Around the Cerro Chacay – Llanquin

This is a very nice but not so technical loop around the Cerro Chacay. I found this suggestion by chance on i-overlander. But this trip I will always remember because I did it twice: the first one was just before I heard that time was running short for my dad, the second time was two weeks later, contemplating that from now on I didn’t have a father anymore.

The loop is about 40 km long, preferably done clockwise. That way, you gradually increase altitude and can view the numerous interesting rock formations while crossing crystal clear creeks. Of course the other way around is possible too if you like to do the big climb first to get it over with.

The loop starts at Villa Llanquin and for that you need to cross the Rio Limay. A very beautiful fast flowing river with crystal clear water. For cars there is a ferry, but pedestrians -and cyclists- can use a narrow suspension bridge from where you are able to look down on the water and be amazed. The village itself is small, but popular so you’ll find a cafe and some food stalls there.

leaving the village you then ride north-east along the river for about 10 km, passing some small commercial camp grounds and some farms. All this time it’s possible to see the river and a narrow band of freshly green leaves surrounding it. But then the track takes a turn to the right, making its way trough the mountains and around the Cerro Chacay.

Every now and then there is the opportunity to cross the tributary creek which flows with clear water too. On a hot day it’s nice to use these crossings to cool down a bit. Luckily the track will follow this creek almost all the way up to the highest point. On the map it says it is a seasonal creek, but in February there was still water flowing. Left and right of the track there are lot’s of canyon-like rock faces that go straight up, forming all kind of strange shapes.

Short before reaching the summit on this loop the landscape changes a bit. it becomes more open, the trees are gone and you are left with grassy slopes. from the summit it is possible to see San Carlos de Bariloche, which is 50 km away, if you travel by road.

A very nice and quiet loop. I only met one farmer and one gaucho so it gave me time to contemplate. Usually, when I visited my dad with my bicycle, He would ask me how far I had ridden. Well, dad, this time it was just over 40km, about twice the distance Tilburg – Breda. I guess, in spirit you’ll always with me on cycling trips.

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