after we crossed the chilean border (again) we rode up to hotel termas de puyehue. we couldn’t have asked for a better place to rest and soak our sore muscles than in the naturally heated thermal pools that contained healing minerals from the volcanos along the andes.
later that evening we met for our daily evening brief to learn about our upcoming day.
on the balcony facing the andes, what could juan pablo be looking at?
perhaps the smoking volcano behind us??!!!!
by the time we sat down for dinner, the sky was grey from falling ashes.
the ashes fell throughout the evening and by the next morning there was a layer covering the entire property.
we pushed off our start time for awhile until things cleared up a bit, but soon enough we were off and riding in a direction away from the ashes. i wore a handkerchief around my mouth and had my sunglasses on and could still feel the grittiness of my surroundings in my mouth and eyes!
as we were leaving the andes and heading towards the lakes district of chile, about an hour or so into the riding, the ashes were no where to be found.
for lunch, we stopped at a restaurant that was attached to the museo moncopulli.
the museum had a large collection of studebakers and other really groovy old stuff.
and as if we weren’t being entertained enough by the scenery and museum, tika decided to start swinging from the ceiling!
during our break, the sun came out and we all took advantage of it.
after lunch we had the option to continue riding and additional 30 km to the hotel or shuttle it there. a few of us took this option including fredrik and myself…and this is where it got interesting.
long story short (kind of,) justin and philip took off first and the rest rode away on the van. tika, fredrik and i took off together and very shortly thereafter, i needed to go to the bathroom. as most of our “human breaks” were in a forested area, i told them to go ahead and i would catch up. fredrik insisted they stay with me in case some chilean truck driver attempted to kidnap me. great. so, the two of them walked about 15 feet away and with their backs towards me, i entered the forest. about 20 seconds later, when i re-emerged, they seemed deep in converstion. i yelled out to them that i was going to take off and get a head start because i figured they would catch up with me on the hill. apparently, they never heard me. they continued to chat and while both of them were apparently thinking i was having some “issues,” neither of them wanted to bring it up. when they finally started looking for me, they realized i was nowhere to be found. slight panic ensued, phone calls were made…and in the meantime…i was riding far ahead only stopping to take pictures of daisies.
here are the daisies. it was while i was taking this picture that fredrik and tika thought i had either been kidnapped or had fallen into a well.
i did wonder what was taking THEM so long but i actually thought they were playing a game where they were waiting for me to get really far ahead so that they could race and see who could catch up with me first. silly me.
in the end, it worked out and eventually, we all met up at a cafe over beer and some german kutchen. as tika said, “well, i’ve never had a bathroom story, and now i do!” i’m so proud.
the last stretch of our ride to the hotel was a long, bumpy, dirt/gravel road that was slightly uphilll. tika’s pedal completely broke off near the beginning and he could only pedal with one leg. but no worries…he’s tika.
the hotel that evening was located at the very tip of a peninsula and was cozy, rustic and made of dark native woods that blended with the surrounding nature.
not to be outdone by the song john wrote earlier in the week, today’s ride inspired him to write a sweet poem!
the next morning, i took a walk around our hotel. it was simply serene.
our ride that day was taking us around the side of lake llanquihue heading towards frutillar, a town with a strong german influence.
our route had us passing through another flock of sheep. we gave our best “angry sheep” look to let them know we were not ones to mess with.
indeed, frutillar had a strong german influence and our menus came in german with english translations. were we really in chile??
the town also had musical symbols everywhere as it is the location of an international music event and enormous theatre overlooking the lake.
philip planned to wear this jersey just so he could match the music center. at some point, we did realize how RIDICULOUS we must have looked walking around town in our tight lycra clothing.
our second half of the ride was hilly but worth the views of farms and lakes!
at the end of each ride, we would always be greeted with a smiley face. this one drawn, by tika, looked like tika!
lou took his stretching VERY seriously.
when we weren’t riding our bikes, we were riding in the van. at times a tight squeeze but always fun!