Nov 25, 2012

Distance today = 46.49 km; Total distance = 14,918.13 km; Location = Laboulaye – 34 08.687′ S, 63 23.725′ W; Start time = 0858, Finish time = 1612


The Day of the Snakes – an appropriate description for today. Besides several dead ones, I also saw three live snakes – two of which were aggressive toward me, and the other benign. All were quite small in size. I don’t know if this was how big they grow, or whether they were simply young.

The first snake I saw was early in the day. It was right next to the road, and looked like an adder or rattle snake of some sort (not sure if they have those in Argentina). It reared up at me and widened its neck like a cobra does. It then decided to slither on to the road. I tried to get it to continue on the other side, but it insisted on sitting still in the middle of one of the traffic lanes. And, of course, along came a truck and ran right over it.

The second was in a similar position relative to the road. It had speckled black and white bands around its body. This one tried to scare me by widening its mouth to the full extent, like a python trying to swallow a pig. It then shook its head back and forth. It certainly looked scary to me. I left it alone, lest it slithered on to the road and met the same fate as the previous snake.

The third snake was golden brown in colour and was crawling across the road when I spied it. Its timing was impeccable, as cars just missed it on both sides. I got quite close to it as it slid off into the grass, but it didn’t seem intimidated by me – it actually seemed quite friendly, if that’s possible for a snake.

It was all a big wake up call, as I regularly run in the grass on the side of the road. I really don’t have any choice. I just hope they’re not poisonous, in case I’m ever bitten.

I am now running through the famous Argentinean pampas country – vast flat plains, mainly of grasslands and cattle ranging country. While I’m not actually in the state of Pampas, I’m only a short distance north of it. I’ve even seen some of the renowned gauchos – Argentinean cowboys on their horses.

For the past ten days, during which there have been no shops at all along the route, I’ve been having a mix of canned food for lunch. Carmel goes ahead and mixes it all up. It’s actually very tasty. Today we had what I consider may have been the most delicious lunch of the whole world run so far. It was a combination of tuna, lentils, peas, and a diced tomato, topped off with cracked black pepper. Seriously, it was a superb lunch.

As for the running today, it was more of the same, although the traffic was much lighter. I can’t complain. I’m feeling good and the running is easy. I could easily run further, but the hotel was right on the route, so it made sense to stop there, rather than have Carmel come and pick me up. And I can also start running from here tomorrow.

By the way, I’m now more than half way across South America. And the mosquitoes are getting bad too – the bites seem to itch more here than they do at home.