This leg of the trip took us from Valparaiso on the coast of Chile to Pucon, about 800km South in Chile’s Lake Region.
After a couple days of nice riding on a coastal road we met up with Chile’s superhighway. So for 5 days we rode on this:
And showered and camped at these:
The scenery was most uninspiring, with a couple of exceptions:
Salto de Laja (Sandstone Falls). Wow!
Crossing the Rio Bio Bio, the Southern limit of the former Inca territory. It’s hard to believe that it took us 5 months to cross.
Chileans are famous for their hospitality. And what really made this section enjoyable were some of the folks who helped us out along the way, such as the gas station attendant who said “The boss isn’t going to let you camp here, but if you wait an hour until he goes home I’ll show you a good spot”. Here we introduce three people who put in the effort to make our time special:
Meet Kevin from Edmonton. Just as we were getting ready to leave one of the above pictured gas stations we ran into him in the parking lot. He was kind enough to invite us to stay at his apartment in Temuco and treat us to dinner. What a nice guy!
Having a beer in Temuco, later to be met by our host Kevin.
Secondly, meet Javier, our energetic Warmshowers host In Pucon. He made us feel right at home. For two days we ate, climbed, slacklined, and talked about cycling.
Javier showing us how it’s done on the slackline. Lago Villarica in the background.
And meet Juan, the owner of the bicycle shop in Pucon. He invited us to use the space and tools in his shop to repair our bikes and helped us out when we needed it. He even bought a couple of sopapillas (a local specialty) for us to try.
Putting Dave’s bottom bracket back together with Juan in his shop.
We are now entering the lake region of Chile and Argentina. This is an especially beautiful area which we were dreaming about the entire way along the superhighway.