The cycle tour begins.
Have we done training? No
Have we done any cycle touring before? Does a 2 day tour count? Should we mention that Hilary ended up getting 6 stiches at Gosford Hospital during this tour?
Experience on gravel roads?Hilary: no. Chris:some but not with this amount of weight.
Ready or not here we go!
Day 1: Road was sealed and riding was lovely. Undulating hills, costal scenery, lots of birds and livestock. We then took a turn off for Parque Nacional Alerce Andino where the road was not sealed. Hilary had a quick 7 km lesson on riding on gravel. Quick? No wrong word. Those 7km were quite slow but an hour or so later we arrived at a beautiful camp ground by a river with mountain views.
Day 2: Got up early for a walk to Lago Triangulos. It was misty and drizzly but lovely. The water crystal clear. Apparantly there are beavers in the park!
Returning to our bikes we pedalled back to the sealed road and pushed on to a village where we literally camped in someones yard with their cats, chickens and sheep. They have a beautiful view of the coast and mountains behind, abiet a little exposed and windy.
Day 3: We woke early to catch a ferry across to Puleche and thought if we were quick we could make a ferry 55km away in the same day. We cycled on sealed road for a little while and then crossed a bridge to find gravel. Gravel does not quite cover it. Its dry and dusty with an assortment of rock sizes and often loose on inclines and declines. Chris describes going downhill as being shaken up emotionally. Concentration is high going up or down focusing on what part on the road is more sable and less rocky. The going was slow uphill on loose gravel and hill starts with our weight were no mean feat. We eventually returned to a sealed road by the end of the day.
Our accomplishment was having completed the first 100km of Ruta 7. 1/12th of the trail.
We arrived in Hornoprien but too late for a ferry.To our delight we found a campsite on the edge of town beside a river with picnic benches and a hot shower!
Here we are staying for a day. And it is here this post is written.
The Chilenos continue to be lovely. We get tooted on the road in a sweet friendly way with a smile or wave. Camping hosts attempt to converse with us and our near non existent spanish. The general vibe is patient and kind.
Tomorrow we are going on yet another ferry because Chris loves the feeling of being on a boat.