As if my cycling through the Patagonia region had not already been filled with a lifetime of experiences – first of all sharing the journey with a group of random adventure seekers who became friends sharing their passions, their life stories all wrapped up in a great sense of humour.
Crossing through the varying terrains of both the Chilean and Argentinian landscapes that make the region the legend that it is.
Climbing the still active Villarica Volcano in Pucon – one of the most mind blowing and triumphant expeditions I’ve ever accomplished.
Exploring my own personal strength and endurance through the cycling adventure itself, learning the bike, mastering different surfaces and building my own confidence in managing the long distances crossed.
Then at the very end, pumping my adrenaline through the exciting opportunity to ride on the single track runs through the National Araucania Park – narrow trails filled with unexpected ups and downs, twists and turns – having to manoeuver encroaching trees and low hanging branches and constantly on the lookout for the odd tree roots and rocks to jump over. May sound scary but with a strong heart and lots of determination to succeed, we all came out triumphant, exhilarated and fired up.
…. and now on to my next adventure, whenever and wherever that may be. Hoping we will continue to explore together…
Leaving Pucon by bus and traveling to the outskirts of Melipeuco, a small town and commune located at the foot of the Andes, in the Araucaria region, we cycled through the beautiful countryside lined with pine trees, small farms with sheep and cattle and enjoyed our lunch shaded from the hot midday sun.
Moving on to our final destination through the Parque Nacional Conguillio, we traversed the corrugated gravel roads, lined with lava rocks, remnants of the last eruption of volcano Llaima in 1927, where nothing has grown since, a distinct contrast to the lush green of the vegetation before. Aided by the gentle breeze we endured the long uphill climb always with a view of the snow capped Sierra Nevada mountains in the distance and the Rio Verde on our right, giving hope of life, colour and always that sense of tranquility.
Finally arriving at our accommodation for the night situated in the middle of the Araucaria forest.The Araucaria (affectionately called the monkey puzzle tree) is an evergreen tree growing to 1.5m in diameter and 40m high and because of the longevity of this species – approximately 1000 years – it is described as a living fossil. It is naturally the national tree of Chile.
Quite simply then, our log cabins, located in what seemed like the middle of nowhere, afforded us an eco style environment – peaceful, enchanting, surrounded by these wonderful trees. We spent the evening basking in the silence and beauty of one of the most renowned national parks in Chile.