Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sunday & Monday 6-7 Feb: hanging out in Coyhaique


What to do when you finally find your southern hemisphere summer? Bike maintenance!

We're now in Coyhaique, the principal city in the southern part of Chile. As the shops and tourist stuffs were all shut when we arrived yesterday afternoon (Sunday) we popped out first thing this morning to find out if the charter flight over the northern Patagonian icefield, to San Rafael glacier, promised by the guide book is still a reality. It is, but unfortunately you need to book the whole plane (five) and even then it's twice as much per person as they already extravagant price quoted in the book. So we scratched that idea and spent the day food shopping and making minor running repairs on the bike instead. Nice to be able to sit in the sun and do this, with quite pleasant surroundings too.

Yesterday we had a relaxed start, taking a second breakfast with the friendly if slightly eccentric Japanese group that we shared the site with, and who also plied us with a second supper the previous night.

Conversation was a strange mix of languages, with a running translation from their Chilean friend, but we got along well and had to have group photos before leaving.

The ride into Coyhaique was easy going mostly down hill, although hot in the midday sun and became windy in places. Being on paved roads for a day was a real treat though; we'd quite forgotten what it's like to cycle up inclines without having to use the granny chainring.

Tonight we confirmed it's not possible to cook pizza when the oven is broken (what a mess that made!) maybe we should have done like yesterday and eaten out!