After getting some good sleep in Junin we pack up and move south another few hours, about 100 miles, through San Martin de Los Andes and on to Villa la Angostura. Our friend, Pete, is there and we hope to catch up with him for New Year’s Eve.
From Junin south the land is mostly covered in fairly curvy roads, rolling hills and trees. And, of course, the lakes. We ride part of the Ruta de los Siete Lagso – Route of the Seven Lakes. So all along our half-day ride today the road traces edges of lakes and rivers. The seven lakes are (from north to south) – Machonico, Falkner, Villarino, Escondido, Correntoso, Espejo and Nahuel Huapi. My guide book promises trout-stuffed rivers (which must be true if the number of fly shops and fishermen are any indication), lovely flower-lined roads (more on that later….), snow-capped peaks (yep, saw those too) and dense Alpine forests. Check, check, and check.
It’s raining on and off today which makes the land even more lovely.
Thousands of lupines all along the way.
We hit a 7-8 miles stretch of gravel on the Ruta 40 again as it follows the edge of the river Hermoso.
The entire area reminds me of Colorado with the split rail fences, mountain views, forests and more. San Martin is like the Latin version of Aspen to me. No wonder all the locals who can afford it come here for their holidays.
We settle into a hosteria for a few nights and do get to catch up with Pete which is the best way to ring in the new year. We share lots of wine, carne and stories together and it’s a bit of heaven. One NYE we grill up our own carne-fest at his hostel and watch some locals roast a lamb over an open fire.
And we wander around Villa la Angostura, exploring the lake shores and enjoying the views.