Postagonia – Some photos from the first 1000km

Here are a smattering of photos – the few that are worth sharing without any access to postprocessing software (I’m shooting in both RAW and jpeg so that I can at least upload this many). Our trajectory has been somewhat haphazard, starting in Villarrica, Chile, before crossing the Andes to San Martin and Bariloche in Argentina. Discovering that Argentinians all have holidays at the same time, and that they had all amassed in the Argentine Lakes District, we crossed back into Chile and have been following the coast, and then the Carretera Austral, since the top of Reloncavi Fjord.

Lago Pireheico

 

Taking the fun way into San Martin de los Andes, by way of farm roads and hiking trails.

Taking the fun way into San Martin de los Andes, by way of farm roads and hiking trails.

Drier roads on the east side of the Andes.

Drier roads on the east side of the Andes.

Lago Nahuel Huapi on the day we took three ferries, linked by carless tracks through the rainforest, back to Chile.

Lago Nahuel Huapi on the day we took three ferries, linked by carless tracks through the rainforest, back to Chile.

Rain forest in a gathering storm.

Rain forest in a gathering storm.

Volcan Osorno and los Saltos de Petrohue. After the storm.

Volcan Osorno and los Saltos de Petrohue. After the storm.

Atticus, Panthea's trusty '90s Rocky Mountain Soul, and Bullwinkle, my Surly ECR - the absolute ideal bike for this trip.

Atticus, Panthea’s trusty ’90s Rocky Mountain Soul which gained an awesome 2002 Marzocchi MXR suspension fork for this trip, and Bullwinkle, my Surly ECR – seemingly the absolute ideal bike for this trip. We’ve both been very happy with out light bikepacking-inspired set-ups so far, especially as we burn past other cyclists with massive panniers or skinny touring tires.

Chilean Patagonian shingles.

Chilean Patagonian shingles.

Waiting for another ferry at Hornopiren.

Waiting for another ferry at Hornopiren.

Rainforest flora in Parque Pumalin.

Rainforest flora in Parque Pumalin.

Another town, another pretty wooden chapel.

Another town, another pretty wooden chapel.

Yesterday we turned left off the Carretera at Villa Santa Lucia on a side trip to see  the emerald waters of the Futaleufu. This is a turn into the tide of cyclists taking the inland route to the Carretera. We pass almost a dozen a day, stopping to chat with each of them. With some, instand bonds of deceptive magnetism are made. We’re sure we’ll meet again farther south, to give real weight to the friendship we think we’ve made. But twenty kilometers further it’s clear they’re just another stranger, another tree, another stream we’ve shot through on life’s lazer beam. There is too much space in Patagonia for serendipity.

A rising storm and pelting headwind has us backing away from the Futaleufu after a mere glimpse. We pedal a few kilometers back toward the Carretera until the river, the road, and the sky are almost indiscernable. Panthea tells me, ”at one point it was raining so hard that I got sunscreen in my eyes. But I didn’t put any sunscreen on today.” We spend the night drying out in the cook hut of a closed campground. Today, hearing that the storm would last until Sunday, we changed directions again, heading east to Argentina and the dry (windier) side of the mountains. We should be back on the Chilean side, a couple hundred kilometers closer to Cohaique, in time for the storm to clear.

Hiding from the rain near Lago Yelcho.

Hiding from the rain near Lago Yelcho.

Being humans.

Being human.

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