DAY 8 – 1/20/12 ESQUEL --> PUERTO MORENO
544 km / 93.1 kph ave / 140 kph max
8 hrs tot / 5:50 hrs mov
This morning we were on the road by 0900. We were on Ruta 40 the whole day. The green mountain passes of yesterday gave way to a much dryer and flatter landscape today. We had a sandwich lunch that we had packed earlier on the side of the road at Tamariscos. The town was literally one building in the middle of nowhere with nothing for miles in any direction.
We had our first fill up of the day at Taka, but were stretching my tank’s limit when we pulled into the next station at Rio Mayo. My bike took 16 L (out of 17 L) on the fill up. This area of Patagonia requires careful fuel planning because the gas stations are few and far between.
At Rio Mayo, the pavement gave way to loose gravel, so we stopped to air down our tires for an easier ride. I took about 10 psi out of each tire, dad a little more, and we both noticed the difference right away. Even so, it was a challenging 50 km of going about 60 kph. I avoided taking my first dirt nap of the trip, but did have a couple of close calls when my line I was riding shifted and I found myself doing the “wobble jobble” in the loose stuff.
We were expecting the whole 118 km to Puerto Moreno to be gravel, but they were in the process of paving it, so the last 70 km was brand new, pristine asphalt. Quite a treat after the last stretch of gravel. After another fill up at P.M. we found a nice campsite next to a lagoon.