PATAGONIA ARGENTINA

 

 

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DAY 1076 DESIERTO REST DAY

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It was such a carm and peaceful night. With no wind it was so quiet. In the morning it wasn’t to cold and I got up early to watch the sun rise.

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It was such a nice morning. I soon decided I was going to stay another day. The border post is very laxed. You can go anywhere. Wondering around I found the remanins of a dead horse and saw a fox near by. The morning I took it easy. Dd some maintance on the bike.

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In the afternoon I hiked up high above the camp site. Had a fantastic view of Fitsroy and the lake. When I got back I cook up some bacon I had brought from Chile.

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DAY 1077 DESIERTO TO DESIERTO SOUTH

START11:00 FINISH 16:00 (13/02/18)

DISTANCE 16KM RIDE TIME 3H22

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To get the 12km across the lake there is a boat for 700 peso. Or for half price you can send your bike and walk around. Thats what I am going to do with two other cyclists. I took my bike down to the jetty early.I made the fatel mistake of putting my tent and roll mat on the ground.I herd a pop lookaround and couldn’t see my mat. Then it appeared it was well on its way out in to the middle of the lake I Could only helplessly look on. As t was gone for ever, lucky I had two.

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We meet the boat at 11am and loaded our bikes on. It was then a really nice walk around the lake

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I walked with Anna & Adam from the uk.

We passed through lots of natural forest. It had a real enchanted feel. On the other side of the lake was a glacier, which was pretty cool. It took us 3 ½ hours to walk around. When we got to the other side we picked up our bikes from the beach. We then cycled just 2km before we camped in the forest.

 

DAY 1078 DESIETO SOUTH TO CHALTEN

START 9:00 FINISIH (14/02/18)

DISTANCE 34KM RIDE TIME 2H40

Darion the night there was a bit of a storm. We were quite well shelter in the forest. Still rained a lot. So it was a relief to raise to a beautiful carm sunny day.

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The 34km cycle into Chalten turned out to be absalutely stunning. Straight away we had a fantastic view of Fitz Roy. It was warm and the road was mainly flat. The landscape on the Argentine side is a lot more arid.

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When I got to Chalten I was blowen away by tourists. I found the Casa De Ciclsta which was away from the main hub. Here I have put my tent up.

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DAY 1079 CHALTEN REST DAY

The weather has changed. It rained a little in the night. There was no wind by mid morning that had all changed . The wind came up and it has been supper strong. My tent has been taking a real pounding. I have had to keep going out to check the pegs and guide ropes. It’s been a stay at home day.

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DAY 1080 EL CHALTEN TO PINK HOUSE

START 10:00 FINISH 16:30 (16/02/18)

DISTANCE 120KM RIDE TIME 5H40

What a great day to cycle out of town. It was a beautiful clear and sunny day. Had to keep turning around to enjoy a perfect view of Fitz Roy.

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We spent the morning cycling beside a big lake. Got the glimpse of a iceberg floating in the lake. Had a Fox run across in front of me. It went up on top of a bank turned and watched me cycle past. There are kilometres of fences…………but never any farm animals. It was nice to be back on a sealed road and with a tail wind we were speeding along. It was 88 KM to the junction. Had to then turn into a head wind and it was much harder going. There s not much water around. I stopped at the Leona Hotel. It was originally a old roadhouse. Butch Cassdy and the Sundance kid visited here while on the run after one of there bank robberies.

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I cycled on till I found the Pink house. It has become a bit of a cyclist refuge. It use to be a old Cabaneros base. (half police/half army) It’s been trashed a bit .

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All the windows and doors are gone. It still has a roof and you can camp in the rooms. While I was cooking. 5 more cyclists turned up.

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DAY 1081 PINK HOUSE TO RIO BOTE

START 9:00 FINISH 15:30 (17/02/18)

DISTANCE 72KM RIDE TIME 4H00

It rained a little in the night, In the morning I went to explore a old building that was only 200 meters away. I discovered it was a real part of Patagonian history. It was a old sharing shed, It had the old sharing stalls and the old wool bail packer.

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We started cycling in clear weather. It changes so quickly and the light rain was back

briefly. We stopped at the road workers camp to get water and they offered us a place to stay. It was too early to stop. Was only 10:30am. From the workers camp we cycled down to a beautiful turquoise lake.

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Today saw my first Guanacos. There was two of them. I asked Anna And Adam weather they were farmed or wild. Then we saw one jump over the fence…………must be wild then.

In the afternoon the sun came back and it was really hot. There is really little places to camp. So when we came across a river and lots of tress. We decided to stop. We found two nice spots for our tents on the river bank. We built a small pool and all had a nice dip in the river

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DAY 1082 RIO BOTE TO POLICE STATION

START 8:30 FINI SH 15:15 (18/02/18)

DISTANCE 70KM RIDE TIME 4 H34

Lucky we stopped yesterday when we did. It wasn’t long this morning before we were starting a 600 meter climb. Would not have been nice at the end of the day. It wasn’t to bad and we had great views on the way up. We saw lots of Guanacos (type of Lama) on the way up as well. They seam to run wild everywhere. At the top it turned into wide open plans. Very exposed and not a good place to be camping. We had a good down hill before stopping for lunch at the road workers station.

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I got two new best friends. I had two kittens crawling all over me. Was sad to leave them behind. After lunch we left the sealed 40 to take a short cut on the 7 which was a dirt road 70km back to the 40. We only did 20km before we stopped at a old police station that had been abandened.It was a good place to shelter from the wind. We camped around the back. We saw a scrub turkey near by and lots of geese.

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DAY 1083 POLICE STATION TO HOTEL

START 9:00 FINISH 16:15 (19/02/18)

DISTANCE 58KM KM RIDE TIME 4H54

It was a awesome morning. So still and carm.  I got up early and watched a nice sunrise.

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It was slow going on the repo………..the senery was great. We started to see lots of Emus and Guease. When we came across a nice wet lands………..there were loads of birds . Amoung them was a flock of Flamingos. After 40km we got to the junction and back to the sealed 40.

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15km from the junction we came across a old hotel on the main road. We camped round the back out of the wind.

DAY 1084 HOTEL TO PUERTO NATALES CHILE

START 8:00 FINISH 1700 (20/02/18)

DISTANCE 85KM RIDE TIME 5H16

We started early this morning and it was another stunning day. Carm and no wind. Little traffic which was good. We cycled 25km before we got to the junction. From here we took a dirt road 6km to the Argentina custums.The border was busy with lots of tour buses. We got through ok. A few km later we cross into Chlie and went straight back on to a sealed road. It was all down hill to the Chile custums. The border town was supper expensive .in the shop it was 2500 for normally 1000 empanada and 5000 for a packet of bisciuts.From the border we were only 60km from Puerto Natales. The plan was to cycle another 20km and then camp only having a short ride in tomorrow. We had planned to find a bus stop to camp in They are mostly very tidy and nearly fully enclosed. Only 1,2 or 5k apart. We were going from one bus stop to the next. We went one bus stop to far becouse they suddenly became dumps with all the windows smashed and full of rubbish. Not suitible for camping we camped on the sde of the road A little windy.it was a nice spot.

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DAY 1085 PUERTO NATALES TO PUERTO NATALES

START 8:20 FINISH 9:30 21/02/18

DISTANCE 20KM R IDE TIME 1H00

It was a fast easy ride into Puerto Natales. Again we were lucky as there was no wind. The sea was dead flat as we arrived to the smell of sea air…………The mountians n the distance looked great.

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We arrived at 9;30am at the camp ground. Nice and early and in time for a well needed hotshower. Puerto Natales is where want to take the boat back up north. Been peak season a lot of the ferry are fully booked. So I was a bit worried about trying to get a ticket. Turned out to be fine. I now just have be down and back from Ushuaia by the 12th March.

DAY 1086 PUERTO NATALES REST DAY

DAY 1087 PUERTO NATALES TO MORRO CHICO

START 10:00 FINISH 16:30 (23/02/18)

DISTANCE 102 KM RIDE TIME 5H03

What Patagonain wind. It was another carm morning and perfect cycling day. It was a slight climb out of Puerto Natales. Throught the day I had great views of the Ice Feilds. I think I could see Torres del paine in the distance.

Sadly I saw my 3rd dead Armadillo in only a few days. Hares and Rabbits haven’t been fairing too well either. It was nicer to see two Pink Flamingos on a lake.

 

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After 100 km I stopped and asked the Cabanerios for water and a place to camp.

 

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Cabanerios stopped for water asked to camp given bread by Robinson Bull Camped across the road in half open road workers shead. Swiss cyclist Peaire arrived soon after.

 

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DAY 1088 MORRO CHICO TO PARQUE CHABANCO

START 08:20 FINISH 15:50 (24/02/18)

DISTANCE 125 KM RIDE TIME 6H06

Another day of good cycling conditions.I have been so lucky with the weather. This morning I had great views of Morro Chico a giant rock sticking out of the plains in the middle of nowhere. It’s actually an exstit volcano. I got a real shock this afternoon when I took a closer look at a sign on the side of the road to discover it was a warning sign for a mine field on both sides of the road. The mines were laid by Penacht He thought Argentina might try and invade.

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On the wild life front I saw more Emus and Gunacos. It was a very productive day cycling. After 125km I got to withen 20km of Punta Arenas. There was a picknicing park close by and I went and found a shelted spot in the scrub

DAY 1089 PARQUE CHABANCO TO PUNTA ARENAS

START 7:25 FINISH 9:00 (25/02/18)

DISTANCE 21KM RIDE TIME 1H15

No mucking around this morning. Got up packed up and I was on the road.It was a nice and quick ride into Punta Arenas. The ocean was dead flat. Been a Sunday morning there was little traffic.

 

I arrived to the hostel and checked into the camping. Had the day here to exploure and I will be off again tomorrow. Walked down to the habour and saw a huge cruise ship was in town.

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DAY 1090 PUNTA ARENAS TO OHAISIN

START 7:30 FINISH 18:40 (26/02/18)

DISTANCE 103KM RIDE TIME 5H53

Just the one night in Punta Arenas, I was up at the crack of dawn packing up and and 7:30 am I was cycling off to the Ferry Terminal, 7km away. For the 9am boat to Porvenir, Tierra del fugeo. We had a very carm crossing for part of the world. The ferry took 2 hours. When I went to get my bike. There was two other bikes parked up next to it. Two cyclists from Spain and Italy had come across as well. I cycled with them for the first 5km out of Porvenir. Then disaster struck for the guy from Spain. His hanger for his derailer broke.The deralier went through the wheal. Broke a spoke and the derailer came out pretty twisted and bent. The only thing for them was to return to Punta Arenas. So I was on my own again.

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The Island is full of sheap stations and little fishermans huts and there boat along the coast. It was a dirt road , but was in good condition. Traffic was light. I saw 6 foxes on 5 different ocasions. Both the native red and introduced gray. There were lots of Guanacos as well. Lakes are always good for birds. On one lake was over 40 pink Flamingos. Which was a nice sight.

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The coast is littered with history. I stoped off to visit Puerto Nueva and exploure the remains of the old port.

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The landscape was pretty flat and open. Not good for camping. I had herd of a bus stop cyclist often camp in. at 93km from Porvenir. It was a long day to get there. I made it. It was a great place to get out of the wind that had come up. I set up my tent cooked some dinner and was tucked up in bed, when at around 8pm someone tried to open the door. Another cyclist had arrived. Jenny from the Usa hasd been battling the winds all day and was also relived to have reached the Refugio. At 11pm there was another knock at the door. The guy spoke spanish very fast. Didn’t understand a word. He was happy enough and just left.

DAY 1091 OHAISIN TO SAN SABASTAIN

START 8:30 FINISH 18:10 (27/02/18)

DISTANCE 94KM RIDE TIME 5H16

This morning I did a 30km dtour cycling 15km back to the coast to visit the King Penguin coleny. On the way I stoped off to visit a old pionners cemertry with graves dating back to the 1890’s.

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When I arrived at the Penguin coleny I was the only visiter. Which was really nice. I got to watch the penguins for a good hour before more tourists arrived.

There were about 75 penguins in the coleny. They have only been coming since 2005. Amoungest the penguins there were some very fluffy chicks that were about 2 months old and some only 3 weeks.

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The 20 dollars to get in was well worth it. I got back to the junction at around 2pm. Had some lunch and then started heading for the Argentian border. Good for me the Chillans have started building a new road. It wasn’t open for traffic. I was still able to enjoy its benefits. I made good progress. Got to the border around 5pm crossed without to much trouble and then cycled on for a few km looing for somewhere shelted to came.

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The rain started to come and I ended up camping under the road in a tunnel I think was used to get the sheep from one side of the road to the other. It turned out to be a great camping spot for the night.

DAY 1092 SAN SABASTAIN TO RIO GRANDE

START 7:25 FINISH 112:30 (28/02/18)

DISTANCE 79KM RIDE TIME 3H38

In the morning when I came out of my tunnel. It was a very foggy misty morning. I could see the sun was keen to break through. Little wind wasn’t helping. The landscape was very flat. I was now cycling beside the Atlantic ocean. There must be oil in Teirra Del fuego. I saw lots of oil wells and then started to see signs of lots of industry on my way into Rio Grande. After a hour the wind picked up and I was wizing along. 80Km done and I was in Rio Grande by lunch time. This town was the main base durian the attack on the Falkland Islands in 1982 and there are monuments everywhere.

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The only camping was on the other side of the river next to Cap. The old meat cold storage plant and reason for the existence of the town. It now lays in ruins. By the after noon the wind was blowing something chronic. Putting up the tent was a mission. The camping is just a locals house where a few cyclists can put a tent up in her back yard.

 

DAY 1093 RIO GRANDE REST DAY

I survived the night. The bloody winds didn’t stop. It was bowing all of today as well. I did manage to get out. I got battered. I was exhausted when I got back. I walked the 3km over the bridge and into the city. I visited the Malvinas museum, which was a look at the Falklands war of 1982 from a Argentine prospective.

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DAY 1094 RIO GRANDE TO TOLHUIN

START 10:00 FINISH 15:45 (02/03/18)

DISTANCE 113KM RIDE TIME 5H26

 

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The first hour was pretty tough fighting the wind to get out of Rio Grande before I turned south and enjoyed the benefits of a tail wind. Then I was flying. The Atlantic ocean was looking pretty carm and the landscape was looking dry.

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I stopped for a bite after 80km. The last 25km was a bit harder. It was good to arrive in Tolhuin. In Tolhuin is a famous bakery where the owner Emilio has put aside a room for cyclists to use for the night. I have the place To myself for the night

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DAY 1095 TOLHUIN TO USHUAIA

START 9:30 FINISH 16:45 (03/03/18)

DISTANCE 107KM RIDE TIME 6H50

I indulged in some delights from the bakery before setting off. The day started freezing cold. Again there was no wind of note. No sign of the famous Patagonian wind to push me along. I still cruzed along at a good pace. Saying that I also had two good climbs to slow me down.

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The scenery on the ride into Ushuaia was beautiful. Been a Saturday there was a lot of traffic and I was forced to cycle on the hard shoulder. It meant the last few km of this long trip were not the most enjoyable. Day 1095, just two days short of 3 years. The time has gone so quick.

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I cycled the last few km down into Ushuaia. I had a lovely sunny afternoon for my arrival. I cycled straight to the welcome to Ushuaia sign. Along the way I had locals stop and say to me congratulations………welcome to Ushuaia. I think they know when someone arrives in Ushuaia. They have probably come along way.When I got to the sign I waited my turn.

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I then asked a Irish couple to please take my photo. They asked where I had come from and when I told them I had just finished cycling from Alaska to Ushuaia……..they shock my hand. Then a few people around who had overheard started coming up to congratulate and shake my hand as well. It felt really nice. My arrival to Ushuaia wasn’t as dull as I thought. After cycling 37 759km……….I’m pretty happy to have made the finish line. It was all very sereal…………to celebrate I brought two small beers, they went down pretty quick. The plan now is to head back to Valparaiso as quick as I can.

 

DAY 1096 USHUAIA REST DAY

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In Ushuaia, I had a warm showers host Christian. I don’t think he could say no. In his back yard he had 5 cyclists from France and Brazil camping and one backpacker from Slovakia camping in his lounge. We had a fun time hanging out.

DAY 1097 USHUAIA TO TOLHUIN

I didn’t hang around in Ushuaia. I was in Ushuaia in 2005 and I saw enough then. The plan now is to head North back to Valparaiso at a pretty fast pace. I left Christians at 9:30am and cycled 10km to the city limits. Not keen to cycle back the same roads as I just cycled down. So I tried my hand at hitch hiking. Was told it could be a little difficult. So I must have struck it lucky.

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After just 15 mins the 3rd truck to pass stopped for me. It was a low loader carrying a cherry picker. I was able to chuck my bike straight on the back. I got a lift 100km back to Tolhuin. It was midday and instead of trying to go further. I went back to the famous bakery for another free night. I again had the place to myself.

 

DAY 1098 TOLHUIN TO RIO GRANDE

I left the Bakery around 8:30am and went out to the main road to try and hitch again. It proved more difficult. I tried cycling out of town, with again no luck. Finnaly I got a break when a guy and his sun stopped for me. They were a surport vehicle for another sun who was on a trail bike following a dirt trail beside the road from Ushuaia to about 30km from Rio grande. They kindly put my bike on the back trailer and gave us a lift all the way to Rio Grande.

I was in Rio grande by midday another 100km . I am retracing my footsteps. I again went and stayedPATAGONIA RETURN 1 2018-03-06 002 in the informal camp site. I was the first to arrive and later another 4 cyclists arrived. To my surprise Anna & Adam were two of them. It was nice to catch up with them again.

DAY 1099 RIO GRANDE REST DAY

with Anna & Adam staying another day. I decided to do the same. We had a few beers and pretty chilled out day.

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DAY 1100 RIO GRANDE TO SAN SABASTIAN

START 8:30 FINISH 18:00 (08/03/18)

DISTANCE 81KM RIDE TIME 7H18

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What a tough day. On the way to cycling 10km to the outskirts of town I stopped off and had a look at some of the Argentine Falkland Islands war memorials.

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From the out skirts of town. I tried to hitch. It was hopeless. I had absolutely no luck. It was cold and very windy. After a hour I moved on cycling a few more km up the road. Again no luck………and I cycled on a bit more. I was starting to panic I thought I might get stuck. So I decided I would cycle the rest of the day. It was brutal with such a strong head wind. Progress was painfully slow. At 3pm I meet up with a Argentine cyclist 30km from San Sabastian. He was really struggling. He tucked in behind me. Within a few km he had dropped off and I never saw him again. 3 hours later I reached the border.

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I asked for a place to sleep and was given a kitchen for the night. I was able to sleep on a few benches. The gas fire was going all night……….it was too warm. I was able to cook and make a cup of tea on the stove……

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DAY1101 SAN SABASTIAN ARGENTINA TO KM70 R9 CHILE

The border was open at 7am and I shortly after had stamped myself out of Argentina and I was back in Chile. I cycled the 10km up to the Chilian border. Once processed. I tried my luck at hitching. Again it wasn’t going well.

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So I decided to put my bike on it the first bus to cross the border on its way to Punta Arenas. For this privilege I had to pay 15 000 chilian pesos. It was a very nice scenic bus ride through Tierra Del Fuego. Parts of the island I hadn’t seen before. There was lots of signs of oil and gas extraction.

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We took the ferry at the most narrow point between Tierra del Fuego and the main land. Saw a Dolphin and a couple of Penguins.

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At 3pm I got dropped off in the middle of nowhere at the junction for Punta arenas and Puerto Natales. I cycled 20km north towards Puerto Natales on the main road. I passed more signs for Mine fields. With lots of dark clouds I stopped early when I saw a good camping spot under a small shelter next to a old farm house.

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