Sunday, June 22, 2008 

About our Blog

Our trip has come to an end but we thought we'd leave our blog 'up' so those of you planning a similar trip can use it as a reference. You'll find the text less than helpful and only occasionally amusing but I'm sure the photo's will give some idea of what to expect down the road.

Blog's are written like a diary, you will see the last page first (the most recent post). If you want to view it in the correct chronological order please use our ARCHIVES section to see it as we cycled it. (North to South).

Richard & Sarah

Saturday, April 07, 2007 

It's about the journey, not the destination.

We left Newcastle just over 9 months ago. It only seems like yesterday when we were packing up our shiney new bikes wondering what we had got ourselves into.

Our bikes now bare the scars of a journey that took us beyond our expectations and dreams. Our anxiety and fear of the unknown gradually changed into an understanding and appreciation of a very long continent.

It's impossible to get anything more than a glimpse of either the geography or culture of such diverse countries and people in such a short time. However, travelling by bike meant we could sometimes take a closer look and on occasions become emersed in the things that surrounded us, the people or places.

It's true a country provides an outline but it's the people that provide the colour. As we've journeyed south, we have seen some incredible sights, the Peruvian Highlands, Bolivian salt flats, vast open spaces of Argentina and Chilean volcanoes, but it's the people, particuarly Argentinians, who have provided us with many of the most memorable moments. Strangely we're really going to miss the truck drivers who would pass us sipping their maté, honking their horns, giving us either a thumbs up or shaking their hands depending on how tired we looked or how close to the summit we were.

Rather than feelings of elation and achievement, our arrival in Ushuaia brought sadness for coming to the end of such an incredible journey and adventure. We realised there was nothing at the end, but the beginning of everything.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us throughout the trip, both at home and in SA.

Saturday, March 31, 2007 

The end of the world. Ushuaia.

Ushuaia, the end of the world, the end of the road and the end of our journey by bike.

An old tug slowly rotting into the Beagle Channel.

Ushuaia town and the Martial Glacier.

Ushuaia harbour. Today the departure point for cruises to Antartica but once the arrival point for prisoners to the feared penal colony of Ushuaia.

The prison in Ushuaia housed many of the worst criminals from across Argentina. It's location meant they didn't need to fence them in, afterall, where would they go?

The writing's on the wall.

'Ushuaia end of the world, beginning of everything'

We hope so.


The final push, one last pass into Ushuaia.

Our last morning. Mixed emotions whilst packing up the tent for one last time.

Paso Garibaldi. We'd been warned about this pass by other cyclists heading north.

Standing at 430m we didn't have the heart to tell them about the passes at ten times this size that they would encounter 6000km to the north.

The first cars only crossed here in 1953, until that point Ushuaia was only accessible by sea.

Cordillera Darwin to the NE of Ushuaia.

Ushuaia at last.

We reached the southernmost city in the world after 9 months, 1 day and 8431km.


A wet day but a warm welcome at Estancia Rubi.

Keeping dry at lunchtime.

We were invited to stay at Estancia Rubi by Julio, Grisela & thier 3 daughters Aira, Mia & Juli.

20 years ago Julio cycled a similar route to the one we had taken through central Chile above the Careterra Austral so sympathised with our cause.

They were all incredibly generous, we had a great time eating meats cured (just salt) by Julios brother, eating pizza and drinking wine.

On Sunday morning we had a tour of Estancia Rubi.

Ea. Rubi had employed upto 200 people in the past on it's 30,000 hcts with 10,000 sheep.

Rubi had it's own carpenter, bakery and a purpose built reservoir for drinking water, from where this photo was taken.

Pan de Indians. Indian bread, used as a dietry supplement (fibre) by local indians who ate almost exclusively meat.

Similar to our diet of meat while in Argentina, except we supplimented steaks with chocolate and wine.

Cordero on the parilla. Sunday lunch of roast lamb Argentine style.

We eventually set off for our days cycling at 5pm, just enough time for 20km before nightfall.

Julio, Grisela, Aira, Mia & Juli.
Thank you for everything.


Arriving on the East Coast.

Our first sighting of the Atlantic Ocean and another clear windless Patagonian day.

Richard with a bad neck, taking a few moments and waiting for the drugs to work.

He also secretly hoped the drugs might stop his legs aching!

Guachito Gil again...

...our opportunity to leave a small gift and wish for our future prosperity.

Rio Grande. Home to the best fishing and largest trout in the world. (not this particular one, it's just a model).


Indian Territory.


Estancia Caleta Josefina, the first estancia established on Tierra del Fuego and our kind hosts for the night.

The huge 'galpon', shearing shed at Ea. Josefina.

Some of the early English settlers met with unfortunate endings.

Drowned in 'Useless Bay'.


Porvenir & Tierra del Fuego

Another warning about the sun's dangerous radiation here in the south.

The wind offering a helping hand.

Two ferocious dogs attacking Sarah.

Riding along The Straits of Magellan.

90km East of Porvenir.


Punta Arenas & accross The Magellan Straits.

A memorial to the 'disappeared' of Punta Arenas.

During the military dictatorship of Pinochet many political activists, potential adversary's and intellectuals vanished following the coup in 1973.

Pinochet was eventually arrested in London in 1998 for his role in the 'caravan of 'death' and died on Dec 10th 2006.

Boarding the ferry to cross the Magellan straights on a beautiful still morning.

Punta Arenas is famed for it's wind and has ropes in the streets for the old and light to hang onto!

The previous two days the wind was at a steady 100km p/h.

Black skies over Tierra del Fuego.

A splash of colour at Porvenir's harbour.

South End Cafe, but no egg and chips.


Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas

Early morning sunshine.

An old truck at Morro Chico.

As we get further south the shadows grow longer and the days shorter.