Cycling Chile/Argentina '04 | Candelario Mancilla Index Day 29 Day 31
Day 30: Candelario Mancilla Shocker

Finally, it was a bright sunny day! The scenery on the lake with mountains around was simply breathtaking.

"El barco!" Ricardo pointed at a small dot. The infamous Lago O'Higgins crossing boat had arrived.

If as scheduled, it would make a stop here at noon, then off to pickup/drop off supplies somewhere else, and come back at 5PM to take us back to Villa O'Higgins.

You could not ask for a better day for sailing. But when Graham and Gabi came back from the dock, they got some news for us: too much goods to load/unload, the boat is not leaving today, tomorrow.

From April 1 - 5, to 5 or 6, to 7, and now 8?

With such a gorgeous day outside, we considered it a gift for us to stay here one more day. To make full use of it, we took a group hike back to the mountain to collect Calafate berries. Graham had made a trip up there the day before and got good yields. A Japanese cyclist, Kiwamu, who Graham had cycled with briefly before came to Candelario Mancilla shortly after us. He joined us for Calafate picking too.

Not too far away, we hit the jackpot. More calafates than all of us could take and eat. The hard part was not to get stabbed by the sharp needles on the stem. We (Brian mostly, I was more interested in taking pictures) came back with a third of a 96 ounce water bottle filled and very purple teeth. It is impossible to steal calafate.

Nice sunset. I stayed behind by myself for some pictures. When I got back to the house, I found Brian working with General on his tracker. General got a flat tire and Brian was there helping him patching it up. "Tomorrow." General said. There were still a couple of small holes left but it was late.

The camping crew made a fire outside. It was a beautiful night with reflection of the moon swinging lightly in the glassy lake right in front of us. We made bread sticks and cooked them on the fire. An idea from Chris who is a baker. Graham went inside the house to get some hot water for Mate. And when he got back, he had another message for us: the boat is leaving tomorrow at 5AM. Be at the dock at 4:30AM.

Ricardo confirmed the message. The boat was out at the dock. 5AM. Shocked and in disbelief - nothing is going on in Chile at 5AM - we packed under the dim light. Too bad we got no time to help General with his tire. Brian left him a couple of our glueless patch.

I was already in bed when Senora knocked on our door to say good-bye. Such a wonderful Senora. "It is for your journey." She said. It was a bag of apples from her orchard. We hugged each other good-bye.

Index Day 29 Day 31