Posted by: paulgilders | March 20, 2012

Into Argentina

We are currently staying in plush accommodation in Bariloche, Argentina. We crossed over the border 5 days ago – a mere 10km of riding from Chile Chico to Los Antiguos. Despite both towns being so close and on the same lake, they demonstrate the difference between the Chilean and Argentinian culture. Whilst Chile Chico was sleepy, Los Antiguos was a vibrant small town that caters well to tourists like us. The town is surrounded by small farms mainly growing fruit – particularly cherries. The farms use artificial channels to divert river water across the fields. The town is wonderfully green and lush.

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We found camping on one of these small farms and relaxed for three days of sunny weather feeding ourselves silly with the abundant produce.

Whilst in Chile, we could only get round flat bread, this is what we found in Los Antiguos.

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Here are some preserves from a local small farm or “chacra”.

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This is how the Argentinians cook their meat…

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So you can imagine, that we are trying our best to put on a few pounds.

After our stay in Los Antiguos, we decided to experience cycling the more flatlands of Argentina, so we rode to the next town of Perito Moreno. With beautifully flat tarmac and a tailwind of 25knots, we made mostly good progress. Only when the road changed direction did we have to do much pedalling.

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On a couple of occasions we were forced to walk when the gusty side winds proved too destablising to ride. At the end of the lake, the surf was impressive 100km of fetch!

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We also saw our first armadillo – unfortunately hit by a car on the road…

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Perito Moreni itself is not such an attractive town, but is a major transport hub along the major Ruta 40. This feature we used to catch a bus 850km north to Bariloche. The 12 hour bus trip was mostly flat and boring – we were glad we didn’t ride! After about 9 hours, though, we re-entered more verdant and hilly terrain as we came closer to Bariloche.

Bariloche itself is a huge tourism mecca, supporting both summer and winter tourism (it’s a big skiing destination). Fortunately for us, we are between seasons, meaning that we have found good luxury accommodation at reasonable prices. We intend to stay in the area for a week or so before heading back over into Chile for the remainder of our time in South America.

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I did at one point consider trading the tandem for another mode of transport – Poppy was keen, but I don’ think it would have been much quicker!

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Responses

  1. HA! The meat, the bread, the jams and preserves. Luxury! I bet on you staying a few days over your allotted time just to restock your reserves… HAve you chosen a definite favourite food? Isn’t the scenery just stunning. I would love to ski there …. and how great to have the place more or less to yourselves being in between tourist seasons. Must be lovely with all the beauty and no one there in your way. Brilliant. I’m with Poppy on the alternative transport – way cooler!


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