The Bike Ramble Blog

Mountain Dreamin’

Hey.

Here’s the deal. I have way too many photos from the section of this journey I want to tell you about in this post. Or at least begin to tell you about. So instead of writing too much about it, I’ll let a few of them do most of the talking instead.

If I did write, this would only ever become another one of those chunks of text where I try and find yet a few more synonyms to the not-even-graspable beauty that this planet keeps revealing a little more of for each new country passing under my wheels. A few new attempts at defining the magic that makes me want to keep chasing new horizons in all eternity.

I would try and explain the feeling being so endlessly small. While at the same time fully feeling part of the greatest thing of all.

I would yet again try to put that absolutely deafening mountain silence to words.

How – after days of climbing it – rolling down the other side of a massive mountain pass beats any and every roller coaster in the world.

Or how thin enough air somehow makes me feel like I’m breathing with purpose.

And I would fail miserably with all of the above.

The one thing I do want to say though, is that if you – even for a second – think that something like this could possibly be for you. And that somehow, sometime, you might be able to create an opportunity to make it reality. To give the middle finger to all those ‘impossibles’ that – as if only to make our lives miserable – consistently stand in between us and our dreams. (The secret few people know, is that they’re really only there to make sure we want them bad enough.)

I realise that peddling an old pushbike up and down a bunch of mountains isn’t for everyone. And that the majority of you reading these lines probably have way more sophisticated and purposeful dreams than me. I don’t care though. The same goes for you:

– If you want, you can. And if you can – you must.

Go for it. Whatever that ‘it’ might happen to be for you. Like, really make an attempt. The least you can do for yourself is try. It’s not supposed to be easy. But it’s supposed to be done.

Trust me. Try.

You will thank yourself forever.

Alright. We agreed on letting the photos do the talking in this one, right?

Here it is. Some of what the biggest smack in the face nature has ever given me looked like.

One early morning I left the small but oh so cute township of Villa Union behind, headed up. I had 2 weeks worth of food crammed down my panniers, and – at last – my big Andean two wheeled adventures were about to begin.

The first few days of climbing were, like always seems to be the case for me when I’m charging up high mountains, breezy and filled with absolutely childlike anticipation. Nature changes fast. Everything is new. The dropping temperatures still doesn’t require much more than an extra pair of socks at night. And still there are far too much oxygen in the air for your mind to even give it any thought.


Day 1


Day 2


Day 3

Surprisingly soon though – also this just like in any other high mountains I’ve been – you find yourself up high for real. And though mind and soul is still souring from pure inspiration, your far from acclimatised body is hating you a little more for each pedal stroke and climbed meter. Heart is beating like a drum no matter if you’re cycling, pushing, or simply sitting on a rock eating peanuts.

And it’s awesome.


How can this even be real?!

Eventually, I reached the first pass – Portazelo de Laguna Brava. 4350 masl.


The mandatory I’m UP!-selfie

And I was officially up on the arid, rugged altiplano offering to be my home for as long as I… could handle it.


Some of the host inhospitable landscapes I’ve ever seen


Vicuñas having dinner by Laguna Brava

This is probably what I love the most. Not the climbing part, headed up mountains. Nor the speedy descent down from them. That little something in between – being in them. Your body is well adjusted to the lack of oxygen. Your eyes have accepted that those ridiculous views and your ever-changing wallpapers are actually real. And making sure to keep batteries and water bottles from freezing at night becomes just as a natural part of your day as zipping up the tent in the morning.

We’re all different. But to me – this is the definition of life. And nowhere else do I feel as strongly that I’m absolutely living it.


2nd pass coming up!


Abra Pircas Negras. 4230 masl.


Rewards..!


Can you see my road down there?

I could go on forever.

Though I think I’ll do us all a favor and save the full photo bonanza for another time. Most likely to the couch of my grandmother, when I finally get there. If anyone in the world – she would be the one with the stamina to get through them all.

So for now, let’s just finish off with reminding ourselves.

– If we want, we can. If we can – we must.

I hope you don’t mind me asking. What is your dream?

Until next time,

Fredrika

Anticipation

Leaving the shady avenues and bustling city life of Mendoza behind I felt like a mad woman on the run from a mental institution. A full week of rest had come and gone since arriving in the fruit and wine Mekka of Argentina, and it was high time to move on. Regardless of how great big hostel hangouts, even bigger glasses of Malbec and water melon enough for a lifetime can be – I not only wanted – I needed out.


Nope. Not even you can make me stay one more minute.

Out. Fast. And after rolling through those few rough neighbourhoods that everyone had made sure to warn me about – I was.

Urgent pedal strokes gave away my impatience. I was still far from where I wanted to be. But more than anything they were proof of a massive dose of excitement. Because I knew I was getting there.

The original plan of crossing the Cristo Redentor pass into Chile (which no doubt had been great too) had been scratched to give place for a new one. A far greater one. One to the starting point of which I simply couldn’t get to soon enough. Though unfortunately one that I still had quite some riding to get to.

What is worth mentioning though, is that the ride there turned out to be total a gem in itself. And no doubt the best ‘warm up’ possible, with just enough switchbacks, shitty road surface and ‘people-lessness’ to get legs and mind ready for what was about to hit them.

Days came and went. I wasn’t far now.

High. Rough. Remote.

Pure.

Hopefully more so than ever before.

It was time to hit the Andes.

And kickstart these South American adventures for real.

Until next time,

Fredrika

By |February 27th, 2017|South America, Travel Logs|

Bicycle Bootcamp

This trip is slowly sneaking up on it’s 2 year anniversary. Still, all these 35 000+ km into it, there are times when the only thing in the world I want to do – is to ride my bicycle. After bidding farewell to my newfound friends in the alpine chocolate-town of Bariloche, this was exactly the case.

Without thinking. Without stopping. Without caring about anything except enjoying every ounce of the freedom that comes with living with the wind in my hair and my home on the my rear rack. Doing nothing but letting the world around me change with the pace of my spinning legs.

Leaving Bariloche I wanted to ride my bike.

That’s what I did.

And this is what it looked like.

First off I found myself on ‘El Camino de los 7 Lagos’, also known as ‘The 7 Lakes Route’. As the name speaks quite well for itself, I’ll just add in some off the somewhat less obvious keywords shaping my ride on this particular stretch of road.

…Damn. I just caught myself about to write that I found natural beauty. In the less obvious section of this post? Come on Fredrika, you can do better than that.

Alright. Second try.

Just because of it being my very last in a loong time, I do feel like mentioning that I did find quite a bit of rain.

And because of him being a total rockstar – that I one night found myself in the company of my most badass neighbour of all times. I liked him all the way until he kicked over my dinner pot, just after I’d explained to him how I didn’t really feel like sharing my evening soup.


I can’t be the only one thinking Davy Jones?

I kept cycling. And just like I already mentioned – watched the landscape shift.

Without much notice, the very last bit of greenery was left behind and I had suddenly landed in one big déjà vu of being back on the long, winding, bone dry mountain roads of Kurdistan.

I peddled on.

Days yet again turned into that familiar meditative blur that I still have trouble defining why I love so much.

Every night offered another out-of-this-world camp spot.

And in every small town I passed the local bicycle mafia (still on summer holiday) was waiting by the main plaza, always ready to show me around and almost getting into fights when deciding who would help me to fill up my water bottles. Luckily, I generally had more than enough empty ones to prevent any gang battles following my departure.

By this point, my legs had started pointing out to me that they were getting a bit tired.

Though I still felt like cycling some more.

And soon found myself climbing gravel passes, and free wheeling along some volcanic sceneries more than stunning enough to have my previously heavy limbs change their minds completely, and decide they were more than happy to keep pushing those pedals for as long as I pleased.

So we rode a bunch of days more.

Then.

After 11 straight days, 80 something hours of cycling and who knows how many kilometers.

Came the last one.

Resting on the Andean foothills, the oasis town of Mendoza is the fruit and wine capital of Argentina. With a bustling city of wide, leafy avenues, atmospheric plazas and cosmopolitan cafes – Mendoza is a trap for anyone ever planning to leave.

I carefully read the words in my beaten up Lonely Planet one last time, while my sweaty hands were trying to squeeze out the very last of my toothpaste. Not even 8 am. Still the sun had already risen high up in the sky and temperatures were once again on a steady climb towards the daily 40°C mark.

My legs weren’t the only ones tired now. Every part of me wanted rest.

I took one deep breath. And smiled. Knowing I was just a single day’s ride away from getting it..!

Until next time,

Fredrika

By |February 26th, 2017|South America, Travel Logs|

Gratitude & Gamla Gubbar

1st of January.

It really is one of those dates, isn’t it? One which we can ask anyone about at any time, and know that they will be able to recall just what they did that day. Where. And with who.

I can too. Though not necessarily because of it being just New Years. Maybe a little bit because I started it in the comfiest bed in history. But more than anything, because I was literally pulled out of it at bloody 5 o’clock in the morning.

…!

Let me explain.

Two years back I spent a crisp New Years Eve at my friend’s house back in my home town. Standing next to her, ankle deep in snow I was watching fireworks light up a pitch black sky, thinking of nothing but how this was my last Swedish New Years in forever.

I was wrong.

Exactly one year later.

New Years Eve again. Surrounded by my whole family, I was burying my toes in the wet sand of the crowded beach in tourist mayhem Hua Hin, Thailand. I was watching fireworks just like the year before, with the main difference being that time also while trying to avoid getting set on fire by any of the way too many burning lanterns other Scandinavian tourists were miserably failing with getting into the air.

Like so many times before I spent the first trembling minutes of the new year watching the sky. Silently laughing to the memory of my aching heart from the previous year. Thinking how this was probably my most cliché Swedish New Years ever. Following the shrinking light from a one of the hundred lanterns drifting further and further up in the sky, I started playing with the thought of how in the world I would be spending the next one. Where? And with who..?

Not in a million years, would I have been able to guess.

But to no one’s surprise but mine – did also this one end up being Swedish. (I’m rapidly going all international though, adding a dash of Norway this time..!)

5 am.

The New Years party is still in full swing. And the streets of El Bolsón, Argentina are filled with beautiful people in all ages and levels of intoxication more or less consciously making their way into 2017. We all know how more or less how these things go, right?

The air is cool but comfortable enough even for the girls in the very shortest dresses. The backdrop from the still open nightclub is sending physical pulses through the air of the entire town. Upset voices of an arguing couple are being drowned out by the ecstatic laughters of that big group of teenage girls who’ve probably all been best friends since before they were even old enough to know their own names.

Someone’s lying passed out in the grass on the town plaza. Next to him, sits someone mid-mission of rapidly stuffing his face with a massive pizza. Because in practice it still sort of is 2016 – right? That whole get thin thing doesn’t really start until after you wake up on the 1st. Everyone knows that. Right..?

Dawn is on a slow, but steady approach. Crashing in with just enough light for people to slowly start realising that it might actually be time to head home after all.

There is one thing though, that doesn’t make any logical sense whatsoever, this particular new years morning in El Bolsón. And that is a dumb ass Scandinavian group of lycra dressed cyclists rolling through town like a not-even-funny mirage made up by someone on too many hallucinogens.

And in the middle of it – is me :-)

Though there are a million things to be said about the week I ended up spending as the Bariloche adoptive daughter of Laban, Bebben and Holte, I’ll keep it short. In practice it consisted of one day of cycling together, and then me recovering from a way too persistent sickness that these lovely souls for no reason decided to give me the circumstances and support to finally get well from.

Finally feeling well physically was great. Emotionally though, this week was something I didn’t fully grasp until afterwards how much – and desperately – I had actually needed. Sure, these 3 mad men were just as new in my life as any- and everything else I fill my days, weeks, months and years with. But still they gave me a sense of familiarity and being home that I honestly can’t even remember when truly experiencing last.

This boosted my spirit. On a level that still today – a good month later – is sinking in a little more for each passing day. Like I said, I needed this. I needed these people.

And they were totally worth getting up at 5 am for.

Thank you. All three of you.

Thank you for everything.

I don’t need to write here what that everything means. You know already. Probably still more so than I do myself.

And just in case you’ve had time to forget it until then – I’ll make sure to remind you of it when we see each other back home again.

Och Holte:

– Man må jo gå for drømmen sin, ikke sant?

Tack för allt. Era fina jävla människor.

Until next time,

Fredrika

By |February 13th, 2017|South America, Travel Logs|

Sharing A Christmas Pudding

Thought I’d squeeze in a few more words on Carretera Austral that I sort of forgot (totally ignored) in my last entry. Remember how I told you how this wonder world of a place is constituted of millions of flowers painting on-the-ground rainbows, sky high waterfalls, lush greenery and ever flowing rivers rushing pass you at any and every given moment?

Naturally that’s not the entire story.

And just as naturally – the other part of it is that this place is wet.

Landscapes like this require rain. And lots of it. As always you get vastly different responses depending on who you ask, but let’s settle with some happy medium and state that this stretch of Chile receives an annual rainfall hovering around a good 3-6 000 mm. Which is a lot. Really a lot.

And I got my fair share of it.

I’ve cycled with loads of rain before. But this was the first time ever that I’ve gone for 15 days straight without getting to stay dry for a single one of them. But hey, the combination of being spoiled with some incredible gear and the fact that I never really grew out of the whole playing-in-puddles thing as a kid – I really didn’t mind.

Or well. With the exception of when stubborn low hanging clouds blocked my views.

Since the rain does become quite a massive part of your life when living outdoors, I just felt like mentioning it. Though not really like dwelling on it for too long. Something – or someone – worthy of far more characters in this post is Mark. The 70 000 km-under-his-belt Englishman who randomly became my very welcome partner in crime for what is likely to remain the wettest week of Christmas I’ll ever experience.

Because even if you’re one of those people who claim that ‘rain doesn’t bother you’ (nice try, Fredrika..), it is a heck of a lot nicer to live through it in some good company.

Together we rode some hills. Ate shitloads of cookies (Triton, anyone?). Celebrated Christmas in style.


Most well earned Christmas pudding in history..


Flown over from England, ridden some 2000 km through Patagonia. Enjoy it, man!

…and then decided to call it quits with the whole rain-and-cyclist-highway thing and make a swift escape to sunny Argentina on the other side of the mountains.


Only one way to go!

And boy – were we rewarded.


First sun in living memory

I don’t need to say much more, do I? Together Mark & I have the memories of close to a 1000 camp nights written down in our diaries. Many of them great. Some absolutely amazing. Then there are those ones that you’ll simply remember for as long as you live.

And this one – the very first one back Argentinian soil. Being dry and warm, watching the sun set behind the mountains we’d just left behind us. With a folding cup of wine and the promise of nothing but a smiling sun for days – maybe weeks – to come.

This was one of them.

Until next time,

Fredrika

Carretera Austral

Since the very beginning this has been like clockwork. The more intense this journey gets in real life, the further behind is this digital attempt of making a bit of sense of it all. Sitting down I realise that though the last post was published a week ago, the events in is actually took place a good two months earlier.

This is why I figured it’s time to play a game of Catch with reality, and quickly speed though this chunk of Patagonia that I in all honesty don’t really know what to say about anyways.

So, in the name of speed – I…

1) Made my weirdest border crossing up to date.


Lago del Desierto between Argentina & Chile


The oh so shy peak of Mt. Fitz Roy

2) Once again, found myself in Chile.

3) Hit the legendary Carretera Austral.

Carretera Austral.

I’m not the first, and far from the last cyclist to dream about this place. Or stretch of road – to be more accurate. Around the globe there a few of these routes that for whatever reason have gained an absolute legendary status within the bicycle touring world. There is the Pamir Highway in Tajikistan. The Karakorum Highway in Pakistan. On a more accessible note there is is the EuroVelo 6 along the Danube. And then there is this one. Carretera Austral, in Chile.

Renowned for it’s ever changing scenery where dramatic mountains, crystal clear rivers and epic waterfalls are as given part of any day as the steep gravel hills you need to climb in order to earn them – this one is a must for anyone traversing the continent by bicycle. And it is the one and only destination for countless two wheeled travellers who each summer are flying across the world just to ride it.

And oh yes indeed – is this place beautiful. Mindbogglingly so.

For me personally though, these 1000 something kilometers were one slow realisation of just how messed up this life of the road have made me. This was 3 weeks out in the open. Through and along this otherworldly scenery in which Disney simply haven’t come around to set a movie yet. On a quiet road that seemingly carries more fully loaded bicycles than cars. Up and down the rolling hills connecting the small countryside villages along the way.

Freedom, right? For all I know this should be the very definition of that.

Still I couldn’t help but to feel absolutely trapped.

I don’t think I need to tell you guys that I am absolutely spellbound by spending loads of time inside dramatic postcard scenery. With living life with the sky as my only ceiling. With meeting likeminded people out and about on their own travels. I’m forever and truly in love with all of that.

Predictability though?

No. Not at all.

I ask myself how exactly this came to be. I ask myself when. Sometimes also what it will mean once I finally park up Mr. Bike, back home in Sweden and the end destination of this journey. More often than not while deliberately avoiding to answer that last question.

For now, I’ll just settle with stating the fact;

Predictability has become my kryptonite.

Every inch of this road is neatly documented online. The road which is getting sealed as we speak. Apps are pointing out GPS points to ‘secret’ camp spots. I bumped into more cyclists during these 3 weeks than I have during the rest of this almost 2 year long trip combined. And the locals are about as surprised to see us as they are to see the sun rise in the morning.


Though obviously meeting cyclists is always awesome. More the merrier :-)

Don’t get me wrong now. Carretera Austral – by definition – is a bicycle touring destination of utter world class. But that’s my whole point. This is the cycling world’s equivalent to a classic case of natural-masterpiece-ending-up-in-Lonely-Planet. And I simply got to it way (way, way) too late.

Since I know a bunch of people reading this are either heading to, or daydreaming of hitting Carretera Austral in the future, I feel like I need to make a bit of a disclaimer before closing. This place is amazing. It is everything you’ve read about it. It is exactly that.

Choosing destination for your bicycle touring holiday?

GO! Go, go, go!

Adventure? In any way, shape or form?

Unfortunately.. This is not where you find it.

Until next time,

Fredrika

How (Not) To Climb Mountains

Just a short one this time. A quick run through of how not to experience Mt. Fitz Roy. Or – depending on how you choose to look at it – the very way to do it.

My last post finished off with me and my riding buddies Moritz and Greg finally reaching the township of El Chaltén. The small village resting on the foot of the mystical mountain of Fitz Roy, that’s majestically towering over town on any given moment of a sunny day. And who’s sharp contours vanishes completely as soon as the first clouds form in the sky.

Arriving in sunshine, we decided to waste zero time in the quest of chasing down our epic mountain view experience. After finding our way to our first ever Casa de Ciclistas (google this if you’re cycling South America), we dumped our bikes and quickly regrouped into some sort of pretend-to-be-trekking crew.


Voila!

One stop by the supermarket later we were well prepared with the given necessities for any serious mountaineering expedition. Breakfast for tomorrow. And gin. Lots of gin for tonight.

A mandatory ice cream cone later we were off, headed out of town straight towards the heart of the beauty.


Less than 2 hours from El Chaltén township

This was a beautiful evening. One including walking. And taking breaks.

Breaks including views. And drinking gin.

As evening fell we set our camp. The sky was still clear enough to present a proper mountain sunset and we excitedly set another one of those way-to-early alarms to get up and catch the sunrise over that epic peak of Mt. Fitz Roy. The steep ascent between us and the top meant one good hour of dawn walking before reaching our viewpoint of the summit.

But that was all tomorrow’s burden.

Then suddenly tomorrow had arrived. And though this was where things first started going downhill, it would still take a good while before any of us would realise that.

With drowsy eyes, torch-dressed foreheads and heavy feet we tramped off in the darkness, aiming for the peak that was still drowned in darkness. Thinking back, the clues of that we were headed in the wrong direction were definitely there. Some clearer than others – but all equally ignored by Team Too Tired.

Worth noting is that this is one of the more well prepared tourist spots in all of Patagonia. Paths are clear. Bridges are built. And river crossings like this should be a heads up that quite possibly you’re a little off route.

For us it took a little more still.

To be exact, it took our ‘path’ abruptly ending with a cliff wall and this sign.

Just on time to when we’d expected to be at the top, we realised that we weren’t even moving towards it. Success!


Slowly we found our way back to signs telling us not to go where we’d just been


Back on track. Or on it for the first time.

So this whole thing obviously didn’t really work out as planned. Yes, we did manage to find our way back to the proper path. We did get to the top. And we did have a lot of fun reaching it. The one detail though was that way before we made it there – the rain clouds did too.

And we didn’t get to see a thing.

Plans are great. But let’s not forget that plans gone to hell – are too.

Epic fail?

Oh yes.

However – I think I’ll choose to remember this as only epic.

Until next time,

Fredrika

A Breath of Fresh Air

Without a care in the world we were sitting there. After a few days of rest and and glaciers, me and my newfound riding pals Greg and Moritz had gladly let what started as our last tuna sandwich session in El Calafate turn into an evening of wine and campsite BBQ.

We were happy. Well rested. And absolutely clueless of what we were in for the following day.

Skip forward 12 (or was it 36?) hours.

Crazy winds can be fun..! Even when you’re on a bicycle. And even when they’re throwing themselves straight in your face. It is all about perception, really. Trust me. After having cycled Tierra del Fuego from south to north quite recently I feel like I know what I’m talking about.

However. There is a limit.

And on this particular day, we all reached it.

There are headwinds. Big headwinds. And then (apparently) there are ‘downhill-on-smooth-tarmac-and-yet-you’re-pushing-in-4 km/h’ kind of headwinds. Winds that can be described in many different ways. Though certainly not with the word fun.

With nothing (except a whole lot of nothing) around we had absolutely nowhere to hide. The force of the wind made anyone attempting to mount their bicycle look like an absolute fool and the deafening howl of it stole the sound of our shouting voices even before they’d even left our mouths.

Physically we were still together, but since making that turn straight into the wall of wind we were all on our own. Pushing. Getting onto the saddle only to get thrown straight off the road. Pushing again. Going nowhere.

Until a few hours later when we finally found our salvation.


Signs sent straight from above.

For the average person I think drainage pipes might not be the most appealing hang out spot in the world. Ask me in a different situation and I’d probably agree with you. Then and there though, this cylinder of bliss were no doubt the best thing that’d ever happened.


Mr. Bike playing hardcore as always.

For a good 12 hours we were hiding under the road. Munching chocolates, laughing at each others’ attempts on the ukulele and simply sitting around in each others company. Times like these there’s no denying that the good old Swedish proverb ‘Shared joy is twice the joy, shared grief is half the grief’ is as true as it’s always been. And evidently also highly applicable when it comes to spending the night in drainage pipes.

4.30 am our alarm set off. The familiar tune from the iPhone softly echoed through the pipe in which we were all laying cuddled up in our sleeping bags.

‘Can you hear that..?’

This was a hoarse voice of equal parts drowsiness, excitement and relief.

‘It’s quiet..!

One second. Two seconds.

The sound of three zippers simultaneously being pulled open.

‘Let’s do this.’

Minutes later Moritz was the first one on the road. This was it – our window of opportunity. A chance to beat the winds and make those last 50 odd km to El Chaltén before they’d have us in a new chokehold.

We were quick. But luckily relaxed enough to realise that this wasn’t merely early. This was one of the most beautiful morning rides any of us had ever experienced.

…followed by what was no doubt our most picturesque cycling yet in South America. And oh yes. This piece of road was just as absurd as the photos tell you. The day before we’d been smacked in the face by winds from hell. This day – by something else entirely.


Breakfast on the go

Then – before the winds – we did make it.

We were in El Chaltén! Happy. Clueless. Yet again about to make absolute fools out of ourselves.

In the next one, I promise to tell you all about it.

Until then,

Fredrika

Nothing. And Everything.

Guided by a bumpy gravel road I crossed back into Argentina. And way too much happened way too quickly to give a fair recap of it here. This thing could easily have been a write up on yet another one of those ever glowing encounters with the very essence of humanity. But it’s not.

This time the story of how the boys at that rural police station opened their door (and fridge, shower and spare bedroom) to the dusty gringa plodding down the road outside their window will remain merely a memory.

The memory of when I finally learned to fold a proper empanada.

Instead – this post starts here.

In the middle of some southern Patagonian nothingness. Perhaps on a Sunday. Tuesday. Or possibly a Thursday. With me playing around with my tripod while waiting for those too-slow lunch noodles to cook.

And with an unexpected but pleasant surprise coming closer and closer, in that slow but steady pace you ever really see from heavily loaded touring bicycles on loose gravel. Stuffing my face with noodles and a few of the leftover empanadas the police had crammed down my already full bags, I watched the two dark dots growing bigger.

Whatever day this was, it was a good one. I was in for company.


Now this is how to finish a meal!

Greg and Moritz from Germany.

Not only did we meet out there in the middle of nowhere. Not only were we going in the same direction. More importantly than anything else – we hit it off. Within a few days this newfound trio had grown into this highly dysfunctional (try cooking enough for three hungry cyclists) yet absolutely awesome family. And the most natural thing in the world.

To no one’s surprise – I loved this.

For a girl who has spent better part of the last two years peddling down those endless roads on her own, suddenly getting to share a few stretches with nut jobs like herself is… beautiful.

Days like these are obviously incredible.

A million (yes) times better though. Better than anything really, is sharing evenings. Food, tales of life and laughs from the same day. Quiet sunsets with people who’s legs are just as tired as yours. Everything.


Not least when there are ukuleles and harmonicas hidden in the panniers!

What else..?

Oh yeah, we saw condors together.


(With wingspans of insane 2-3 meters…)

And the most jaw dropping glaciers I am convinced I will ever get to see in my entire life. And hey. You have got to get to see this too. Seriously. After reading – do yourself a favor and write this down.

Patagonia. El Calafate. Perito Moreno.

Write it down.

And then make sure that whenever that window of opportunity may arise – you take it.

And GO.

Until next time,

Fredrika

The Apocalypse Safari

Sooner or later it was bound to happen, I’ve known that. Anyone prioritising enjoying oneself, ahead of setting up the ultimate bullet proof ninja system for securing the documentation of that enjoyment (…which I guess then wouldn’t have taken place) does. And now it has.

I’ve lost photos :(

Not too much, but definitely enough to be a little bummed out about it. And enough for this post to end up a cripple. The lucky few that I’ve been able to restore you’ll find below. The rest, look a little something like this:

Really not too bad, and those few days worth of photos could definitely be covered up for by a few extra moments spent on writing about them. Though that won’t happen today I’m afraid. Instead of words compensating the makeshift photos in this post, there will be words to match.

Oh, well. Here we go.

Arriving in Puerto Natales I had reached my first Patagonian jumbo tourist destination. A small fiord side town crammed to it’s breaking point by hostels and outdoor shops. With streets filled by backpack carrying trekking enthusiasts from all over the world, half of which overly excited about their upcoming adventures, and the other half overly exhausted after just having returned from them.

Anyone who knows their Patagonia know exactly what these people all had their eye on.


Torres del Paine

I spent a simple single day in the national park, headed straight up for its main attraction: the base of Paine towers. Now for anyone looking for stunning photos of this place, Google is your friend. Here you’ll only find an in field case study of the worryingly rapid rise of the ever so disoriented species of Homo Selfies.

Armed with various electronic devices, these human like creatures are to be found all over the globe and can pose a serious threat to anyone and everyone within their immediate range. Always watch out for sudden swings of arms, and remember to take extra precaution with ones carrying sticks. Many try to hide their true being, but the Homo Selfies will always reveal itself when exposed to what it experiences to be a spectacular environment or situation.

Rule of thumb:

a) Is he/she facing the point of interest, looking at it? Human.
b) Is he/she turning his/her back on the point of interest, admiring him/herself in digital mirror? Bingo.

This particular individual is not only an clear example of all of the above, but obviously also taking photos of itself, taking photos of itself. A simple puff of air could have saved the world by letting this creature meet its destiny in the ice cold water. But the mere fact that these photos are now online proves that unfortunately for all of us – it didn’t.

Ladies and gentlemen. Close your windows, hide your children. The apocalypse is coming.

Homo Selfies Selfies is here.

Now, where were I?

Oh yeah, I lost photos. Not having a lot of them from Torres del Paine actually don’t bother me too much. Thousands of photos (that are way better than mine would ever be) from there are one hashtag away. And I didn’t even have good weather.

What is sad though, is missing those from my time spent in Puerto Natales town. The time spend with Fernando and his lovely, lovely family. Though writing this it all just seems ridiculous. Photos? Of what? Memories aren’t caught on camera anyways. And sometimes memories simply have to be enough.

In fact, they always have to be enough. Because when it all comes down to it. They’re all we have.

Until next time,

Fredrika

By |December 20th, 2016|South America, Travel Logs|