One of the most noticeable and curious thing when you bike (or drive) anywhere in Argentina are small shrines dedicated to miracle worker and healer Gaucho Gil.
It appears and depending which guide books you read that Gaucho Gil was a sort of Argentinean 19th century Robin Hood who refused to fight in a civil war or may have deserted from the army, robbed from the rich and gave to the poor, until he was caught and promptly executed. Before he was executed he told the executioner that when he goes home, he will find his son gravely ill but again depending of which version you read, Gils blood or proper burial will save the son.
And when the executioner showed up home, there he found his son very ill and did what Gil told him and his son recovered.
Since then many miracles have been assigned to Gil as well as prayers for safe returns and as we travel we see dozens of shrines all smothered with red flags, kerchiefs, plastic bottles (go figure why the plague of 20th century is used as a tribute) and many other gifts.
We actually had an honor to pass by the place where Gil was supposedly executed about 26km from Mercedes, where a whole village and industry has sprung up in memory of Gaucho Gil. When I stopped there to take a look I found a statue of Gaucho Gil on left side of a church, a statue of Angel of Death on the right side of the church and a church decorated on the wall with everything from bicycles to a gallon or was it 5 gallon of a bottle of Chivas Whisky left by pilgrims. And everywhere I looked there were pilgrims praying and touching the statues.