Friday, 18 December 2009

From the end of the world to the (other?) end of the world. Or; from Finisterre, Spain to Fin Del Mundo, Ushuaia

Having edged back from Finisterre we spent a week or so in London sorting the bikes out and generally lounging around. The bikes needed a surprising amount doing to them, given we have only been on them a couple of months, including another new bottom bracket (probably due to poor fitting of the last one), new crank shaft, headset, chains ...etc etc. You might notice in future photo's that Ja's bike now appears to be a rather fetching shade of blue. This isn't a trick of the light, but rather the result of a rapidly put together new frame, built specifically to carry the extra kit (after the last one developed a rather alarming wobble under strain!!). I have taken this to mean a relaxation in the weight rules, and put in an extra pair of trousers (go on, treat yourself...)

The journey ended up being astonishingly easy, and against all the odds both Ja and I arrived in Ushuaia at the same time as the bikes and all the luggage!
Argentina has rapidly become my favourite country yet visited. It is beautiful, incredibly varied and having spent too many years living in London, unbelievably friendly.

Ushuaia is the Southernmost town in the world, at the mouth of the Beagle Channel, and surrounded by beautiful, if rather intimidating (when you are about to cycle off into them), snow tipped Andean peaks. We stayed in a small apartment which was a great find; no more expensive than a hostel, but a full living space where we were able to put the bikes together, make some final preparations and chill out a bit before setting off. 

The owner (who I think thought we were completely mad) couldn't have been more helpful, and even got a part of Ja's bike welded back together when we found it had been damaged in transit!

We had time to take a trip out into the channel and get all gooey about the baby penguins and sealions, making us wish we were able to take longer (or rather be richer, as it is prohibitively expensive) and go all the way to the Antarctic.

Finally sorted, we started the cycling with a 50k round trip to the start of Ruta 3, figuring since we're so far south, and like most good stories, we may as well start at the very beginning.
Will update as to our progress on the first proper leg of cycling, Fin Del Mundo (Argentina) - Punta Arenas (Chile), very soon.

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