´the most evil ripio ever’ so we were told..

An easterly is a rarity here and we enjoyed it´s light push westward. Back on the ripio again, no tarseal till we head back to Argentina from the end of the Carraterra Austral. Some road works out of town saw us pushing our bikes – luckily for us it was not a long stretch. We biked over some hillocky country before dropping down to follow the huge Simpson valley for 30 odd kms. The road condition improved and it was a long flat stretch along the river. Dead tree stumps lined the river as a result of a large erruption in the 90’s.

After lunch we climbed up to a pass that would take us into the large drainage we would follow to Lago General Carrera, Chile´s largest lake. It was a warm afternoon and the flies were bad so we stopped (good chance Jo was going to fall off her bike trying to swat flies and ride ripeo). Once the tent is up you can be inside it with the door open and not be bothered apart from the high pitched hum of many mosca doing laps around the tent, so it could be worse.

Next day we dropped into an equally beautiful valley and followed it to it´s junction with the lake. Luckily for us, we could stop for tea and scrambled eggs before the much advertised 25km of the worst ripio ever (stories from the cyclists coming the other way).

In reality (as is often the case) we had seen worse but it was a tough stretch around the lake, with sections of bad corrugations, loose metal and many steep undulations. We got to Villa Rio Tranquil a little tired and hot.