Editor’s note: Here are a bunch of photos that have been received too late to go with their appropriate blog posts, are copied from other blogs/instagram, or are just kind of random and don’t fit anywhere else!
Daily Archives: December 11, 2015
Day 142/164: El Silencio Restaurant to Villa Amengual – 113km
1,830 meters climbing and 1,540 down – 80 k gravel
(Editor’s note: Kaye’s email originally said 18300 metres climbing, which I thought was unlikely, I figured there must have been an extra zero on the end)
I woke up feeling stiff and sore, so decided to take the lunch truck rather than ride and bounce around on loose gravel. I swapped to the dinner truck when it came past so I got to camp about 1 pm.
As it turns out there was a lot of gravel, but it was not loose gravel so it would not have been too bad to ride on. However the climbs are quite steep and it was overcast and misty, and looked like it was going to rain, so overall I was quite pleased not to be riding.
There were long stretches with no towns or housing at all, and occasionally what appears to be free range cattle wandering across the road to watch out for.
There are lots of road works. The aim is to have gave the entire Carratera Austral (1,200 kilometers) paved by 2018. The lakes have salmon farms on them, and a number of yatchs and other other small boats dotted about.
The place that we were staying was a church with the surrounding grounds, quite small, and in the middle of a town. There was a hostel across the road where I could get a room for the equivalent of $25 NZ for the night so I took it.
It was a good chance to recharge all the electronic appliances, plus it had surprisingly good wifi. I was able to send photos, blog updates, and skype with my daughter Kelly. Even though we are going to be on a rest day the day after tomorrow we often have poor wifi at our rest day hotels.
Most of the places that we have stayed at have heaps of blankets on the beds, plus a number of other blankets available in the room, which is an indication of how cold it must get here in winter. The bathroom/toilets were communal, and both had a bath which looked very tempting, but no bath plugs!
I went for a walk to one of the number of mini markets in the street as soon as I got the room, and got some snacks before the 1:30 siesta. The shops were shut until 5:30 by the time most of the riders got in. I can understand siesta in a hot climate but it does not get hot here. However I guess it gives the mini market owners a few hours to get stuff done, and the locals are all used to it and clearly it works well for them. The fact that it is not convenient just for a bunch of weird Lycra clad foreigners, who will never be back, needs to be taken into account. A view I expressed to a couple of the more vocal riders who were complaining.
I am still feeling stiff and sore from the fall. Bits that did not hurt initially are starting to hurt today.
Day 141/164: Yelcho Lake to El Silenco Restaurant- 112km
1,498 meters climbing, and 1,494 down – 55 km gravel.
I am very pleased that the day has been shortened by 20 kilometres, as the 20 kilometres it was shortened by was all gravel. My average speed on gravel is about 8 km per hour on wet, loose and slippery gravel, so that meant 2 hours less riding today. As it was, it was 5pm by the time I got into camp.
The first 25 kilometres was hard going – steep climbs with some thick and slippery gravel. I am not great on gravel, especially steep down hills as I have a poor sense of balance. Ironically it was a fairly flat stretch at about 20 kilometres when I came off. I hit a rock and slipped, and for some reason braked! Over I went without managing to unclip in time. Thankfully I was not badly hurt, a few more bruises and a strained groin and left foot. Luckily I was wearing long cycling pants as they ripped, but if I had not been wearing them it would have been my skin!
I also managed to twist my seat to a funny angle, and was not strong enough to twist it back. Very strange riding with a seat that is pointing the wrong way. Luckily I saw Brett about 5 kilometres later, he had stopped to adjust his brakes. Brett was able to re-adjust the seat and had a tool to make sure it was tight.
So off I went, now even slower on the gravel! Luckily 2 kilometres later there was tarmac again for 25 kilometres, but then gravel again all the way to camp. There were also roadworks with some really thick loose gravel that was not rideable. We went past a couple of beautiful lakes.
The place that we are staying is a restaurant, and we are camping in the grounds. The owner was so delighted to have us staying that he roasted two lambs especially. He slow cooked them, standing them up against the fire on racks, turning them occasionally.
I eat meat, but like to delude myself by putting out of my mind that the meat that comes from the supermarket on black trays with cellophane is actually the result of animals being killed. So two cooking carcasses was a bit in my face, and the carcasses looked quite small. I tried not to dwell on the two lambs who had been happily skipping around the paddock until this morning. I was very thankful that he had not cooked pigs, as there would have been heads still on their carcasses.
There was a nice fire, plus they sold organic beer from a place just nearby, and wine. The owner put on a show after dinner, singing and playing the guitar. After that a few of us worked on our final night performance songs/skits (for anyone who has heard my singing don’t worry, I’m not singing!).
By the end of the evening I was feeling quite stiff as the result of the fall, so am considering taking the lunch truck tomorrow, especially as there is a lot of gravel to ride.