I will try to be short, but as usual it will be difficult. I’m filled with beauty that words cannot describe. I would like to tell you so many stories! … I’m really thinking to write a book … and pictures?? thousands … step by step.
After 4 resting days in Punta Arenas I was cycling northward, direction Puerto Natales, heading to the Torres del Paine National Park. “Is it always so cold here in summer?”, the old man: “Cold?? Is quite hot this year!”. Still the people were like the outside temperature … a bit cold.
The Chilean pampa is not much different from the Argentinean one: windy, desolated, flat land … BUT the colors in the morning were incredible.
I started to feel uncomfortable. The big trucks by their passage were creating what I called “the black hole”: a vacuum was created between me and the big machine and I was literally sucked below their wheels …”s h i t !!” For a couple of time I did “dedo” (hitchhiking) … I like to ride my bicycle but I also like to be alive for doing it.
I had a big dilemma: “Torres del Paine National Park or not?”. People that were there told me that it was amazing but expensive (too expensive), full of people and expensive overcrowded camping places … mmmm doesn’t sound a place for me.
Additionally I have a kitty … pets are not allowed in national parks. I decided to skip the park and just cycling around of it … good choise because anyway it was raining up there. We enjoyed beautiful landscapes and wonderful relaxing wild camping.
In Cerro Castillo I reached the border between Chile and Argentina. At the Chilean side: “How do you travel?”, “By bicycle Sir, and I have a kitty” and I gave him the papers of Dimitri. He looked me suspicious: “Ah really?? And it is also riding its own bicycle?“.
At the border office they were amused and surprised … they never had something like this. In the Argentinian side they didn’t care much … I think I could even enter with a penguin there.
I was back in the Argentinian pampa but this time with TAIL WIND!! Yuhhuuuuu!! On the famous Ruta 40 in slighty uphill I reached 42 km/h speed without pedaling … I was flying uphill… crazy wind!
The next destination was El Calafate … “You have to see the Perito Moreno” I had been told. And so I did.
The entry to the park was quite expensive but everything was clean and well-organized.
Incredible, majestic amount of iced water … Yes, they were right: I had to see the Perito Moreno. People were silent in front of that incredible giant … crrrraaaaa cruuuuuuu craaaaaack! splaaaaaashhhhh! A big piece broken down in the water … people whistled and clapped their hands.
After few days in El Calafate I was heading to El Chalten … amazing El Chalten. The small village itself was nothing special, but the surrounding was just stunning. The Fitz Roy was on my “do” list. I left Dimitri in a vet clinic so I could spent the night in the National Park.
I started the climb to the Lagos de los Tres in the afternoon … full of people. I was expecting this, therefore I decided to sleep there, at the lake.
At about 20:00 only few people around in the distance. I was already in my sleeping bag enjoying the view and the fresh wind. Suddenly arrived a young guy: “Can I sleep with you?” …”What!?! Sorry?”… “Can I sleep with you?“. My shelter made by rocks was really good to protect against the wind. “Ahahahah sure! There is plenty of space here!”.
Kevin, a funny, incredible and brave 17 years old korean guy. He is travelling alone. “Ooh, I want visit Hungpruu in Suitserland“. “Eheheh, yes, the JUNGFRAU is a quite nice place”. Kevin want to become chef de cuisine and he was suggesting me all the best restaurants between Chile and Peru. I liked his positive attitude and bright energy. Great time up there!
“Kevin wake up, the sun is rising”.
In silence we were observing that stunning spectacle. Then we started to jump around to take pictures from different perspectives. After a couple of minutes everything was finished. Woooow!
Filled with energy, beauty and joy I descended to El Chalten … Dimitri was waiting for me. It was happy to see me and that day didn’t move from the tent. The day after we were ready to ride to the Lago del Desierto for crossing (again) the border with Chile and reach the Caretera Austral … who was imagining that this road was conducing me (us) in an incredible adventure?
But I will tell you about this in the next post.
Stef & Dimitri with bicycle