Along the way, we met some interesting people: 3 Chilean cyclists who were taking a break by climbing a big rock, a Jewish Argentinian couple who asked Thomas to take not one, not two, but about 7 photos of them and 2 Argentinian guys who offered to take a photo of us, but we asked them to join in in our jump photo.
We had a delicious birthday dinner and then bought some alcohol to share with our friends at the hostel, a mix of Americans and a German learning Spanish, 2 Argentinian girls on a break from uni and an Israeli who shares the same passion for basketball as Yumi. We celebrated until 1am (very late for Yumi). So far, the people we have met have really made the trip.
The next morning--with a bit of a hangover--we made our way on a crowded bus to kilometre 18 to rent mountain bikes for the 27 km Circuito Chico. Thomas was a bit picky with his choice of bike. Really, who needs back brakes.
Yumi found a way to cope with the up hill climbs...practice counting in Spanish. This kept her from cursing at Thomas.
The last 7 km took more concentration as we had to look out for potholes and traffic. On the last hill, Yumi was in desperate need of a water break and started yelling to Thomas, "Pare! Pare!" He didn't seem to hear her, but stopped anyway in front of a cafe. Oh wait, it's the bike rental shop. We're finished, thank goodness. 27 km in 4.5 hours including a lunch break, a dip in one of the lakes and time to contemplate the meaning of life. 4,000 km in Japan? It's going to be very interesting...
Luckily, dinner that night was being prepared for us by the hostel owner Gaston. Yummy asado for all!