Life on the road is unpredictable. You put yourself out there for days, weeks, months, even years at the time, without ever really knowing what the roulette table of life will have in store for you this time. And that – of course – is the whole point.
Tierra del Fuego however, is (at least in some ways) as predictable as it gets. Easy? No. Boring? Definitely not. But fact stands. When going at it from south to north – you know what you’re in for.
Girl + Bicycle + Tierra del Fuego equals 2 certainties at the end of any given day:
Wind rarely does itself justice on photos. So we’ll simply need to try something else this time.
Imagine yourself in the backseat of a fast moving car. Are you there yet? Good. Roll down that imaginary window. Now, stick out your hand and feel that familiar high five from the wall of wind crashing in towards your palm. Got it? Great. For extra effect you could also just briefly stick out your head, simply to listen to that deafening noice for a second or two. There you go. Now, imagine this on your entire being. For days on end. And without any windows to roll back up.
Welcome to Tierra del Fuego.
Going south to north the wind is a challenge. Even the smallest tasks, such as putting on a jacket becomes incredibly impractical. Ending up in the ditch a few times a day is as much of a given as gravity (which by the way seem to play by different rules down here). Patience is absolute key. So is it to not ever let the 7, 8, 9 km/h digits flashing on the odometer get to you.
With that said though, I loved this little corner of the world. Like really, really loved it. Here are a bunch of photos to show you what my days looked like, down by el fin del mundo (the end of the world).
Yes. Wind can even turn selfies into small mission impossibles.
Curiosity contest with the locals (guanacos).
From time to time I passed by rural sheep and cattle farms…
…and took every opportunity I got for a little break from the winds.
Due to a worker’s strike my first border crossing into Chile ended up taking close to 18 hours. My longest one up to date. Something that sounds far from ideal, but that in reality was just the best ever.
As some sort of compensation for not stamping my passport, the lovely guys at the border simply decided to give me everything else they could come up with instead. After a long border evening consisting of a big dinner, never ending mates (google this), a game of football and possibly a few too many jokes about Chileans, I was spoiled to a warm place to sleep. Though I still hadn’t left Argentina, the day was officially a smashing success.
Walls, 3 mattresses and a heater? Oh yes please!
When I woke up it was snowing. And though I knew I still had a lot of waiting to do also on the Chilean border control, I felt like I was almost cheating past this part of the crossing.
The river I knew I needed to wade through…
…had gotten a bridge just 3 weeks earlier!
Different country, same wind.
One sunny afternoon, I finally reached this view. A view I’d been waiting for and which I knew exactly what it meant. This was Bahía Inutíl, and I was up for some 30 kilometers of tailwind.
Going from days on end with an average speed below 10 km/h to suddenly be absolutely flying without even peddling has got to be one of the most relieving feelings in the world. Shwoooosh! Haha. Life on top, for sure. However much I loved it though, me taking a turn for some favorable winds wasn’t the main reason for the dorky smile on my face that day. That was something else entirely.
That was me knowing, that I was up for penguins.
Until next time,