What to say. The picture says it all, Michelle’s bike. Hit by a car. She is ok I understand, but I have not seen her. She is staying in a hotel, with Annalot our doctor, in town whereas we are at campground.
Left Rio Grande I jovial mood joking, laughing. Only two day left but some of us did say “there are no easy days not the Andes Trail”. But whatever it was nice to leave I good spirits but soon the work of the day kicked in as we turns south into a southwest wind and left the protection of the buildings of the city. For 9 k we struggled along trying to maintain 13 kph, thinking this is going to be a long 120 kilometers. Then the road turned east and we flew and as it turned south along the coast we were protected a bit from the wind. For whatever reason I was on fire and moving, able to stop and take a picture then catch up and even pass to get ahead. I told folks I had changed to my racing saddle. Whatever made lunch at 56 k by 11 am leaving at 9. Felt good.
And congratulations to James for winning the race and Albert for second place. Timing stopped at lunch.
After lunch the road moved from south to southeast to southwest and back keeping the wind very variable. But the traffic was different. All through Argentina and the trip biking has not been a problem, but today it was. Not necessarily a lot but the traffic obviously did not like us. In past months cars would slow down and drive along behind without a problem passing when safe. Today was not so. Often cars would not even move to left lane when no oncoming traffic. People yelled at us even if on far right of road. Very different I felt.
I saw a pickup truck with bikes in back and a Andes trail name tag on one and thought “well someone has given up in the wind and hitched a ride.” A few kilometers I was stopped for a break and Joost came by stopping to see if I was ok, and telling me Michelle had been hit, was ok but very bruised.
I made the ride to camp and a bit somber camp all waiting for word of Michelle. Walter finally showed telling us she was ok, no fractures but but very bruised and swollen. She walked out of clinic on her own with help. As we used to say in the emergency room life is a matter of millimeters.
Dinner and saw the bike, wow. Life is tenuous, and a gift to be treasured for the time we have.
Made it to Ushuaia. Great happiness in seeing Michelle waving from truck today. Currently a bit drunk from party on arrival. Will post final day and arrival.