1240 climbing, 1216 down – 60 km gravel
It rained quite a bit during the night but thankfully stopped at 6:20am, 10 minutes before we all got up. It’s a bit daunting lying in bed listening to the rain knowing that you may very well have to go out and ride in it.
There was the most amazing scenery today: volcanos, lakes, rivers, and snow capped mountains. The first 55 kilometres was gravel, some of it pretty steep, but there were lots of places you just had to stop to admire the scenery.
There were two lakes, Lago Rio Negro, and Lago Rio Blanco, plus views of the Volcan (volcano) Chaitén, which is still smoking after erupting in 2009.
There were some plants called Chilean Rhubarb plants. The leaves look like rhubarb leaves, but they have a pretty red poker flower. Some of these plants were as big as me.
The leaves get bigger depending on the amount of sunlight they get. These plants were introduced to NZ and since 2008 have been registered by MAF as a pest plant.
There was a large patch of dead trees in the Parque and I could not see why this was, but I clicked once I saw the volcano and realised when it erupted it had killed these trees.
When Volcan Chaitén erupted in in 2009 the government decided to relocate the town, also called Chaitén, cutting off utilities and rebuilding the town 10 kilometres south at Santa Barbara, however most of the locals stayed and have running water and generators, just like before Chaitén. Until the volcano erupted in 2008 it was not even considered to be a volcano.
I stopped at a lake that had swans with black heads and white bodies swimming, and a school of dolphins diving up and down.
The last 30 kilometres of the day was downhill mostly, with amazing views of snow capped mountains, glaciers and lakes, this countryside is so beautiful.
5 kilometres from camp we came across gravel and road works. We had to wait at a stop sign for about 20 minutes whilst a truck was filled up. Then the waiting cars and truck were allowed to go before the cyclists. The turns on the road were really tight and the truck got stuck with its back trailer wheels nearly over the side. Luckily we were able to climb up the hill around it. When the lunch truck came in they said the truck had managed eventually to safely navigate the roadworks.
The campsite is right on the lake front, and I had a lake front site which was pretty cool.
Tomorrow’s ride had been shortened by about 20 kilometres due to the road works, however the 20 kilometres will get added onto the day after.