after spending a few carefree days in santiago eating good food and riding around on a bright green cruiser, we were off to the main event, a 10 day cycling trip that would take us from bariloche, argentina…over the andes…and back to chile. yes, you read that right. over the andes…and back into chile. for this reason, we were eagerly anticipating and slightly dreading the trip!
but as it turned out, it ended up being a favorite for numerous reasons. to start, we couldn’t have asked for a better group of people to be riding with. our team was 9 strong and included adventurous couple from virginia celebrating a milestone birthday, with their beer brewing son from california (also celebrating a milestone bday,) a bad-ass 72 year old cyclist from colorado, a loner/tri-athlete from london (with a huge appetite) and an awesome newlywed couple on their HONEYMOON! and of course, there were our two outstanding guides juan-pablo (JUAPA! :-) from chile and tika (the invincible) from argentina.
i think that i must just have an affinity for anyone that chooses to ride a bike for long distances, up and down hills, at times in inclement weather, when they are already in pain from the day before, and could be sleeping instead…because, in general, these types of people are just a little kooky. and what could be better!?!
we all arrived in puerto varas, chile, and from there we made our way over to bariloche argentina. it took us the entire day of commuting by bus, ferry, bus, ferry, bus…and so on. BUT, the scenic views along the way made it go by fairly fast.
off a ferry…on the way to the bus.
when we finally arrived in bariloche, we had some time to clean ourselves up a bit before a delicious argentinian dinner to fuel up for our first ride the next day!
it ended up being really windy and cold that morning so the smart ones in the group waited inside while the bikes were being prepped and loaded!
i was outside.
after the bikes were prepped we shuttled to the start of our first ride. fredrik was pumped and ready to go!
the first half of the ride ended up being one of the windiest rides with estimated 30 mph gusts! and this was supposed to be a vacation!!!!!
but right before lunch the wind died down and the landscape opened up to some of the most scenic views yet.
after our picnic lunch by the water, we continued on to the town of villa la angostura.
back in june, there was a volcanic eruption of Puyehue-Cordon Caulle in chile that greatly affected the areas of bariloche and villa la angostura in argentina. we were witness to just some of the volcano’s devastation.
villa la angostura ended up being a beautiful little village full of restaurants and chocolate shops. it’s hurting right now because of the airport closures from the ash, but it is worth a visit in the future. sooner than later!
after a night of rest we headed off to cross the andes via the cardenal samore pass.
before the climb, we had some more amazing scenery.
group shot in front of lake espejo!
lou and christina coming around the bend before one of our stops at the argentine border.
as we were crossing over into another country we had to stop at the border here in argentina. this was our last stop before our big climb over the pass into chile.
72 year old john and juan pablo arriving at the top of the climb where we said goodbye to argentina and hello to chile.
taking a break at the top. there’s a lot going on in this picture.
after an exciting ride downhill, we had to stop one more time at the chilean border.
dogs sniffed our bags and troublemaker christina was caught trying to smuggle through…hand sanitizer!!!
after we were done with all the customs, we continued on through the chilean side of the mountains. juapa and tika told us that the scenery would change drastically from the lakes and mountains we saw to green pastures that could be compared to the likes of switzerland.
they were right!
if you look closely, you will find a two headed cow.