Thursday, December 31, 2009

day 332 – km 21927

rio el turbio – rio gallegos

209,70km 688 alti meter

the advantage of the more or less plain prairies is that you can see everything that moves for km´s. the disadvantage is that this constantly blowing wind is kind of annoying, the sound, the force, the chillfactor….

it ended up to be a long day on the roads (first 140km on gravel, rest paved)



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

day 331 – km 21718

puerto natales – rio el turbio (argentina)

100,31km 965 alti meter

after climbing up to the boarder i was left with the decision of either taking the longer but paved northern route or the southern gravel road… so after 60km on nice pavement i am on gravel again. the road is under construction and the gravel deep and loose at times, but basically no traffic.



Monday, December 14, 2009

day 330 – day off

puerto natales – day off

i got asked “are going all the way south?” usualy i say “i don´t think so”  there are more reasons for that. the winds, the landscape, the fact that it´s a dead end road, the costs, the difficulties getting out of there…. one other reason is, that i don´t know what or where “all the way" is??? a: the most southern village one can reach on the main land (without ferries / boats) = that would be san juan about 60km south punta arenas. b: ushuaia as the most southern city c: the end of the road after ushuaia ends in lapataia (aprox. 30km) d: the most southern road is probably on the isla navarino e: cape horn…. i add one more category to the list. the most southern village to/from which one doesn´t have the trackback to get there or leave it (i guess that would be withouth ferries cabaza del mar 50km north of punta arenas or with ferry rides san sebastian)


day 329 – km 21615

90km 1000 alti meter

really interesting to see that the park looks so very different on this side!

p.s. the last 16km to puerto natales are good rolling concrete road. nice!



day 328 – km 21525

campamento torre s del paine – rio serrano

55,48km 972 alti meter on bike 15km 400 alti meter hiking

some great views in the early morning hours from the lookout torres del paine.  if i ever had “hiking"-muscles” the are long gone! so i have sore legs&feet after this 2 very short hikes! back on the bike and passed the big waterfall i had some not so nice experience with the weekend traffic in the park. a pickup truck passed me way to fast without slowing down at all, just as i was in the middle of a short downhill and left me in a thick cloud of dust. ofcourse there was a huge pothole and i saw it to late to ride around it. i tried to jump over it to save the bikewheels, but there was not much i could do to prevent the trailer wheel from getting a good punch. the impact was so hard that the wheel just went out (and it took me a while to find it again) so i was sliding down the rest of the hill on the dropouts and on the rear paniers!? (the bags are pretty good ripped and the gas-can suffered a little as well) but i also met some very nice people along the way, offering water or cold drinks. thanx!









day 327 – km 21470

cerro castillo – campamento torre s del paine

68,58km 588 alti meter on bike 10km 500 alti meter on foot

riding the bike in a national park is great, as you can stopp any moment you want for a break or a photo…

at first i entered the park on the wrong entrance, so i had to make a little detour. the roads in the park are ok gravel roads with lots of steep little climbs. (the private owned 7,5km road  to the place where the trail starts is not so good to ride with a heavy loaded bike/trailer) i left bike and trailer (for 1.000.- pesos per luggage) at the fancy hotel and hiked up to the free campground at the foot of the lookout. (once again my improvised hiking setup “long distance hiking is a head-thing”)





Friday, December 11, 2009

day 326 - km 21395

rio pelque - cerro castillo
i tried to get up early to have at least a few hours without the heavy head wind.
40km on paved road, rest gravel.
more or less well compressed gravel road. a short stretch of about 5km is rather loose gravel but it gets better afterwards again. the gas station in tapi aike has just some drinks & sweets not a "real" store.



day 325 - km 21295

el calafate - rio pelque
121.38km 1142 alti meter
nice 600 meter climb with the wind in the back. as the road turned west i had the wind in my face. not much shelter in the argentinien pampa and the winds can be hard core!
95km on paved road, rest gravel.
more or less well compressed gravel road. O.K. to ride with less air in the tires.





Wednesday, December 9, 2009

day 324 – km 21174

rio la leona – el calafate

66,98km  442 alti meter

once again not much “luck” as i had the wind in my face all the time. especially hard as i know that i have to back 32km the same way i came into town. surprinsingly alot wildlife along the “desert” road.(some maps show a shortcut to torres del paine natinal park but it´s not possible as it is just a trail and there is no immigration for the exit/entry stamps) so i enjoy the afternoon in the “big city” with a huge pizza and some cold drinks.

p.s. the detour to el calafate seems nessesarry as the next village is el cerrito






day 323 – km 21106

el chalten – rio la leona

151,71km 667 alti meter

nice to ride on pavement again! i tried to ride with georgine & robin (but it is hard to keep up with a tandem in the flats!)

p.s. no water until km110!                                                      camping @ km 110 (camping, hostal, restaurant)                              camping @ km 120                                                         wildcamping maybe possible at the river @ km 165, @ km 180




day 322 – km 20954

lago del desierto – el chalten

42,47km 274 alti meter

once again just a short day on the road, but that way i got the chance to see swen & kat again (and the chance for some good icecream!) quiet interseting to meet all those tourist in el chalten, some of them i have seen before and it was interesting to exchange some stories.

back on pavement!!!!

p.s. the ATM in el chalten has sometimes no cash for a couple days






day 321 – km 20912

puerto candelario manzilla – lago desierto

24,29km 676 alti meter

i had to get used to the unloaded bike and the 15km gravel road to the boarder was good for that. (with all the extra weight you just have to pedal, but without the weight i have to balance my body weight to have enough traktion on the wheels) for the last 7km i had my bags and the trailer on a horse which turned out to be a good decision. the trail is mostly a difficult single trail with some river crossings. surly not much fun with a loaded bike! even with a normal bike it means alot walking, but with a good mountain bike this is fun pure! (in total had to push for about 10m and carry my bike over 3 rivercrossings, everything else just about “bikeable” but a “black route!!) we had to camp at the lake as there was no evening boat!? but we had an amazing view of the lake and fitz roy!






day 320 – km 20888

villa o´higgins – puerto candelario manzilla

8,52km 108 alti meter

nice short bike ride to the ferry dock. i took the glacier-loop option instead of just the lake crossing. impressive views of the glacier and amazing colors of the ice in the lake. from the ferry we had the first impressive views of the fitz roy mountain. the plan was to have my luggage transported via truck / horse to the lake desierto so i had to camp after a very short day right at the campground above the the ferry dock.





day 319 – day off

villa o´higgins – day off

relaxing at the hostel el mosco, fixing and cleaning bike & gear. nice dinner with some other cyclists and backpackers.



Thursday, December 3, 2009

day 318 – km 20879

laguna padre ronchi – villa o´higgins

47,35km 480 alti meter

the last 3h of the carretera austral turned out to be nice and sunny. nice to arrive in the laid back village, buy some groceries and have a nice hot shower. looks like a nice relaxed day off tomorrow. checking some informations about the ferry…. and talking to some other cyclists.

p.s. there is a hospedaje 30km before o´higgins.



day 317 – km 20832

puerto vagabundo – laguna padre ronchi

78,33km 1553 alti meter

meeting more and more cyclists….

p.s. theres is a kiosko at the ferry dock




day 316 – km 20753

lago chocabuco – puerto vagabundo

79,04km 746 alti meter

light snow most of the day, in between some sunshine and then a rainshower!? the gravel / washboard roads are sometimes hard to ride on this rolling hills so there is some imagination needed to appreciate the amazing scenery (waterfalls, swamps, snow caped mountains…)