Day 12 – Tuesday March 8: The Park, the unpaved road, beauty, and sickness stalks the crew
Up early, around 6:00am(!), for coffee, breakfast and packing. Taxis at 8:00 take us the 20k to the park (the same beautiful Los Alerces National Park that the fishermen visited yesterday), and our guides met us with the bikes on the trailer. Our ride extended another 80k to Trevelin, and we set off from the park entrance around 9:30, making our way on the dusty and rocky gravel road. Unbelievable views of Lago Rivadavia, then Lago Verde, then Lago Menendez, and finally Lago Futalaufquen as we passed alongside them, one by one. The sequence of the lakes was broken by an hour and a half hike down to a suspension footbridge and a trail along the shores of Lago Verde. We looked down from a viewing platform and saw our first trout being caught. Not by us.
Then the riding continued in earnest. We had let air out of our tires and softened our suspension to deal with the roads, and that was a wise decision, since the going was rocky and slow, but gorgeous. After some 60k we exited the park, stopped for a mid-afternoon lunch, and arrived at a stretch of pavement where we picked up the pace. Then, at last, after 11k of rocky and gravelly downhill we arrived at our hostel, La Estancia, in Trevelin. Joe and Greg and Dario had scooted ahead and already colonized the hostel for us, though it cost them the hike and the lunch. Reunited, we began the party again.
During the night Ray came down with chills and fever and there was great concern. Steve ministered to him like he would any sick animal and that seemed to help. All would be clear come morning.
As usual, words are inadequate to describe the scenery we are passing through, or the effort it takes to make our way through it. But both are sources of some fantastic high. Indeed, I’m adding some extra photos and a second posting with a video to help convey some of that. Note, btw, that if you use the slide show option to view the photos they will be displayed in a larger format.
Tomorrow we leave Argentina to arrive in Chile. On to Futaleufu!