Monday we finally pulled ourselves away from the idyllic scene of the strawberry farm and hit the road again. The timing was good as over the weekend the farm recieved 6 new volunteers, doubling the size of their workforce, but also the size of everything else. We made some wonderful, and probably life long friendships there, and despite some sore backs and a limited variety of meals, we found the experience to be very worthwhile, and a great way to travel inexpensively.
Our ride out of Lago Puelo was a climb, but we powered up the 3 kilometers and over to the next town. From there we rode many smaller hills through the extraordinary mountainscape of this region. It is a beautiful combination of deep green forest and blue-pink-grey mountains all around. We found a glorious swimming spot to lunch along a river, and spent the next 3 hours diving into the cool clean water and attempting to rest up for the next leg of our ride.
Around 5 PM, which happens to be the hottest time of day, we mounted the bikes again and found ourselves on some very tough climbs. As we rode what we hoped would be the last, I had to stop and take a break in the middle. It was intensely hot, and the bikes are heavy, I simply had to rest. After dousing my head with water, and a little pep talk with Jon and the girls, I stood on the right pedal to begin mid-hill. Somehow I didn´t catch the other pedal and instead it hit me in the shin. This is not the first time I have been hit in this way, so I looked down expecting to see a bad bruise. To my surprise I found a long and wide gouge with blood pouring out onto my brand new ´cars r coffins´socks. Ouch! It hurt, but really was worse to look at. The girls were quite upset and not sure what to do, and as Jon attempted to lecture me on mounting the pedals properly, I suggested that perhaps this was not the best time for that conversation, and would he please get the first-aid kit out? Sadly we didn´t have ourselves together enough to snap any photos….some to follow soon.
We did an impressive taping job (I think our MD friends would be proud!), and continued our climb. After getting some good advice about where to camp, and a little pill with some sort of muscle relaxants, we arrived at our campsite and I took a cab to the hospital. Indeed it was an ugly cut and required a few stitches! Fortunately for me, I had a handsome doctor full of adventure tales of his own, and was stitched and bandaged in no time! Needless to say, we are having another rest day today (I know, the lengths I will go to get a break!). I expect to be back in the saddle tomorrow, and on to the next spot. Hopefully we will come across a town next week so someone can take these stitches out!