Saturday, March 19, 2016

Saturday, March 19, 2016 -- Duao to Playa el Cable, Chile

The only reason that I know what day of the week it is, is that I look at my watch as I write the title for each day's blog.  Unfortuantely, as I count down the days, I see that this wonderful vacation is coming to an end. We have only two days of cycling left.

I wish that all cycling days could be like today. We started out on the beach with bright sun and about 60 degrees. We retraced yesterday's route along right along the oceanfront for about ten miles, and then followed the coast a little further inland next to a lot of dunes. There was one hill, which briefly maxed out at 9%, but averaged only 6-8%. It wasn't very long, and after yesterday, I hardly felt like calling this one a hill. That was about halfway into the ride, and not long thereafter, we gathered for a group picnic under a grape arbor at a small hostel in the little town of Putu. We had some wonderful, freshly-baked empanadas (beef and onion or vegetarian), some cheese made this morning with milk from the famiily cow, and a wonderful banana pie.
Gwen and Andy enjoying the picnic
I usually prepare these blog posts in the afternoon before our dinner, so I have not done much writing about our wonderful meals. Our dinner two nights ago will provide insight into why I gain weight on these tours. We had our evening meeting (where we discuss the next day's ride) on the terrace, where we were served a delicious ceviche, some cheese and seafood empanadas, mushrooms in a special sauce, along with choice of pisco sours (the national drink of Chile), wine, or fruit juices. This would have sufficed for dinner, but that was only the preview. Dinner itself consisted of a generous portion of steak, a variety of potato options, salad and a very rich dessert.

Last night, we started off with a demonstration of the art of making pisco sours, which, naturally, included samples. We then adjourned to dinner with ceviche and various accompaniments to whet our appetites while the Chilean Sea Bass was grilled to perfection. Again, we had a variety of  potato options (the french fries were excellent) and a dessert that appeared to be a butterscotch mousse with nuts sprinkled on top.
Making Pisco Sours

After today's lunch, we had an easy ride to the City of Constitucion. We had to thread through the outskirts with some moderate traffic, until we hit the coastal road. It traversed a nature sanctuary where we could see these huge rocks just off the shore with thousands of birds.We rode a total of 47 miles today.

The beaches in this region all have black sand. I did see a few people bathing in the ocean, but I suspect it is pretty cold at this time of year. I am content just to look at it -- which I can do directly from my hotel room. Tomorrow we shuttle out of this beautiful place before starting our ride, so the bikes are already on the van.

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