Day 9 – Puerto Tranquilo – Rest Day

Thursday, January 9th

Distance – 0KM

After yesterday’s excitement and the need to reconnect with Martyn and George, no one is really on the mood to ride. We decide to head out to the Catedral de Marmol (Marble Cathederals), a local attraction that is reached by boat. First order of the day is breakfast and trash bags. I’ve decide that I will go old school and wear a bin liner before I get as wet as I did yesterday. Hoggy wants them because his dry bag isn’t. MacBean and I wander the town and run into the man who gave Martyn and George a lift. We explain who we are and thank him as best we can. The supermarkets, a stretch of the term super, are not open yet. We do find a bakery open and buy fresh bread, ham, and cheese. It makes a great breakfast.

After breakfast, the cop shows up again and a couple of lads head over to his house to pick up Martyn’s bike. Unfortunately for George, his shift lever has sheared the shaft and needs an engine strip down. His trip is done and he’ll be flying home. It turns out the cop is a world champion kick boxer; he just looks hard.


El Capitan Hoggy

In Martyn’s absence, Simon assumes the role of captain. I become the translator team translator. That will teach me to pick up the Spanish for Dummies book.

The cop tells us not to pay more than 5000 per person for the trip. I proud negotiate our rate down to this number from 6000 per person. The guide walks us a KM or so to his boat where we are joined by a couple of other people and off we go. The lake, which crosses the Argentina/Chile border is the second largest in South America. Needless to say, it is quite rough and the guide gently gets us to the Cathedrals in about 30 minutes.

Drifting through the arches.

The water has etched away the softer rock leaving sculptures behind.

This is the classic view that all the posters and guidebooks show.

Drifting through the caverns framed some amazing views. it was quite unnerving as the boat scraped over the rocks.

I think we were all still feeling the cold and damp from yesterday’s riding. Everyone bundled up and wore a beanie.

The guide was less gentle with us in the a way back to the dock. He had the boat flying along and slamming into the waves. I banged the heck out of my elbow on one wave and MacBean fell off his seat.

Plate sized hamburger

Even in George’s absence, we don’t go long without food. For the second day in a row plate sizes hamburgers are de rigeur.

Tranquillo really is that. Neither of my mobiles work and we have no wifi access to Skype with Martyn. We try an Internet cafe without luck and finally revert to a real phone call to figure out plans.

Martyn lucked into a hostel, thanks again to the cop. The owners husband is a truck driver who his to Santiago regularly. He will return George’s bike. Martyn arranges a pickup to take the bike to Coihaique and will ride down to Tranquillo with the pickup driver. George is getting on a plane and Kate, his Mum, will pick him up. Everything is coming together again.

Oxymorons. Reserve wine and instant coffee.

We close the day with dinner at the same place as yesterday. Only after they have served us coffee do we realize there is an industrial espresso machine in the corner. They just don’t use it.