Wild camping site to Puerto Rio Tranquilo

Sunrise at our wild camp
Sunrise at our wild camp

I woke at 06:30 and watched the sunrise over the river. The day started warm so it was a more comfortable breakfast then we left at 09:30 while the other couple were changing tyres. We weren’t carrying spares, having more than enough to carry. From here, the road surface was much better though still bumpy, through beautiful landscape of glacial rivers and mountains. We stopped for lunch by a stream and cooled our feet in the water.

With only ten kilometres to go to our chosen wild camping spot, the road surface changed from baked mud to thick gravel. Since Christine had been having trouble with her gears since the start of the ride, I’d been riding behind her. I saw the change in surface and started slowing down but she recklessly maintained the same speed and fell badly, her laden bike ending up on top of her. A group in a pick up truck stopped to help, she was badly cut and bruised. Then they noticed that they had a flat tyre.

Then a people carrier stopped, a party of geologists from Valparaíso University, and squeezed us in with our bikes and panniers to take us the 60km to the next town, Puerto Rio Tranquilo. We hunted round for accommodation but this popular tourist town was full apart from a very basic campsite with only one bathroom. It turned out to be a lucky choice because also camping there were a couple from Buenos Aires who were also cycling south. Gustavo arranged for a nurse to attend to Christine, she took her to the medical centre to clean her up, gave her an injection and some tablets and told her not to cycle for seven days and to avoid walking. A physiotherapist from Valparaíso was also camping there and she strapped up the swollen knee.

Capillas de Marmol