Dec 3, 2012
Distance today = 49.74 km; Total distance = 15,324.28 km; Location = San Andres de Giles (13 km east of) – 34 30.379′ S, 59 20.108′ W; Start time = 0818, Finish time = 1623
Well, I spoke too soon! As I left town this morning, the paved shoulder immediately disappeared. It was back to grass and dirt. However, heavy overnight rain had turned the dirt into a sticky surface of mud.
If I wasn’t lifting my knees high to run through the long grass, I was slipping and sliding in the mud, ending up with it caked on my shoes. The shoes were often three or four times their normal weight, until I scraped the mud off.
And then I had a fall. I was enjoying a brief moment on the road, and was twisting to the right to look over my shoulder, when I tripped on something. This meant I came down with all my weight on my out-stretched left hand. I felt two things – the skin being scraped off my hand, and the force of the fall being transferred up to my shoulder and collarbone. I quickly rolled off the road to avoid on-coming cars.
I thought I had broken the collarbone, but it turned out to be OK. I did lose a bit of bark from my hand, though. My shoulder is sore, but I’ll survive.
Although it didn’t return to being paved, the road shoulder (there are a lot of shoulders in this story) did improve to fine gravel. This helped, but the day got progressively more humid. I even had to take my shirt off – the first time since the heat of the US summer. By the end of the day, I was very hot and sweaty. But I’m now less than 100 km from Buenos Aires.
Carmel is compensating for the lack of photo opportunities by doing a lot of walking during the day. I reckon she is averaging nearly 10 km per day lately. Pretty impressive!