Friday, 19 December 2008

Argentina to Chile

After having taken the bus to Perito Moreno, I felt a bit down. Whilst I had so wanted to make the journey I didn´t have the time. I passed this disappointment (celebration) with a few beers and a pizza with a French guy who knew all about Astrium, transponders and such like. Suffice to say we had a good laugh, not about work!
The next day he was off North on another bus trip. I meanwhile re-assembled my bike and set off for Chile Chico just over La Frontera, in Chile. Now most of you will have had the feeling of leaving a hotel and thinking I´m sure I´m missing something. I later discovered I´d left my cables for charging my batteries!

The route promised wind, although this time it was welcome. It was no way as strong as in the south, when I now believe it was 40+ knots. Here it was a gentle breeze, and one which would cool me down as the temperatures reached 44°C.I reached Chile Chico early, so decided to make a dash towards Mailen Grande. I knew it was going to be tough and I needed the head start. I bought provisions and set off along side Lago General Carrera. I met a guy who lived along the route, who offered to let me sleep near his house. I pushed further on and made a nice, wild camp site near Lago Verde.

I ate a pot of boiled rice and tuna. I would be eating almost tuna every day for the next few weeks! The rice was crunchy and probably the worst rice I´ve ever cooked. Still it was fuel for the killer ride towards Route 7, Chile´s Caratera Austral.

The route was either up or down, switching every few km. The sun beat down and I had to fill up my bottles at every opportunity. I drank 7+ litres that day as temperatures averaged 40°C. I tried to reach Pto Guadal, where I could find a phone and ring to say I was ok. I eventually realised I wouldn´t make falling short by about 10km. Still I had made over 100km on dirt roads and climbed a phenomenal amount ~2000 metres.
I found a place to hold up for the night and decided to make the call in the morning.

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