The next plan of attack on bikes was heading North along Route 40 until we were ready to get off the bikes and head to Buenos Aires. The Northwest desert-like region of Argentina had been a great place to bike in the fall. Never a bad weather day up here and everything and everyone are very tranquilo.
During the morning at Campy Talampaya, we got a late start as we had to reassemble our bikes and fix my pinhole flat. Stupid thorny goat heads wreak havoc on the bike tourer in this region. They are seed pod covered in thorns that grow on plants anywhere there is not pavement. So anytime you pull off onto the shoulder, it is best to do a tire check before heading back onto the pavement. We have saved ourselves from flats many times this way. Ryan ended up finding 30 thorns broken off in our tires and plucked them out with his Leatherman, and luckily we have only had two pinhole-sized flats. Well-needed maintenance.
The ride North along 510 and then HWY 76 towards Villa Union was an extremely nice ride, flat and barely any traffic. We also saw about a half a dozen road bikers heading in the opposite direction, always a good sign. We left at 1pm from Talampaya and got into Villa Union around 4pm. While there, we discovered we had gone back to the land of 3-scoop ice cream cones for a buck and a half. It was great to be back Northwest regiona where inflation hasn't been so extreme.
We stayed at the only hostel in town, which was basically a very nicely kept house owned by a couple with some dormitory, matrimonial rooms, and space to pitch some tents in the back yard. The house had a great kitchen, but it almost felt that we were intruding in the homeowner’s space. The woman of the house was extremely meticulous and every thing was kept extremely clean. We quickly made dinner and retreated to our room. In the middle of the night, Ryan was awoken by a tickling sensation on his legs. We flipped the mattress and sure enough, there were two more bed bugs!!!! Not again, seriously! When putting the sheets back on the bed I found another one in crawling in the sheets! Eeeek! This just goes to show that it is the belief that bed bugs only occur in unkempt, unclean dwellings is a farce. It really comes down to how the owner deals with the issue. A certain high temperature has be applied to the eggs in order for them to fully be wiped out. And we know that we are not transferring them because every time we camp we have no problems and we have stayed at many hostels without problems. Needless to say we were pretty freaked out and frustrated, so we killed everything we found and tried to get some sleep. Ah, the life of the traveler! Glorious isn't it?