Part 3 - Acetylene Torch, Anyone? (Pedro Luro - Puerto Pirámides)
It was all looking too good. Despite extensive testing before we left home soil, Tommy’s rear brake and the springs on his solo seat give up the ghost. Both items are quite important on a rigid bike. Valiantly he battles on, semi-braked and unsprung, while W&W back home ship out an emergency spares kit via UPS. At last we come across a sign at the side of the road that says “Patagonia Starts Here”. “Hurrah!” we think, we’re finally underway! But Volker’s Sportster doesn’t think so as it slides to a halt. Two spokes have broken and have punctured the tyre. Fortunately the flat is fixed quickly, and after an hour we move off again. Leaving Viedma we face nothing. Okay, there is a road, but to the left and right there is nothing, nothing, and beyond that, more nothing. Not even a bend in the road. Cow skins are drying over fences, the heat blow-dries our faces and the bikes rumble along. That, at the moment, is the sum of our world.
So, when we get to San Antonio we decide to hang a left to the coast, and aim towards Las Grutas, which is a little resort on the coast. With its vast golden beaches, calm blue sea and wave-sculpted cliffs, it is a popular place for diving and fishing. We don’t have enough time to do either, unfortunately, but it was a pleasant diversion. All next day we cruise across a lot of nothing - who would have thought there was so much nothing in the world, let alone in one country? - until we get to the Valdez Peninsula. Here alpacas, ostriches and armadillos line the road. Today we stop in Puerto Pirámides for the night, and some minor surgery involving syphoning fuel from Tommy’s petrol tank to Volker’s, and back again… Puerto Pirámides gets its name from the cliffs that resemble pyramids as they tower above the beaches. In the cliffs are fossils more than nine million years old. But, for us, as we chow down in full view of the ocean at the end of the day, there is only one word for this place - sensational!