I stopped feeling so sorry for myself, after that, and detoured a few miles down a side road to see a dam and adjacent lake, upon which a waterskiier treated me to a slalom show while I had a spot of lunch
. I got to Nono in the evening, and checked into the house of an old lady who offered rooms to rent for the night. She and her friend were sat drinking mate
tea in copious quantities, and were sympathetic to my bad Spanish - after one particularly troublesome utterance, that I simply could not decipher no matter how many "perdonas" spilled forth from lips, this ancient grandmother got out of her chair, hobbled her way over to me, and started talking to me like I
was the one who was a hundred and nine years old.
Beard status: hirsuite gentleman (at last!)
Miles munched: 40 or so
Those of you who do continue to wax about my perceived insanity might like to bear in mind the following inspiring words from my relative Pablo in Montevideo (who I will be visiting at the end of my trip):Only those who risk going too far can find out how far they are able to go
Pablo, who is running an ironman triathlon in a few weeks, consisting of a 3.8 kms swim, 180kms cycle and 42 kms run, needs this sort of outlook!
I dragged myself away from the toilet, having spent quite enough time in the accursed Villa Dolores, to head up what according to my guidebook was "the least developed valley in the Sierras de Cordoba for tourism," which leads me to wonder what the others are like, since there was a hotel about every two metres. My progress was less than enthusiastic, and no degree of dulce de leche seemed able to lift my mood as I grumpily meandered my way up the road. But then - was it fate? Was it God? - another guy on a bike loaded up to the saddle, going in the opposite direction. Someone else doing what I was doing! A kindred spirit! An automatic bond of brotherhood! We could talk about bikes! Discuss gear ratios! It was like a dream come true. He was an Argentine from Buenos Aires, on Mission Escapism from the noise and traffic of the distant capital. "All my friends say I'm crazy," I tell him. "Mine too!" he retorts. (see footnote)