(November 9 – written by Dave)
Yesterday’s extra miles meant a short day today, very short. This allowed us to have a sleep-in. It wasn’t as if we wanted to spend any more time in our lovely cabana than we had to however. It would seem that all of the spring rains this year have lead to a plague of potato bugs – they were all over the floors and lower wall surfaces – yuck. I was on strict orders from my senior editor that no bare foot walking was allowed, under any circumstances – as if I needed those instructions. Adding to the potato bug joy was a wet kitchen floor caused by water seeping up through the concrete slab. Sorry, no photos of the potato bugs or seeping floor – this is a PG rated blog after all!
Had it not been for the morning rains, we would have hightailed it out of there at first light. We only stayed put because it was raining and we knew we couldn’t check into our AirB&B until 1PM. So we got dressed, ate brekkie, got the bikes loaded and watched TV for a couple hours. We were careful not to step on too many potato bugs, before departing about 10:30.
Nearly all of our ride today was on Ruta 5. It was only raining lightly when we departed but the road was so wet that every car and truck passing gave us a shower anyway. We rode in full rain gear. At about 16k we stopped at a Copec for morning tea and a chance to get out of the spray. While we were there a rain swale went through – we were happy making puddles on the inside of the Copec cafe rather than out in the rain.
The last 18k was mostly rain-free. But the road was so wet that it didn’t really matter. And just to make sure that we got properly soaked, it rained the last few k’s in Osorno as we made our way to our AirB&B. We were greeted by Raul and Manny, a couple of wonderful hosts. They didn’t mind that we were basically two soaked rats. Luckily, they had a covered area where we could strip and do a rough clean-up – not making a complete mess of their lovely back garden apartment.
The apartment is a wonderful space. Small, almost a tiny house feel, but very comfortable. Raul started the fire in the mini woodstove for us so it was toasty warm and soon we started to get things dried out. After cleaning up, Raul took us on a short walking tour of town, helping us find a laundromat where we could get our 10 days of filthy clothes washed, and also the best empanada restaurant in Osorno.
After lunch, we wandered town a bit, did some shopping, had a coffee and dreamt of having a proper weekend and a couple days to sleep in. We are spending Saturday and Sunday in Raul and Manny’s back garden apartment. We’ll work a bit on the bikes, get our laundry sorted and do some shopping for supplies we need to head south. Technically, the next town, Puerto Montt is bigger and the formal jumping off point for the Carretera Austral but if can get things done here while having a bit of a normal person weekend, all the better.
Tomorrow we are having dinner with our friends Manja and Martin – from Switzerland. Keen readers will remember that we met them in La Paz, Baja, Mexico. They started in Alaska, either 4 days after us or 4 days before us – I can’t honestly remember. We’ve never ridden with them but we’ve been in touch since we collectively left La Paz. They have been kind of stuck here in Osorno, waiting for a package for home, which is a bummer for them but a win for us as we get to see them again.
I’m sure that we’ll get a post of some form out this weekend. Right now, Osorno is a bit of a black hole to us, and probably to you. We’ll see what we can dig up…