Shrinking The Planet – One Ride At A Time

Ride To The End Of The World – Fin del Mundo (Part 4)

We rolled into Bariloche in quickly gathering darkness.  Up a paved road past some houses and a barking dog who chased us for a short distance.  Not to long thereafter, we found the sign for the hostel we were to call home for the next two nights.  The road into the hostel was dirt and lazily curved and climbed the hostel grounds.  We finally came to the place where we were told to leave our bikes which was not level and had deep random holes surrounded by tree roots.  Kim attempted to dismount her bike  in the dark and for the first time on this many thousand mile trip, dropped her bike.  She was bumming big time since she rarely drops her machine.  But it turns out that as she pulled up, there was earth below her right foot, but nothing below her left but a significant eight inch drop and a tree root.  She semi fell and hopped off her bike and emerged only with a damaged ego.

By the way, if you don’t know, click on any one of the pictures in the gallery below and it will open that picture into a full size picture and then you can click your way through the remainder of the pictures in either direction in full size.

By now it was fully dark and we were unloading our night’s gear from the bikes.  We walked down the hill to the room where we would be staying.  The owner unlocked the door for us turned on the light and wished us a good night.  As we walked inside, we found a very nice apartment!  We were not expecting anything like this, it was indeed a small house and we were inhabiting the entire downstairs.  We had a bedroom, kitchen, livingroom, bathroom and even a nice porch.  We were psyched!  We couldn’t see the outside surroundings, but the inside was certainly nice.

In the center of the hostel yard was a dining area where were to be served a home cooked asado dinner by the hostel’s owners who happened to be South African expatriates.  Dinner time was not too far off and we sat down with several of our friends for a nice home cooked asado accompanied by some nice Argentinian Malbec.  Mmmm…. it was good.  Good food, good company, good stories and good wine.  What a great way to top off the evening and a great day.  Before we knew it, it was almost midnight and we wearily dragged ourselves back to our little apartment.  Tuckered out from a long days ride, terrific food and perhaps a bit too much Malbec, we were really ready for the sack.  We just dropped into bed and were almost immediately sound asleep.

The following morning dawned bright and sunny and we were anxious to see what was outside our little apartment.  We were not disappointed.  We did indeed have a nice little house surrounded by trees and shrubs with other small houses nicely situated not too far away.  There was even a little man made reflecting pond with flowing water.

After a quick breakfast, we got onto our bikes and rode out into the surrounding countryside.  We came into the town of Llao Llao and rode around its beautiful lake and some of the surrounding mountains.  There was a small turnoff at one particularly beautiful overlook and there were several school buses with children ages from about 10 to 15.  They giggled and ran and played at the roads edge and took pictures of each other at the not so significant drop off overlooking the lake and the mountains behind.  It was a time for all to enjoy what nature was offering and the kids were keen on doing their best to enjoy it.  We milled around with them and soon we had integrated into their little group.  They were a bit curious about our Aerostiches, but they did offer to take our picture as we did for them.

Soon their teachers called for them to get back on the busses and we were almost alone at the roadside overlook.  The view was all the more exquisite in the peace in quite that now enveloped us.  We lolligagged around a bit longer and soaked it all in until it too was time for us to be on our way.  It was lunch time and we found a small out of the way restaurant and enjoyed a nice slow Argentinian lunch.  This trip was clearly becoming a journey of contentment.  With all the mountains in the area you might imagine that there would be ski resorts around and indeed there were.  The resort had an almost European feel with chair lifts operating and out-door places to eat and view the mountain scenery.

With some more riding, we headed back a little early into Bariloche itself for a quick look at the town and to pick up some supplies for dinner that night.   We bought that staple of travelers everywhere, pasta, and of course, some more Malbec to go with it.  Some cheese and crackers and we had a complete and ready to go dinner that was quick and could be made with little fuss and few ingredients.   As we got to the check out, I struggled a bit with my Spanish, but I was able to pay the correct amount (I think) and we left to return to the hostel.

Before dinner, we did a bit of cleaning and attempted to clean off some of the dust from the road.  There was plenty of it and it took us a good hour to get everything fairly spic and span.  By the time we had finished it was dinner time and we embarked on the journey to make our pasta dinner.  We had most everything we needed.  A deep pot, a colander, a smaller pot for some sauce, some spoons for stirring and a couple of forks.  But what we didn’t have were any pot holders.  Dang it!  But Kim being the resourceful soul that she is, simply said, no worries and broke out her riding gloves and we were immediately provided with two insulated pot holders.  Bravo!

Ultimately, we were able to get the pasta served, our cheese, crackers and wine ready and sat down at the table next to the outdoor porch.  We looked outside and to our dismay saw we had an interloper.  A good sized bird perhaps about a foot tall, waited on the rail of the porch looking for some handouts.  He cawed at us and jumped around on the rail.  When I opened the sliding door to the porch he would fly off, only to return.  I wanted to leave him/her some pasta, but he/she would always fly away.  Hmm… come to think of it, perhaps it wasn’t the pasta he/she wasn’t interested in, could it have been the Malbec?

I’ll never know what was on his/her mind, because he/she didn’t come back after about the fourth attempt.  So we were left to eat our dinner in peace and have a nice quiet evening.  Tomorrow we would head to Esquel and the beginning of the famous Ruta 40 and the infamous and fierce Patagonian winds.  We knew they could be strong, but we’d really underestimated their ferocity.  We’ll tell you all about it in Part 5.

Ride2Adventure – Shrink the Planet One Ride At A Time

One response

  1. It's me, Willy

    What a nice cabin with kitchen ! And great pictures !Curious to learn how you deal with that Patagonean wind. A friend of mine was there and had sometimes to struggle to not lose her footing on the rocks to take pictures and holding the camera steady.


    August 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm

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