QuickPeek: Light wind. Rolling hills. Flats. Shit traffic.
I slept like a log in the beautiful little hospedaje and was up only around 9 AM. Made a bit of b’fast and packed up for the day. There were a couple of other cyclists in the same place (who had recommended the place to us in the first place) and they were packing up to leave too. One of the guys had a bit of a trouble with his gear shifters and I spent a little bit of time looking to see if I could fix it for him. Luckily it was an easy fix and I managed to get it running smoothly with the small set of tools we had! Sweet! Good karma for the day! But we got a little delayed due to that, and it was nearly noon when we got on the road!
The ride up to the main town of Castro was the same as yesterday, lots of river crossings and each one was a 120m descent, followed by a climb, all of it at 10% grade. Dang. It was a bit of a workout right off the bat. As we got closer to Castro, the traffic picked up and it was pretty tricky given that the shoulders would be either narrow or non existent and trying to manage uphills while avoiding being run over was a bit tricky indeed. We reached Castro and stopped for a quick snack. We looked at our options and decided to push on.
The next 20 km or so was in the tourist belt and we rode thro more hospedajes than one can shake a finger at. Every household seem to be renting some part of their place for tourists. I suppose, it just goes to showing how much tourism shows up around here in summer! Gosh! The hills generally eased up after Castro and we had a relatively flatter ride most of the day. The weather was excellent, no winds at all and just a hint of sun alternating with clouds! Sweet conditions to ride in.
The vegetation in Chiloe was interesting indeed. Seemed like the place is humid enough for some tropical plants and ferns to grow and at the same time temperate enough for berries and apples to grow. Seemed ideal for great food growing. In addition, the native forest was a combination of deciduous and conifers and it was incredibly pretty to ride thro. The mountain views disappeared completely, but we will be back on it soon enough.
We took a brief snack break and looked thro our options. We were still relatively in good weather around 5ish and figured we might ride a bit more before stopping, hoping to make a shorter day for the morrow. Once we decided that, surprisingly, we entered the Ganadero (cow country) belt and all the cabanas pretty much disappeared. Ah well. We rode along a while longer and with the sun slowly going down, decided to stop at the next possible location. We spotted a huge shed with some people working and asked if we could camp under the awning, They were happy to have us there and so we decided to call it a day. A bit of dinner, setup camp, cleanup and off to bed as the sun was setting. The sky was clear and the starry view was pretty indeed. But sleeping next to Pan-Americana is no joke with the trucks passing thro all night long.
Route: Chonchi to +78 Km
Distance: 78 Km
Road: Excellent asphalt with varying quality of shoulder.
Traffic: Shit traffic. Heavy trucks and super nasty driving close to Castro.
Services: All along the way.
Expenses: SG$ 5.91
Comments: A Relatively quiet day’s ride. Nothing spectacular, but a pretty route.