I’m now since a few days in Ushuaia and it’s time for a conclusion about this bike adventure. What stays at the end are of course the positive things, which anyway are the majority. However, before I forget or block out the negative things, I’m writing them down here as well 😉
What I’m not going to miss
During all this travelling time, mostly just by myself, I never had any security issues at all; except with traffic. From my point of view, there were a few dangerous situations. Many car/truck or bus drivers seem not to know, how it feels to be overtaken very narrowly. Or they just don’t care. This is also valid for cars in opposite direction which have to pass by another car exactly in that moment when they are passing you. I do not think that they would to that too, if you would be a car instead. But cyclist just get ignored. My heart sunk more than ones into my boots or I had to leave the street involuntarily because of that. Therefore, I’m grateful to have arrived safely in Ushuaia. Those hundreds of crosses on the street side speak for them self…
- The rain, the wind…
At the Carretera Austral it was the rain, in the pampa it was the wind. Both got very on my nerves, also if they are of course part of nature and I’m of course aware of, that it could have been much worse. This especially regarding the wind. From my own experience and from what I’ve heard from others (Laura/Ben, Jenny/Jason), which were going north, I definitively can’t recommend to drive from south (Ushuaia) to north. This just because in this case many streets are heading west. And the wind is coming from west most of the time, unfortunately. The ones which are first doing the Carretera Austral from the north, going to Ushuaia and then take a boat or bus back to the starting point again before heading north (Karin/Gregor, Janine/Tom and others) are doing it better in my opinion. However, everybody has to decide that for him und herself at the end ;-).
What I’m going to miss
- The people
During this journey, I met a lot of very nice and interesting people. This includes of course all the met cyclists and other travellers (see also the links on the right side). It was not always easy for me to connect to all those new people in every new place. However, a lot of them made it much easier for me with their open and kind nature. So thank you very much for this!
Very important were at the end the local people. I won’t forget, when I got invited to a coffee and fresh bread during a very rainy day at the southeast part of the Carretera Austral, got a gift on the road from a Swiss fan, got an accommodation including a heated fireplace for free, got invited for dinner and sleeping in Tapi Aiken, got a lift by a young Argentinian couple or got lunch offered at a estancia, where I just wanted to get some water. Those and others were the moments which made me forget the stresses and strains and made the whole trip a very positive experience. Thank you!
- The landscape
I’ve started with 25C in the pretty dry Santiago, drove through the colder and pretty humid Carretera Austral and across the partly very dry pampa to finally arrive in the pretty cold and humid Terra del Fuego. Every region had its own touch. However, I kind of enjoyed the greener areas a bit more. What was a bit sad was the fact, that the animals were kind of afraid of the bike and run away very early. Much earlier than with cars which got to be their end a few times, unfortunately.
- The food
Not the food in particular but that I could eat for several months what I wanted and how much I wanted without thinking about calories. I even had almost problems to eat enough :-). The drawback is, that it’s pretty hard to get back to normal eating habits now…
Would I do it again? Definitively! But not by myself. It had of course also its advantages and it was a good experience. However, the longer the journey was the more lonely I got. And it was also pretty difficult to over and over motivate myself if things didn’t go that well.
On the 21st of February I will fly from Ushuaia to Santiago and then on the 25th back to Switzerland. If there is something interesting happening in the meantime, I maybe will write another article, latest one when I’m back home.
Thank you for coming along with me during the last few months and all the best from Ushuaia,