I was happy to leave that part of Chile. Believe me or not but the air was heavy there, in Futaleufù … Beautiful nature and the valley is just stunning, but have you ever experienced to “feel” a bad energy in a place? Not only the energy was dark but even the weather: cold, grey and a lot of rain … I wanted to escape from there.
I was riding fast with a big smile on my face toward the Argentinian border. As usual I crossed in the other country without problem. I stopped in a little village to buy some bread and finally happened something that for looong time I was looking for: eye contact, big smiles and short chatting. People were polite and very friendly … I was positive, the new chapter was promising … and dulcis in fundo: the weather was great! (at least for few days).
I stopped in beautiful camping places, empty because the end of the tourist season. I had very interesting conversations about people, education, politics … like with Gustavo, a young gaucho, owner of more than 2000 hectares … yes 2000 …
I pitched my tent below an incredible 30 m high tree. I looked 360° around me. Mountains, high picks, forests, a green crystalline river, horses, cows, sheep … I was imagining Gustavo telling to his son: “Look my son, all what do you see here will be yours”. Like in a movie. Incredible.
Everywhere I was stopping people were curios, talkative and very friendly. Laughs from the streets, loud conversations (yes the Argentines are very loud), colors, sweet smell from the panaderias (bakery), life. It seemed that my soul was resurrecting from a long hibernation.
After the beautiful touristic part of La Ruta de los sietes Lagos I decided to move away from the Cordillera. I was tired about rain, cold, wind … it was from Ushuaia that I had most of the time this kind of conditions! I officially abandoned my original plan: reach Colombia, or Peru … or Bolivia.
I was a bit sad but as I was thinking for China: those country will not move from there, or not?… at least not dramatically in the next few years … (yes, I’m a geologist). I will visit those countries in another trip. So I decided to move quickly eastwards.
Reached the warm and sunny Neuquen (where I met l o v e l y people) I accepted the proposition of three exquisite young veterinarians I met in the 7 Lagos region few days before: a lift from Neuquen till Santa Rosa, trough the Ruta del Desierto. Let’s go! (no no, don’t tell me it’s cheating …I call it audience assistance … everyone lives, makes decisions and creates his own trip as best he likes it).
We had fun in the camioneta with Danisa, Guadalupe, Ezequiel, Choco the dog and of course Dimitri … packed like hell, with a dog and a cat … in the middle of a desert … so funny … like in a movie. Gracias chicos! Son d i v i n o s!
I enter in the Pampa province. I was ready to have boring, monotonous, flat rides there but … cabooooom! I had so much fun. Cars, camionetas, huge trucks were respecting me in a way that I never experienced before, but most important: people were a m a z i n g.
Left: Adriana, Lujan, Ema and Fabricio. Right: Daniel and Gustavo. Thank you my dear friends from Winifreda!
I was sure that in those little villages in the middle of the flat Pampa I would have spent only one night in each locality …well I was wrong.
I met such lovely people … it was difficult to leave them. Simple people with a great, generous heart. They were not used to see a traveler on a bicycle. They were so surprized that in all crossed villages between Santa Rosa and Rio Cuarto I was interviewed by the local TV channels.
In Tosquita happened something magic …C H I L D R E N! Finally children!!! A six years old girl: “Why do you sleep in a tent in the park and you don’t go at your home?“. “Well, there is not a hotel here and my home is really very far”. Silence. Open mouth. She run away screaming to her friends: “Hey guys come here! This woman is sleeping in a tent because her house is very far!!“. A dozen of children surrounded me. They were asking me all about my tent and the gas stove.
In the evening came some teenager. They were curious and asked me lots of interesting questions … I told them, that as theme, I come from a very small village and that it is true that everything is possible … They brought me mate, cakes and a delicious soup. So lovely!
Almost one year has passed … I think that I don’t realize yet what I have done … I mean: I was just riding a bicycle, everybody can do that! But I had the courage to follow my instinct, my heart, my needs … and I hope that those lovely teeny from Tosquita will never forget my story.
One year. I scroll my pictures and I see again all those incredible places and fantastic people … a sort of melancholy arise but on my face there is a big smile and my eyes are full of tears of joy. Wow!
This year has been f a n t a s t i c. I n c r e d i b l e. U n f o r g e t t a b l e. Almost surreal. My year has been like in a movie.
Stef & Dimitri