Friday, May 18, 2012

Paso Del Indio, Argentina... Something Unexpected

From Bariloche I wanted to travel to Puerto Madryn and the Valdez Peninsula. I planned to split the journey of about  620 miles (1000 km) into two segments. From the map you can see that there really was not much in between the two locations. There was one town called Esquel in the west, one town called Trelew in the east, and in-between... there was whole lot of nothing...except pampa.

Supposedly, about half way between these locations there was a town called Paso Del Indio (The Indian Pass). It was on a road map that I had, but it did not show up on google maps. Paso Del Indio would be my resting place since it was about the mid-way point. I searched online to see if there were any hotels in Paso Del Indio, but came up empty. Well... in a worse case scenario I could camp.

Gas would be another issue I had to consider. I generally can travel about 250 miles (400 km) on a full tank of gas. I was pretty certain that I could make it to Esquel and would be able to fill up. I hoped that I could then make it to Paso Del Indio, that there would be a gas station, that there would be gas and that I would be able to fill up. Then, I could make it to Trelew and would be able to fill up. From there I could make it to Puerto Madryn. A few months back, there were reports online that there were shortages of gas in the area. To be on the safe side I filled up my spare 10 liter gas tank... and said a little prayer that there would be gas in Paso Del Indio.
I headed down Ruta 40 to Ruta 25. It was a long and flat and straight asphalt road all the way. After a full day of riding I pulled into Paso de Los Indios.

In Paso Del Indio, I would estimate there were no more that 50 houses in the entire town. Exactly two hotels. One hotel had about 6 rooms. The second hotel had exactly 2 rooms. I stayed in the hotel with 2 rooms. The one restaurant in town wasn't open, so I went to a small tienda (store) and bought some ham and bread and made a sandwich for dinner. And, one gas station with gas! Not exactly a tourist destination. However, the people were super nice.

I bedded down for the evening.

The next day, I would continue on my way. I was not looking forward to the ride, because I anticipated that the road would be long and flat and straight and boring... and it was.

For a while... then I came across a beautiful pass...The Paso Del Indio. There were dramatic bluffs lining each side of the road, rock formations the size of skyscrapers and the road snaked between them. It reminded me of Big Bend, Texas or Sedona, Arizona. I was amazed.
Here is a short 1:30 minute video that shows some of the ride. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera mounted and ready to roll when I was passing through the really scenic areas.
I continued on my ride and came across these... Patagonian wild horse. I had read an article many months ago about Patagonian wild horses, but wasn't really expecting to see any. I believe that these were wild horses because they reacted to me and my bike as wild animals do... they ran away. All of the domesticated horses that I passed along the road never reacted to me...they simply stayed still. Cool!

It was just one of those days when I had to pinch myself... and be thankful for being in the moment. It was one of those days in which I was expecting the worse...but was blessed with something unexpected.

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