Refugio 18Km north of Villa Telhueches - The thirteenth step ... Six months in South America - CycleBlaze

January 24, 2023

Refugio 18Km north of Villa Telhueches

Plans can change quickly if one allows them to.  Just yesterday afternoon we still had thoughts that we could cover the seven hundred kilometers remaining to Ushuaia in a leisurely manner and would need to change our flight arrangements because we would complete our journey a few weeks before we had planned.  Then yesterday evening we managed to secure a last minute booking on a trip to Antarctica leaving Ushuaia on the 9th of February.   Now we have no time to spare and by the time the boat returns to Ushuaia we will have just enough time to get ready for our flights back to South Africa.

Our minds were fully occupied with the adventure that lay ahead of us as we rode out of Puerto Natales this morning.   A fresh north-westerly wind made the gentle climbs feel easy and the sun appeared from behind the clouds often enough to make the single digit temperature seem a bit warmer.   At the thirty kilometer mark we were shocked out of our day dreams by a squall that dropped the temperature,  I am sure to below zero, and dumped a lot of hail and sleet on us.  Thank goodness we hadn't succumbed to the temptation to remove a few layers of clothing which we had started to feel were no longer necessary now that the climbs had warmed us up. 

We reached Morro Chico where we had planned to spend the night still feeling fresh despite having covered the hundred kilometers quite quickly by our slow standards.   The tailwind deserves all the credit.  The abandoned house opposite the police station wasn't looking in good shape so we felt we could push on to Villa Telhueches even the knew that the ninety degree change in direction on leaving Morro Chico would change the hrlpful tailwind into a potentially dangerous crosswind.

With less than twenty kilometers to go to Villa Telhueches we spied one of the refugios that the municipalities erect for the gauchos herding sheep.  The wind was pretty difficult by now and Leigh had started feeling a few twinges in her knees so we decided to call it a day.  A young French couple, Damien and Camilla,  who are cycling northwards were already using the shelter but made space for us.  Tim and Jo arrived about an hour later but were determined to carry on to Villa Telhueches so they only stopped for a chat and a snack.  For a moment we were tempted to carry on too but common sense prevailed. 

The refugio.
Heart 1 Comment 2
Elspeth JarmanWhen we stayed there this new Refugio was locked. We gazed longingly through the window but had to sleep in the old container one next door. Still grateful for it however.
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1 day ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Elspeth JarmanHi Elsp

It looks like the lock on the new one had been forced open, not that we were complaining. The old refugio was pretty dirty but would have worked in an emergency. The toilet in the new refugio wasn't operational but the old pit toilet near tge old refugio was good enough.
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6 hours ago
Heart 0 Comment 0

Tomorrow's wind should be helpful for the first few hours so we have an opportunity to make good ground.  The question where we will end up spending the night.

Today's ride: 132 km (82 miles)
Total: 6,025 km (3,742 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 2
Comment on this entry Comment 2
Elspeth JarmanWow, so excited to read that you're going to Antarctica! Look forward to reliving it with you. Adventure of a lifetime.
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1 day ago
Jean-Marc StrydomTo Elspeth JarmanWe are soooo excited!
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6 hours ago