Cycling Chile/Argentina '04 | Coyhaique Index Day 42 Day 44
Day 43: 15K N Cerro Castillo -> Coyhaique 80KM Team Monsoon

It was cold in the morning even in our tent. But it wasn't until we looked outside that we realized it had been snowing last night -- there was a light dust of white powder on the ground.

We put on our hat, gloves and rushed off. 80km to Coyhaique, hot shower, and warm bed.

Somehow, the scenery reminded me of October in New Hamsphire, there were some red and orange color on the leaves, there was snow on the mountain, there were rivers running loud. We must have picked the highest point to camp. For the next 17k or so, we were blessed with one smooth downhill after another with only a short intervals of uphill in between.

It was one of the few times that I was actually looking forward to an uphill. So I could warm up a bit. We would take the gloves and hats off going uphill and put everything back on for the down. Little did we know we would go from 2,300 ft down to 1,200 in the next 30 km.

"Ooops, another downhill." Brian reported mirthfully before making another wild descend. I got a new speed record, 62kph and Brian was approaching 70.

No sooner did the early morning drizzle turned into a full blast of rain. We were cold, but we refused to slow down. Traffic started to appear on the road but was still very light.

Mountains soon disappeared from the scenery and rolling hills started to move in. It looked like Fall with the yellowish vegetation on the hills but it definitely felt like Winter for us.

Right passed a small town featuring a gigantic Mate pot in front of the Mate museum, we stopped for a quick lunch right before a slight uphill. A bite each from a bread, a tomato, an avocado, and some cheese, we convinced ourselves we had had a sandwich. Our sandwich was a bit soggy too, there was no where to hide from the rain.

We made good time with some more downhill. Once in a while, I could smell something fragrant, from some trees I believe. Fearing getting punished for having so much downhill, we prepared ourselves mentally for any big uphill there might come - we almost mistook a ski slope to a pass we had to cross.

It was only very close to Coyhaique that we started to going up a couple of small hills. Like many other places we had been to on the Carretera Austral, going to a town, even a very small one involved some hills. And they purposfully built the town so you could not see it until you were already there.

And then, there we were, counting the mile markers by the road to the decimals, we rolled in to Coyhaique absolutely soaked and relieved. We would be cycling some more, but in my mind, this was the end of our cycling adventure. And what better way to end it than in a celebratory pouring rain.

Index Day 42 Day 44