Sunday we woke early to execute a highly planned bike ride along the huge Lago Nahual Huapi (photo) on a 56 kilometer ride dubbed the Circuito Chico, “Small Circuit” in English, which was anything but chico, but definitely a beautiful and worthwhile trip.
We rented bikes for $15 pesos (bout 5 bucks americano) and warmed up our rumps for a nice thrashing. The ride began on a nice paved road with a wide, groomed gravel shoulder perfect for bikes… little did we know that our timing was ever so perfect. As soon as we veered off into the woods on a dirt track, everyone and their brother and mother were fleeing in the opposite direction as us for some unknown reason. Choking on dust for at least 2 kilometers as cars and trucks poured out towards the main highway I cursed the Mapuche gods for our untimely encounter with the exhaust-spewing, dust-stirring evil machinery. I also wondered where the devil all these people were coming from. We later passed by that source, which seemed to be nothing more than a river where people go on Sundays (our lucky day) to car camp and picnic… By the time we reached this river everyone had already up and passed us by… so we continued on crossing the river that feeds the big lake.
We pedaled onward to Colonia Suiza (a Swiss colony) where they happened to be having a barbeque. The pit is in the ground and we ordered a plate of everything they were cooking which was a variety of meats, sausages and veggies. VERY TASTEY for 5 pesos (US$1.70) each. after the small lunch break we continued on the loop into the Llao Llao area, which is very pristine right on the lake… kind of hilly too, ugh.
We passed a brewery and a chocolate factory on the ride back up to **Bariloche **but both were closed by the time we passed them… Other than a few bike chain derailments, and the sore bum that kicked into effect on the last few kilometers, the trip was a success. We cooked a stir-fry for dinner, yum.