Cycling into Rio Tranquillo was like scenery on steroids! Although I've probably felt like that for at least half of the Carretera. Following the coastline, filled with so many sparkling shades of turquoise, and islands off in the distance. It felt a little bit like home home (New Zealand that is!). I almost didn't want it to end and tried to eek it out as best I could, stopping for lunch and as many photo moments before it started getting just a little bit ridiculous.
I felt like I was cycling with a stupid grin on my face. A combo of the view as I cycled but also at was waiting in Rio Tranquillo - ditching the bike for the day in place of a kayak (sorry Goofs!). And exploring!
As soon as I got into town though, any stupid smile was quickly wiped off my face! I felt like I'd been smacked sideways instead. I'd gone from hardly seeing anyone all day to suddenly hitting tourism highway (well, maybe an exaggeration!). The main drag was lined with tour operators, all selling glacier treks, boat tours, kayaks and loads of people seemed to be milling around, waiting for the next bus or ride out of town.
Rio Tranquillo is incredibly small with just a few streets and I'd assumed it would be similar to other towns we'd recently passed through that had good hiking options. But for some reason, it felt a lot more touristy than anywhere else on the Carretera so far and I was keen to leave quickly!
Before doing so, I couldn't resist a boat tour to the marble caves. The islands in the distance were even better up close and the ride back was worth the money alone. It felt like we were on a jet boat and the driver was not holding back. Smashing down through the waves and giving those on the outer seats a nice shower. So much fun!
As soon as the fun was over, I headed out of town with others I'd bumped into. Just 7km out and we found a wild camp spot with a view of the islands. We were out of town, and could breathe again! And knew we wouldn't hit another big town for a couple of days. Result!
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