Because it was low season, there wasn’t much demand for the hostel’s bikes so Claudio offered to let us use their bikes for free for the day. Me and John along with a Kiwi couple who moved into the hostel yesterday jumped at the chance. Claudio also gave us a map and recommended a nice little coffee shop to visit and a lake.
The bikes were in better condition than the ones we hired at Mr Hugo’s but the tyres were flat. The four of us headed to a petrol station where we could pump up the tyres. But John’s bike still wasn’t functioning properly so we headed back to the hostel to change bikes whilst the Kiwi couple started their cycling trip. After faffing around for a bit, we eventually sorted the bike out and we headed off.
The road is relatively flat apart from a few inclines and we eventually found the little cafe which was hidden away down a dirt track type road in the woods. There were only about 4 tables inside and all the furniture was made from chunky wood, making it perfect for the setting. It was a really cute cafe, it sold homemade chocolate biscuits and cake and drinks. We parked our bikes outside (it’s safe enough to leave them there without locks) and headed in for a coffee.
After a short break we got back on the bikes and decided to head to the lake but it was going to be another 10km ride or so…The route was very peaceful and we cycled through a few villages. It was also very picturesque with snow capped mountains behind a wall of fog.
When we got to the lake, our bums had started to hurt. Back home, I went to spinning classes once a week but had to wear those padded cycling shorts. Without them, my bum was killing me now! It was peaceful at the lake as no-one was around, we had the whole lake to ourselves!! We left our bikes and John decided he wanted to go for a paddle…the water was freezing, the idiot boy! He was in it for about a minute, telling me to hurry up and take some photos before he dried his feet off.
We sat down and ate our packed lunch – our standard boiled egg sandwiches! After we finished, some people arrived but we had enough of a rest and decided to head back to the hostel. We didn’t stop off anywhere on the way back, and towards the last leg of the journey, my thighs were burning. At one point, we hit an incline and I was going so slow that John’s bike bumped into mine and he was just shouting at me to go quicker. Also, it probably doesn’t help that I don’t know how to use gears so I never changed any and just left it on whatever it was on at the start of the bike ride. In total, we cycled 32km!!!
We got back late afternoon and chilled out with the Kiwi couple in the evening. They only managed to cycle to the cafe and then turned round. The Argentinian guys we met the other night were impressed by our long jaunt.
We also found out that the Kiwi couple were friends with another Kiwi couple we met in Bariloche and that they were all going to meet up later on their trip. That evening, they skyped the other Kiwi couple and me and John made a surprise appearance. I think they enjoyed that. It’s amazing how big a continent South America is yet we the people we meet all seem so connected.