BACK TO BUSINESS

The next day is a cracker and, supplies restocked, I head off up another gentle climb into the Reserva Nacional China Muerta…

A fantastic little road, I’m soon winding down through the forest and come to a more recently burnt-out section…

After a peaceful night in the forest, only occasionally spooked by creaking trees or falling pine cones, I descend to the town of Melipeuco and the end of the Monkey Puzzle trail.  A fantastic little route that I would recommend to anyone.

Cruising along paved roads for much of the day towards my lakeside destination of Pucón, after a while I decide to take a dirt-road detour to see if I can find a campsite next to another nearby lake.  It turns out, however, that private property prevents me from even getting a glimpse of this lake and the route takes me up some leg-breaking slopes (up to 30% gradient).  Frustrated at the limited camping opportunities, I come across a roadside mirador with a great view.  With little traffic coming past (even the cars where clearly shy of the brutal gradients), I decide to make it my home for the night…

The next morning, it’s a fairly easy roll around the lake, only blighted by a heavy downpour which makes for a rather unpleasant ride along the south side of the lake on a busy road.  I eventually make it into Pucón and deposit my soggy self at the appropriately-named La Bicicleta Hostel.  Another great leg of the journey done and some exciting changes in the offing…

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