Friday, March 18, 2011

Day 154 (282km): WOW!

Still cold and clothes still wet, we pack up and go to town. We stop for gas and we are finally getting normal fuel range again. We are on the hunt for a breakfast place with wifi. We take a spin to the plaza and see some bikes. So we pull up and yes, exactly what we were looking for. A nice cafe with wifi (Ricer, in the center). We haven't had an official restaurant breakfast since the Dragonfly in Salmo and while this wasn't up to Dragonfly quality it hit the spot. I made sure to sit as close to the fire as I possibly could. 
Our next door neighbour, Cristian, at the campground
Breakfast place
Premium bike parking

We took care of internet business and dried out a bit. I had two cups of tea and was cooking myself on the fire. It was hard to leave but we eventually did.
Yum yum, breakfast
Would you like a spot of tea?
Absorbing heat from the fire

Our reward for yesterdays suffering was sunshine. Coyhaique is a really pretty place, it kind of reminds me of Fernie because there are impressive mountains practically sitting on the town. As we drove south we were enjoying the twisty pavement and mountain views.
Riding some pavement
Interesting rock formation
Some empty twisties

When the road turned to dirt the scenery just kept getting better. Stunning mountain views in all directions. The dirt road was really nice too, at times as smooth as a baby's bottom. The only complaint I have is that some of the drivers were crazy. The craziest we've encountered in Chile. There were some close-calls.
Enjoying some views while riding
Who put those clouds there?
Interesting mountain
The full scene
And a close-up

It seemed that around every corner was a new and amazing view. I must have said wow so many times it got redundant. After some valley riding we were back in the trees and then we caught a glimpse of Lago Verde, and boy was it verde. The colour was like sulphur. And the coolest part is that the rivers leading out are the same crazy colour!
Lago Verde, much greener in person
In case you were missing the mountains
Really neat dead forest
Verde river

We saw lots of adventure cyclists along the way. These guys are hardcore and we always give them a thumbs up while passing them.

Some more amazing riding and mountain scenery and then we come to the largest lake in Chile. Again, how is the water this colour? I've never seen large lakes this colour, only small lagoons. This lake is massive and somehow manages to look like the Carribean. There was lots of photo taking and then we crested a hill and I experienced the most epic view of this entire trip. The large lake was on my left. There was this really cool inland lake that was a steely grey colour and to top it off, amazing mountain peaks leading off to the right. A picture can't capture all of this; it's 270 degrees of scenery for the eyes.
Chile's largest lake
Riding around the lake
The lake
Some more mountains

We followed the lake for a while and then eventually went over a bridge where the lake was draining. The colour of the water was like a swimming pool. I was still amazed at how the water keeps that colour, and it wasn't the sky or sun reflecting (cause there was no sky just clouds). Plus there was a view of a large glacier at the end of the bridge, no big deal just a chunk of the huge North Ice Field.
The road left the lake for a little bit

We soon reached the turn off for Chile Chico. We made our way about 20km to a campground recommended by Cristian. Really nice spot with a view of the lake and mountains.
Camping on the lake
Enjoying a fire

The pictures are good but they cannot capture what was seen with the eyes completely. This was the most overloaded day of spectacular scenery we have experienced on this trip, no contest.

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