Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Last Day

All good things must come to an end, and today was our last day of cycling in Chile. It is approaching midnight, and I still have to pack, so this will be brief -- not doing the day justice, but providing a flavor.

Although we only did 40 miles today, we did the most climbing of any day on the trip. Nearly 4000 feet, some of it at grades well above 12%. The payoff was the finale -- we descended into the town of Achao with stunning view in perfect weather with lots of sun.

To get to this finale, we started out in Castro and cyled northeast to Dalcahue, where we visited another of the magnificent old wooden churches that dot this archipelago. From Dalcahue, we took a ferry (about a seven minute ride) to the island of Quinchao. We rode our bikes right on to the ferry, and upon getting off, we had an immediate climb away from the shore. After a few more climbs and another great descent, we had a picnic lunch at the beach in the small village of Palqui.

We fell in love with Anastasia, the three year old daughter of our hosts. She had her own digital camera and was taking pictures of each of us, which she would then proudly show us. She did remarkably well. The lunch was a barbecufre of lamb cooked on a spit over a wood fire, and was excellent. While we were eating, Anastasia went around the table and gave each of us a friendly kiss.

The biggest climb of the day was immediately after lunch. From sea level to about 400 feet in less than a kilometer. This was followed by a number of rolling hills and the great descent to the town of Achao that I mentioned at the beginning.

We then ferried back to the island of Chiloe and shuttled back to the hotel. We had a wonderful farewell dinner (which is why I am writing this at midnight) and brought this tour to a pleasant close.

When I get home, I will be organizing my photos and posting them on Flickr, so look for one more blog post with details.

View from the Island of Quinchao
On the Island of Quinchao
Fishermen near our lunch spot

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