We’re ending each month by posting about a dozen snapshots of things we haven’t previously detailed here. Below, you’ll find a few pictures from October. You can find our snaps from past months by clicking here, and assorted other images on our Flickr page.

 


 

pilon-1280Judging by the state of this one, seemingly abandoned half-built by frustrated workmen at the side of the gorgeous dirt road to Quebrada de los Cuervos national park, Uruguay sources its pilons from Ikea.
north of Treinta y Tres, Uruguay
1 October 2013

 


 

cake-1024Lunch for a touring cyclist isn’t always a nutritionist’s dream – especially in places such as rural Uruguay, where you can travel 50km without passing so much as a one-pump gas station. This unspeakable thing turned out to be one part meringue, one part brownie, one part snowball and three parts dulce de leche, and followed a panic-bought main course of fried steak sandwich accompanied by Coca-Cola. There’s a pretty good reason you don’t see the anonymous tracksuits in team cars passing this sort of anti-nutritional fare to their riders during the Tour de France.
Pirarajá, Uruguay
2 October 2013

 


 

gas-1024A population of 38,000 makes Minas the 12th largest town in Uruguay. We arrived at separate times – Will by bike, a slightly poorly Ruth by bus – and immediately took to it for different reasons. Arriving after nightfall, Will was shepherded to our lodgings by a friendly driver who U-turned 6km out of the centre after spotting Will trying to map-read in the dark and assuming (correctly) that he had little idea where he was going. In the meantime, Ruth had stumbled upon this gorgeous gas station, 82 years old in 2013 and still going strong. Later the same night, we ate and drank at a corner joint called Bar Londres. When we enquired why it’s so named, the bartender told us that she didn’t know. ‘We asked everyone for suggestions,’ she shrugged, ‘and this one stuck.’
Minas, Uruguay
2 October 2013

 


 

mtango-800Arriving in Montevideo late one Saturday afternoon along La Rambla, the coast-hugging highway that runs the entire length of the city (and then some), we spotted some kind of festivities taking place at the roadside. Almost before we’d rolled to a standstill, assorted locals had beckoned us on to the asphalt dancefloor; it turned out that today was Uruguay’s Día del Patrimonio, and that the focus of this year’s city-wide celebrations was tango culture. Mercifully, no photographic evidence exists of Will’s faltering efforts, but here’s Ruth being guided through the basics in what can best be described as non-standard regalia.
Montevideo, Uruguay
5 October 2013

 


 

crackup-1024The identities of some books are difficult to decipher from their Spanish editions. Others, though, are more easily translated back into their original language. It was an absolute joy to find that Montevideo is soaked with bookshops, even if we’d little chance of understanding any of their stock.
Montevideo, Uruguay
10 October 2013

 


 

polo-1024A hunt for Brooks saddles spares in Montevideo led to a bijou bicicletaria in upmarket Carrasco, which in turn resulted in an invitation to tag along with the city’s bike polo players for their Friday-night pick-up games in the grounds of a local college.
Montevideo, Uruguay
11 October 2013

 


 

bolivia1-1280Our arrival in Buenos Aires coincided with a fantastically raucous street parade celebrating Bolivian culture: marching bands, dancers, singers, banners, fireworks, glorious chaos. Here’s a band from Potosí in full and awesome flight…
Buenos Aires, Argentina
12 October 2013

 


 

bolivia2-1280… And here’s a quartet of participants from Oruro relaxing in the green room after their turn.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
12 October 2013

 


 

castro-800Because, well, nothing says ‘funny disco’ quite like Fidel Castro, right?
Buenos Aires, Argentina
14 October 2013

 


 

bikelane-1024While the network of bike lanes in Buenos Aires is, we’re told, much better than it was five years ago, it could still benefit from a few improvements. We never did find out who keeps the key to this particular door, much less where it leads.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
19 October 2013

 


 

mafalda-1024Mafalda was an only-in-Argentina comic strip that, between 1964 and 1973, detailed the adventures, escapades and social consciences of a group of unusually politically minded kids. The work of Joaquín Salvador Lavado, aka Quino, Mafalda is as iconic here as Peanuts is in the US. During the Sunday market in San Telmo, there are usually 20-strong queues waiting to have their picture taken with this pint-sized statue of the lead character. It sits on the corner of Calles Chile and Defensa, close to Quino’s former home.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
25 October 2013

 


 

cholas-1280Will’s modest, Monday-night dinner at Las Cholas in Las Cañitas.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
28 October 2013

 


 

from Buenos Aires, Argentina