The next day we started early-ish on what turned out to be a 30km mountainbiking trail. This time it was already my birthday in Argentina and I could not have wished for a better way to spend it. We rented our bikes and all the necessary equipment, and off we went. We were heading towards a national park and of course it wasn’t easy to find, as none of the streets had names so the little map we had was no use at all. Eventually we got there and the super nice lady at the entrance cautioned us: “The first km is uphill so you will have to push your bikes up and then also carry them up some stairs. The second km is downhill, a very steep slope, so please for your safety make sure you walk alongside the bikes for this one as well. Two months ago we had a young man who descended on his bike, fell and poked his eye out. You have another one of these slopes at km 8, but other than that you should be all right. Buena suerte chicos! (Good luck kids!)” Oh but how… encouraging! 🙂
We looked at each other … we came mountain biking and we’d have to spend he first 2 km not only not up on our bikes, but even carrying them up the stairs! What else could we have wished for?:) It took us 20 minutes to complete the first km and we felt we were doing a great workout. The second one we completed in less than 5 minutes (as it turned out the steep slope was just a small portion of km2, and the rest we could descend on our bikes – wind in our hair, adrenaline, total awesomeness!). It was the first time any of us were doing proper mountainbiking and we gained a whole new appreciation for the guys and gals we’d seen on TV biking through forests, puddles, branches and roots… it was definitely an exercise not for the physically unfit and we could see the benefits of doing such an activity weekly.
11km and a couple of hours later we got to a lagoon that completely took our breath away! If you poked your head out of the thick forest you’d see this patch of green grass interrupted only by a few (humongus) (??) trees, and by it the lake that seemed full of gems sparkling under the smiling sun. By the time we got there Silviu was already sunbathing and the dogs accompagning us (of course we could not be left alone on this trip either) were creating a real spectacle, playing in the water and being happy as only dogs can be. We took a moment to sink into the atmosphere and had a rest in and around the largest tree of the lagoon, which looked like, if asked, could tell the story of the last few centuries…
The national park was practically on a peninsula, and we were still one km away from getting to the end. We biked there and got to see some other special type of trees, with orange trunks and again ancient looks. We could just not get enough of this scenery! Another way to get to see the forest would have been by boat, so the end of the peninsula was the place where the boat came to drop people off/pick people up. A bloke we had met on the way decided to take the boat instead of biking the 12km back but no-oh, that was not going to be us! We were fuerte (strong) people and we could definitely handle all that!
We could have stayed there forever but the lady at the entrance had warned us to make it back before dark not only because of the dangers of being there at night, but also because of the cold that would settle in once the sun went down. We got back to the entrance just in time to see the sun setting over the lake nearby and we were extremely proud of our perfect timing. It was past 7pm when we got back to the bike rental shop and our butts and legs were in considerable pain. We gathered all the energy we could to pass by the supermarket and grab ourselves some dinner, and then had a little celebration at the house with tsunami (the Chilean drink we had became fans of – white wine with pineapple ice-cream) and facturas (different kinds of pastries put together) as a birthday cake. I went to sleep that night full of gratefulness for the love, joy and specialness I had experienced not only on my birthday, but practically every single day since on the trip… and not only.
If you liked this post please rate it, leave a comment or share it with a friend using the buttons below.