06/12/2013 stage 73 Tehuelches - Punta Arenas by malcandmarjetpatterson at Garmin Connect - Details
First lap by bike second lap in pick up truck!
It is really hard for me to comprehend the emptiness of Southern Patagonia. To have to travel 100 km exactly to the nearest green grocers is just beyond me. There are no trees and hardly any shrubs over 50 cm high. The landscape is bleak and featureless in the extreme yet it does have it's own appeal. Every now and again there is an 'estancia' a kind of farm settlement. Usually surrounded by poplars to protect it from the wind. It is just so isolated. The landlady in the hostal in Puerto Natales which was quite a bustling little town had told us she has planned to move to Arenas 245 km away a month before the baby is due because there is no adequate care in Natales and when her baby is due the roads are likely to be blocked by snow so she has to make sure to arrive in good time. In my head, living in Bude or Holsworthy is out in the sticks! The road we are riding on is the 'Fin del mundo circuit' and it feels that way. After starting in ' the middle of the earth ' in Quito on the Ecuator it sure feels we have come a long way. It is very quiet and it is still beautiful riding even though there isn't the dramatic beauty of the High Andes. However battling with strong side winds is only attractive for a little while and when we turned into a full on head wind after 50 km on a clearly much busier road my heart sank. Not for long however! We hadn't dared to join the main carriage way because of the amount of traffic and fear of being blown into it when a pick up truck stopped and offered us a lift to Punto Arenas. It took us less then three seconds to accept gratefully and we were very glad we did. The road remained busy,the wind strong and the landscape remained the same. We sorted out the ferry times to Porvenir and scouted out the available eating places in Arenas and spotted an 'all you can eat' That seemed right up my street and the perfect chance to stock up on calories before we hit the sticks again.
|As if camping wasn't uninviting enough in this inhospitable landscape|