I wake up several times during the night, partly because cars and trucks honk some sort of greeting to us bike and camper enthusiasts. Also, numerous times due to the rain pouring down and drumming on the tent canvas. I look out and see the mountain completely covered in rain mist. I realize that the planned ascent at half-past six, as set by the alarm, will not happen.
Later in the morning, I have to move the tent. My green tent spot has turned into a puddle. Ten minutes later, I’m in my cozy sleeping bag, still trying to sleep.
At 7:30, it’s still raining, and none of the five of us seems to have any plans to leave. However, just after half-past eight, I start packing up my sleeping bag, mattress, and pillow. The items in the vestibule are soaked.
By the time it’s half-past nine, the rain has decreased, and the worst rain mist is gone, so I decide to head up the 7 km long ascent towards the mountain and Parque Nacional Queulat. The guys from EDl Camping, especially the one with back problems, seem puzzled about finding a doctor. The nearest one is in Puerto Cisnes, 30 km after Ruta X25.
The first kilometer goes fairly well, but then the incline becomes too steep for me, 14-16%, which I can’t handle. Thankfully, these sections are not too long, about 2-300 meters.
After a little over 2 km, there’s a ”Mirador” or viewpoint. A massive waterfall named after the South American condor attracts my and others’ interest. Cyclists from the north, motorcyclists, and drivers are already here, admiring nature’s masterpiece.
I continue uphill, pedaling where the slope is not too harsh. Fortunately, the entire road is paved, or rather, covered with concrete.
At the next stop, a bridge over the Queulat River, the sun has come out enough to take off the rain gear. Waterfalls follow one another all the way up the mountain. After a mountainside, I can count five or six of them. The surroundings are indescribably beautiful.
Finally, this ascent ends, a road sign with the text ”Fin Pavimentado” indicates that it’s downhill cycling for a few kilometers and gravel road for 23 km. Now on the other side of the mountain, I put on the rain jacket again, but it comes off after a few kilometers. The gravel road is decent but not great, loose stones and gravel mostly in the curves keep me focused. I meet some cyclists from Italy on their way up, and we exchange a few words.
At the foot of the mountain, parts of the road are concrete, but only on the left side and only partially.
When I reach Valles los Coihues, there’s an abandoned roadside inn and bar. I stop for coffee and a Coke, enjoying the nice weather for about 45 minutes.
Then off again, and after a few kilometers, I see the younger couple I camped with the evening before. They have taken a break for some chip snacking. We talk for a while, and I mention my plan to stop at a thermal bath if they have rooms available. Otherwise, I plan to go all the way to Puyuhuapi.
The road is still paved, with only occasional small hills. All the while, there’s a bay that is unknown to me on my side. Just after half-past five, I arrive in Puyuhuapi, bathed in sunlight.
There is essentially only one street, and everything gathers there—bars, restaurants, hostels, hosterias, and guesthouses. Everything revolves around tourism. I had noticed earlier that Hostel Rossbach seems both nice and well-kept. It is also situated very beautifully.
The owner meets me and first shows my room, which has a kitchen, refrigerator, stove, and microwave. Two beds neatly made, a bathroom with a shower, and a terrace with a view of the bay. Then she shows me the laundry room with a washing machine and dryer, along with detergent. I can store the bike in a storage room.
Below my room, protected by trees and large plants, is the breakfast room, and she asks when it suits me…
– 8 o’clock is my answer.
I retrieve my belongings from the bike and then put it in the storage room. Unpack and make coffee, which is also provided in the room.
Later, I gather all the dirty and wet clothes and start the washing machine. I have to use my mobile to translate what all the designations on the machine mean. A few hours later, everything is washed and dry. I prepare dinner and drink coffee while watching Spanish TV, football from the Premier League.
I fall asleep peacefully at 22:00.
Distance: 54.83 km
Average Speed: 13.6 km/h
Max Speed: 46.7 km/h
Cycling Time: 4.01 h/m
Total Time: 7:41 h/m
Medium Temp: 19.0 C
Max Temp: 30 C
Min Temp: 12.0 C
Total Climbing: 566 m
// The Global Cyclist 1726