Back into the wind

Back into the wind

The wind turned and so did we and guess where it all ended up, yup right into it we pointed. At the junction where we turned, there was big massive signs telling us that Chile was moving forward into the world – with the help of asphalt and concrete! I wonder if the road is now nice and smooth or the sign still stands.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Pumping water

Pumping water

One of the best cycle touring investments we ever did was getting a Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter.

We often ran out of water and the only thing near that looked a bit like water you wouldn’t drink as it was. We would scoop up some water with our Ortlieb “kitchen sink” and start pumping – I even managed to catch a very small fish one time.

We couldn’t just pop into a “estancia” aka farm and ask for some water, because they would often be at the end of a five or more miles long farm track. That would be 10 miles or more round trip on a very rough bit of gravel track, where we wouldn’t know if there would be water at all.

Small lakes, streams and even dirty looking puddles was our source of water. 15 minutes pumping with the Katadyn and all our water bottles were full with very nice and clean drinkable water.

If the Red Cross and the US Army, to name but a few, rely on the Katadyn – it would be good enough for us.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Tailwind at last

Tailwind at last

The last eight miles and for the next 10 or so – we had tail wind! Sadly it was so short but we made good time. Even the ripio was good, only on the steep “ups” was the road rough. We truly enjoyed it and the more than blue sky.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

running out of food

Running out of food

About here – after a failed attempt in riding at night where the strength of the wind is a weakest – is where we figured out that we were low on food and we had more days of riding to go than we planned for. We had timed this to take around five days and took with us six days worth of food. We had at best two and a half days of food left and we had at least four days of riding left.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Cloud and skies

Cloud and skies

This picture does not justify reality of how big, amazing, stunning, blue, white. They went on forever – to quote a famous song. One fella told us that you don’t get these clouds – ok not the ones pictured above – anywhere but South America. I don’t know if I dare to tell him, that we saw them in New Zealand, USA and in Yorkshire where are now based.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Smile

Smile

Not sure what the smile is for, it could be for a few reasons : that she managed to climb the hill without falling off or the need for a rest, that she saw me looking silly, that she saw the gravel would become rather good (albeit only for a few yards) again. I think it is all the above reasons and then some.

It is great to see that she could still smile her beautiful smile. Even when this was turning into the hardest riding we ever had done and that we were running low on food. Along with the wind that was stronger than anything we had felt before. The ripio or what supposedly was the road was becoming harder and harder to ride, not at all helped with the steep hills. This all slowed us down to a record shortest – day long ride – 5-8 miles in eight hours of riding, well more like – walk, push, pull, swear, slide around on the loose gravel, into the wind, swear, attempt on moving forward.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Cordillera de los Andes

Cordillera de los Andes

It is rather amazing to know that the mountains in the distance is part of the same mountain chain. That runs the length of South America, about 7,000 km (4,300 mi) from top to bottom.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Nowhere: there is a road into it

Nowhere: there is a road into it

Yup, the map and GPS were right: nothing but nothingness and remoteness for miles and miles, well that meant we were on the right track. Rough gravel roads, strong winds and barren landscape, yet stunning, beautiful and the right place for us to get “lost” for a few days.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Are you lost?

Are you lost?

Just before this photo was taken, a local in a car – the only one we had seen and would see all day – pulled over and asked us if we were lost. We think that he was a bit surprised to see us heading into emptiness that is Tierra del Fuego.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

This might look boring

This might look boring

Let’s just say that this road wasn’t boring. The ripio was hard going at times, the wind was never stopping right into our face, and it was no where near as strong as a stiff south westerly that we get up here – it was much stronger.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/02/the-fuegian-road-less-travelled/

Ushuaia that way

Ushuaia that way

Fourth day cycling north in Tierra del Fuego. This was the day we figured out that the wind would be in our face for the rest of the time we cycled north in Argentina. It was so tempting to just turn around and go this way and rest for a day or two with the wind in our back.

Read the blog post that belongs to this photo here – http://www.woollypigs.com/2012/01/leaving-ushuaia/

La Ruta de Oro

La Ruta de Oro

The stunning La Ruta de Oro on Tierra del Fuego in Patagonia Southern Chile on our way to Porvenir in search for water and food.

A slight miss planning by yours truly, seen in the picture above taken by Peli, where I as was sure that 300 odd kilometres would take us around five-day, five and a half days tops. But on the third day it was clear that it would take more like seven days. The very strong wind (80km/h and above at times), very rough gravel road (aka ripio) and steep hills – slowed us down to an eight hours battle against the nature and our wills to gain just 15 kilometres.

The route we have taken does not have a corner shop that we could just pop into for a pint of milk, it was – really the middle of nowhere! Food and water rationing started, lucky we had our life saver our water filter from Katadyn. It was a few rather hard and tiring days cycling this remote, but yet very beautiful, part of the world. By the time we found civilisation and more important crisp, chocolate and biscuits again it was early afternoon on our eight-day and we didn’t have breakfast.

My Kingdom for a horse!

My Kingdom for a horse!

Well OK my Queendom for a horse… Where ever we go and if there is a horse nearby Peli has to go and say hello.

This one was in the hills above Porvenir on Tierra del Fuego in Southern Chile, on the – stunning but very hard to ride your bicycle – La Ruta de Oro.

We had pretty much run out of food and was on our last bit of water and was very much spent nothing left in us. The route had taken us eight days and I had planned it would take five at the most five and half days.

So with tired legs on top of the last leg into Porvenir she staggered over to say hi to this bunny fella.

Wild dogs

Wild dogs

We saw our fair share of “wild dogs” and even heard them fighting in the night. They were roaming the street living on what they found. Puppies left to fend for them self at the side of the roads. Drivers didn’t even try to avoid hitting them when ran out onto the streets, saw plenty of evidence of dog and vehicular “interference”. People threw things at them, kicked them away and hit them with brooms or whatever they had at hand.

Not something we were used to see.

Killed by Indians

Killed by Indians

In a cemetery Onaisin in Chile on Tierra del Fuego.

John Saldine
Who was killed by Indians
on 20th of July 1898

With no disrespect to the family, but I wonder if he was totally blame free. From what I read about the first white people to this island, lets just say they were not all that nice – Selknam Genocide where people were paid per dead.

PhotoFriday : At rest