San Martin de Los Andes, Neuquén, to San Rafael
I was back on the road. Back to the days of finding a new place to sleep every other night, new scenery everyday. From San Martin I back tracked a bit to jump on Ruta 40 and then make my way to the town of Neuquén. I had read that there wasn’t much to do there but that nearby were the world’s largest collection of dinosaur fossils.
After two hours of riding through nice windy roads passing farms and rivers I was soon riding down the long and straight roads of Argentina’s plentiful barren lands. The mountains to the west slowly faded as I rode east.
Neuquén was a bustling city sprawling out from it’s center. They had just had severe rains that brought a lot of flooding. Much of the roadside was covered in thick mud. Once I arrived I discovered that the dinosaur fossils were closed due to a land dispute. There was another site but it was a few hours out of my way. I decided I’d spent my time finding a mechanic to clean my air filter. After all the dirt roads from patagonia it was in dire need of a good cleaning. The local moto mechanic cleaned and oiled the filter for 70 pesos ($7).
Without the dinosaurs to see, Neuquén didn’t interest me much so the next day I rode north to San Rafael. It was a long day on long straight roads. By the afternoon I had to do something I haven’t done in months. I was so hot I had to take out my thermal jacket liner and put on my summer riding gloves.
Feeling lighter than ever I pressed on until I started seeing signs of entering the wine region again. San Rafael is in the state of Mendoza and also produces great wines here. The land around me became lush and soon I was passing fields of grape vines, orchards and riding down roads lined with trees with the colors of fall.