Villa Santa Lucia - The eighth step ... Patagonia etc once more. - CycleBlaze

December 27, 2019

Villa Santa Lucia

We woke to the sound of the rainpelting down. The plan for today was to head up and over the hill toVilla Santa Lucia but cycling in this rain wasn't a pleasantprospect. Great weather is forecast as of tomorrow and we have justenough food to sit it out here at Yelcho for another night but wedon't want to fall too far behind on our ride to Ushuaia.

The first duty of the day was to getthe fire going again. As it did last night, this cheered us up andmade it easier to view the day with a better attitude. As themorning wore one, there were the occasional patches, barely secondslong, when the sky brightened and so we decided to hit the road atabout midday. During one of the short breaks in the weather wequickly broke camp and were on the road at about one o'clock.

Initially the weather was pretty goodand the climb very gentle but after about ten kilometers the weatherclosed in again and the gradients got more demanding. Whilesheltering at a mirador at about the twelve kilometer mark we saw ablue pickup go up the hill carrying what looked like the Californiancyclists we met at Caleta Gonzalo and their bicycles. Afterstruggling on for another three kilometers the blue pickup came backand offered us a ride. My heart swelled with pride when Leigh toldthe driver that she was going on her own steam while secretly I wasvery tempted to toss my bicycle onto the back of the pickup. By thisstage it had got pretty cold and the last three kilometers to the topwas hard work. Then it was an easy downhill run to the village ofSanta Lucia.

A tree had fallen across the road at the top of one of the climbs.
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A few kilometers out of the village wecame upon the scene of the devastating landslide of two years ago. It was stunning in the sense that one had the feeling of beingpunched in the face. Entering into the village itself was even moresobering with Chilean flags marking the spots of the twenty villagersthat died that day. Leigh was fortunately some way behind at thispoint because I couldn't hold back my tears. It turned out that shehad also taken some time off her bike to take in the memorials. Somehow the sun put in a prolonged appearance as we got to SantaLucia, ian event of nature which perhaps holds a message for all ofus.

The scene as you enter Santa Lucia from the north.
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The campsite is pretty basic but wehave a shelter under which to pitch the tent (the rain hasreappeared) so we are warm and cosy and looking forward tomorrow'sbetter weather.

Today's ride: 25 km (16 miles)
Total: 276 km (171 miles)

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