This is the latest and final instalment of El Huevito’s Adventures: a pint-sized, beachside excursion along Chile’s Pacific coast.
Our plan was a simple one. Enjoy a short ride out of town. Find a pleasant beach. Relax and soak up the sun. Camp a couple of nights. Then ride back.
And for the most part, it turned out that way. Except that… the ride out of Valparaíso, a lopsided city famous for its Red Bull Urban Downhill, proved to be the sheerest of urban climbs I’ve yet to encounter: 400m in elevation gain over just a half dozen lung-busting, vein-popping, sweat-enducing kilometres (and being South America, it even involved a quick dart across a sketchy barrio too). After an equally steep plummet down to Laguna Verde (a lovely beach, if you ignore the power station at one end), we were then faced with a second, 400m hurdle to our destination, the campsite at Islote Las Gaviotas. Which (this being South America), proved to be beautiful located but utterly dilapidated, and home to a secluded cove we had all to ourselves.
If you would like to keep up with where I am between blog entries, I try and keep my While Out Riding Facebook page regularly updated – along with posting extra photos and gear ponderings. You can find it here. Occasionally, I pop some pictures up on Instagram too.
The beach, at last!
A chance for my fat tyres to play in the sand.
Mama is happy. Sage, on the other hand…
… is a desert baby, and remains unconvinced by the cold waters of the Pacific.
Better to play on dry land…
… while Mama does her yoga.
Bidding farewell to feral friends.
After the second climb of the day, a quiet dirt road leads us deep into the forest.
There, we wend our way through mid-shrouded pines…
… along a dirt road bereft of traffic.
En route, we stop to refuel on empanadas, a family favourite.
I certainly need them. This is the Mighty One, pulling…
… the Mini One.
It’s sunset before we make it to the campsite, and discover our private beach.
Time for a snack…
… and cuddles.
Then, Sage is ready to snooze. Short Thermarest = room to spare, while Papa gets the new Neo Air.
Bipods inside. Bicycles outside.
Big wheels. Little wheels.
Matchbox cars: the classic, portable toy. Shame they don’t do bikes…
Hours of fun.
Always a treat: seeing the world through Sage’s eyes.
… and child.
Both snappy dressers.
It’s not long before a campsite friend has been discovered. The two cavort around happily for some time, chasing each other up and down.
I wish Sage gave me hugs like that!
Hmm… Not so child-friendly…
Mind the gap.
Thankfully our Platypus Gravity Works turns dubious campsite water clean.
The next morning, we head down to the cove for some beach combing.
Pick ‘n mix.
“I’ll take them all, thanks’.
Every colour and shape merits attention.
As does every bird…
Rocks provide the ultimate assault course, and a chance for wobbly legs to hone balance.
Look, but don’t touch!
Our second night’s camping lies in the forest. Just a few dollars gets us all this space.
Again, it comes complete with playpals for Sage.
A bedtime story on our last night…
… before it’s time to head home.