Friday, December 22, 2006

Bariloche to Bariloche

We were up again until midnight, typing away on our blackberries. These things are so useful and the reception has been excellent everywhere we've stopped so far.

Reflecting on the last couple of days, things have worked out very well. For starters, beginning our trip in Puerto Varas was a blessing, because we would likely have been forced to camp in a ditch beside a dirt road on after our first day of riding if we'd started in Puerto Montt, which is 30km south of Puerto Varas. Second, we barely made it to Villa La Angostura with a starting point of Entre Lagos. If we had started the day any farther than Entre Lagos, there is a good possibility we would have had to set up camp in cold, windy and wet conditions. Third, our ride yesterday was great, but it would have been incredibly difficult and cold if we'd been dealing with rain (and it rained today).

The bed we have at this hotel is broken but surprisingly comfortable. Turning or changing positions is noisy and difficult since the matress bends to fit your every curve and creaks noisily as it bends. It's basically a giant, dense, noisy sponge. Not being able to move much was probably a blessing last night. It allowed me to keep the backs of my hands from touching anything. I don't understand how they are so seriously sunburned, but its quite painful. The sunburn on my legs is sensitive, but I think it will be fine with one day out of the sun. I'm used to having sunburns recover within a day, but my hands will take a few days I'm sure. Erik burned his forehead. Sounds like it is as painful as my hands. At least I can wear gloves, I'm not sure what he is going to do. This is some seriously intense solar exposure down here!

Over breakfast we decided to stay in Bariloche for one more night. A rest and recovery day seems like a good idea and we have 122km to our next target destination, which would have been tough to pull off today with what would have been a late start (after staying up until midnight AGAIN) and what looked like it was shaping up to be a windy and rainy day. The original plan was that we would still ride today if we stayed in Bariloche for a rest day. There appears to be a nice 60km loop nearby that would be perfect to spin out our legs (with no panniers)and see the area. But, the weather was not well suited to a recovery ride, so we watched some Spanish cartoons, did some groceries to replenish our supply of snacks for the road, went to a cool museum and walked around town. The museum featured Patagonian history and wildlife. It was cool to see what kind of animals live here, some of which are unlike anything I've seen before. There were also displays on ancient artifacts and the more recent development of Argentina.

Today would have been a tough day to bike. I hope tomorrow is a bit better but, even if it isn't, I will be better prepared after having had a rest day today. Bariloche is a neat little town and I've enjoyed this rest day, but it has reaffirmed to me that I'm happiest when I'm active on my holidays. I'm not a shopper. One day here is enough for me to see everything I'd like to see. Even if tommorrow is rainy and windy, I'm looking forward to discovering more of this unique landscape (I hope I didn't just jinx myself by saying that!).


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