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Published: August 15th 2015
Distance driven today: 298 miles / 480 km
Cumulative distance driven: 15,297 miles / 24,618 km
Today’s trip: Bahia Blanca to Mar del Plata, Argentina
It is funny how we take certain things for granted, and how a little bit of perspective can make us appreciate even the smallest of things. Today’s ride would normally have been deemed as being rather uneventful. However, in the light of yesterday’s rather miserable day consisting of constant rain, I can honestly say that I fully enjoyed riding for an entire day without a single drop of rain falling from the sky, no clouds in the sky, and with no fatal traffic accidents witnessed. On top of that, the temperature was much warmer today compared to yesterday when it was practically a degree or two above freezing.
Today also marked the second last day of my PanAmerican trip, as I am slowly headed back toward Buenos Aires, which will also be my final stop before shipping the bike back to the US. I would be lying if I claimed that it doesn’t feel empty on the pillion seat behind me when I ride. I have gotten so used
to having Zoe as my riding companion for two months now, just inches away on the bike, and one press on the Bluetooth headset away. We have shared so many comments, observations and discussions along the road that it feels strange to not have her constantly with me to talk to.
About every hour or so on the road, ever since I entered Argentina almost a week ago, a blue road sign shows up on the side of the road. It is, to my knowledge, a rather unusual sign because it is not a traffic sing. Rather, it is a display of nationalism over a small set of Islands in the South Atlantic Ocean on the Patagonian Shelf. I am of course referring to the Falklands Islands, or as they are called in Spanish Las Malvinas. The sing, which seems to be present on all roads in Argentina, reads “Las Malvinas son Argentinos”, which in English translation means “The Falkland Islands are Argentine”. The signs along all roads have been placed there because of a law that was passed by the Argentine Congress in 2014. The law states that that public transport must have signs saying "Las Malvinas son
Last time I checked the official history books, the Islands were British oversees territory, and the Argentine forces that temporarily occupied the islands in April of 1982, were handily defeated by the British armed forces during the Falklands war, which restored British administration only a few months later. What makes today’s road sings more strange is the fact that in 2014 Falkland islanders took part in a referendum, voting by 1,513 to 3 (!!) to remain a British overseas territory. In other words, practically no islander wants the Falklands to be part of Argentina and despite that fact, the Argentine government thinks differently. Go figure.
I occasionally still wonder whether I should have attempted to drive the final 3-4 days to the end of Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. It is inevitable that the idea crosses my mind every now and then, and that it refuses to completely go away. That is until I stopped at a gas station to get fuel in the early afternoon. An older Argentinian gentleman approached me a started to ask me questions about the bike and my route ahead. He assumed that I was headed southbound, and informed me
that he had just driven from the southern part of the Patagonia, along the Atlantic coast just a few days ago. He warned me that was very icy just less than a day’s drive southbound, and that there was snow on parts of the road. He did not recommend that I attempt to drive southbound with a motorcycle. I guess that this information finally made me fully reconcile the fact that I managed to get as far south as is reasonable to drive during this unusually harsh winter in Patagonia.
Tot: 2.942s; Tpl: 0.061s; cc: 10; qc: 51; dbt: 0.0663s; 2; m:saturn w:www (18.104.22.168); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb