One would think that any route called “The Seven Lakes Route” should be beautiful. It is! Werner Wachter, founder of Edelweiss Bike Travel, was all smiles as he rode today’s gravel route passing mountains, lakes, and volcanoes. Chuck and Peter joined me on an observation platform that offered a great view of one lake.
Today we did our final border crossing into Chile. For the 1st time, I slipped up and had to trash some fruit. The lovely cherries and peach I had bought yesterday were still in my tank bag. After all the rich food last night, my stomach was not up for adding anything to the mix. No friends were nearby so into the trash they went before the Chilean inspectors searched my luggage. I hope I’m not getting wasteful in my older age. I am the Cathy Davies who once ate 8 Sunkist oranges at the Canadian border rather than relinquish them to USA agricultural officials.
As we approached Pucon, our destination for the evening, I saw a new sight – a volcano puffing smoke. Hawaii’s flowing lava is the only live volcanic activity that I had ever before experienced live. The road to our cabins for the night was a steep gravel, stone, and dirt challenge. I followed the signs to “Reception” only to find out that I should have gone directly to the cabins. Hiking up the hill to my cabin, wearing full riding gear, left me even more exhausted then I had been by the time I reached Kevin. In his incredibly consistently positive demeanor, he gleefully said, “Cathy, just ride down the hill from reception and up the hill to park near your cabin.” Keep in mind, Kevin is the most amazing off-road rider that I have ever seen. He conquers the most seemingly impossible hills on a monster sized BMW with the grace of a mountain goat at 10,000 ft. I think I gave him one of THOSE looks and said that I wasn’t moving my bike anywhere until I had a much needed rest. Without asking, and probably enjoying another opportunity to ride the hill, Kevin moved my bike, parking it so I could take off easily in the morning.
Now I know why Globebusters chose this location for our evening. We could see the puffing volcano from each of our cabins’ decks. I could enjoy its beauty from my bed.
28-Jan Bariloche(Arg) – San Martin de los Andes – Pucon(Chile) 220 miles
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