop je weer snel te zien.


Goede reis terug en veel beterschap voor je moeder!
Da's inderdaad slecht nieuws. Hoop uiteraard dat alles goed komt.

Goede reis terug ook. :roll:

ik hoop dat je moeder snel weer opknapt, sterkte.

Heel vervelend als het zo moet lopen. Bewaar de rest van de reis inderdaad maar voor later.
Sterkte verder!
Hoi Lars, beterschap gewenst voor je moeder en voorspoedige terugreis. Groet Eric

Ik heb zoveel lieve berichtjes terug gekregen dat ik helaas niet iedereen persoonlijk kan antwoorden daarom maar even een copy / paste dankje.

Heel erg bedankt voor het medeleven en duim voor mijn moedertje als je wilt, de eerste chemo gehad en een goede nacht daarna. Vrijdag de tweede chemo.

Ik ben morgen, zondagmiddag, thuis.

Nogmaals bedankt !

Hoi Lars,

Ik zal voor je moeder duimen! Sterkte!

Hoi Lars,

fijn dat je moeder de eerste chemo goed heeft doorlopen,
sterkte verder en goede reis terug.

Ingeborg :wink: