From cold, wind and fresh snow on the hills to blue dome days and no wind and very hot afternoons. We left our sweet refuge from the weather at Lago Elpuyen and followed open and sealled roads to a small town called Cholila at the start of the national park and the gravel travel. We filled up on empanadas and tea and started slowly up the very poor ripio surface resigned to a few long days thru the park. Furtunately for us the road surface improved dramatically as did our rate of forward movement.
The park is stunning. We camped the first night at the southern end of Lago Riverdavia. What these mountain areas have over NZ is lack of sandflies and mosquitoes. So refreshing to be able to sit out by the lake (similar to Nelson Lakes) and only be bothered by the odd big black fly. Very cool.
Next day we had 50km of gravel alongside mirror calm lakes and then out into the drier scapes of the eastern side of the mountains. Christmas eve was to be spent in small inner town campground. Quaint but not scenic. Our attempt to go out to dinner was thwarted as only 1 (very expensive) restaurant was open but we more than compensated with a scrumptious buffet we prepared ourselves. It was a long Xmas eve as our young neighbours played music till 4 in the morning, despite our gringo attempts to get them to turn it off or even down. Grrrrrrr!
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