Daily Archives: December 23, 2015

Day 159/164: Villa Tehuelches to Punta Arenas – 100km

Climbing 650 meters and down 800. No gravel again 😀😀

The days and getting longer and the nights are getting shorter. The sun was out by 6 am this morning and I woke up in a warm and sunny tent. A marvellous start to the day.

It had rained during the night, and I was able to get my tent mostly dry before I packed it away.

We are heading into another rest day. Jo, who is the only female who is still EFI, is unwell and hopefully the rest day and today’s lighter ride will enable her to keep going.  Jo never rests on rest days, and when on one hand she could barely eat breakfast and on the other hand started talking about going to visit a penguin colony tomorrow, both Sue and I said, at the same time, we were not even going to discuss such a silly idea with her. I have shared my view with her on a number of occasions that you can not do this ride and be a full on tourist, your body needs rest days to rest. There are many places along the way that I hope to be able to come back and visit.

Today, at the 62km point, Brett reached the milestone of having ridden 50,000 on the TDA 7 Epics. He has done for of the seven epics already, and this is his fifth. The TDA staff made up a congratulations whiteboard and had a beer waiting for him at lunch. It was nice chance occurrence, after having being at sea his whole working life, that the Magallanes Strait is in the background of the photo.

A beer at lunch!

A beer at lunch!

Whiteboard for Brett

Whiteboard for Brett

Brett has done 50,000km with TDA!

Brett has done 50,000km with TDA!

I saw some more Rhea (Nandu) plus some more Flamingo. I was not sure that they were Flamingo as they had shorter necks but they are a different type of Flamingo: Flamenco Chileno.

Flamingos

Flamingos

Today’s ride seemed harder than yesterday, no doubt because of the 20 kilometres of a quite strong head wind, and it took as long to ride even though it was 48 kilometres shorter.

Southern Patagonia

Southern Patagonia

Patagonia farm land

Patagonia farm land

Riding into Punta Arenas we came across wind chimes in the middle of nowhere. Apparently when it’s really windy they whistle.

IMG_6008

Monumento al Viento, wind chimes

I was pleased to get into Punta Arenas and to the hotel. A rest day after only 2 days riding! Bliss, especially after our recent long and hard riding days.

TDA had organized for us all to get together in a nearby bar for cocktails and snacks at 7pm so I went a long to that. Unfortunately it was a sit down event at a huge long table and quite noisy, so I only stayed for a couple of hours. I had dinner at a restaurant down the road. I tried the king crab which was pretty tasteless, and had a fairly average steak, most of which I folded into a paper napkin knowing there was sure to be a hungry dog lurking around nearby.

Editor's caption: Any one who knows Kaye knows this is basically her worst nightmare

Editor’s caption: Any one who knows Kaye knows this is basically her worst nightmare! 

Categories: Chile, South American Epic | 1 Comment

Day 158/164: Puerto Natales to Villa Tehuelches – 148km

Climbing 1209 meters, and down 1120 meters. No gravel 😀

It’s a measure of how far we have come in fitness that I consider today a really easy days cycling. There was a bit of side wind at times, but no full on head wind and no horrid gravel. We had a few rolling hills but no significant climbs. Lots of lakes and farm land and trees bent in one direction.

windswept

There are a number of really large farms known as stations with either sheep or cattle.

Large cattle and sheep station in Patagonia

Large cattle and sheep station in Patagonia

Today I saw some small birds that look like ostriches, one of the riders Jason told me they are called Rhea. The indigenous people call them Nandu.

The Rhea

The Rhea

We are staying on a corner section in the middle of a town, next to some horse stables that look like they have never had horses in them. The cooking kitchen is set up in one stable, and the dishes and tea and coffee table in another.

horsestables

There is an Internet cafe where we can use the toilet. The cafe is almost 100% untainted by any food. Sue is still unwell and got to camp early today on the dinner truck, and said the Internet cafe was also untainted by Wifi until midday.

TDA paid for us to use to the toilet but did not tell us, and the young guy at the cafe must have been delighted when we kept giving him the 300 pesos to use the toilet.

A bus stop

A bus stop

Editor's note: Photo taken from Sue's Facebook page

At tonight’s camp (Photo credit: Sue’s Facebook page)

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