Rio de los Nadis - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

December 26, 2022

Rio de los Nadis

We were treated to magnificent weather yesterday.  The temperature reached twenty six degrees and there wasn't a breath of wind. Unfortunately it was wasted on us because we were stuck in a hot kitchen preparing Christmas dinner.  The forecast for today was for it to be much colder and windier but when we awoke it was warm and calm.  We tried to convince ourselves that the forecast was wrong but in our hearts we knew what was going to happen.

By the time we rolled out of Cochrane a strong south-westerly wind had come up and the temperature has dropped a few degrees.  On addition to the strong headwind the ripio was mostly corrugated and roughly graveled. 

Cerro San Lorenzo, the peak in this picture, features prominently in the naming of places and things in Cochrane.
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Rio del Salto. The river of the waterfall. We have passed it three times and each time it has fascinated me.
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We were feeling rather down but as we reached the top of the first climb about eight kilometers out of town we met a young Chilean who was cycling north.  He had started in Punta Arenas and was trying to visit as many of the national parks along the way to Arica in the far north of Chile.  He was so full of enthusiasm that we immediately felt more motivated ourselves.

The rough road and the howling headwind soon chipped away at our good spirits and by the time Cristof and Henri had caught up with us at the thirty two kilometer mark we were just slogging on knowing that at some point the day would cone to an end.  They were planning to make it to a campsite another forty three kilometers further on and are young and strong enough to make it despite the conditions.  I just wanted to get to the top of the last climb in the hope that the wind wouldn't be as bad after we had descended to the bridge over the Rio de los Nadis.

When we got to the bridge we stopped to think about where we should spend the night.  One option would have been to wildcamp at the bridge or to push on to Don Arturo where we had camped twice before.  On both cases we would be without any form of shelter from the wind and we weren't even sure if the old couple at Don Arturo were accepting campers anymore since they were rather reluctant to have us three years ago. 

A German couple we had met in Rio Tranquilo three years ago had raved about a campsite with a refugio a few kilometers downstream from the bridge on the Rio de los Nadis so we took a chance and turned off the Careter Austral.  Four kilometers later we arrived at the empty campsite but there was no sign of the owners.  That didn't deter us and we soon had a fire going in the stove in the kitchen and started to thaw.  The stove also heats a geyser so after an hour or so we were able to enjoy a hot shower.  As we were about to have supper the duena arrived and we got permission from her to pitch the tent inside the refugio to escape the wind that was now even worse than earlier on in the day.  A fortunate way to end the day.

The wood stove that made everything right.
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Warming up in front of the stove.
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The tent set up in the other half of the refugio.
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Tomorrow we plan to head to Camping El Risquero which, even after our detour down the Rio de los Nadis, is only thirty five kilometers away.  Hopefully the wind will have run out of puff by then and we can have a more enjoyable day.

Today's ride: 49 km (30 miles)
Total: 4,986 km (3,096 miles)

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