Nov 12, 2021
I hope you enjoy the world history for today. If you’d like to get a sense of the road tunnels in the Andes, have a look at the video.
Nov 9, 2012
Distance today = 50.08 km; Total distance = 14,251.42 km; Location = Uspallata (13 km south of) – 32 41.368′ S, 69 21.446′ W; Start time = 0925, Finish time = 1712
I’m really tired again tonight after a big day of running into a fierce headwind. At times it was so strong, it actually brought me to a halt. I hope it abates by tomorrow.
I’m also quite sore in the quads after all the downhill running. However, there has also been a lot of uphill, as evidenced by the fact my cumulative ascent today was 1000 metres.
I haven’t seen much in the way of wild life – just huge jackrabbits, and one dog that was running along the highway. It passed me and just kept going. Perhaps it was one of those you hear about, who got left behind by its owners and is making its own way home.
The drivers here in Argentina are living up to their reputation. Today I saw three semi-trailers overtaking another semi on double yellow lines. I haven’t seen an accident yet, but I reckon I will. Most drivers travel at well over the speed limit, and ignore double yellow lines. There doesn’t seem to be any police presence, so I guess it’s just accepted. I’ve seen two trucks in the past two days that had rolled. It’s not dangerous for me, as I hear all the cars, trucks, and buses coming. But they are a menace to each other.
The valley I’ve been running down has obviously seen many floods in past eras (I mean geological eras), as there are clear signs of huge sediment deposits. Erosion exposes these and, as an amateur dinosaur hunter, I keep an eager eye out for fossils in the sedimentary rocks. Then again, I’m not sure I’d recognise a dinosaur bone in the field if I saw one.
I forgot to mention yesterday that Argentina now brings my country total for the world run to five. The total will start going up fast in the New Year, when I get to Europe.
Nov 10, 2012
Distance today = 50.46 km; Total distance = 14,301.88 km; Location = Potrerillos (8 km south of) – 33 01.835′ S, 69 10.851′ W; Start time = 0901, Finish time = 1630
We left Uspallata this morning to head to the starting point. I really enjoyed Uspallata, which is an oasis of green in the middle of an otherwise arid landscape.
The morning run was less windy than yesterday, but there was still quite a headwind up the valley. It definitely wears you out, when having to run into a strong wind for such long periods, and I’m sick of my cap being blown off.
I wound my way down the Mendoza River valley, which is a massive, steep gorge. There were plenty of tunnels to get through, and plenty of traffic to avoid at the same time. Amazingly, these gorges are so high, that I sometimes lose the Garmin satellites – thankfully, not for too long.
There was little else to see during the day, other than this majestic Andes gorge. There were no shops, so lunch was sourced from what we had in the car – mainly sweet slices from the hotel breakfast table.
During the afternoon the wind died down and a light drizzle started. It also got colder, and I donned both my Libby jacket (Christmas present) and my Libby gloves (birthday present). Thanks Lib.
The most imposing smell through the Andes has been that of truck brakes. Trucks must go through brake pads regularly if they travel this route very often. I also imagine that many of the trucks lose their brakes from time to time. The downhills seem to go on forever.
Although it was a predominantly downhill day, I did finish the day with a big hill, nearly 1,000 feet high. We’re staying tonight in a cabin in the very small town of Potrerillos. As I write, I have realised you will not be able to read this until tomorrow, as there is no internet coverage here. And there has just been a big dump of snow on the mountains above us. It’s going to be a cold old night.
Tomorrow I expect to reach Mendoza, and be out of the Andes. It will have taken me just five days to cross the range.
Nov 11, 2012
Distance today = 50.04 km; Total distance = 14,351.92 km; Location = Godoy Cruz – 32 57.395′ S, 68 51.043′ W; Start time = 0901, Finish time = 1630
Back in the world of the internet tonight. Sorry to those who missed the daily report yesterday. You can find it on-line now too.
Today I ran the final downhill stage of the Andes. I am now officially over the range. It was a beautiful day for running, although the traffic on the road was incredibly heavy, especially for a Sunday. The snow on the higher parts of the mountains last night provided a stunning backdrop to my descent.
I am now in Mendoza, where the tracker is showing me, although my official run position is in Godoy Cruz, a satellite town just south of Mendoza. This is the wine capital of Argentina, and I’m looking forward to sampling a few of their best.
Today was also the 3,000th day in a row that I have run. Sure, there has been the occasional very short day, usually when I’m travelling, but the average during those 3,000 days has been 17.3 km. Once this world run is over, however, I reckon I’ll be backing off that average quite significantly.
Nov 12, 2012
Distance today = 21.72 km; Total distance = 14,373.64 km; Location = Rodeo del Medio – 32 59.281′ S, 68 41.418′ W; Start time = 1022, Finish time = 1329
Just a short day, as I needed to get various logistical jobs done. The weather was perfect for running, and I felt really good, so it was a pity I couldn’t run further than I did.
I ran through the eastern suburbs of Mendoza, finishing in the town of Rodeo del Medio, passing by fields of olive trees and a nearby olive oil factory. I even passed hundreds of high school students, each in their grey trousers, white shirts, and red ties.
After finishing running, we headed off to book a hire car for the Argentinean leg and to buy Argentinean SIM cards for our phones. It’s been quite stressful travelling without phones, so the latter was a must. We had great help from Paola at the airport Hertz office, who also helped us with translation issues when we were sorting out the phones.
Tomorrow I will be having a day away from the road, as we need to drive back to Chile to drop the current hire car back to Santiago, a trip of more than 400 km over the Andes. We then fly back to Mendoza and pick up the new car, which we’ll eventually drop off in Buenos Aires. The reason for all this is because it’s not possible to hire a car in Chile and drop it in Argentina, hence the convoluted arrangements.
Therefore, there will be no blog update tomorrow, but I’ll be back on the road on Wednesday, where I’ll pick up where I left off today. In the meantime, we have another two nights in Mendoza, where the food and wine are superb.