(November 30 – written by “10K Dave”)
Today was a blue/blew day.
Overnight the wind blew through our shelter with abandon. We hunkered down in our tent, knowing we’d be riding straight into a gale come morning. We woke however to brilliant blue skies. It actually cleared overnight and we had great starry views in the middle of the night.
After all the rain we’d seen up north, there was no way that I was going to complain this morning over a little wind. Ok, a lot of wind, make that a lot of west wind. We headed due west for the first 50k or so – hmmm. The nearly cloud free start more than made up for anything that the wind could throw at us. We broke camp at 8AM with my bike computer reading 4 degrees – brrrr.
The first 10k was through more road construction, big rocks and hard-to-ride road surfaces. But somehow we managed to get out into a flow that missed all the control stoplights so other than being slowed by the wind and gravel, we made steady progress. At the end of the road construction, we were slowed by one of the best hazards in Patagonia – that is, stunning mountain vistas. We entered a valley that was rimmed by one gorgeous snow capped peak after another. We (mostly me) stopped for a lot of photos. And we both rode slowly, just taking it all in.
The mountain show went on all day really. A few clouds built up around lunch but they burned off again in the afternoon and we had nearly blue skies for the entire day. Wow, Patagonia put on a show for us today. We had lunch at almost 1PM at the side of Lake Cofre, near the top of the biggest climb of the day. A little later we caught up with Joe and Sarah again, they were doing the same thing. It was definitely a day to linger. On the downhill after lunch we made a hard left, southward turn at some point and the westerly wind became much more of a tailwind. Happy days.
More mountain views along with a few river views for good measure filled the afternoon. I think I took to many pictures but it was fun all the same. Nancy was patient with me. It ended up being a pretty long day of riding. The wind, the gravel, the climbs, it all added up to a more hours pedalling than we’ve had in a while. I’m sure glad that the long day came on a sunny one. It would have been a slog in the rain.
We arrived at Doña Dora Campground around 3:30 and were quickly shown to a lovely campground in the back of a proper working farm. This would have to be one of the most scenic campgrounds we’ve ever stayed at. There are snow capped mountains in just about every direction and the grounds are finely manicured. I talk to the women of the house and she told me that they never mow anything. They’ve just enough sheep to keep the grass at a perfect height. All she has to do is wander the fields picking up their poo and they keep on munching. The poo pick-up is all about the owners wanting to have a nice place for guests. It is very well looked after.
We had hot showers and welcomed Joe and Sarah to camp. Nancy bought some farm fresh eggs and we whipped up some dinner, sharing the evening with Joe and Sarah. It was fantastic sitting out in the bright blue sunshine and just enjoying being in the middle of Patagonia. It was a great day. I might even say a “Blew Ribbon” day if I could get away with it.
Tomorrow we have a short day to Rio Tranquilo – Calm River. We hope to get some laundry done there and perhaps get a few posts out. We’ve been off the grid for a few days.
Anyway, I’ll stop there. Enjoy the photo overdose today. It was a great day!