In Argentina, bike, Sud America, travelling on May 1, 2010 at 4:52 pm

1st full day in Mendoza, I’m not counting yesterday as it was a travel day and not having slept well on the bus I was just tired, and had no urge to do anything, plus Barca were playing inter in the semi finals of the champions league so I wasn’t going to miss that. Barca lost after a dirge of a game, inter defended well enough to scrape through and my position that the best team doesn’t always win wasn’t changed.
So after that disappointment it was time to build up the bike, which I’m getting quicker at, I should be having done it so many times now and knowing what I know now I wouldn’t have packed in half as much stuff.

If your travelling with a bike (I’m assuming it’s fixed or single speed) to a major city for a weekend of week or two all you really need is a multi tool with 4/5/6mm Allen keys, 15mm pedal spanner, flat head and Phillips screwdrivers, spare inner tubes and puncture repair kit, front and rear light, oh and a lock, preferably a mini d of some kind, plus a good small dual action pump. Put all of these into a hip pouch of some kind, I recommend a rosie from archies grobags and you’re all set.

There’s no need to take a lock ring tool, chain breaker, chain whip, full set of Allen keys, degreaser, anti seize lube, chain lube, spare spokes, spoke key, adjustable spanner, freewheel tool, and some other stuff which is in the bottom of the tool pouch which I never open, in the bottom of the bike bag which I leave in storage as soon as the bike is built up.

So built up the bike and then updated the blog, think it might be best to do that as I arrive at a place, use that travel day to good effect, as I’m now up-to-date, apart from a couple of Buenos Aires and Australia posts which I hadn’t written up initially but plan to do now.
So I’m now sitting in the sun in the parque de general San martin, whose kind of a big deal in south America having liberated Argentina, chile and Peru I believe from Spanish rule, with his army of the Andes. No wonder there’s so many parks and main streets named after him. It’s a big park which sits to the north of Mendoza and most of the main streets end up here, so it’s not that difficult to find, there’s a man made lake in the middle, and a Cerro past that which will give you a panoramic view of the city. I’m just glad to be back to someplace warm, it must be like 22/23 degrees, probably more and I’m enjoying just feeling the warm rays on my arms and legs, there’s a cool breeze which is whispering through the trees and they themselves have leave which are turning yellow and orange.
Mendoza is a man made oasis in an arid desert, based on the old indigenous aqueducts, irrigation and waterways, something green and lush has been created where before their was desert and sand and brush. I’m hoping to see the desert side of Mendoza tomorrow when I go rafting and horse riding for the day, then I’m hopefully going to do a couple of wine tours over the following couple of days, I’d love to buy lots of wine, but lugging it around would be hard, though I suppose I could just drink it in the hostel.
Quick note on the hostel, Its nice enough and the people running it are really cool and helpful, but the kitchen is a bit cramped, only one hob and sink, though they do have a big BBQ on the roof patio, but it’s quite quiet, most of the beds are vacant and I get the sense I’m going to have to make my own entertainment, which after the constant passage of people in Bariloche is a bit of a shock.

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