Daily Archives: December 15, 2015

Day 146/164: Cerro Gastilo to Rio Tranquillo – 123km

1529 meters climbing and 1656 down. Gravel all day.

300 meters of tarmac then gravel until we cross in Argentina! The first 14 kilometres the gravel was dreadful. Steep, thick, loose, slippery, and roadworks the whole way, so trucks going up and down. Graders, trucks spraying water, workers etc.

The first 14 kilometres took one and a half hours to get through. To add the the joy it was also raining on and off. Thankfully the rain cleared at about 50 kilometres.

Heading off in the morning (Photo credit: Jo's Facebook page)

Heading off in the morning (Photo credit: Jo’s Facebook page)

There were more road works at 30 kilometres,  so a few more kilometres of torturous gravel to grind my way through. Lunch was at 61 kilometres, after lunch there was a steep hill straight away with loose gravel so I was gritting my teeth getting ready for a tiresome afternoon.

However, the next 40 kilometres was mostly downhill with hard packed gravel and was a joy to ride. Passed through some forests and lakes, very pretty scenery.

Looking across lago tanquilo (Photo credit: Jo's Facebook page)

Looking across lago tanquilo (Photo credit: Jo’s Facebook page)

On the road (Photo credit: Jo's Facebook page)

On the road (Photo credit: Jo’s Facebook page)

Another beautiful river (Photo credit: Jo's Facebook page)

Another beautiful river (Photo credit: Jo’s Facebook page)

The last 20 kilometres riding along the lake (Lago Tranquillo) there were some nasty ups and downs. I was pleased to get to camp after nine and a half hours on the bike. We camped at the lakeside.

The camp site tonight (Photo credit: Jo's Facebook page)

The camp site tonight (Photo credit: Jo’s Facebook page)

Editor's caption: Not sure if this is the lake they stayed by, but it's a picture Kaye sent me, and it's pretty, so I thought I'd include it here.

Editor’s caption: Not sure if this is the lake they stayed by, but it’s a picture from around the same date, and it’s pretty, so I thought I’d include it here 🙂

Categories: Chile, South American Epic | 1 Comment

Day 145/164: Coyhaique to Cerro Gastilo – 99km

1,604 meters climbing, and 1,494 down

Nice weather as we set off today. Not the cloud free blue sky like yesterday, but no mist or rain, and not windy so we can see the mountains for a nice change.

Two more of the full tour riders are taking a break: Jos from South Africa is going off to do a cruise of the Antarctic, and will re join us two days before the end, and John from USA has gone to join up with another rider (Pa who left us in Uspallata), they are going tramping and not sure when, or if, he plans to rejoin. On his Facebook page he posted he “had to leave the tour before he lost his mind”. Not sure if he appreciated my comment “How do you know you haven’t already?”.

On the morning ride there were a few climbs and mostly farm land, then riding through a gorge following a river. Stunning snow topped mountains on both sides.

On the road today

On the road today

On the road today

On the road today

After lunch a gradual climb until 88 kilometres, then down a switch back and then down hill to camp.

Switch backs

Switch backs

Camp is 13 kilometres earlier than planned because the road was shut to traffic until 6pm from 100 kilometres onwards due to roadworks. The road is being widened and they were blasting a way through rock. Thankfully Cristiano talked a restaurant owner, in the town just before the road was shut, into having us camp out behind his restaurant and use the toilet and shower. This does mean another 13 kilometres being added tomorrow.

An example of the roads here

An example of the roads here

The people who own the restaurant have a 3 month puppy called Simba who is already the size of a small Labrador, who delighted with all the attention. When we got there he was tied up, but later on he was let off and he had a lot of fun going around tents and collecting interesting objects such as shoes and towels (this resulted in not such delightful attention and being tied up again).

Wearing my Hospi shirt

Wearing my Hospi shirt

Road markings

Road markings

Categories: Chile, South American Epic | 1 Comment