Cycling from Belen to San Blas in Argentina

Today's bike touring blog post covers the ride cycling between Belen and San Blas in Argentina. Part of my bicycle tour from Alaska to Argentina.

Roadsign in Argentina

A thought about siestas in Argentina

Blog post written in January 27th 2011

So far, I have enjoyed Argentina. There are a couple of things that I find irritating though.

Excluding the couple of Falklands conversations that I have had (waiting for more experiences before I write about it!), the thing that I find most annoying is shop opening times and the obligatory siesta.

If a shop/internet café has a sign that says it will open at 07.30, and when you ask them they say “yes, 07.30”, then a reasonable person should expect it to be open then.

Now, I am not naïve, so I at least give them an hour leeway. So, I arrive at 08.30 to find the place closed.

Why even bother having the place? I mean, the siesta is going to be from 13.00 until 17.00/18.00 in any case, and whether it opens again after that must be decided at the drop of a coin.

Anyhow… small sidetracked rant over.

Roadside shrines in Argentina

After checking my email in another place, it was on to the road. All in all, a reasonably easy day's cycling. Nothing to report in terms of scenery in particular, as I cycled through a lot of desert regions.

Stopped for lunch at a roadside shrine thing. These are scattered throughout the road systems of Argentina, and are normally indicated by a bunch of red flags. This one was a bit more elaborate though.

A roadside shrine in Argentina


The people of Argentina seem quite superstitious, putting a lot of faith in saints, luck and so forth. I think these roadside shrines act as either a memorial to a person killed on the road, a shrine to a local saint, or were the point of some miracle or other.

Its all very complicated, and so I feel much better off with my heathen barbarian views on God and such. Anything for an easy life. 

I continued on again, and a confusing fork happened in the road that I wasn’t expecting. My map is not much good (what a surprise), and was no help whatsoever.

I eventually flagged down a car for directions, and it turned out to be a rather nice German couple. Thanks guys! Taking the left turn where it met the Ruta 60, and then the first major right turn 2 km later onto the Ruta 40 I was back on track. (Folks at home, I appreciate that means not a great deal to you, but Joe Bloggs cycling might find it useful!). 

I cycled into San Blas, and there was a municipal campground on the right hand side almost immediately, so I dived in there. The showers were actually half decent for a change, and the inside reasonably clean. There was one small issue with the outside though, with its “Viva Hitler” graffiti. Seems I must have missed the Nazi convention.

Read more about cycling from Alaska to Argentina



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