The Río Futaleufú
Date: 13th January – 16th January 2013
Where: Trevelin (Argentina) – Futaleufú (Chile) – Lago Yelcho camp – Rio Palena camp – La Junta
Distance: 6930 to 7053 miles
This leg of the trip took us all the way along and eventually down the río Futaleufú in first Argentina, then Chile. Given that most of Geoff’s literary education came from Spike Milligan (ably supported by Roald Dahl and the Beano comic), and his love of Gnus and Needle Nardle Noo, it would be a shame not to attempt to write a kind of nonsense poem about a river and a town called Futaleufú…so here goes:
We left Trevelin early, as the dew glistened on the grassy countryside around,
Morning dew, Futaleufú.
We made good time to reach the Pass, and swiftly negotiated the Chilean border crossing,
Passing through, Futaleufú.
Hounded by biting flies when we stopped, chased by buzzing shadows when we ride, the going is tough,
Go away, shoo! Futaleufú.
The next day, an enormous lake mirrored the snowy peaks that peeked out from everywhere,
What a view, Futaleufú.
The road goes steeply up and down, but the flow of the river ensures there is more down than up,
Thank you, Futaleufú.
We pass the 7000th mile we’ve shared during the day,
A mile or two, Futaleufú.
The colour of the huge río Futaleufú echoed the cloudless skies all the way down,
Looking so blue, Futaleufú.
That day, we met nine other cycle tourers, including the inspiring solo female cyclist: Alyssa, who we cycled with for a bit.
Cycling crew, Futaleufú.
We reached Lago Yelcho and camped with a nice family and a gorgeous hot shower,
Feel like new, Futaleufú.
But on waking in the morning, the tent is surrounded by hungry mosquitoes,
Form an orderly queue, Futaleufú.
What to do? Futaleufú.
Donning sets of full waterproofs, we bundled out of the tent and ran for the house,
Suits you, Futaleufú.
As the sun rises, the mosquitoes disperse and we trundle down the final stretch to another of our long-term goals: the Carretera Austral.
Dream come true.
On reaching the Carretera Austral we started following the Rio Palena, a new kind of blue river, stuffed full of minerals and startingly turquoise in the sun. We cycle with the ever-positive Alyssa further and further South, stopping to camp by a river with cherry trees, and roll into the town of La Junta midday the next day. Here we decide to take a rest as both our backs are close to agony with all the bumps they’ve suffered in the past eight days of mostly dirt. The weather forecast still looks great for the next week, so hopefully we’ll get a long way South before the weather bites back!