QuickPeek: Hills. Sun. Wind. Volcanoes.
Yesterday night we ended up watching finding Dory and went off to sleep late. Well the ride today was to be a short 40 km and with the weather looking great and with all the services at the campsite, we figured a leisurely start was in order. I woke up at 9 am and it was a pretty day with a bright sunrise. I made a quick b’fast and some coffee and packed up the bike. It was about 11 when we got on the road, with excellent sunny skies and a brisk breeze.
The road out of Panguipulli was a nice steep climb and after the first short bit, it eased up and was a pretty sweet route with view of the lake and numerous eucalyptus and pine groves. Just outside of town, I spotted a bike lane which seemed to be a nice path to ride on, but not much maintenance. I stuck to the road, which was pretty pleasant with little traffic.
After a few k’s, the road looped thro some Hyrdo Electric plants (Seemingly a good idea, what with the numerous lakes and rivers here) and later swept past a few lakes too. Numerous turnoffs on either side of the road was inviting to go and explore, but with the day’s plans in mind, I kept to the main track. I suppose if one lived in these parts, there is literally thousands of possible routes (gravel as it may be) that can be explored over years! Sweet As!
Once I got past the first couple of hills, the Volcan Villarica came into view. It was gorgeous and looked stunning with the blue skies and a bit of smoke spewing out. For the next long while, it was one turn after another with a different view of the volcano. I stopped and took too many pictures along the way and it was truly worth slowing down and enjoying the view.
There were a few stretched where the road was a bit imperfect, and there seemed to be road works going on, but that couldn’t distract from the impeccable day. It seemed like much of the route was parcelled off for sale and numerous new houses were being built, I can see the appeal of living in a place like this and no wonder the place is being bought up for housing.
Before long, the second Volcano for the day Volcan Lanin also came into view and then I descended into the valley and the lake side to take me to Conaripe. We had a warmshowers host, Carla, in Conaripe and we rode in to find her. She runs a hostel in town, called Hostel Casa Gavilea, and cyclists were special guests! Ain’t that sweet! She was a really friendly person and we had a nice bit of chat thro the evening over a nice meal (I made jalfrezi and coconut rice for the bunch). There was another Italian cyclist, Luigi, who was a nice chap too.
It was yet another stunning day and Chile is constantly throwing one incredible day after another. Some rainy days are going to come and make things gloomy, but till the sun shines, this part of the world is a real paradise indeed!
Route: Panguipulli to Conaripe
Distance: 37 Km
Road: Asphalt (some road works along the way), with stunning views
Traffic: Super light
Services: Few villages along the way.
Expenses: SG$ 12.56
Comments: It's hard not to fall in love with Chile on days like these