Greg also known as the [ilink url=”http://thestarvingcyclist.blogspot.cl/” style=”note”]The Starving Cyclist[/ilink] is arriving to Ushuaia just as I’ve finished in the Tierra del Fuego Park. I haven’t met Greg before but we are Facebook friends and he’s been cycling the world for almost four years. I’m excited as I pedal to the airport to meet one of my cycling heroes. I have so many questions for Greg and I’m surprised he too has many for me. I’m delighted to see as much luggage strapped to his bicycle as is on mine. Validation I’m fine just the way I am. A Bridget Jones moment in life. We cycle back to [ilink url=”http://www.refugiodelmochilero.com/” style=”note”]Refugio Mochilero Camp[/ilink] together.
Relaxing in the hostel lounge, two tall lanky lads with English accents arrive in lycra and covered head to foot in mud. Danny and Chris have just attempted a world record from Alaska to Ushuaia and this is their end moment. They deserve a celebratory beer after such an effort. Must have been a big effort. Both are drunk on their first sips. During their world record attempt both Danny and Chris, ‘get the runs’ to put it politely and were off their bikes for five days. They missed out on the record by five days. Their average distance would have secured them the record. Had they not got the runs! They did get the fastest time cycling across South America and hopefully they have recorded enough evidence to have this verified officially. Well done lads! Great to meet you!
Danny and Chris are packing up their bicycles for their flights home whilst I am loading mine up for cycling across South America. It’s a good place to be as they donate unwanted items such as a bike chain, luggage straps, puncture repair glue, purification tablets and antibiotics. It’s like Christmas Day for this Scottish girl!
I say goodbye to the hostels turtles and humans, thinking how lucky I am as I pedal off with a terrific tailwind. I’m almost flying! After some time I realise I’m cycling the wrong way and double back feeling rather foolish. Then the rain starts.
Not far from Ushuaia … a man is running towards me on the opposite side of the road. He has a few other runners behind him. Followed by a support vehicle and film crew. I give a ferocious wave and have a big smile plastered across my face. The running man stares back. I pedal on hoping I’ve not interrupted a scene from the Forrest Gump sequel. Thankful if I have that I was cycling fast and without a red face.
It’s raining heavy on my first climb of South America. On reaching the top I experience the mighty dictatorship of the Patagonian wind as it drags me across the road without warning. There is nothing else to do than get off and walk and be thankful a car wasn’t approaching in the opposite direction. I don’t want to die.
I camp behind a few small trees at the side of the road. This is what I love about the Hillberg Akto. It’s a tent so small you can pitch it anywhere discreetly. Being a woman on my own this is important to being able to kick back and relax at nights. And ear plugs.
I’m in my sleeping bag wearing all the fleece and wool clothing I have including my down jacket. I’m still freezing. Time to put my hat on and turn the torch off. Drifting off to sleep. Cold. I smile to myself. Misreading the weather forecast as 30 degrees Celsius instead of Fahrenheit and arriving to Ushuaia airport wearing shorts and vest top. I did that. Any idiot can travel the world. For sure.
As always, thanks for being a part of the journey. Life’s short. Follow your dreams. WBG. xxx
Ishbel, creator of World Bike Girl, has spent her life on bicycles, from road racing, to velodrome sprinting to cycling the world. She has pedalled across 20 countries solo and promotes commuting by bicycle. Much to the dismay of her friends, she is an avid wearer of socks and sandals.