Monday, 12 January 2009
Xmas and New Year passed by and my neatly trimmed stomach was disappearing again. I had one last chance to recover....
I arrived at Heathrow at around 6pm. I'd tried to work out how to get home and almost wished Iberia's baggage handling incompetance would allow me to catch the train home [no bike & trailer!] Sadly this was not to be the case on this occasion.
So I had little choice but to rebuild my bike and head out into the cold damp night. I headed onto the A4, A3044, A308, A320 and finally the A3 south. Jesus was it cold. I passed some dude cycling on his way to Woking, he asked where I was heading. "Portsmouth" I replied. He nearly hit the hedge!
I made Guildford and discovered that the petrol stations are expensive places to buy mars bars and bottles of coke. Still I needed food as all I'd had was a small breakfast earlier in the day and stauntly refused to pay 5Euro for a bottle of pop in Madrid!
I pushed on as I was making 10mph and could make Portsmouth before 2am. Sadly I met the worst drivers I'd met on my whole journey here. Black Audis, Saab drivers and the odd Porsche. All sadly total knobs. Santiago in rush hour was nothing compared to the shear magnitude of bad driving I found here. I recalled practically every other car either waving, shouting congratulations (I think that was what they were shouting!), and piping their horn in a fiendly fashion in South America. Here, in my own country, I was ashamed to discover how unpleasant everyone was. Maybe it was the winter's freezing fog, poor economic outlook and incompetent Government that was at the heart of Britain's unfriendliness?
I was just over Butser Hill when I came out of the freezing fog and could now see fields white and crisp with ice. The moon shone down and I could see the fog rolling off the downs. Orion was now standing upright, beautifull, but sadly taking a night photo in the middle of the A3 in the dead of night would have to be done some other day.
I made it back just after 2am. Susy had arrived earlier in the day and had warmed up the bed.
Ahhhh, it's nice to be home.
for my next trip I may try this .... next holiday
Friday, 19 December 2008
The pictures say it all...
The current journey is pretty much over now. I´m in Pto Montt now and searching for lunch.
I made camp. Shortly after a group of gauchos passed droving cattle up the road. They cracked their whips and the dogs, collies, made sure the cattle knew they were to be obeyed! Soon after Orlsks from Basque country turned up on a Harley Davidson. We talked a while before I hit the sack. I set off at 7am. There was a slim chance that I might catch up with Bert. I struggled onwards through the bad roads. By lunch time I met Chris on his motorbike with his wife. They asked if I was with the other guy! I was closing in. He was over an hour away, over a very loose 600m pass. The heat and dust were terrible.
I´d hoped to cycle ~45km, but it turned out that every time I asked how far Quelat was it got further away! I made the 85+km and killer hill as the Aussies has described it, to find the park rangers were very reluctant to let me in. The park was out of water due to the long hot spell. The spanish came in real handy here! I persuaded them I was with the Dutch guy, Bert. I was let in. I had caught him up, as much as a surprise to Bert as myself. I had pasta and soup with Tuna.
We cycled together for a few hours, but he was taking X50 abd then R7 Northwards. I headed for Chacabuco to buy a ticket for one weeks time. I met three girls from Australia and New Zealand who said the area here was like NZ, but soooo much bigger and better. Ok, I´ll shelve the NZ plans now. I stayed at an odd place in Chacabuco, but lovely people. I even met a local guy who supported Liverpool FC. I promised to send him my Liverpool - Havant and Waterlooville programme.
After several days of fantastic views I eventually made it to Villa Cerro Castillo, and a thankfull change to the rough, soft, loose dirt road to the stuff real roads are made from. I met another couple who where cycling from Colombia South. So I wasn´t alone in my mad desire to cycle along this route. The roads had their moments.
stayed at a Hospedaje, Don Niba, in Cerro Castillo. Lovely food and very hospitable. I would soon find myself in populated country.