Chile, Pizza and other Cyclists

by MaMo — on  ,  ,  ,  , 


About two weeks ago we started cycling in the direction of Tierra del Fuego. The first kilometer were slighly more exhausting - we had had a two week rest before. Because a strike was anounced for the next day, we directly crossed to Chile instead of sleeping at Laguna Azul. Unfortunately, we had to discard our red lentils (bought in Buenos aires…) and the honey at the border crossing. But shortly after, we found a very scenic spot to camp on a cliff overlooking the Magellan Strait.

View on Tierra del Fuego
View on Tierra del Fuego

After sleeping there, we took the ferry and reached Tierra del Fuego. It is easy to imageine it more romantic than it actually is. The first two days on the island were mainly passing oil production areas and some small hills. From time to time we could also see distant mountains and glaciers, and had a nice Guanaco visit during a lunch break.

Guanacos and Martha sleeping...
Guanacos and Martha sleeping…

We also finished our longest day trip so far. 120 km, of which the last 40 km were gravel road. Luckily, we had a good wind from behind in the evening. After that, we left Chile after slightly more than two days. In the no man’s land between Chile and Argentina, our first repair job along the road was necessary. Martha’s bike suffered from a break of a screw holding the front rack. Moritz fixed it more or less, and we could continue our way.

After a short stop at the Argentinian border we quickly made our way to Rio Grande, thanks to good wind. We planned on staying there to repair the rack, but the next day was a sunday. Because a headwind of 80 km/h was forseen for Monday, we decided to stay longer and try the repair then. But wrongly planned: Monday was a public holiday. Hence we continued without repair, but very relaxed, on Tuesday.

We also met the first larger number of other cyclists, that were either going to Ushuaia or coming from there. One told us about a new accommodation in Tolhuin: a cycling paradise at a bakery - Panaderia la Union. In the free! dorm that is built into the bakery many cyclists slept in the past and ate nice pasteries.

Cyclists' paradise
Cyclists’ paradise

We started towards Tolhuin with a lot of wind and some careful warnings of the police to be especially careful in the traffic. Reaching the bakery, we immediately met other cyclists. Two Argentinians, that just finished to hike 300km around a lake without any knowledge of trails and paths. In addition another Argentinian that we already met in Puerto Madryn, and who just finished a 200km cycling stage with a spaniard. Crazy.

As we all went further, we agreed to have a common sleeping place and make asado half the way to Ushuaia at Hosteria Petrel.

Hosteria Petrel
Hosteria Petrel

What we two did not know: The hosteria was not much more than a ruin, similarly the Cabanas. Luckily, we found one Cabana with a complete roof and all windows to sleep. Also the fireplace in the Hosteria was still ok. The first two others arrived around 8pm, and we started a fire for the dinner. The other two were still on the way. They only arrived shortly after midnight, when we had finished eating. In a very good mood they explained that they had brought pizza ingredients.

Fire place in the Hosteria
Fireplace in the Hosteria

Hence we put fresh wood on the fire, made pizza dough, drank wine and listened to music. Moritz “found” a pizza stone in one of the old ovens of the hosteria’s kitchen. Using this, we had very good pizza in the middle of the night.

fresh stone baked pizza
fresh pizza from a stone at 2am

After we enjoyed breakfast and lunch with the others, we two started at the next day in the afternoon. We cycled over small mountain pass and had a lot of rain and wind on the way to Ushuaia. Very cooled out we decided to stay in a hostel for the following night.