Saturday, 29 June 2013

Running Circuito Chico - just don't stop (for too long)

Today was the day that I got to run Circuito Chico, the loop on the westernmost-end of Bariloche. The tar road makes a loop and is very up and down as it winds through natural forests with mountain views. I ran the loop clockwise, saving the five-kilometre Llao Llao section (more vehicles and buses) for last. There are a couple of dirt roads shooting off the tar road here and there but very few establishments on the first 15 or so kilometres.

This map should put you in the picture - location-wise.

Green is the 'Centro de Ciudad' - the main part of town. The 'x' is about where I'm staying (two blocks across and one block up from the Spanish school).

Yellow is the road heading West to Circuito Chico. I took the bus to the first little blue 'tear drop' - inside the pink circle. The bus stops are marked in kilometres, from the centre of town to Llao Llao (around 25km in total). My get off was at about 18.5km from town. We has snow on the mountains yesterday/last night and also a bit lower down in the 'suburb' between town to Circuito (yellow-line area). This time I sat on the left of the bus and got a good look at the establishments. Very sweet. This is the real 'tourist' section. Lovely hotels, cabanas, apartments... very few private residences on this stretch of road. It must look really, really sweet with a good covering of snow. Most of the places are built of wood and stone/brick.

The pink loop includes Circuito Chico - the loop of red road.

The blue loop, that's my local haunt, Cerro Otto. I run the road leading up there a few times a week. It got snow yesterday - I can't wait to get up there to see what it looks like!


Let's take a closer look at Circuito Chico... 


So... I ran clockwise from the '09' tear drop (it marks the location of a bike-hire shop). The green line shows the 'Cemetary of the Mountains' that I visited (in pics below) and the yellow circle shows the location where the Bahia Lopez photo of me was taken by a chap and the arrow shows the direction of the shot to look across the water at the mountain (not shown on this map). Where the navy-blue boat/ferry is pictured (#18 tear drop) is Llao Llao. There are no buses  from where I started the loop to Llao Llao - or they're very irregular (I didn't see any public buses at all - some tour buses, minibuses and a couple of cars). From Llao Llao we're on the kilometre markers again and there are regular buses to Llao Llao and back to the centre of the 'city'. I took the bus back to town from the red line.


About 8km from my starting point. A number of tourists stopped to look at this lovely view. We had snow yesterday/last night so there's a good dusting on the mountains all around.


Amost 10km in - or there abouts.

The sign marking the trail leading up to "Cemetario del Montanes".


I presume that this cemetery is for local mountaineers - those that died in the mountains and those who contributed to the sport / community and just died of old age (or other causes).


Next stop, Bahai Lopez!



I got lucky - caught a tourist as I got to this bridge at Bahai Lopez. I asked him to take a photo of me. Great background (the same mountain as in the pic above - the bridge is about 300m from where I took the pic of the sign). Can we all say, "Layers"? That's me rocking a long-sleeve thermal, run jacket and shell plus gloves, cap and two Buffs (ears and neck). I kept my gloves (regular running gloves) on the whole time.

It's cold enough that I've got a good balance when running but if I stop to sight see, like visiting the cemetery or checking out viewpoints or sites of interest, then I get cold quickly. In my backpack I've got a light fleece as well as my rain jacket and pants. Plus an apple and some yummy raviolli I cooked this morning (with tomato salsa).


I didn't see much snow on the loop except for this spot - and the snow was only on a short stretch and mostly on the left-hand side of the road (I was running in the direction behind me...). It looked pretty. So I took a photo. Fortunately there were very few cars out here. The road sides aren't great so I ran mostly on the road. Yellow shell helps!


Around and about I've spotted APPLES growing wild. This was just too much for me to resist and so taking advantage of being out there on my own, I got into the bushes (with thorns!) and got myself an apple to try. Tasted like... apple! Not too tart either. The trees are all devoid of leaves and so the apples hanging on the branches stand out. 


Llao Llao is sweet and pretty (and small) and its main feature is this, the Llao Llao Hotel. The lake is on the other side of the hotel and, of course, it has this great mountain view. I didn't go up to the hotel. There's also a ferry, which I assume is for lake-tripping and sight-seeing.

In the National Park section I saw a number of walking trails, which would be well worth a visit. The forest is just beautiful! Smells fabulously foresty.

It looks like my timing today was just perfect. My run took me 3h30 - according to my tracker I got in 28.2km. I got back to town around 15h30.. The temperature was dropping and not long after I got back some snow began coming down in town. 

As I end this post, a big FELIZ CUMPLEANOS to my dad who celebrates his 64th birthday today. 

1 comment:

Robert Green said...

We are impatient. When is the next blog!