Puenta Collón Curá Wildcamp - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

November 8, 2022

Puenta Collón Curá Wildcamp

Today was are first on this trip in which we encountered some big hills.  Three climbs totalling almost a thousand meters of ascent and reaching up to one thousand one hundred and fifty meters at the highest point.  Once again a headwind slowed us but it was only strong from just before the least climb.  It finished with a magnificent downhill to where the road split, one route going directly to San Carlos de Bariloche and the other heading up to Junin de los Andes, which is the branch we took.

Halfway up the second climb a campervan pulled over in front of us and a vaguely familiar looking man stepped out and handed us a large bottle of ice cold water into which he added some orange flavoured Tang, an Argentinian powdered cold drink.  I was suprised that he knew our names until we worked out that it was Afredo and that we had chatted to him at a set of traffic lights in Neuquen a few days back (long enough for the lights to work through a full cycle while we spoke - Argentinian traffic lights take a long time to change). 

We had some good views of the Andes again today including the magnificent sight of Volcan Lanin as we crested the final climb.  After two months of mostly featureless plains it is a dramatic change.

The climbs were long but mostly gentle gradients.
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As we climbed higher the countryside became more attractive.
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The Andes in the distance.
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Embalse Piedra del Aguila from just past the summit of the last climb.
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Volcan Lanin.
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Twelve kilometers of downhill to the embalse.
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We have a lovely wildcamp on the banks of the lake.  Lots of birds and great views of the mountains.  We will have a short day tomorrow so we won't have to rush out of here in the morning.

This Patagonian Mockingbird (Mimus patagonicus) clearly associates humans with an easy meal. It rushed to our campsite when we arrived and scurried around our feet but soon lost interest when no food was forthcoming.
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Evening ablutions.
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The snow capped mountains above our campsite.
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Today's ride: 78 km (48 miles)
Total: 3,379 km (2,098 miles)

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