Posts Tagged ‘Laguna Hedionda’


HEADWIND!

Headwind

Headwind

The light morning headwind grew in ferocity as I climbed slowly from the lake over a little pass before the main road.

Leaving the Lagunas

Leaving the Lagunas

Interesting sign

Interesting sign

By the time I pulled in to a little shop on the main road it was blowing an absolute gale. As I was inside having a nice chorizo sausage, it started to hail – horizontal hail.

I left the main road shortly after my chorizo stop onto a sandy track. There was nothing to it. Just like my day leaving Laguna Colorada, I pushed the bike forward a bit, and then stopped and caught my breath. Slowly but surely I made it this way over the last little pass before the end town of the Ruta de Lagunas – San Juan..

Then, suddenly, the sun came out and the wind changed direction. At some point it was even a tailwind.

Heading over the last little pass

Heading over the last little pass

Going downhill with a tailwind was lovely. The road was, however, very broken up, sandy and rocky, so a fast descent wasn’t happening.

The way down

The way down

The way down

The way down

My plan was to make it down the pass and make it to a military base for the night. Again, erring on the side of caution, I stopped at a nice little stone wall windbreak half way down and watched a beautiful sunset as I cooked and ate dinner.

My little camp spot

My little camp spot


‘Have you got snow chains?’ asked the guide.

‘I’m on my bike,’ I replied.

She nodded. ‘It’s going to snow.’

A tiny dusting of snow

A tiny dusting of snow

Today, although the weather looked threatening, the road was mostly firm, I had a tailwind, and I was going downhill. The wind makes so much difference. With the wind at my back I could push on through the soft sandy corrigations. It felt like skiing as I slid down the road over the high pass, banking around the curves as the rocky pebbles sprayed to the side.

The snow in the sun

The snow in the sun

On the way to Laguna Hedionda

On the way to Laguna Hedionda

I left at 7 to allow enough time to get to my destination at Laguna Hedionda. Rather than crawling along at 5km/h, I was flying along, rarely going below 10, and sometimes over 20km/h. I never knew what the weather was going to do. I had a little sleet storm for a little stretch with headwind. The pellets of sleet were like pins on my face.

I arrived at the Ecolodge de Flamincos at Laguna Hedionda at lunch time. It can be a luxurious hotel with prices around USD150 upwards, but they have a ‘refugio’ section for USD9. They welcomed me in and cooked me a calorific lunch (after me asking if the dinner was gourmet but small portions like last night).

Ecolodge de Flamingos

Ecolodge de Flamingos

The lodge is perched on the lake, and you can walk right up to the flamingos. I stood on the lake shore for a long time, still, watching the flamingos just metres away poking their heads in the mud and walking around.

Flamingos

Flamingos