Hello friends and family.
Wheels. Two in fact. They roll, coast, zoom, bump over rocks, slide in soft and loose gravel, begrudgingly slog up hill. Travelling by two human powered wheels is a great way to soak up beautiful scenery. I think we have chosen the perfect spot. This vast part of the world we currently inhabit has oodles of it. The sun burns off low cloud to reveal hidden peaks or after a long uphill climb a stunning range is unveiled.
We last posted from Hornoprien where we boarded a ferry to Caleta Gonzalo. There was two ferries to be exact and a short drive in between. Here is where we meet Areno. A lovely Brazillian man who is also on a tour of the carreterra austral. He helped us find a vehicle to ferry us and our bikes overland from one ferry to another. We meet again several days later at a campsite by a lake.
After a day on a ferry we spent two days in Park Pumalin. Created by Tompkins Foundation for the purpose of being lungs for the planet. They win the best campsite award of the century. Manicured lawns, shelters with picnic tables and benches, mini forest separating you from the neighbours, soft green grass for tent site and only 12 spread across the space of more than one football field.
We pedalled on to Villa Sainta Lucia where we camped in a paddock by a river with 2 bulls and an old church. We headed off early for our longest day yet A grand total of 98km to a lake in Park Quelat where we met up again with Areno and new found friends the Family Bru from France. This beautiful family is on a world cycle tour with their three children Sorene, Josephine and Cyprien. Together we played a game of Carcassonne (and I lost!).
The following day after only 20kms or so on gravel we arrived at Puyuhaupi. There we hit jackpot! Fresh vegetables!*&%#! Chris has joked about scurvy. I am sure all saiors from the 18th century would not joke about this. We had eaten Instant mashed potato with a sachet of instant pasta sauce they previous night for lack of fresh foods. However in Puyuhaupi we found capsicums, carrot, zuchinni, cauliflour and brocoli (and it all looked edible!) In previous towns we had come across bananas that were in a perfect state for banana bread and mouldy tomatoes. We have heard it gets worse as we head further south. Watch out!
In other news Hilarys relatively new exped sleeping mat (1/2 the size of chris’s mat) has malfunctioned. The first night after this issue occured the mat encouraged a posture for sleeping 25 degrees rotated to the left. On the second night this issue was exacerbated to 45 degree angle. Since this time it has been more comfortable to sleep on the floor instead. Luckily a rather comicly worded email to exped explaining my discomfort has worked. Hopefully a new mat will be waiting for me further down the road!
We are now in Villa Amengual where we are literally camping in a ladies backyard. We even had a hot shower in her bathroom. Tomorrow we head towards Coyhaique. The last remaining actual town in southern Chile.
Number of times Hilary has fallen off bike: Many.
Number of bruises on Hilary’s legs: many
Reason why Hilary has not hurt herself: gymnastics training. Forward rolls and grovels are useful transitions off a falling bike.
Amount of cheese chris has bought: kilos. He recently tried to buy a whole wheel! After negotiations we bought 1/2 a wheel.