Again a lot of time has passed. Some were thinking that I’m not motivated anymore to write on my blog, but the reason is another: the internet connection here is just terrible. I’ll try to resume some of the thousands things I experienced in the Tierra del Fuego.
We had a great time in Rio Grande with Graciela. I was the only tourist and I stayed there one week (sure!! no rush for me!). Red wine, cheese and a lot of laugh … with her stories I was laughing till the tears were flowing on my face … Gracias Graciela! … but no time for tears, I had to continue.
I was avoiding as much as possible the Ruta 3. Very bad reputation and recently a sad accident happened. A chinese cyclist lost his life … a pensioned man who was already about 10 years on the road.
Only 79 km separated me from the chilean border … in normal conditions it would take me 1 day ride … it took me 3 exhausting days. Flat landscape, relatively good road condition BUT the wind coming from the side was slowing me down … A LOT … and the rain was not helping.
In some parts I had to jump out from the saddle and push. I had the impression that I was pushing forever and when I checked my cyclometer … what? only 800 m???
In other areas I had to stop, plant my feet firmly on the ground and with all my body keep my bicycle still … here they are the 80 km/h gusts announced by the weather forecast … Gesùgiuseppemaria. The kitty was good. In its basket it’s very well protected from wind, cold and rain.
I couldn’t go forwards. I was tired and cold. I think I was looking miserable … I was feeling miserable. Nobody around. Impossible to pitch the tend. Pampa.
Disarmed I just wanted to cry … come on! What would it change? No time for tears, keep going and push till the next Estancia (Josephine is so tough). Fortunately I always found a shelter.
Finally I entered in Chile. Finally some forests. Beautiful magnificent enchanted trees. We had really very nice nights out there and a very relaxing new year eve. “Happy new year Dimitri. Enjoy your meal.”
I had almost no food anymore and even no money, so can you imagine the joy when 3 Argentinean guys stopped and offered me pizza, sopa paragualla (sort of tortilla), crackers and 1 apple: gracias chicos nunca los voy olbidar! I was almost crying for the joy … yes, exactly: no time for tears. Eat and go!
In Chile the doors were a bit more open when I was asking a repaired place to pitch my tent. “Why do you want to pitch your tent if I have space in my house?“. Ximena and her lovely family welcomed me warmly. Shower, food, laundry … such a lovely soul.
The next day we looked at each other in the eyes … both we were crying and wishing each other a lot of luck. Yes, because also her family, few days before, quitted everything to start a new life in Cameron. No time for tears, the way is still long.
Also José and Teresa didn’t hesitate to open the door when completely wet and cold I knocked at their door. Teresa. Such an enigmatic character. I’m sure: even the best actress in the world cannot interpret such a character … no no, even Maryl Streep cannot! But I’m so thankful to this woman.
They and their 30 cats never had somebody at home … I was the first one. “Teresa I don’t have money but I can work and help you for whatever”. “No se preocupe señorita” (Don’t worry Miss) and the meal was served:
Teresa was not speaking much. We were in the kitchen drinking coffee and listening fantastic chamamé (typical latin music). “You don’t feel lonely here?”. “No, I like to be alone … and I have my 30 cats“. She was so happy when I told her I’ll never forget her super-incredible-delicious cuisine. She smiled.
The equation is simple: no wind = rain. No rain = wind. At the Bahia Inutil (useless bay) I wanted to see the penguins … yes, incredible expensive. A tourist-trap, BUT when will I see free pinguins again? …why they chose that place? The most exposed to the wind.
Even the cat was getting crazy with the wind. I tried to find nice and quite places for our breaks. Like that day at the beach. Suddenly it assumed a position like this:
What is wrong? Nooooooooo a seal! A curious seal at about 20 m from us … so incredible. Probably it will see never again a cat. It swimmed away.
The Patagonian island was almost done. I was happy. Don’t get me wrong: beautiful landscapes BUT the wind ruined a bit the party. For the first time I was really really tired.
Again I can say: I did it. It was not easy. I think that the Tierra del Fuego was the most difficult part of my trip till now. I did it. Another experience that I will never forget.
In difficult time just keep going … everything is temporary.
With a boat we left the island and we arrived in Punta Arenas (Cile). Some rest and back on the saddle … the adventure continues … and the wind too!
Stef, Dimitri and few tears