The ferocious Patagonian winds fought hard to keep us from reaching Tierra del Fuego.  They tossed us about, knocked us off our bikes, attacked us from all sides.  They humbled us.  They angered us.  They brought us to tears.

But eventually we beat them.

IMG_8252-tierradelfuego
A glorious moment. Arrival in Tierra del Fuego!

After waiting out a snowstorm in the village of Tulhuin, 100 kilometers from Ushuaia, we inched our way up the Garibaldi Pass, past shimmering lakes and snow-capped mountains.  All bundled up in thermals and multiple layers, sniffling and sneezing and cursing the cold.

IMG_8342-paso-garibaldi
The last obstacle to reaching Ushuaia.

But soon enough our thoughts turned away from cranking the pedals and we took a look around.  We were awe-struck with the beauty of Tierra del Fuego.  After 2,500 kilometers of barren pampa, pine trees suddenly sprouted up and thick forests lined the highway.

IMG_8334-lake-amaya
Overlooking lake Fagnano, around 50 kilometers from Ushuaia.
IMG_8331-amaya-mountain
Fresh snow on the mountains outside of Ushuaia.

Almost there!
Almost there!

IMG_8329-ruta3

From Paso Girabaldi we coasted down to Ushuaia.  After months of daydreaming and imagining the moment we would finally reach the southernmost city in the world, the actual arrival was, well, anti-climatic.

Another storm was brewing, so we quickly set the timer on the camera and posed for a photo.  Then we were off to find relief from the wind and shelter for the night.

Ushuaia's Port.
Ushuaia's Port.

The Beagle Canal.

Now, snow and cold on the 14th of December probably doesn’t strike most of you as very odd.  But remember, this is the Southern Hemisphere.  The official start to summer is just days away.  Snow should not be part of the forecast, even if we are at latitude 55 degrees south.

The locals like to say that in Ushuaia, you can experience all four seasons in a single day.  They’re right.  It’s a crazy climate, but when the sun pops out over the Beagle Canal, the city is stunning.

Off for a hike in the Tierra del Fuego National Park.
Off for a hike in the Tierra del Fuego National Park.

IMG_8386-lake-sunset

The long road ahead

The end of one adventure means the start of another.  The road north.  All the way back to Colombia, passing through the Andean countries this time.

We’re looking forward to escaping the relentless winds and taking on some high passes.  Give me a good strenuous climb, unbearable heat, driving rain, rutted roads.  Anything but the Patagonian winds.

IMG_8226-wind
You've got to cycle Patagonia to really know what winds are.

New Beginnings at the end of a Continent
Tagged on:

9 thoughts on “New Beginnings at the end of a Continent

  • arby
    December 19, 2010 at 8:03 PM
    Permalink

    Congratulations, and have a safe journey back north. We’ll remember that “Anything but the Patagonian winds” comment though.
    Best wishes, I hope you guys have a wonderful holiday season, and a great New Year, rb

    Reply
  • Peg @ Hill
    December 19, 2010 at 10:05 PM
    Permalink

    Love the updates and your heartfelt comments on the joys and struggles of traveling the world by bike. Thinking of you and hope to see you on your return north. Best wishes for your continued adventures.

    Reply
  • Casey Jeszenka
    December 20, 2010 at 2:57 AM
    Permalink

    Congratulations!!! You guys are seeing the world like most will never see it, truly inspirational!!!! Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year on your way north.

    Reply
  • Judy werner
    December 20, 2010 at 3:59 AM
    Permalink

    Wow,so happy for you guys! Congratulations! I hope you have great tailwinds as you head north. We are in China, about to head to Northern Thailind tomorrow. Thanks again for the inspiration : ) Jjudy

    Reply
  • Maria Angeles Capellades
    December 20, 2010 at 6:57 AM
    Permalink

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!! MUCHAS FELICIDADES!!!! Have the best Christmas ever! Isn’t it beautiful down there? The Patagonia is just amazing. Wait til you cross into Chile :-)))

    Reply
  • Julien
    December 20, 2010 at 9:08 AM
    Permalink

    Merci de nous faire partager ces moment exeptionnels!
    Continuez à nous faire réver!!
    Joyeux Noël à tous les deux.
    Je vous embrasse,
    Julien

    Reply
  • Gustavo Sauer
    December 20, 2010 at 12:42 PM
    Permalink

    Felicitaciones !!
    Ustedes son increíbles !!

    Abrazo desde Comodoro. Felices Fiestas.

    Reply
  • graham
    December 20, 2010 at 5:36 PM
    Permalink

    hi there to both of you. sent an email so wont drag this one on. just hope you have a fantastic trip north and the winds will be on your back. enjoy and have a great christmas day and new year. hope you get somewhere amazing for them both. cheers

    Reply
  • World Biking
    December 22, 2010 at 4:25 PM
    Permalink

    Thanks everybody for taking the time out of your busy holiday schedules to get in contact. We are thrilled to have made it to Tierra del Fuego, even if it did incvolve a tiny amount of hitching. Wimping out is a true pleasure at times.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share
Tweet
+1
Read previous post:
Random Rewind: Bicycle Touring in Egypt

Exactly two years ago we were slogging our way through Sudan’s Nubian  desert on our way to Egypt.  Looking back,...

Close