Nov 18, 2012
Distance today = 50.85 km; Total distance = 14,575.15 km; Location = Balde (13 km west of) – 33 24.073′ S, 66 45.477′ W; Start time = 0917, Finish time = 1702
I am now running on the Ruta 7, the main highway between Mendoza and Buenos Aires. Despite very long straights through vegetation that resembles mulga scrub, I quite enjoyed the day, running strongly.
The weather was near to perfect – sunny, about 28C, and with a cooling breeze. After 11 km I reached the state border, crossing from the province of Mendoza to San Luis. The Argentineans love their check points, as the border involved three different gates to pass through. I had a nice conversation with one of the border guards, Daniel, who was quite interested in what I was doing.
Soon after, I entered a straight that was about 25 km long. I could see the end of it, as the elevation rose about 200 metres – only a very gradual incline, but it was still all up hill. From there I turned slightly into another straight. I have run about 15 km downhill on this one, but I have about another 40 km to go on it tomorrow, and much of that is back uphill. Amazingly, the topography is such that I could see the whole 55 km of the straight from the western end.
Tonight we’re staying at a very nice little hotel, in the town of Balde – a great little find, with a very helpful manager, Emmanuel.
One thing I’ve noticed about Argentina is that the restaurants usually don’t open till 9 pm. It’s a very different situation to that of rural USA where, for example, we arrived at a Pennsylvanian restaurant one evening at 7:10 pm, and were told the place closed at 7 pm. We asked why, receiving the reply that “No-one wants to eat after seven”, as we were surveyed with contempt for wanting to eat “so late”. While 9 pm is fairly late for a restaurant to open, I think I’d prefer that to one that closes at 7 pm.