Dec 1, 2012
Distance today = 50.12 km; Total distance = 15,220.00 km; Location = Chacabuco (13 km east of) – 34 34.493′ S, 60 21.031′ W; Start time = 0845, Finish time = 1657
Well, that was quite an eventful day!!!
It started with more running in the long grass of the shoulder, but after a short while I decided to simply stop and step into the grass when traffic came along. It was slow going, but my legs appreciated it.
After only 3 km, I noticed a disused road, which the Google Earth satellite image showed as meeting up again with the main road later. I took this option, mainly to get in some running without traffic. It was always going to be a risk. I reached a point where a former bridge had been removed in favour of a rushing river. I thought about trying to cross it, but the torrent of water (which I estimate was moving at about 5 metres/sec), coupled with the fact there was a barbed wire fence right in the middle of the stream, made my mind up for me. So I had to go back. It was, to be precise, 970 metres back, and I have subtracted the 1.94 km in total from the Garmin data for the day.
About an hour down the road, I got a call from Carmel, who had driven in front. She had locked the keys in the car!!!!! By the time I ran up to where she was, a truckie had come to the rescue. With some wire, pliers, and a screwdriver, he made short work of the problem, and the car was soon open. It could have been so much worse! He was a great guy, and hugs were exchanged all round, as well as email details. He actually looked a lot like Will Ferrell.
A little later I saw an enormous black pig that was dead on the side of the road. It had been hit by a car or truck – not a pretty sight.
I ran on through the heat of a quite warm day, although I wasn’t particularly bothered by it. It was a dry heat.
In the town of Chacabuco, I saw a memorial to many people who had died in the 1970s at the hands of the military dictatorship in Argentina. Thankfully, it’s nothing like that now.
To finish, I’d like to mention where we stayed last night in Junin – the Piedramora Hotel. It was top-notch, and the food in their restaurant was superb and amazingly good value. For the equivalent of AUD$12, one could have a truly delicious and huge eye fillet steak, of the best Argentinean quality.
On top of this, there was also “entertainment”. When I ran past the hotel earlier in the day, I noticed lots of young girls out the front. When we returned after I finished running, they were still there. Later, when we went down to dinner, they were STILL there. Then, around 9:30 pm, we found out why. One of Argentina’s most famous young pop stars was staying at the hotel, and left the establishment through the throng of girls to get into a white limo. He signed autographs and was off – to perform in town that evening. Later that night – I’m guessing about 2 am – we were awoken by more screaming and shouting when he returned. By the way, his name was Axel. Something a little different for a Friday night.