The Desi Nomads

Argentina: Day 13: Mountain Biking in El Calafate!

Today, we took a tour to visit the El Calafate Balcony in Calafate Mountain park, going up in a 4×4 and coming down via mountain bikes.  We booked our tour with Calafate Extremo, who had an office in downtown El Calafate (but you can also book the 4×4 online with the link above).  Since the tour started in the afternoon, we had some time in the morning to check out downtown El Calafate.  We found a cute park that Baby V could play in.

We went to lunch at Ananda Bar restaurant, which had awesome veggie options, and they were all delicious.  After lunch, the tour picked us up in their 4×4 jeep in our apartment around 2pm.  Since Baby V can’t go in a mountain bike (obviously), we made sure that we could take turns on the mountain bike while coming down.  The tour operators ensured that the jeep that would take us up would come back down right behind the bikes, so we could take turn on one bike going down.  With Baby V in her car seat in the jeep, we were off to the mountain!

Going up the El Calafate Balcony was a rocky ride, but the views were amazing!

Once up the mountain, the stark landscape was stunning, a mix for dark grey and bright blue!

After walking around and taking pictures, we were asked to gear up for the mountain bikes.  I was going first, while Baby V and her father were going to follow us in the jeep.  Little did I know what I was getting into…

We probably went around 5 minutes, when we came to a quite steep descent.  There was no way I could ride down that hill without falling, so I got off and walked my bike.  I could barely walk down without sliding on the dry sand and rubble.

After getting back on my bike and riding for another 5 minutes, I took a nasty fall!  I must have gone too fast, or braked too much, but bike and I toppled onto the ground, bike on top of me.  It took me a minute to orient myself, and the the tour guide came to make sure I was OK.  Embarrassed, I asked that my husband take over while I needed some time to rest.  So, we switched.  Mountain biking…nothing like normal biking…

After an hour of biking, we stopped at a small shelter in the middle of the trail.  We were given free cookies and tea.

Continuing on down, we ran into some horses.  The Calafate mountain is on a working farm.

Towards the end of the ride, the guide told us that it was relatively flat the rest of the way, so we switched again, and I got some more biking in.

We rode all the way to downtown El Calafate, to the main office and returned the bikes there. We were then dropped off in the jeep to our apartment.  What an adventure!

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