Tres Cerros, Argentina to Trelew, Argentina

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Wind-sign

Wind – EPIC Wind.

We got a reasonably early start after a virtually non-existent breakfast at the crappy little YPF gastation/hotel we stayed at (sorry Wes).

The road heading north was pretty uneventful – just a nice two lane asphalt road with too many trucks and busses on it.

Things were decently warm and going well until we got to the coast just south Comodoro Rivadavia. We had some wind but it was just the lightweight stuff – like 20 mph with gusts to 30 or so (and of course it was always a crosswind no matter which way the road turned).

Maybe 20 miles south of Comodoro we were hit by the legendary winds of Patagonia and Southern Argentina. We fought them all the way into Comodoro – blowing at 50mph with gusts over that to something like 250 mph… who knows how hard the gusts were? We figured out that the steady wind was around 50 mph because when we had the infrequent (and very short) times when the wind was at your back, we could go 50mph with ZERO wind in your face… it was very wierd.

The effect on us was amazing – we all would lean heavily into the wind and wait in fear for the gusts to come and try to blow you off the road or into the oncoming trucks. When the gusts came, you would have to react fast and lean the bike even more into the wind and try to keep the thing from going off track.

We finally made it to Comodoro Rivadavia and pulled into the first YPF we saw for some gas. That’s the other thing about the wind, your fuel economy goes way down. We normally would get about 180 to 200 miles on our tanks before we would be on reserve – with this wind we were seeing 120 miles and then the reserve light would be on.

After filling the tank, we sat inside for a bit and talked. We all were amazed at the power of the wind and hopeful that we’d seen the last of it. The worst is over and all that sort of thing….

We set off out of the YPF and about 1/2 a mile out of town the road ran along the ocean – and then the real wind hit us! WOW! The stuff coming into town was just a warm up. This was the real deal and was even more gusty. Looking out at the ocean you could see the waves rolling into the beaches were being flattened by the wind and the tops of them were foaming and streaking back out to see. We fought this for only a few miles before Wes made a radical break across traffic to stop under an overhang which would break the wind. John and I weren’t able to make the same move because of oncoming traffic and we fought on. We were literally going about 20 mph and being blown all over the road. It seemed the slower you went the worse it was because the bike had little forward momentum.

I tried to take pictures with one hand and ride behind John with the other – not the best idea in the conditions – but his lean angle was incredible. I was blown to the edge of the road and onto the shoulder where I stopped. As soon as I stopped the bike the wind was on me – blowing hard as ever and my feet were on pebbly ground and the wind kept the pressure on – I let the bike go. No point in fighting it. Tough to get it picked up with the wind on it.

The three of us stopped on a ridge overlooking the ocean and talked about how terrifying the wind was but I think we all enjoyed the challenge.

We pressed on for maybe another 25 miles of difficult wind - and then we were inland off the ocean. The run up to Trelew went smoothly and compared to the wind challenges of the morning was a piece of cake!

Sorry but I scanned through all the pictures and we just didn’t take many today… the ones that were taken are blurry and very forgettable.

Cheers!

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