Monday, February 16, 2009

16 Feb -Esquel, Argentina

Yesterday was a lay day which we used to do a bit of maintenance on the bikes, laundry etc. A small ride in the afternoon around the lake. The other group arrived late afternoon. During the night a storm went through – wind and rain and a major drop in temperature. Sunny this morning with a light dusting of snow on the hills (actually the Andes).

This mornings ride was through the majestic mountains of national park Nahuel Huapi. Beautiful scenery but with overcast gray skies with black clouds threatening rain. Fast dropping temperatures soon had the thermals out. Hard to believe a couple of days ago we were sweltering in 30 degree temperatures. Once past El Bolson the wind got serious. For the most part it was from behind but when it came from the side it was a major effort to stay on the road. I think this might be an indication of what is to come as we go further south.

A couple of us arrived at our accommodation first and had the battle of the language. Check-in spoke no English and our Spanish was no better. We (the group) met another biker on the way here and despite the keenness of both sides to communicate, it largely proved hopeless. Somehow smiling like retards and gesticulating wildly just doesn't do it. We are strangely mute in a land of wonderful lively people with a zest for life. We pass through their world as if in a bubble.

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