Wrecking Ripio

On February 11, 2013

We did indeed get part of another day of riding on pavement. Oh how nice that was. Cruising through valleys surrounded with mountains, waterfalls, and glaciers… such is the life on the famous Carratera.

Following the pavement was ripio with a 500 m climb. It was quite the reminder that the road isn’t always easy. We stopped for a hike in The Enchanted Forest. It felt like Narnia. The end was a gorgeous lake with icebergs surrounded by cliffs, waterfalls, and a huge glacier. It was recommended to us by another cyclist earlier that day and I’m very glad we stopped to talk. We get most recommendations and tips about the roads, cities, and things to do from cyclists going south. Guidebooks are used rarely.

We continued down the pass and made camp in a clearing. Someone cut down some trees and called it camping. We didn’t pay but it was dusty, the water had dirt in it, and there were very few flat spots for tents. We didn’t have to pay so it was probably worth it. The best part was waking up in the middle if the night to rain. Nothing like packing up a wet tent with only one dry bag… Such is the life on the Carratera. Always expect rain.

The next day we left for La Junta. About 10 km into the ride KC broke three spokes. My little cassette removal tool has gotten quite a bit of use and I highly recommend it. At the same time the bolt on my front fender came loose and got lost in the gravel. We spent a long time fixing the wheel and got back on the road after noon. Another 11 km and we hit Puyuhuapi. KC tried his wheel, now quite full of red replacement spokes and I hung out writing and eating. Mostly eating. I tried Bon O Bons for the first time and it was love at first bite. So good! I also ate an avocado to feel healthy. We left for the final 44 km to La Junta and got 10 km before 3 of KCs spokes came completely loose. Nota good day for his rear wheel. We ended up stopping one more time for repairs but eventually made it to La Junta in a nice cooling drizzle.

In Villa Mañihuales the family of four cycling (did you catch that photo??) told us Monday was supposed to be a bad rain day. We decided to find a hospedaje for the night to avoid the rain. Sure enough it poured last night and is still pouring. I love being dry. So much. Those people that say they love dancing or playing in the rain only say so because they know they have a place to dry whenever they need it. It’s not that fun when all your stuff is wet and you have to pedal in it. The lady at the hospedaje is really nice and is giving us lunch with real meat. Side note, canned tuna here is like the sawdust of tuna after they cut the steaks. Particulates.

I took some iPhone photos for your viewing pleasure. I’ll be enjoying being dry listening to the rain today. It’s pretty crazy to think I’m biking through Chile right now. I have only two or three days left in this country. I’m living the dream… my dream.

5 Responses to “Wrecking Ripio”

  • Mark.
    Never mind the dream, you are writing/living a great story. Keep it up. I have to warn you that you are moving to Seattle and you will be living/riding in the rain during their winters:) I never thought you would use your cassette tool.

    • The cassette tool is one of the most used ones, behind the spoke wrench. Personally I’ve never needed it but its good to have and very light. As for biking in Seattle, I think it’ll be a little different scenario. I’ll get my dose of rain tomorrow and the next day 🙂

  • Oh boy! First, the Enchanted Forest sounds (and looks) positively magical! I hope you saw some unicorns or something. But I wanted to see more pictures of the gorgeous lake! Second, I find it amusing that you feel “unhealthy” after biking an ungodly large amount over the last month and a half, and additionally chose an avocado as your healthy food. Its like the chocolate of vegetables. Lastly, your beard is getting gnarly. I sincerely hope you can braid it or put it in a chin ponytail or use sculpting wax on it by the end of this trip. Keep rockin’ on and living your dream!

    • Oh the forest was so magical! Super weird bird sounds but no unicorns. I have pictures of the lake on my nice camera!

      I think my beard is pretty gnarly already… in 5 more months it will be…. something…..

  • Hi ho hilarious to see your short head hair and long beard–and even a growing mustache!….quite the dude you are!! Some kind South American soul will surely offer you a razor in another few months, eh? We are so enjoying the pictures. Muy bella alli! The boys are always asking, “Did Mark post?” and they love to look at the location map afterwards to see where you are. What a grand adventure.

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