We got sunshine on our tent!
To commemorate the first inhabitation of our new tent, after we were all packed and ready, we buried
all but one of the 15 steel stakes that came with the tent. They weighted about 5 lbs. It was hard
to let go but sometimes you just have to move on. Perhaps one day if we come back, we will look for
our legacy ...
So we moved on, 5 lbs lighter.
After a small uphill we started another big descend. That got us to a river where we could fill up
our water bottles. Not bad at all.
My rear brake was making a lot of sharp squeaking noise so I asked Brian to inspect. This time it
was not dirt nor sand making the noise, it was metal scratching metal. The rear brake pads had
been chewed to the bone.
Without any spare brakes, we switched the front brake pads to the back and disconnected the ones
on the front. It was not the most assuring thing to do coming down the windy mountain path with
hairpin turns knowing you were missing one set of brake.
Luckily there were not that many steep downhills. It was a fantastic day to cycle through mountains
and farmlands. Later in the afternoon, we stopped at the tiny lake side town of Puerto Bertrand
for some cookies and chocolate.
Under the bright afternoon sun, the deep green and blue color of the lake was one of a kind.
As we cycled on, we began to see people collecting berries by the road. The same berry bush I saw
while I was cycling alone before Cochrane. But here, they were everywhere. Looked like these
berry-pickers were busy at work. Each of them wore a cloth shoulder bag and whatever they collected
fell conveniently into the bag. Not far from each group of workers was a pick-up truck with bags
Towards the end of the afternoon, we stopped and talked to one of the berry-pickers getting ready
to wrap up the day. He told us what they were collecting was "Mosqueta". It could be used for making
tea, marmalade. With a lot of sugar I assume because I remember they were bitter.
We started looking for a place to camp after a downhill took us to Lago General Carrera, or Lago Buenos
Aires as it is called in Argentina. The color of the lake is brilliant. There was a red-roof hospetaje
by the lake but we were more interested in a freebie. We would not have any water problems for sure.
The road followed the lake, but it was never very close to the shore. 10km later, we took a spot on
a pull-off. We could see the lake, we could hear the water, but it was at least 50 feet down a steep
rock-fall behind tall bushes.
Brian set the tent up while I took the honor for getting us water. The rock-fall was steep and loose,
but it was the bushes that were more of a problem. They were at least 2 feet taller than me with very
hard and sharp needles everywhere on the stem. I crawled through a more friendly tree, hacked my
way through really dense brush, and came back with a full bottle of water and many needle marks on my
arms and legs.
Just as we settled into our tent, our good friend rain returned.