Day 1 (2/28/2020): 225 miles from Arelauquen Lodge outside of Bariloche, to the Hotel de Chocón in Chocón. The first hour or so of this day was actually quite pleasant, as you leave the mountains and ride through rolling hills with trees. But the desert was there, waiting for us And it was just what I expected based on satellite and street view images; barren, flat and nothing much to see. Just miles you have to get through to get where you are going! But the one nice thing about this section is that you are following the Rio Negro along the entire route, and it is this beautiful blue (not negro, despite the name) jewel in the middle of the otherwise barren landscape. It has been dammed in several places so parts of it are really more of a long, slender lake rather than river. At the beginning of the route, which follows Rt 237, there are trees and hills, and it is actually an interesting ride. That is the Rio Negro, which was our companion for almost the entire day. The highway doesn't follow it exclusively, but much of the route is along the river. You can see the "river" here is more of a lake - this is due to a dam upstream. Still trees! More Rio Negro And more Rio Negro - you can see here that the trees are starting to thin out. And then - pretty much no trees. But the river runs on! When the road left the river, it looked like this. But then it would join up again with the river, giving something more pleasant to look at as you ride. The last half of the ride the road just looked like this - until you turned a corner, and then ... ... it looked like this We stopped for lunch at some dirt-road back street restaurant for some empeñadas. So good - I'll miss those! And then we got back on the road - I am not recycling the same picture Tourist attraction right in the middle of no-where - there were life-size dinosaur statues, in some sort of park (I didn't get a picture of them). And there were tourist there. In fact, traffic was really bad! This was about the last week of summer before school starts, and lots of people from Buenos Aires drive the 1000 miles to the Lakes Region for vacation. One guy told us he used to do it in a day, but now with kids he takes two days. Anyway, we were riding on a Saturday, and there were lots of people going in both directions, some returning from their vacations, and others headed out. And traffic was screaming on these roads - we were doing 70 mph, with some pretty serious cross winds, and we were being passed like we were road boulders. There were cars doing 80 to 90 mph, with 80 mph seeming to be about the norm. This is Chocón - the Hotel de Chocón is down the street to the left. It was a very quaint place to stay, good AC and very inexpensive. End day 1!