Today we climb. From about 150m at the lake, up a windy pass to 1120m against some fierce winds (for a change). It´s tough going (for a change) - 4kms of switch backs in our bottom gears at one point, but the scenery is amazing and worlds away from the dull dull pampas of the last month. It´s quite sudden how it has changed. And the weather changes as well. It´s sunny, grey, raining, windy and calm all at the same time...
As we crest the pass, the road meanders over rolling hills beside a river and the scenery becomes reminiscent of Alpine Europe.
At 65kms we both crash off the bikes in sweet synchronicity. One second we are going forward, the next the wind grabs the front of the bike and we pirouette in perfect unison to face back the way we came, hard on the brakes to prevent losing precious ground. The winds here are not as strong as Tierra del Fuego, but the gusts are just unbelievable. We ride on and again crash off to the other side of the road, one bike a mimic of the other... It´s almost funny.
As if by magic there´s a sign for a campsite and we decide maybe a stop is in order, until the forest ranger lets us know it´s closed, no services, but he´ll still let us camp.... for 12 US dollars. 12 dollars in his back pocket for nothing - rip off. So we cycle on another 5kms doing our bizarre stuttering comedy fall off routine. At one point I´m laughing hard at Michael as he drops the bike and runs down the slope at the side of the road to keep his footing. Next minute I hit the deck. I wasn´t even moving, but the wind was strong enough to just knock me over.
We see an Estancia (ranch) and again talk our way into some sweet indoor accommodation, complete with a wood stove and mattresses. The storm outside is ridiculous, I can feel the walls of the building bowing inward with the ferocity - seriously. The power goes out, and the rain falls from all direction and physically stings in a swirling wind. It rains all night.... 12 dollars for a camp site - Ha ha ha ha. I love my mattress and wood stove - and walls not made of canvas!!