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Tristan’s Training Diary Day 3 – Part 2

6 Mar 2014

I spent what energy remained racing Hugo back to the barracks.  Hugo beat me by a considerable margin, although I sensed he did not empty the tank like I did. I thought we called it a morning and that I could rest before an afternoon workout on a road bike with El Zorro. As we approached the Parque, I asked Hugo if we could leave to buy a phone card to minimize my exploding roaming phone bill. He simply responded “Bueno” and we headed back out of the complex. Hugo was a man of few words.

What started as a simple search for cheap data turned into another long, difficult, excursion, only this time we took a circuitous route through the neighboring vineyards and towns. We did stop once to recharge with hand-picked apples and plums from a reserve we found along the way. What a way to learn about a place and its people!

That night, Jorge cooked an Asadito (“a little Barbeque”) made with the spectacular meat from region. We accompanied the meal with perfectly dry Malbec and finished with dulce de leche ice cream – not the Haagen Daaz version with a little bit of dulce sprinkled in – this it the real thing, 100% dulce de leche with extra dulce de leche on top.

Moved by the hospitality, friendliness, and overwhelming sense of duty to help the NOMAN cause even if that means breaking me every day, I struggled to find the words to thank them. In just three days, I believe I formed a bond that will last for life. They understand what we are trying to achieve, eliminating the causal agent of 5% of all cancers by working together as a team to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way – and are eager to be a part of the solution. As a gift, I gave Jorge my New York Empire State cycling jersey, and after hearing how much he loved the idea of bringing NOMAN permanently to Argentina, gave him my treasured white NOMAN alumnus polo as well. He returned the gift with two shirts of his own, one, his own cycling jersey, and two, a Battalion 8 pinnie.

Jorge and I sped to catch the 10.30 bus to take me to Mendoza (we arrived a couple minutes late), alerting the driver by frantically waiving the ticket out the window. We found a convenient place on the highway to pull over to make the transfer.

I thanked Jorge one more time, he smiled and said: “Lo unico que quiero es que vuelvas.” {The only thing I want is that you return}.

And return I will… NOMAN Pantagonia, anyone?

 

 

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