Daily Archives: December 24, 2015

Day 161/164: Punta Arena to Bush Camp – 109km

802 meters climbing and 817 down. 109 k gravel šŸ˜³šŸ˜³šŸ˜³šŸ˜‚

Today we had to catch another ferry at 9am. The ferry was over 2 hours long, then we had to ride 112 kilometres, 109 of them on gravel.

Last ferry of the trip

Last ferry of the trip

On the ferry the day started to look very dark and overcast and about 30 minutes before we landed it started to rain. Feeling not at all enthusiastic, I put on all my wet weather gear and warm clothing. When I got off the ferry it was only spitting and then within 5 kilometres the sun came out and it was warm. Spirits lifting I removed a few layers of clothing and rode off.

The next 10 kilometres were pretty good, nice coastal road, and while the gravel was a bit treacherous in places nothing too bad. Then I noticed the ominous clouds above my head, and within another few minutes the rain was bucketing down and it was really windy.

Ominous clouds

Ominous clouds

I nearly got blown off my bike a few times. I also nearly fell off a couple of times as the camber of the road was very slanted and the combination of sloped treacherous gravel and wind was not good.

About an hour before getting to the lunch truck I came across Jo and Nick. Jo was having bike problems and was also feeling over it with all the long days, cold, and gravel.Ā Luckily she managed to get to lunch and Luis and Antonio were able to fix her bike, somethingĀ  to do with a cable.

I had not closed theĀ ventilation zips on both sides under my arms on my jacket, so got wet inside and got my cellphone soaked. Given the horrid wet windy weather, treacherous gravel, being blown all over the road and beingĀ wet and getting cold, I decided my riding day was done and rode in with the lunch truck to camp.Ā The riders not riding inĀ the lunch truck were mainly those who had to maintain their EFI status, and none of them looked cheerful.

The road got really muddy, and also really busy with cars and trucks splashing mud over all the riders. I was pleased not to be out there.

The camp ground was wet, bleak and miserable looking, with no shelter apart from one small awning on the dinner truck. The ground under the awning was already a quagmire.Ā It was still pouring with rain and the choice was to stand shivering under the awning or put up the tent. I decided to put up my tent and the floor of the tent got wet in the process.

My shoes were soaking wet, something to look forward to tomorrow. Thankfully I have more than one pair of clothes and other riding clothes.Ā Three more nights in a tent! Oh yah! Beam me up Scotty! Fingers crossed the weather and the wind will be much kinder tomorrow.

final ferry

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Day 160/164: Rest day in Punta Arenas

The town we stayed in got the power from a generator, so going to sleep you could hear it but at midnight it switched off until 6am.

I enjoyed the restaurant breakfast: toast and lemon meringue pie, plus nice tea bags. I spent most of the morning writing notes to each TDA staff member to go with their gratuity. They don’t get paid a lot for doing this trip and the rider notes suggest $100 USD per person (so 12 for this trip, not counting April and Sharrita that I have already paid). I like to take the time to acknowledge their individual strengths and contributions. It took most of the morning. Then catching up with emails and the blog.

I went for a walk around the wharf in the afternoon.

The waterfront

The waterfront

Wharf in

InĀ Punta ArenasĀ 

Tonight I had a nice salmon and octopus cevicheĀ for an entree, and a pretty average steak for a main.

Only fourĀ more riding days until the finish. It’s almost unbelievable that this time next week I will have just finished Christmas Dinner.

We have an early start tomorrow as we have another ferry to catch. About two and a halfĀ hours, and then 109 kilometres of gravel of the 120 total kilometres tomorrow.


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