3rd of January 2017
What a change of scenery! A week ago, we were still cycling in dry, flat Argentinian lands, looking for a shaded place for our lunchbreak, and worrying about not having enough water. Now, we’re cycling in dense, green forest, wearing our rain gear, and looking for a dry and wind-protected place for taking a break.
In the past week, we cycled a small part of the Ruta 40, took a few rest days and spent New Year’s Eve in Junín de los Andes, and cycled on an unpaved but beautiful road up the little-frequented Paso Carririñe. Now we’re discovering the Pacific side of the Andes: green and humid.
This morning we woke up to incessant rain. We tried waiting it out in the wooden hut on the campground, but the rain was stronger. So, we left in the direction of Puerto Fuy in pouring rain. A good test for our rain gear. We nevertheless enjoyed cycling in this green, lush scenery, although we regretted not having a view on the surrounding mountains. We also had a very uncomfortable lunch break in the cold wind – it felt like winter.
Now that we’ve arrived in Puerto Fuy, we have a problem. We haven’t been able to change our money to Chilean pesos – astonishingly, there was no place to exchange money in the village after the border yesterday. A friendly shop owner agreed to change 50 USD, but that doesn’t cover all we have to pay for today: ferry tickets, food, a place to sleep. The ferry company doesn’t accept cards and is not very happy to give change to our 100-dollar bill (but this is all we have).
We’ll sort this out tomorrow. First, we need to find a place to sleep – a warm and dry place, if possible. Here, almost everybody rents out a cabaña, a wooden cottage. After going around a few places, we end up in a shop that accepts credit cards and that rents a cabaña. Perfect combination, and the lady is ready to make a special price because we’re only two.
It’s one of those moments when you feel things are just perfect. A hot shower, a wood stove, a good kitchen, a comfortable bed. That’s exactly what we need today.
We go around the village and spend some of our precious cash on some freshly-baked empanadas. Compared to their Argentinian cousins, they’re almost twice as big and much tastier. Sorry Argentinians, you do make some nice food, but the Chileans win on the empanadas!
Tomorrow, we’ll sort out the ferry tickets (we’ll end up having just enough cash although they’ll make us pay for the bikes), cross Lago Pirihueico, and return to Argentina for a while.
Enjoyed reading this? Here’s the full series of Diary of Last Year.
Or else, browse other posts about our trip here.