We need a rest - thank you Coyhaique

We've been following river valleys in various zig-zagging directions, nipping across passes, through National Parks, or around the coast, and then up or down the next valley for what feels like forever, each day finishing with a wild camp whenever we feel as though we've gone far enough, or we see an amazing place to stop. It's been challenging but fantastic, and best of all our little lazy passenger Leo has been loving it......fires, camping, rivers, beaches, throwing stones, climbing, walking along all the huge dead trees that are everywhere and meeting new people constantly. We cannot imagine how it will all affect him in the future!

The only problem is that with such amazing scenery around us we've actually forgotten to have a rest. We're now completely knackered having cycled about 750km of the Carretera Austral with no breaks over the last 16 days, me pulling about 65kg of trailer, Leo and luggage, and Isa another 35kg, nearly all of it on dirt and gravel roads which really takes its toll. One 32km section before La Junta was perhaps the worse road we have ridden on in 37,000km all over the world. A fellow Dutch cyclist with around 50,000km under his belt voted it the worst he'd seen. It was hell, with big sharp slippy rocks, corrugations and loads of dust. Most cyclists seem to have hitch-biked to avoid it, we just didn't get the opportunity as it's hard to wait for a lift in hot sun, on a quiet road, with an energetic Leo. It just seemed easier to cycle. Then just after it finished we had the 600m climb up 19 hairpin bends, averaging 8% gradient, to really rub it in.

It crept up on us, one minute we were fine, the next we were aching and exhausted, desperate to reach Coyhaique, the only major town for hundreds of km, and to gorge ourselves on protein and be as lazy as Leo allows us. Now we are here we've done nothing, just shopped for food and taken it in turns to sleep. We've also eaten tins of fish and made burgers. YEAH!!!

Leo also seems happy with the new lazy routine, his new games are putting coins in bottles, or collecting flowers from the lovely gardens around our cozy cabaña. 'Tranquillo com una taza de leche', as the Chileans say about a good baby.

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