Some days I miss having a house to come home to. Mainly for the certainty of knowing I have a place to spend the night. More often than not, we wake up with no idea where we’ll be sleeping the next night.
Today we thought we’d be camping at the municipal campground in Malargüe. It was a 68 mile haul and we arrived in the evening because a good chunk of the day was spent playing in a river.
We never expected they’d turn us away. The lady working the campground said they were full. Even though as she said this I was staring at a large, empty lawn space. I explained we had ridden very far and were very tired, could we put the tent on the grass? She responded that they were at max capacity, but if two people left then we could enter. Argentina has first-world rules. If we were anywhere else in South or Central America, this would not be an issue.
We decided to just head out of town and camp but a look at the GPS revealed that the next town is over 100 miles away. That meant we needed to stock up on two days of food and water before leaving. It took us a while in the supermarket and then we realized we needed fuel for the stove. There are two gas stations in town. The one nearest us was closed to refill the tanks so we had to detour 3 miles north, back to the other gas station which was a complete cluster as apparently everyone had decided to get gas.
When we finally had the fuel, food and water it was 7:30pm and we were feeling the pressure to hurry-up and find a place to camp. Luckily sunset isn’t until 9pm. But at this point we were both getting hangry. We tried to eat in town but the restaurants we checked were closed (on a Friday evening! we’ve given up trying to understand the Argentine business model). To improve our mood we stopped for an ice-cream snack. It did the trick, proving ice-cream fixes everything.
Luckily there was a river just 5 miles south of town and we found a perfect camp spot. It is late though, by the time we setup camp, cook, eat, and clean up it’s 10:30pm.
The sun will be up at 6:30am, though the dawn light usually wakes us up earlier. There’s no sleeping-in in a tent. The drawback of the long days is we are not getting as much sleep as we used to (previously a solid 8-10 hours/night!). We’ve noticed we’re waking up tired. We need to get more hours of sleep than the hours we spend in the saddle. On the days we ride for more than 6 hours, it’s a close balance.