Journey America Part 2

Road to Rio Mayo

After a long and wet week in Rio Senguer, Picasso was finally 100 per cent and ready to ride out. Under heavy rains, I tacked up Sapo while Picasso watched close-by.
The road south to Rio Mayo, the last city we would cross in the province of Chubut, was a muddy mess. I rode through puddles that looked more like rivers – my feet just inches from the water underneath my stirrups. At some points I wondered if Toti would make it through with the support van.
“Man, we almost got stuck on that last one,” he said to me during lunch as we ate a warm soup.
The rain, mixed with the cold temperatures, made the week hell! Every night we tied the horses to the fence line and slept in the van. During the entire trip we never crossed another car or human. We did ride through a small village called “Pastos Blancos,” but still early in the morning, we were met by closed doors and blinds.
When I rode into Rio Mayo I was in bad shape. Tired, sore, frozen, dirty… I was a mess. Luckily we were welcomed by a radio host who organized for the horses to rest in the local police station, and two beds in the town’s gym for Toti and I to sleep in.
The gym had several beds in case of an emergency in the town. And what we learned is that due to the recent rains, several families were evacuated from their homes. Many were with relatives, but one elderly gentleman was also calling the gym home.
“We have never seen rains like this, the city is one step away from announcing a state of emergency. Comodoro Rivadavia (capital of Chubut) has had 80 per cent of the city ruined by the heavy rains and mud slides. It’s a catastrophe,” the lady who opened the gym for us said.
Because Toti and I had spent he last several days in the middle of the desert, we had no idea the rains had caused this much damage. We worried about what would happen to the journey if it continued raining like this! We had already heard that many roads in the region had collapsed and others were inundated.