Day 536 – Right around the corner

Day 536 / Camping – Tolhuin, Argentina / 60 miles (Total 14,940)

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Leaving the hostel, I noticed some punks tossed a brick through the window of where I was staying. The lady that owned the hostel was in here late 70’s and very sweet (a little crazy, but sweet). Bums me out thinking she has to deal with this today.

It was hard to take in that Ushuaia is right around the corner. Another 2 days and this adventure will be over.

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TREES! Wow, was I glad to see something in the background that wasn’t flat lands.

I left the city early in the morning to beat traffic. Most of the ride today was the same flat, windy ride. There was a nice stretch of road that hugged the ocean for a few miles, which was a very nice treat. As the day went on the scenery finally started to change with rolling hills, green grass, and trees. Even though I was banged up from the hard week of riding, I was really enjoying the afternoon ride.

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A shack on the Atlantic ocean.

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So many of these fox’s running around

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Two little ones running in the field

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A little shelter from the wind

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Getting closer

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Markus and Karin from Switzerland. Met this couple in Rio Tranquillo and keep bumping into them. They noticed me on the side of the road and pulled over for a chat. It was nice talking to them for a while. They will make it to Ushuaia today and I should be there in a day or so. These two have some miles logged on from all over the world.

After talking with Markus and Karin, I started back on the road. The later the afternoon went on the stronger the winds got. It felt good to only have 10 miles to get to town, but 10 miles here can slow you down though. It took me 3 hours to finally get into town. Not much for sleeping options, but the La Union bakery is here. The bakery is famous for taking in bikers passing through. A nice place to get out of the wind, a nice dinner, and a hot shower.


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Day 535 – Short circuit

Day 535 / Camping – Rio Grande, Argentina / 85 miles (Total 14,880)

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The thought of riding today was tough to take in. My body can’t take much more of a beating, but I only have a few days to go. It was freezing cold to start the morning and the winds never died down last night. I only had a few miles to make it to the intersection where I would be heading east and hopefully get some tailwind.

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I made it to my turn off and my smooth pavement turned into another dirt road. Didn’t matter to me. I turned east and the wind was blasting me on my back. The best tailwind I have ever had touring. There was no need to pedal on this road, but I needed to feel some speed after the last few slow days. I ran out of gears speeding fast down this road.

I made it to my last border crossing on this trip and it went as smooth as possible. A tour bus filled with people were all waiting in line and I thought I would be waiting to stamp out of Chile for at least an hour. The bus driver saw me pulling up on my bike and brought me right up to the front of the line. Gracious! Getting back into Argentina took about 30 seconds. A quick look at my passport and my last stamp in my book. Wow, it’s coming to an end soon.

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Back into Argentina and a new view would soon appear.

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The road eventually turned south and I was back battling the winds. My tiny little shelter on the left is where lunch was made. Another day of screaming winds

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Today was tough on me mentally. Thoughts of being home soon. Thoughts of the end of the road is circling around my head.  My emotions feel like they have had a short-circuit. I’m not sure how to feel at this moment.

It took some time to find a place to sleep in Rio Grande. The large city was hard to get around with the wind blasting and heavy traffic. I really couldn’t imagine living like this. The winds never die down here. Always getting beat down. You don’t see much outdoor activity’s around here. Found a cheap hostel that a nice, sweet, crazy, elderly lady ran. Filled my saddlebag one last time with food and was sleeping early.

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Here’s the new view! From the Pacific in North America, to the Atlantic in South America. The feel of two wheels has opened doors that I would have never thought was possible


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Day 534 – All hell broke loose

Day 534 / Cerro Sombrero – Camping, Chile / 50 miles (Total 14,795)

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I have felt headwinds on tour, but nothing like today. Violent would sum it up. 40-50 mph winds slamming me in the face. I ended up in this shelter for over an hour figuring out if I should head back to town.

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Oh-look, pretty rolling hills. This is when all hell broke loose! The winds maxed out at this point and I’m guessing 60 mph +. I have never felt winds this strong in my life. There was no pedaling at this point. I was off the bike pushing and getting nowhere. The road was flat and paved, and I could not even push my bike at moments. Half of me was getting pissed, the other half was laughing at the situation.

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And life said “lets make it more of a challenge”. A rough, gravel road was placed in front of me. The torture of it all was the smooth, brand-new, paved road that the workers didn’t let me ride. Every time I tried to ride it, I got the boot. The headwinds kicked my ass, and the cross winds flung me literally from the right side of the lane to the left side of the ditch. Seriously some intense winds today. Dangerous winds.

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I ended up asking a worker if it was ok to ride the side ditch of the new road, cause the main road was too dangerous for me. Thank goodness he said yes. I still wasn’t safe to tell you the truth. This may look wide to ride, but the winds still blew me across the entire width. And the scary part was the steep ditch to the left. Some sections dropped over 10 feet and I was close to going over at moments. When the gust hit hard, I would drop my right foot and lean all my weight into the wind and tried to hold myself up. Holy crap – I love this $h!#

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For hours, I pedaled and pushed with nothing to show for, but I’m not here for that. I’m here for the experience of something new, and I fought for this story to tell. I was over the construction and a smooth,  paved road was under me, and a view to admire was in front of me. This may look like nothing to others, but to me, it was pure bliss. I worked, pushed, sweated, and cursed for this view. I came to a perfect rest area, dropped the bike, and absorbed the view. Tomorrow I will be pedaling across this from right to left.

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My goal for the day was a town called Onaisin that was on my map, but didn’t show up on my gps. By 6 o’clock I made it to this small shelter to take a break. My gut was telling me stop here and to call it a day. The room was small, but very clean. I made some dinner and decided to call it and not push the bike into town. Good thing I listened to my gut. The next day when I arrived, there was absolutely no town called Onaisin, just two small broken down shacks at the intersection.

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A nice shelter to call home for the night. It sounded like a freight train was passing me all night with the winds never letting up. The shelter was rattling from the high winds, but I was nice and warm.

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My tarp over the doorway and I decided not to set up the tent. Just my air mattress and sleeping bag for the night. The only thing I really had to worry about are the black widow spiders out her. Blah – who’s scared of those little spiders anyways. I was destroyed from the long day of pushing into the violent winds. My body has not been happy with the hard push since Calafate. My knees are screaming and the rest of my body feels the same way, but I have a deadline for Ushuaia. Today was one of the hardest days of riding on this trip. Once I laid down, I had one of my best nights of sleep.

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