Chabunco - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

January 25, 2023


Damien and Camilla were up at five and gone by six in a vain hope to avoid the wind which was already blowing strongly. Fortunately for us it was mostly in our favour. We only started riding at about a quarter to eight, quite a bit later than I had hoped for because was worried that the wind would turn later in the ride.

The eighteen kilometers to Villa Telhueches passed quickly and easily and we once again wondered whether she should have pushed on yesterday evening. We stopped at the small kiosko and bought two jamon y queso "sandwiches", enormous buns filled with industrial standard ham and cheese.

At this point the wind had dropped and we hoped that Damien and Camilla were having an easier time than when they set out this morning. However, by the time we reached the shallow valley that sports the infamous four monuments to the wind, one of which has blown down, and the signs warning of minefields, a remnant of the tensions between Argentina and Chile in this area, the wind was blowing fiercely again. There was a dogleg where we had to walk the bicycles for about two and a half kilometers because the crosswind was too strong for safe cycling, even on the unpaved shoulder next to the road.  

After that it was an easier run down to the intersection with the R255 which leads to Rio Gallegos in Argentina. Here we stopped at the cafeteria to warm up (I was freezing at this point) and to consider our options for the rest of the day. The wind was now too strong for camping in an unsheltered area and the only possible option for shelter was an estancia close by that apparently allows cyclists to sleep in an old bunkhouse. Neither of us were tired having covered less than seventy kilometers with some wind assistance.  So we decided to push on.   With our excitement about the trip to Antarctica mounting we decided to skip going all the way to Punta Arenas to allow us as many options in dealing with bad weather that might slow our journey to Ushuaia down.  

The plan now was to find accommodation near the Tres Puentes ferry port.  We found a nice hospedaje twelve kilometers short of the ferry and reached there sometime after four o'clock. A warming cup of coffee/mate and a hot shower was enough to make us feel human again. 

Tierra del Fuego in the distance across the Straits of Magellan as seen from our hospedaje.
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The hospedaje is going to provide us with an early breakfast tomorrow morning so we can catch the nine o'clock ferry to Porvinir on Tierra del Fuego.  I suspect we may have a rest day there before heading eastwards to San Sebastian on the Atlantic coast.

Today's ride: 105 km (65 miles)
Total: 6,130 km (3,807 miles)

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