Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tuesday and Wednesday: shifting down a gear


We've definitely slipped into a slower pace the last couple days, chilling out and enjoying what the area has to offer.

Tuesday morning the noisy Israeli group left the campsite, so we decided we would stay other night in Cochrane. The day was mostly spent shopping, doing laundry, catching up on the net, eating, and a little sightseeing.

Wednesday we planned to get an early start, so took breakfast in the hospedaje house rather than cook our own, but even so it was going on 10 by the time we left. The road out of Cochrane is reasonably hilly, racking up over 1000m of climb over the day in a fairly modest 50km. We took it steady as it was a gorgeous day, starting cool but warming up quite considerably, and the views here are amazing. In particular once upstream of the confluence with Rio Chacabuco, the Rio Baker river is an unbelievable and fairly indescribable turquoise blue-jade colour. Once again this is due to the glacial sediment.

It's  also apparently a world famous spot for fly-fishing, and as we approached the tiny town of Puerto Bertrand we saw the first examples of road-side traveller/tourist facilities in our 800 miles of cycling here! Mostly these are upmarket fishing lodges and so forth, but several have cafés or restaurants attached. At the first cafés we saw we nipped in for a cold coke, just for the novelty of it.

We've realized that our normal cycle touring diet is great for our usual 1-2 week trips, where you burn fat as you go and then return to home/work to feed up and recover, but not sustainable for extended trips like this, especially coming straight out from the UK winter. So we're taking a few days to consciously restock our reserves, and up daily intake.

Not long after this break, we stopped in the town itself to camp for the night, in a site belonging to a small holiday cabin (cabañas) park. Unlike Corchrane it's very quiet here so we have sole use of the large Refugio hut to cook in tonight. A novelty for me to have a open fire in the middle of a building! (The roof has a wee chimney in it, but the room still gets pretty smoky). Fun to cook up a curry on a fire too. Mostly consists of yesterday's leftovers - we cooked on an open fire again last night and had barbequed lamb steaks, chorizo, peppers, and potatoes. Feeding well, and celebrating a whole month away from home.

Map (Wednesday) - to follow