Los Torreones - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

December 12, 2022

Los Torreones

Another day in which we struggled to get away early.  In the end it didn't matter because we arrived at Camping Las Torres del Simpson quite early in the afternoon.  Nothing much has changed since we were here five years ago except that Nacho looks a bit older.  We are the only ones staying here which is just as well because my cold has my nose behaving like one of the many waterfalls we have passed en route and I am rather grumpy as a result.

Edit: another couple of cyclists have just arrived while I having been typing up this journal entry. 

The shark-fin peak above Villa Mañihuales.
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A riot of lupins.
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Rod WiddowsonThe lupins have been fabulous this trip but I keep wondering: are they native or invasive? Iceland has the same sort of effect, but they were introduced (to improve soil quality IIRC).
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1 month ago
Jean-Marc StrydomHi Rod. They are an introduced species(from the NW of N America) and are now considered to be a problem invasive plant. See https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lupinus_polyphyllus.
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1 month ago

There are two routes between Villa Mañihuales and Coyhaique.   The "true" Carretera Austral, all ripio, takes a south easterly route via Villa Ortega while the all paved route heads south westerly first to the Rio Simpson before turning eastwards.  Our first time here we took the second route,  as we did today, but the second time we made a last minute decision at the junction to take the much harder Villa Ortega route.

The fork in the road where decisions must be made.
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We spent some time chatting to Nacho and Sandra while we prepared our supper.  Things have changed a bit in this area over the past five years.  In particular there has been an influx of people from further north escaping city life.  The many new rather fancy houses that have sprung up in the area bear testimony to this.

The interior of the excellent quincho.
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After a mostly dry day the rain is now falling gently again and our tent is getting some of the dust and mud it has accumulated washed off.  We have an apartment booked in Coyhaique tomorrow.  There are a few things we need to try and find at the city's outdoor and bicycle shops so we don't want to get away too late.

Today's ride: 53 km (33 miles)
Total: 4,550 km (2,826 miles)

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