The Road to the End of the World

The Road to the End of the World

It has been a couple months and more than 4000 kilometers since I left Santiago, Chile after the holidays. Since then I biked through blackberry lined wine and fruit country, the famous Carretera Austral, wet and windy Patagonia country, and recently Tierra Del Fuego or Earth of Fire. The road south ends here in Ushuaia, Argentina, the most southern town in the world at almost 55 degrees latitude south. This marks the end of a long fun journey south, and it is now time to find my way to a new continent, Africa.
Chillan, Chile 12/1/2017 (dd/mm/yy) to Ushuaia, Argentina 12/3/2017

The Carretera Austral in Chile

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This street clown decided to include me in his act, taking pictures with my phone and comparing my size 13 shoes to his size 29 clown shoesIMG_4591One of a couple ferries on the Carretera AustralIMG_4603

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Blackberry bushes lined a main highway heading down central Chile. This resulted in me eating unhealthy quantities of blackberries. I found them particularly tasty with milk from powder and sugar.IMG_4707Locals in Patagonia protesting the construction of hydroelectric damsIMG_4722Typical home design in southern ChileIMG_4736La Confluencia, the junction of Rio Baker and Rio NeffIMG_4747

IMG_4602I wondered if this dog would run after me for 100km, but he stopped after 30kmIMG_4619I went rafting down this river, the Futaleufu, which is one of the best in the world for kayaking and raftingIMG_4663A few windmills to help power the city of Coyhaique, ChileIMG_4640

My best friend in Santiago got me a fishing pole for Christmas, and I put it to good use on the lakes and rivers of the carretera austral. Here a robalo, or chilean sea bass, was the catch for dinner.

IMG_4622One of the many many lakes along the carretera AustralIMG_4716

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IMG_4749The Andes Mountains are always the only thing separating Chile and ArgentinaIMG_4738One of the many many rivers along the Carretera AustralIMG_4725

Surviving a Desert Storm

After crossing back into Argentina from Chile I began to ride through desert like pampa country. The area I was biking through had been going through a bit of a draught in the last two years, until a heavy rainstorm came through. When it did I was in the worst possible place, in the middle of 60 km of unfinished highway that the former Argentinian President Kirchner supposedly stole contract money from. After some 20 km, the dirt road turned into a massive mud pit from the rain, and I was pushing my bike through mud at a backbreaking pace of 500 meters per hour. I stopped for the night and set up my tent behind some piles of dirt that offered the best protection from the wind, but through the night it rained for 11 straight hours. In the middle of my sleepless night I noticed the rain began to flood my tent, and my sleeping pad quickly became a waterbed. In the morning I woke, and continued to push my bike, noticing that there were no more cars attempting to pass through this stretch of the desert. I eventually found two Argentinian men cleaning their massive John Deere tractor after clearing mud off of the road the entire evening. The rain began to stop and the men allowed me to hang up everything I own in life to dry in the wind next to their trailor. They then invited me to eat lunch with them, as we had the most flavorful local capon (castrated lamb) I have ever eaten, while we drank boxed wine mixed with Fanta. The men, David and David, continued cleaning the dried mud off of their tractor while I did the same to my bicycle. The sun crept out for the first time in days and I regained a certain hope in everything. I learned that they had closed the road the night before to traffic, and I was the only one who passed the evening on the closed section of the road. The men radioed for a road construction truck to come, and they gave me a lift out of the remaining section of the desert. As we drove, we discovered the damage the storm had done, the road collapsing at certain points due to rivers forming on both sides of the road. Big thanks to the Argentinians for helping me out.

IMG_4796The desert like pampa hadn't seen rain in 2 years and couldn't take all the rainIMG_4802Road crew making plans to fix the road which caved from the rain

IMG_4798The scene after a night of 11 straight hours of rainIMG_4808Warning for cars not to attempt the 60km of impassable road