Hey Keith, we ate breakfast in Pucon. This is the sister city of either Gresham, Oregon or Lake Oswego. Keith and a buddy rode down here in 1963 and were presented the keys to the city. This was a trip that would qualify as a real adventure. If you haven't read Keith's book, buy one at South Sound BMW.
After breakfast, we decided to ride east toward Argentina, knowing that we would never get closer than about 15 miles. But we wanted to see the Andes up close. About twenty miles out we began to get heavy rain. Then the road turned to gravel. Then....
We then headed north in rain and finally came to a place where someone had built a huge round structure made from brush. I asked a guy walking up the road what it was and he told me. But I couldn't find any of his words in my dictionary. As best I can tell it is something that the people come to, but beyond that I have no clue. Currently the goats are eating it.
I also asked him about the sun being out. Even as the clouds blew through we were in sun. And the one farm near by had a phone. When I asked if sun is always out here he said, Si. When I said, siempre, he said, si. We discovered a mini-rain shadow. Eat your heart out Sequim. We then rode north and got soaked.
These people are obviously indigenous and poor. But unlike Peru and Bolivia they don't look poor in the sense of trash, mud and sloppiness. I know they are poor because they burn wood for cooking, have lots of animals and have basic houses. But these people are the prosperous poor. I can't explain it. Also, we have seen more gauchos here than we saw in Argentina.
We also rode through a virgin monkey puzzle forest and the other broad-leafed tree that we saw in Argentina. Amazing old growth forests
We came out of the mountains soaked from head to toe. Good day. But when we hit Highway 5, the PanAmHwy, we opted to spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express. First time we've seen one of these, but we are loving it.