The Lake District (The Chilean one…)

Rather shamefully I’ve never actually been to the English Lake District, so comparisons with its Chilean counterpart are hard to draw. That said, during our few days roaming this forested wonderland there were times it felt like I’d tumbled down a rabbit hole and popped out in the British countryside I know so well. Volcanoes and quirky ‘monkey puzzle’ trees aside, the likeness was often uncanny (assuming I’m remembering it right…), spurring a certain amount of wistful nostalgia on my part. With the end of the trip looming large on the horizon, this served as timely reminder that you don’t have to travel half way round the world to find great riding and adventure, it’s just a question of making time and ‘getting out there’, often easier said than done admittedly….

Once again photos are limited as I eek out remaining battery life, but you’ll get the general idea; lakes, trees, volcanoes and some truly great dirt riding…

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Our blast down from Paso Copahue neatly deposited us at the start of a great little route through the Lake District

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Low water levels reveal the forested remains of a previous life

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As with all good routes, there was no escaping a bit of hike a bike

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Autumn has very much arrived now; a carpet of oranges and browns, with the faint crunch of leaves under tyre

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At times a little on the dusty side

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Not bad

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Possibly getting a bit carried away with the top notch trail riding, I managed to tear the sidewall of my front tyre on a rock. Always a worry on off-road adventures and a more conventional cycle tourist would likely have a spare tyre or two waiting in the wings for such eventualities. No such luxury in our case though, so out came for the needle and thread…

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Backed up with a cut open toothpaste tube (the classic trail bodge) for ‘belt and braces’ peace of mind…

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English countryside? Or have I just been away too long…?

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Cold nights and frosty mornings give us a first taste of what’s awaiting us further south as we ride towards a Patagonian winter….

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Fortunately we have a run of clear weather though and a soothing sun warms tired muscles as we climb past swathes of the intriguing ‘monkey puzzle’ trees (arauncaria arauncana) for which this region is famed

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Up past the tree line…

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And onto the lifeless flanks of volcan longuimay, where greens give way to greys and incredible views open up in all directions

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Mars?

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A fast descent followed by an ‘invigorating’ climb, sees us pass through more monkey puzzle territory, before plunging down to the village of Longuimay, where, too exhausted to find somewhere better, we pitch camp by on the edge of town like a couple of hobos and bed down for the night….

Route Info

We effectively followed the route Skyler blazed last year, info here.

5 responses to “The Lake District (The Chilean one…)

  1. hi Paul
    yet again, a fascinating blog. you write really well or maybe it’s because I appreciate your dry humour and skill at understatement! you take some fabulous photos too, I think you’ve a great book to write here! I’m really delighted at how you have managed such an epic journey. Will be fascinating to see what you do next. As the end looms (well, not really, just a different set of experiences to come on the next stage of your journey!) you should feel very proud of just how much you have achieved, being ‘arrested’ being an ‘interesting’ highlight!
    very much look forward to seeing you again in the summer here.
    cheers mate, Nige

    • Haha, thanks for the kind words as always Nige, maybe a photo book, I havent the conviction to do an actual one! Catch you in the (late) summer. Cheers

  2. Goodness, Paul, please know, your wonderful travel reports, such as this, and the marvellous photographs too, are so enriching my store of knowledge, understanding, and yes, even my life itself..Thank you so much – such an exciting happening….And so much detail for the book(s) you just have to write. By the way, are you shooting for Guinness Book of records entry – for the number of times crossed the Chiliean/Argentine border? – I see you have a little Chile again now 😉 Safety and success be your constant companions as you approach journey’s end {{{hug}}} (applause)
    Sincerely, Peter Marshall

    • Hi Peter, glad you it´s keeping you entertained! No records being aimed for I´m afraid, very much focussed on the finish line now… Hope all´s well up North, I envy your seasons. Paul

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