Our tales of Patagonia so far would probably have you thinking that the whole region is awash with luscious scenery. We were starting to believe it too, after six weeks on Chile’s Carretera Austral, with its snowcapped mountains, glaciers, fjords, forests, rivers, lakes - have we missed anything? But after we left sleepy Villa O’Higgins we were in for a series of shocks.
I was reminded of the age-old saying in this part of the world: “Quien se apura en Patagonia pierde su tiempo” (“Those who hurry in Patagonia waste their time”). It would be about taking the rough with the smooth, trying to look on the bright side of life when the weather was foul and savouring the beautiful long summer days when they came our way.
Uspallata - Santiago Cycling through a continent as vast as South America tends to yield slow and gradual changes. However, our four-day ride up and over the Andes from Uspallata to Santiago, the capital of Chile, upset the rule book. I loved how quiet Ruta 40 was. You could count the number of passing cars on … Continue reading “IT’S NOT ABOUT 30 PESOS, IT’S ABOUT THE LAST 30 YEARS”: Cycling Paso Los Libertadores into a protesting Santiago
Before writing up this blog post, I looked back on my diary to remind myself of all the little details of that time. “My god”, I turned to Chillo, “I was a grumpy cow”. If you were to draw a graph of our collective mood swings that week, there would be lots of zig zags, jumping up as dramatically as they plummet down. However, after reminding myself of all the little challenges and victories along the way, I’d say the overall trajectory would most definitely be an upwards one.
While not particularly eventful, this stretch of cycling was for us one of the most impactful. This wasn't because of anything momentous, but for the little, day-to-day occurrences. So we thought instead for this blog post that we'd dish it up straight from the source material itself: our diaries. Enjoy...
Despite the head winds, cycling through Argentina immediately felt easier than Bolivia. For starters, the standard of driving is much better and you can drink the tap water. You also know that every town you pass through has a campsite or hotel with hot water, a well-stocked tienda, a panadería with actual fresh bread and pastries, and an heladería with numerous flavours of ice cream to choose from.