QuickPeek: Overcast. Hills. Windless!
It was a bit of a bummer that we couldn’t get the fireplace going, but otherwise we had a really lovely bit f shelter from the elements and a real good night’s sleep in the amazingly generous refugio! The winds were hauling in the night and I was glad I didn’t have to test the tent’s wind and waterproofness at this time! May be another day :-p
We woke up to a bright day the sun was trying to squeeze past the dense clouds and when we did get some sun, we hung our clothes to dry as we made up some b’fast. The water being the refugio was brackish and we decided to use all our available water to cook. I suppose in this part of the world, one does not have to go far to get pure glacial melt drinking water. We found a waterfall about a k from the refugio as we headed out and filled up.
It was nearly 11 when we got on the road and We were informed by other cyclists that there were a few hills to deal with on this section. We had a bit of a overcast sky and prayed hard that the rain shouldn’t show up. The road started with a climb pretty much off the bat and we climbed up a couple of hills and descended to find a small estancia. We were told that this was a good spot to camp / sleep in a cabin for a fee. Ah well, yesterday night we didn’t have much more reserve energy for this. Glad we found the Ciclista Refugio!!
We had 3 good climbs in the day and though it was steep, they were not too long, it was still a workout for me and I had to get off and push in many sections. No pride lost there, I am happy to move slowly. The descents were precarious and I tried to navigate them slowly too. The views of the river valley was stunning and the ruta de Glaciers lived up to its name. Every mountain had a glacier on top and huge ass waterfalls cascading down its side! Stunning indeed!
After a bit of workout, we stopped for a snack and headed up the final hill for the day. This was a straight and steep climb by the side of a hill and the descent was thro switch backs. Strange to see the difference in road design. We eventually got to the flats and the final 15-20 km was relatively flat with some tiny rolling hills. We got to the Rio Bravo Ferry around 4:30 and turned out that the boat had just left and the next one was at 7 PM. The refugio on this side was pretty swanky with flush toilets, water and a beautiful space with a view and safe from the elements.
We decided to make dinner as we waited for the ferry and it was a great idea indeed. The ferry came in at 6:30 and brought a bunch of tourists and 4 cyclists too. We hopped on to the ferry (the only ones going this way) and the captain told us that we could take showers and even dry our clothes in the engine room! Sweet!! I did take a shower, but the water was boiling hot and had to contend with washing myself and drying all the clothes. As we went along, we were offered some coffee and bread too! The crew was sweet and all this was for free! Well, the ferry on Lago Desert, shame on you!
On the other side, we spotted the refugio which was also an army office and we got permission to sleep in there. A small store sold some provisions and I couldn’t resist an expensive pack of biscuits and hopped back into the shelter for a good night’s sleep!
Route: Ciclista Refugio to Puerto Yungay
Distance: 55 Km
Road: Hard packed gravel.
Traffic: Super light.
Services: One small and expensive store on the side of Puerto Yungay. A few farm houses and bus shelters as we approached Rio Bravo.
Expenses: SG$ 2.41
Comments: An incredible day of riding! A bit of climbing, but lovey all the same!