To South America and Back

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Deserted Land of Stray Dogs and Mad Max

Let me start out by saying that we wanted to stay in this city much longer, but knew we needed to keep moving. I write this little excerpt of our travels from Bariloche, Argentina.

Velodromo Numero Dos
First things first. I got wind (by looking at the first map that I came accross) that there was a Velodrome in Mendoza. Another Mecca to traipse about the town looking for, sweet. I could just imagine this one...the sound of the tires rolling accross the smooth surface, a warm sun beating down, children laughing and playing as their brothers and fathers pushed the pedals. Would this be the case? Would their be some aging retired track racer from the days of yore to explain the delicacies of racing the track bicycle to me? I hoped so.
Our first day searching for the velodrome was very similar to our first in Montevideo. Searching, and seaching, it was as if the cycling gods chose to place the majority of their velodromes in South America, but make them impossibly hard to find. We even had a map this time.


No luck with the velodrome, however we found a stray dog, which we promptly named Mendoza, and who continued to follow us for the rest of the day, even at one point trying to protect us from other strays...
Needless to say, we found no velodrome, but spent the day in the very beautiful Parque San Martin.

We headed out with a vengance the second day, and almost missed the sign to the velodrome. This is where we decided that the same cycling gods who decided to put all the velodromes here had also decided that they should never be ridden.
After climbing through the barbed fences we were greated by a site to behold. A beautiful (albiet unused) velodrome. As I have never ridden on one before, and this wasn´t to be my first, as the only bicycle for miles around, was painted a nice putrid yellow and was hanging near the entrance.


Now, I´m not a great judge of tracks, but this one looked to be even better than the first, with amazingly high side walls, and a long tapered entrance. I´m guessing to get a good running start before those high banked walls. The grounds were really well kept to, the whole place had the appearance of being used, but every time we went near, there was no one else in the area.



If someone out there in the interweb world has the inkling to correct me in my velodrome fumblings I would be more than happy to hear about it, and learn more about these interesting structures-such as if there are different kinds and what not *ahem Jim W., Jim A., Hans, Dave, Alan and the like*...jeremyddunn@gmail.com


The really strange thing is that we also found a huge fútbol stadium next to the velodrome, which was equally as barren. These places had a Mad Max feel to them, I mean that people were no where to be seen. This was strange to us, because everywhere in Mendoza there were people, but when we got to the outskirts where these structures were clearly labeled on the maps...nada...nothing...zip...zero. An atomic bomb of sorts has isolated these specific areas. Really bizarre for such nice structures, maybe we´re just out of season?

We weren´t however out of season in the restaurant arena, and have many nice things to say about our favorite...La Mora...but that is for another time.

1 Comments:

At 1:50 PM, Anonymous Maria said...

I would really like to see a few more dog pictures. I keep hearing about them, but where are their pictures? I miss you.

 

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