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Tierra del Fuego

The_road_signs keep telling us that Ushuaia is just a few kilometers away.  What does it mean to be this close to where the road ends, where we can go no further south?  The closeness of Ushuaia hasn’t made Tierra del Fuego’s famous winds any easier to combat on bicycle.  For reference, when the wind isn’t in your favor, it is quite easy for a strong cyclist to be humbled by the pace of a gaucho herding some sheep at a horse’s walking pace.  The rough, washboard gravel road that we took more than 100k from Porvenir to our final crossing into Argentina wasn’t made any smoother.  Our excitement and simultaneous bewilderment at how close we are to the end of this long road hasn’t kept our feet and hands warm while riding through wintry mornings.  Ushuaia is where we pack up our bicycles and fly home and say good-bye to this life of tent-camping and stove-cooking and unknown miles by bicycle.  Yet these last days with my brothers and Joe aren’t any more special or significant than the hundreds that came before them.  That first comical day out of Anchorage, struggling to get 100k finished as complete rookies in abundant Alaskan daylight, was no less crucial than the 100k that we covered yesterday and the 100k we’ll ride tomorrow to finish Bound South.  These last days on Tierra del Fuego aren’t special or different, and for that we are thankful.  These last miles are simply more sustenance for this moveable feast we will always know as Bound South.

Boarding the ferry to Tierra del Fuego.

Skewed horizons on the Strait of Magellan 

Our first day on Tierra del Fuego brought us to Concordia, a sheep farm of 7000, where we were welcomed by two gauchos.

They had four extra beds, a roaring stove, coffee and mate, bread and homemade “ruibarbo” jam. We were ecstatic and so thankful to be out of the elements.

We were told the gaucho on the far right is the oldest shepherd in all of Patagonia, having worked for over 80 years!

Patagonian wind.

Three days.

The Atlantic.

Life in the Vast Lane.

To celebrate Joe’s birthday, we biked 110 kilometers through the wind and rain. This is Joe 60 kilometers in.

Our destination that day: La Unión, a bakery in Tolhuin. We sang for our keep here. They housed us, fed us, and treated Joe to this much-deserved slab of cake.

Buen Provecho!

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. Shiela Rabe #

    How exciting to see Ushuaia on a road sign. Happy belated birthday Joe – the cake looks almost as good as the ones we made at our bakery!

    May 11, 2012
  2. Ian #

    Well done lads… it must be a great feeling arriving to that point. It’ll be nice to think back over the thousands of miles and the experiences in Ushuaia. Top stuff… alll the best and safe travels back home!

    May 11, 2012
  3. Deb #

    All I can say is WOW!

    May 11, 2012
  4. Aunt Sue #

    Wish I could be in Fargo to welcome you home! Stay safe and relish the memories-in-the-making!

    May 11, 2012
  5. STeve Tober #

    Go guys go! Hope you’re singing your lungs out the last day of the ride!

    May 11, 2012
  6. I am sure going to miss your postings! My only regret is that I didn’t find your blog in the beginning! I only started reading in Peru! I’ll need to someday go back and look through the archives. An amazing journey, with exceptional writing and photography! You guys are so lucky to have had this time together and this journey!

    May 11, 2012
  7. You guys are awesome. And I’ve been to that bakery!!! They had the best medialunas EVER. Small world. 🙂

    June 14, 2012

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