Bolivia, Chile, Argentina

Fernet & Mate in Buenos Aires & Uruguay

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Shout out to Maria and Maeva, thanks for hosting me in Buenos Aires!IMG_5381Uruguay

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Bike failure #2: Tire explosion, I think I'm getting too fat…

 

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Bike disassembly for the aeroplane to South Africa

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Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

IMG_5440The best pizza in the Americas, outside of Chicago of course, is in Buenos Aires

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Bike failure #1: Brooks Saddle rail break. Am I getting too fat?IMG_5706

Bike Failure #3: Broken Rim. I'm definitely too fat

IMG_5396Buenos Aires, Argentina

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And the most delicious ice cream in the Americas? Also in Buenos Aires. You can trust me on this one, because I have been struggling with an ice cream addiction for a while now.IMG_5368

 

IMG_5367Fishermen relax with their mate in Montevideo, Uruguay

Sailing the South Atlantic Ocean

Once I reached Ushuaia, the end of the world in the Land of Fire, I began looking for a sailboat to cross the Atlantic Ocean to South Africa. I luckily found one, but they unluckily were completely full. I then even more luckily met Alain, the famous French sailor of the Kotick sailboat. He, his wife, and a friend were to sail back to their home in Uruguay after a season of charter trips to Antarctica. They had space on board and I joined them for a 10 day, 1500 mile voyage up the South Atlantic Ocean to Uruguay. Along the way I learned to sail from the best in the business and saw life in the other world of the ocean.

Ushuaia, Argentina 12/3/2017 to Montevideo, Uruguay 11/4/2017

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Our sailboat, Kotick, upon arrival in Montevideo, Uruguay. If you are interested in a trip to Antarctica on the famous Kotick, contact Captain Alain Cardec at www.kotick.info, [email protected]IMG_5221Leaving Puerto Williams, Chile

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IMG_5233The power couple, Alaine and Claudine CardecIMG_5228

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IMG_5286Jesus on board, QUE MAS?!

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IMG_5224Butterfly sailsIMG_5230Sunrise on the LeMaire Straight

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My bike packed next to my bunkIMG_5215

Waiting to Sail

Before leaving to sail up the South Atlantic Ocean, I hung out with Australians Cath and Greg of Icebird Expeditions. For a week we prepared their sailboat for winter storage, sharing stories and laughs from their neck of the woods and mine while I learned to say yeah mate instead of yessir.

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IMG_5151Dinner at the Guanaco Restaurant on the IcebirdIMG_0974lenataran.comIMG_5131Ushuaia, ArgentinaIMG_1056Puerto Williams, Chile (the real end of the world)IMG_0955lenataran.comIMG_5210European Sailor's asado #2

IMG_1147Disassembling my bike for storage on the sailboat

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The Icebird, check out the cool expeditions Cath leads on the Icebird www.icebirdexpeditions.com

IMG_0996lenataran.comIMG_5206European sailor's asado #1IMG_0965lenataran.comIMG_5142

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

Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine, El Chalten, & Glacier Perito Moreno

IMG_4940Finally reaching Torres del Paine amidst fierce wind and rainIMG_4838

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IMG_4922On the way in to National Park Torres del PaineIMG_4828Me with the towers at Fitz Roy in El ChaltenIMG_5009

IMG_4835Cloudy towers of Fitz Roy at sunrise in El ChaltenIMG_4846Finally a clear view of El Chalten,  but only after leaving the parkIMG_4872Glacier Perito Moreno in Argentina was the largest I have ever seenIMG_4929

IMG_4951A little sunshine in Torres del Paine

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Patagonia

IMG_5063Shout out to Panaderia La Union (in Tolhuin, Argentina, just north of Ushuaia) for the midnight pastry binge!IMG_4755Paso Roballos is one of the less commonly used border crossings between Chile and ArgentinaIMG_4763

IMG_4781When biking out in Argentinian pampa, with strong winds and no protection whatsoever, my tent is no longer an option and so I sleep behind my saddlebagsIMG_5021Puerto Natales, ChileIMG_5032A monument to the Patagonian windsIMG_5049

IMG_5053I think this is the best possible representation of Tierra Del Fuego, a big lonely Estancia (ranch) in the southernmost inhabited part of the worldIMG_5048Sunrise in Punta Arenas, ChileIMG_4758One of the stranger airplane landing strips I have seen, tucked up in the Andes mountainsIMG_4779Dali cloud formations entering Argentinian pampa countryIMG_4854Travelers from around the world called this abandoned house in the middle of nowhere home as they make their way in ArgentinaIMG_5021Puerto Natales, ChileIMG_5015There are many of these Puesto de Arreos, or small overnight shelters for sheep and cattle herders in southern Patagonia. I stayed in one of them one evening and enjoyed the simple wooden bunk bed and wood burning furnace to pass the frigid Patagonian evening.

Crossing Borders into the New Year

In the last couple months I left Bolivia, entered Chile, road down northern Argentina, and then crossed back into Chile. In doing so I descended out of the Andes, entered the summer season, and reintroduced excessive portions of fresh fruit into my diet for the first time since Ecuador. After studying in Chile's capital a few years ago, I had several friends and host families to catch up with when I biked into Santiago. A festive couple weeks there made me fall in love with Chile again, and my percentage of Chilean identity increased a few points. I wanted to stay longer in Santiago but the road and colder temperatures in the south called me, and so I continue to the end of the world.     Uyuni, Bolivia 11/19 to Chillan, Chile 1/12/2017

Around Santiago Chile

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Back in Santiago, Plaza de ArmasIMG_4272Christmas Dinner with the Vergara familyIMG_4364Despedio with my buddy Daniel, Choriana, and a pitcher of Chilean wineIMG_4465Monasterio de Miraflores

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Weekend camping trip near Curico

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Classic Chilean horno

Ruta 40 in Argentina

IMG_4193Argentinians make tons of roadside memorials for Gaucho Gil, the popular folk saint who cured the son of his murderer. In the middle of deserts they give him tons of bottles of water, which makes thirsty bikers like me want to take them when I run out of h2O. IMG_4222Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the Americas and the tallest outside of the Himalayans. I plan to return one day to climb it.IMG_4236

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Argentinian cartoons, the top says "singing beautifully" and the bottom "A little rest"

IMG_4158Argentinian wine country

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IMG_4169Another roadside memorial in ArgentinaIMG_4227

IMG_4161Argentinians like to put old cars and trucks on their property as lawn ornamentsIMG_4208

IMG_4085Morning climb IMG_4121

IMG_4069No photoshop, purple mountains in Northern Argentina

IMG_4053Alone in the Valley of the Misfit RocksIMG_4135

 

Eduardo Avaroa and Flamencos National Parks

IMG_3956Pretty good representation of the two countriesIMG_4018

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IMG_3928El desierto de Dali, Salvador Dali's desert did look like his type of playgroundIMG_3917

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IMG_3892This picture doesn’t do justice, but in southwest Bolivia at high altitudes lie bright colored lakes filled with hundreds of bright flamingos looking for food

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IMG_3899My home for Thanksgiving

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IMG_3932Typical road conditions in southwest Bolivia= super sandy= not nice

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Surrealism in Bolivia

Biking out of Peru and into Bolivia, little seemed to change culturally. Many of the people come from the same ancestors, the Inca, only separated by border lines. But one can't help but feel sorry for a country like Bolivia whose 5 neighbors have all moved those border lines and taken some of Bolivia's land over the centuries. Still Bolivians are warm up at these high altitudes of altiplano (high altitude flat terrain). The big open spaces, especially in the magical salt flats, make for an interesting ambience. Other than that, after recent developments in the United States I am considering extending my trip around the world until January 2021.      Arequipa, Peru to Uyuni, Bolivia 10/16 to 11/18

This video shows a tornado that Bolivians were able to reroute using whispers and hand movements, the Dali like Salt Flats, and a routine drug check.

Uyuni Salt Flat Adventures: Surviving a Zombie Gummy Bear Attack

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Out of nowhere there was a zombie gummy bear attack, but I managed to get away

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Then a dinosaur started chasing me

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I started having bike problems and I got caught in a wheel

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I got lost looking for my bike

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And when I finally found it I tried pulling it…

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And pushing it until I finally got out of the salt flat

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Behind the scenes

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First snow of the trip as I left Peru. Riding in freezing rain in the middle of the day with no nearby towns, I was forced to set up my tent in the early afternoon. I escaped hypothermia, and shortly after I crawled in my tent the rain turned to snow, turning my tent into an igloo by nightfall.

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img_3589Bolivians block the streets with dirt to protest several issuesimg_3720

img_3517This Peruvian Bball court reminded me that basketball season has started again. Go Hoosiers!

Coast to Mountains to Jungle, A Peru Journey with my Sister

After biking out of the mountains, I made my way toward the southern coast of Peru to make up some distance. Then it was back to Lima to meet my sister for a 10 day journey that included an electronic concert, a trip to energetic Machu Picchu, and a tour through the thick Amazon jungle. We covered all three of Peru's terrains in a short time, and finished with a smile.

Huancavelica, Peru to Arequipa, Peru 9/16 to 10/16

Video of the Amazon Jungle, Machu Picchu, and an Ultra Concert in Lima, Peru

img_5208 My sis and I next to a massive ceiba tree in the Amazon jungle 

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img_3115Vicuna, Peru's national animalimg_3225

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Nazca lines from up in the air

 

img_3097One night a family in the mountains gave me a stack of sheepskins to sleep on that was more comfortable than my normal foam mat

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Solar Water Heaters in Peru, good to see!