The wind is icy and I’m starving. My body is telling me it’s lunchtime. Seeking shelter from the elements, we knock on the door of a police outpost. It is the only building for miles. We just want a break from the cold.
We meet Fabian. He looks over this road and the surrounding area. He says a lot of cyclists pass through from December to March. Then the snow comes and it gets pretty quiet apart from the howling wind, which has no end.
Fabian invites us in for coffee. We devour our lunch of tuna and crackers and he offers us another can of tuna and sleeve of crackers. He’s been at this post for four years, solo, except for his dog, Diego. His ex-wife and two kids live in El Calafate, 70 miles away.
Fabian says we are welcome to spend the night at the station (which is essentially his house, we ate lunch in his living room). We thanked him for his generosity but seeing how we’ve only done 20 miles, we push on.
Fabian is one of hundreds of examples of the beautiful people we’ve met on our journey. The kindness and generosity of strangers has known no bounds. If we could all be this kind to each other, the world would be a better place. In so many ways, this trip has been enriched by the compassion of strangers who enter into our story briefly, but the warm feeling they leave in our hearts lasts long after we say goodbye.
We wonder if we would have these encounters if we traveled by bus or car. If we had a motor we wouldn’t need to stop and knock on Fabian’s door. Bicycle travel pushes us out of our comfort zones, in all aspects. Before this trip, I would have hesitated to knock on a stranger’s door to ask if I could eat my lunch inside. But when strangers are the only people you meet every day, strangers become less strange.
We did stop to check out this little guy.
The wind became especially strong this afternoon. We pushed on until we came to an intersection with a gas station and another police post. The gas station had a measly stock of snacks, half of which he couldn’t sell to us because he didn’t know the price. Oh, welcome back to Argentina, where you can’t spend your pesos, even if you try.
The guys at the police post told us we can sleep in a trailer out back. The trailer is really rocking with the wind but we are so thankful we’re not in our tent. Though, all this movement makes us feel like we’re on a boat!