Camping Rio Grande - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

December 9, 2022

Camping Rio Grande

There was another group of cyclists at the campground last night.  Two German guys and another German traveling with a South African woman.  Lauren, the South African, and Stefan, the German guy cycling with her had met along the way and were both heading to Ushuaia but Stefan has a tighter schedule and they will probably part ways as he hurries along.  This is Lauren's first ever cycle tour and she admits to not being an outdoor and camping type of girl so this trip is quite a brave move by her.

Today's route took us over the big climb between Quelat and the Rio Cisnes.  It is about a thousand meters of climbing and in the past was entirely ripio.  Since we last rode it the southern half downhill to the turnoff to Puerto Cisnes has been paved but the whole of the climb itself is still ripio.  With it being wet there was no dust to trouble us and it was also quite cool.  Mostly I thought the surface was better than in the past except for the last two hairpin bends and ultimately I felt this was the least strenuous of the three times we have done this climb.

The start of the Cuesta Queulat pass. The five kilometers is only the section with all the hairpins. There is still another hundred meters so of climbing after that.
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Looking back down from the same signboard you can see that quite a bit of climbing has already been done.
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Some snow below us and a lot more higher up.
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Once we reached the paved section at the top it was a wonderful downhill run to the junction.  When this was still ripio it was quite tricky because of the steepness. 

Looking back at a glacier on southern side of the pass.
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Salto el Condor, the most prominent waterfall on the southern side of the pass.
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Today was the driest day we have had since arriving in Chile.  Nonetheless, there was a fair bit of rain throughout the ride but thankfully it was mostly just a drizzle.  As we approached our home for the night we got hit by a fiercer squall and we could see some snow coming down on the mountain above us.

There are a few short but stiff climbs between the junction and Camping Rio Grande and we felt quite tired as we pulled into the messy farmyard and even messier campground.  Stefan and Lauren arrived about half an hour later and we managed to squeeze all three tents into the little shelter.   The water wasn't working in the new showers that they are busy building so we all showered in the owner's house.

As evening approached, we had a break in the weather and a few rainbows appeared.
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Today's ride: 54 km (34 miles)
Total: 4,420 km (2,745 miles)

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Elspeth JarmanGreat to see you didn't find the climb too bad. It must seem worse coming down with speed and steepness! Sunny here in Puerto Montt this morning but sure it won't last. Stay safe.
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1 month ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Elspeth JarmanThanks Elsp. We're having a rest day in Villa Manihuales catching up on laundry etc. It has been mostly dry roday and it looks like this wet spell might have run its course. I hope your guys route takes you past Volcan Orsono. It's worth seeing.
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1 month ago