Cusco, Peru

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - Cusco, Peru

Our visit to Cusco was the longest stay in one place of the trip so far (and likely the whole trip!). Cameron took time to visit his family in Vermont, Eli's mom and sister visited, and Noah spent time with Eli and his mom, Laurieann, and sister, Maggie, as well as some time exploring on his own. For this entry, Noah and Eli have each authored sections below: 

Noah writes:

To appreciate the city of Cusco as it sprawls amid the mountains, one must first change their perspective. You must look beyond the buildings to their foundations. Look past the present to the layers of the past. See not just the people but the places they came from. The beauty of the city is hidden in the taste of its food and the stones in its streets.

So often, we only see what is on the surface and do not look deeper or perceive what has come before to influence and form the present moment. In Cusco we got to see the layers of history one on top of the other. The murmurs of Quechua, the pre Spanish native language. Stones from the Incan empire. Foundations and walls shaped by hand with stone and bronze tools long before the West ever set eyes upon the land. The bones of their civilization buried under the next wave of culture as the Spanish Roman Catholic empire left its mark. Spanish architecture and cathedrals showing the glory of their conquest. Asian influence in the food and music from laborers brought by the Spanish ships to work their plantations. The new development of the modern age as railways and apartment buildings spread outward from the city's heart. Pavement meeting cobble stone streets built before cars or carts. Footpaths and stairs reaching where roads never could up the mountains sides. White plaster and tile next to cement and rebar. Worlds and times touching and intermingling to create something unto itself. Bustling markets with strange sights and smells. Hidden courtyards harboring music and drink. Central plazas crowded by tourist groups and the flash of their cameras. Local teens practicing their traditional dances in the streets. A moving flowing thing that comes together to become the city of Cusco.

Eli writes:

After five months of travel without spending more than a number of days in one region, we arrived in Cusco, Peru where we would spend two weeks. My (Eli) mom and sister would be spending a week with me and traveling to Machu Picchu, spending time visiting the towns of Ollantaytambo and Urubamba located in the Sacred Valley.

I was excited to have the opportunity to share traveling outside the US with my family. It’s hard to describe over a phone conversations or through pictures what it means to live in a completely foreign culture. After the 24 hours Cameron, Noah and I had in Cusco before my family arrived, I was relieved to know the region offered a choose your adventure style culture shock. In some ways, this was a shock to us after traveling through rural Peru and Bolivia before reaching Cusco, the site of Starbucks, Subway, KFC, and McDonalds in the main square felt somewhat uncomfortable. But, explore the smaller cobble streets and traditional food could be found. To welcome my mom and sister to Cusco we opted for the local option and promptly broke all the “food rules” the travel doctor had given them before leaving.

After a night in Cusco, we opted for private taxi to Ollantaytambo, this would offer the smoothest introduction to public transportation and driving in South America. Later, we would choose the cheaper options that really put you in the action on the roads of South America where driving seems to be more of a sport rather than mode of transportation. If Formula 1  was to start a bus class, the drivers here would be at the top of the game.

In Ollantaytambo we would take the train to Aguas Calientes, essentially basecamp for Machu Picchu. We woke up at 5 am to find the line already growing for the buses that take up the winding road leading to Machu Picchu. We explored the site of Machu Picchu and began the hike up montaña Machu Picchu for the view of the main site and Huayna Picchu mountain, this is the iconic mountain just beyond the main site in many pictures. What I found most amazing was just how difficult it must have been to construct stone buildings at the location. Just what did day one of construction entail high up on the granite ridge covered with nearly impenetrable jungle.

As we began to summit montaña Machu Picchu clouds began drifting by, after a few minutes of looking over the cliff edges at the surrounding jungle and site of Machu Picchu the clouds thickened blocking the view just as rain started to fall. Pulling out the rain jackets we started down the stone steps leading back lines of people waiting for the bus back the Aquas Calientes.

*After reuniting in Cusco, Cameron, Eli, and Noah continued by bicycle to Abancay, Peru - through incredible mountains and valleys. The next entry will cover the ride to Abancay, some busing to Ica, Huacachina, Lima, pedaling from Huaraz to Trujillo, and the ride from Guayaquil, Ecuador north to Colombia!

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - Cusco, Peru 

Salar de Uyuni, La Paz, and Lago Titicaca

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - Salar de Uyuni, La Paz, and Lago Titicaca

After the beautiful, but grueling lagoon route, we arrived in Uyuni tired and hungry for a meal other than bread, jam, and spaghetti. We quickly found a nice hostel (that served eggs for breakfast!!!) and took a couple days to rest and prepare for the next leg of our journey - the Salar de Uyuni - the world's largest salt flats (and supply of lithium!). 

We rode north out of Uyuni before heading west, directly across the salt flats towards Isla Incahuasi, an island of land in the middle of the Salar. The first day took us about 30 km from the island, where we decided to camp and enjoy the desert sunset. We'd also noticed that there were 'potholes' in the salar - literally holes in the salt surface. In each of the 'potholes' we thought we saw water, but later learned that there was a liquid brine beneath the salar made up of a number of different minerals. In this brine exists 50-70% of the world's lithium reserves. Photos 1-6 show the Salar, the holes where you can see the brine beneath the surface of the salt flat, and some photos of the sunset and evening on the salar. 

The next day, we pedaled on towards Incahuasi, unfortunately into a very strong headwind. After reaching the island (photos 7 and 8), we enjoyed lunch inside before hitting the salar again - this time due north and with a slight side/tail wind! We also decided that this was our opportunity to try out bike sailing, yes bike sailing. We rigged up our tent ground cloths and set off, tacking north across the salar :) (photo 9) That night, we arrived in Coqueza, on the northern edge of the salar, with an amazing view of Volcan Tunupa (photo 10). 

Though the salar was absolutely the experience of a lifetime, we all agreed that we were thankful to be back on a real (dirt) road and headed north towards La Paz the next morning. Though we had another 40+ km of dirt road, we knew that pavement awaited once we reached the small town of Salinas de Garcia Mendoza. (photos 11-12 show the ride from Coqueza to Salinas de Garcia Mendoza)  That night, we met a French woman, Pepita, who shared stories from the road north and gave us advice on the route. It was great to hear her stories and to have a better idea of where we'd be headed next. (photo 13)

The next few days took us back towards the main north/south route in Bolivia through rolling plains. Along the way, we'd stop in small working class towns and bunked up in (we'll call them rustic) alojamientos or boarding houses (photo 14) and bought food from local markets (photo 15). Though we were and continue to be thankful for our travels, it was during these few days before arriving to La Paz that we found ourselves missing the comforts of home... a working shower, potable water, family, etc. Though there had been a number of 'novelties' early on in the trip, this section had us agreeing that the novelties were maybe wearing off... at least a bit. 

As we approached Oruru, we agreed that we'd had enough of the plains riding and made the executive decision that we'd hop a bus to La Paz that evening. It was an in the moment decision, and in retrospect, a good one. We are forced to come back to the fact that we have a plan to finish this trip in approximately 10 months - this requires us to balance riding as many kilometers or miles as we can without burning out and with the time to see places along the way and to have the personal interactions that will ultimately shape the story of Mundo Pequeño.

La Paz was amazing. As we wound down the hillsides surrounding the center of the city, we were in awe, recognizing that we'd never seen a place like this. La Paz sits about 500 meters below the surrounding city of El Alto - with that, the hillsides leading down to the city center are littered with houses and cliffs interspersed between. Even though the population of the city and surround metropolitan area is just a couple million people, it looks much larger with its sprawling and mountainous landscape. Over the next several days in La Paz, we'd relax, repack our belongings (we'd all decided to modify what we were carrying, and all planned to drop at least some of the weight that we'd started with), and explore the most 'first world' environment we'd experienced in weeks. The highlight of our visit to La Paz must have been 'El Teleferico,' the city-wide gondola system used for commuting from the hillsides into the city. Because the system isn't intended as a tourist attraction, one way tickets are 3 Bolivianos, or less than 50 cents. With this, we decided to spend a couple of hours on the different routes, observing and watching the sunset from above. (photos 16-19 show La Paz and the views from El Teleferico)

We left La Paz rejuvenated (and we even got to ride the gondola up and out of the city with our bikes instead of riding the crazy climb!), but also a bit weary of heading back out into the country. Unfortunately, we'd also all been bit with some sort of bacteria and were suffering some unfortunate 'side effects.' Thanks to a bit of advice from Laurieann, Eli's mom, we all took a small regimen of antibiotics and Imodium, and were feeling better quickly. The next several days would take us to Lago Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world at around 12,000 ft. Once we reached Lago Titicaca, we were refreshed with new views and the first real greenery we'd seen in almost a month. We agreed that deserts were 'cool,' but that life and trees and birds and animals have a certain calming and restorative quality. (photos 20-22 of Lago Titicaca and a very interesting barge ferry)  

After riding alongside Titicaca, we arrived in Copacabana, Bolivia, the most touristy (almost disconcertingly so) place we'd seen since leaving Chile. After finding a place for the night, we made a plan to visit Isla del Sol, a place known as the birthplace of the Incan empire. Unfortunately, Noah came down with another bug and decided it wasn't a good idea to set out on the 2 hour ferry ride to the island. But, we had also been rejoined by Luke, a great guy from the Washington D.C. area who we'd first met in Uyuni and who was traveling solo by bicycle with a plan to conclude the South American portion of his trip in Cusco, Peru before flying to the United States to do a cross country ride. That day, we explored the island of the sun, saw our first Incan ruins, and enjoyed a day off (fortunately Noah was feeling much better that evening). (photos 23-26 of Copacabana, Isla del Sol, and Luke!)

The next day, we set off for Peru, just 6 kilometers out of Copacabana. Unfortunately, we had a slight delay when Noah realized he didn't have his passport with him at the border. Fortunately, after a couple of phone calls, we figured out that the passport was at the hostel we'd stayed at in La Paz. With that, Noah took it upon himself to travel back to La Paz solo, with the agreement that he'd bus ahead to Puno, Peru to meet us a couple of days later. Though an unfortunate circumstance, we counted our blessings, and moved on. 

The next couple of days took Cameron, Eli, and Luke to Puno, about 150 km from Copacabana. We put our heads down, shared the wind, and made good time. Fortunately, though quite a grueling ordeal, Noah arrived in Puno safely and as planned. (The stretch between Copacabana and the mountain valley leading into Cusco didn't inspire many pictures, but we did get a good glimpse of the real world of a working class city in Juliaca - photo 27)

Over the next several days from Puno to Cusco, we'd continue pedaling through high plains, covering over 100 km on our first day. In this section of the trip, we'd see very creative uses of transportation (llamas on the roof of a van - alive and tied down with their heads popping up, sheep in a pickup truck - photo 28) On day two, we rolled into Ayaviri and were greeted with the best meal of chicken we'd had on our entire trip, complete with french fries and a salad bar! A side note - Peruvian food is our favorite of the trip so far. In most towns, we eat a full course meal (soup, main dish, dessert, and tea) for around 5 soles, or less than $1.50. The food is consistently great and fast! After our filling meal of chicken, we decided to post up in Ayaviri, and we're glad we did. That evening, we'd meet Daniel, a local guy working at the hostel we stayed at who was an avid climber and local guide. Daniel was beyond enthusiastic about our trip and made us feel more connected to the locals than we had been in quite some time. (Photo 29 - Daniel and the group before leaving Ayaviri) 

The next day, we rode to Aguas Calientes, a series of hot springs with a number of different pools. We arrived that evening after summiting another 14,000 ft pass and felt pretty lucky to have a good soak that evening (photo 30-32 - the mountain pass and hot springs).  

We decided while soaking the night before that we might make a break for Cusco the next day. With about 170 km of mostly downhill riding, we thought we could at least get within striking distance of the destination that meant the longest break of the trip so far. We were up early and on the bikes before 8:00 am, flying down through the valley between the mountains. We stopped for a mid morning meal, then again for a late lunch, before pulling into Urcos (130 km) around 4:00 PM. At that point, we were ready for Cusco and decided to hop a local bus for the last 35 km, putting us in Cusco in time to find a hostel and enjoy our first real IPA's of the trip :)  (photos 33-35 - the remains of a church on the day before Cusco, the view of the city from our hostel, and family in Cusco!) 

Arriving in Cusco marks a nice long break for all of us. Eli's mom and sister arrived yesterday morning (May 16th) and it's been great to spend the short time we have with people from home. Cameron's flying home tonight to see his family and friends for a little over a week. Noah's going to do a bit of traveling on his own, but will be joining Eli and his family to see Machu Picchu. All in all, we're feeling really good about what we've accomplished thus far - with over 6,000 kilometers and over 400 hours in the books, it's time for a bit of respite mid-adventure. 

In the next entry, look out for more photos and stories from the Cusco area, Machu Picchu, etc. 

Until nest time,

-Cameron, Eli, and Noah

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - Salar de Uyuni, La Paz, and Lago Titicaca

The Lagoon Route - Bolivia

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - The Lagoon Route - Bolivia

As we prepared to leave San Pedro Chile we all checked and re-checked our supplies. We each had ten days worth of food and two days of water. The crossing into Bolivia and the entrance to the lagoon route lay ahead and above us. We would then spend the next week crossing through the mountain passes before descending and getting to the next small town. This route had been almost a mythical entity to us since we set out. We had heard again and again from cyclists heading south that the Lagoon Route was the hardest part of their trips. Some had said they pushed their bikes and couldn't go more than a crawling pace. Others said that they had wept everyday. All three of us knew that this section would be a challenge, but none of us knew to what extent.

The largest challenge we knew to expect was the elevation. San Pedro de Atacama was at 8,000 ft and the highest point we would reach on the lagoon route would take us to 16,000. The first 30 miles or so of our ride would take us on a non stop climb to 15,000 ft and to the border crossing into Bolivia. We had to break the climb into three days of riding to limit how much altitude we would gain in a day, allowing our bodies to adjust safely. Our first day of climbing met us with the rising full moon (photo 1). The second day of climbing, just 6 km, but about 2,000 feet of elevation, set us up with a roadside camp with a view (photo 2).

After crossing the border, we would have a full week in the wind swept and desolate landscape of snow capped volcanic mountain passes and shallow mineral rich lagoons. An empty land with little life and inhospitable climate. A land stark in its lonely beauty. The dry dusty plains of volcanic destruction spreading bellow. We would find ourselves in a world that looked like it came out of a science fiction novel and we all felt like wandering visitors in this alien world. Our winding roads would be dirt and the winds fierce. This would be a test of how strong we had become and the conditions we had weathered over the past few months on the road (photos 3-6).

The first night in Bolivia was spent aside Laguna Blanca, before we'd continue on to Laguna Verde (photo 7) and to the thermal hot springs (photo 8). We decided to spend a couple nights at the hot springs, continuing to acclimate to our new environment. We'd also met Phil and Tara, a couple from the States also cycling the lagoon route. It was great to find solidarity in the struggles of altitude with Phil and Tara, and though we didn't see them after a couple days into the route, we were thankful to share stories over the daily spaghetti dinners served at a couple of the refugios (modest refuge type hotel on the route) (photo 9).

After resting at the hot springs for a couple of days we continued over the highest point of the lagoon route at around 16,000 ft (photos 10 and 11). The roads were worse than we'd seen yet, but we'd soon have a view of Laguna Colorada (photo 12) and descent that led us to our next night's sleep (thankfully inside, as the temperatures often dipped to around 5 degrees fahrenheit at night). The next morning, we took our time riding the perimeter of Laguna Colorada, making sure to spend a little time with the flamingos (photo 13). We reached the park border that day, and asked for help from the staff of a mining company at the border - again, kindness and generosity greeted us as we were met with a hot meal and beds to sleep in. The following several days took us to Uyuni, Bolivia where we rested for several days before continuing to the famed Salar de Uyuni. 

The biggest take away from the lagoon route was that the altitude hit us like a wave. A force weighing us down and dragging at our every movement. The only way to imagine it is to picture yourself trying to jog in chest high water. Then add a bad hangover with pounding headache and upset stomach. Spice that up with trying to breath through a straw after sprinting. If you feel like really getting it right you might put on some weights and blast a high powered fan in your face. It was a constant struggle just to breath at rest let alone while cycling. We had no choice but to push through the discomfort and venture onward and upward. See our desert bandit costumes to battle the sun and wind in photo 14 :)

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - The Lagoon Route - Bolivia


Valparaiso to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - Valparaiso to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile

(*The photo album for this section follows Cameron's solo ride from Concepcion to Valparaiso, documents some of the sights of Valparaiso, and covers the pickup truck drive from Valparaiso to San Pedro de Atacama - read on for more detail!) 

Before arriving in Valparaiso, we all decided to take a solo week, making our own plans and getting ourselves to a shared Airbnb in Valparaiso. Between Concepcion and Valparaiso, Noah hopped a bus and took more time in Valpo, and Eli and Cameron planned their own routes and took to the road solo. After about two and half months riding (and spending every waking moment together), we all agreed that it was a good proactive step to take some solo time. We cook together, ride together, listen to each other snore, complain to each other, etc. A week apart helped us re-center, allowed us the space to do what we needed to do to recharge. We also recognized that, when spending time with the same two people for such an extended period, it sometimes became more difficult to find empathy for each other's respective struggles, down days, etc. The time apart and reflection together afterwards has definitely helped us be stronger as a group. 

Though Noah had about ten days in Valparaiso exploring, we all met up on Friday, March 31st, and got an Airbnb to share. Thanks to Noah's prior research of the city, we got to see many of the murals (can be seen in the photo album) and took time to relax before hitting the road again. 

From Valparaiso north, we had a slightly different plan. Eli's good friend from home, Ben Brody, a veteran and photo journalist (, was scheduled to arrive in Santiago on Sunday, April 2nd. His plan was to rent a pickup truck, come to Valparaiso, then drive north with us to San Pedro de Atacama. Given the length of our trip, and the number of kilometers to cover, we were forced to make a decision about either busing or driving a section. We all agreed that spending time with Ben and having the freedom to explore the northern coast of Chile was the best option for covering the dry, desert region. After a long 3 day drive, we'd made it to the high desert of San Pedro de Atacama and the Valley of the Moon. The photos document the drive and high desert at 8,000 ft. Before saying goodbye to Ben, we all took a drive back to Calama to supply up with 10 days of food for the Lagoon route in Bolivia, that would take us up to between 14,000 and 16,000 ft. Unfortunately, while in the grocery store, the rental pickup was broken into and Ben's backpack was stolen. We all had belongings in the pack that Ben was going to bring back to the States, but after scratching our heads in disappointment surrounding our goodbye with Ben, we all recognized that we were fortunate to all be safe and sound and that everything stolen could be replaced. There were definitely sentimental items in the bag, but maybe this was the reminder that we needed to make sure we stayed safe moving forward.

After acclimatizing at 8,000 ft for 4 or 5 days, we're headed to Bolivia and will be sure to update the the blog on the other side! 

Please check out the comments in the photo album for specific locations, etc!

 Until next time,

  -Cameron, Eli, and Noah

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - Valparaiso to San Pedro de Atacama, Chile 


Pucon to Valparaiso, Chile

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - Pucon to Valparaiso, Chile 

We said goodbye to the looming majesty of volcan Villarrica when we left Pucon (photo 1). We rode together over the rolling hills and open fields. The wind was at our backs and the roads smooth ahead. We all remarked how similar the landscape was to northeastern United States. It is strange to travel so far and find nature so similar to what we are accustomed to back home. We stopped at a hospedaje in Lanco, Chile and asked about the price of a room. It was a little over our budget. We thanked them and chatted about our trip and what we are doing, thinking that we'd continue pedaling until we found a wild camp out of town. After hearing more about our journey the owner said she would let us have a room for a quarter of the price. For us it was yet another affirmation of the generosity and compassion we've been met with on our adventure. When we asked her about why she had been so generous, she replied that she thought we would do the same and that she was always happy to help young people follow their dreams. She wanted to be supportive of us on our adventure and seemed proud to be able to be able to help (photo 2).

The next day, we made it to the ocean in Mehuin, Chile. We had seen the Pacific before, but only as inlets amidst the mountains. This was our first real day on the coast and we watched the sun set into the ocean with elation (photo 3). We looked forward to many more beach days and west coast sunsets to come.

The next day, we continued on newer and almost flat roads, again with a tail wind. We flew and took pleasure in the feeling of light hearts and open road. We road along river deltas and when we stopped to get food for lunch in a small town, a women at the store invited us to eat and rest at her home before continuing - she explained that although her town wasn't considered a tourist town, it had a lot to offer and she wanted to be sure we knew that her small world was worth sharing with travelers.

The next day we turned off onto less traveled dirt roads and hit real hills again. The riding was hard in the loose, dusty gravel. We made it to a small fishing village and road around town for a while trying to find a place to stay. We had just about given up and had headed out of town, when we met the only other gringo in town on the street. He invited us to stay with him and provided us floor space in his modest apartment. Jessie, from Kentucky, USA, was a great host and that evening, while cooking over his cast iron wood stove, he told us about his trip (photo 4). He had traveled to Chile to learn about the weaving style of the indigenous Mapuche culture. He told us about what he had learned about the Mapuche people and their history. For us it drew many parallels between the struggles of Native American peoples in the U.S.

When we road on the next day, the graffiti on every bus stop took on new meaning. The messages, spray painted over every sign and stop, spoke out in protest of the destruction of nature and land by industrial logging, mining, and fisheries. It was a grim reminder of Standing Rock and the protests and issues over land management and conservation that we face in the United States. The exploitation of natural resources is a global threat that affects us all. From there, we followed the coast and noted its resemblance to the coastline of Northern California (photo 5). We got to see first hand the logging operations and industrial plants. The air changing from a clear ocean breeze to thick, heavy smog. The road shifting from country lanes to shipping highways. As it turns out, riding a bike on the a highway is just as terrifying as you would imagine it to be (photo 6). We made it to the city of Concepcion wide eyed and exhausted from the adrenaline of urban riding.

We spent the next day planning our own adventures for the week to come and saying goodbye to our traveling companion Peter (photo 7). We were sad to part ways with the brave young Scotsman and wish him the best of luck on the road ahead. We have all been impressed by his maturity and spirit of adventure - setting out at 18 years old for a 6 month solo cycling adventure. It has been a pleasure to share the road with him. May the wind always be at your back Peter!

 Until next time,

 Noah, Eli, & Cameron

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - Pucon to Valparaiso, Chile

Parque Nacional Los Alerces to Pucon, Chile

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album Parque Nacional Los Alerces to Pucon, Chile

Waking to a beautiful morning on Lago Rivadavia, we set off for Lago Puelo, a recommendation by Andres as a place to find camping for the night. The first stop for the day would be Butch Cassidy's Cabin, as featured in Top Gear's Patagonia Special. With wooden gate locked, we removed panniers to slip the bicycles through a small opening in the fence and rolled down the short road to the cabins (photo 1). We enjoyed our usual lunch of avocado, cheese, salami, and mayonnaise sandwiches - our conversation including Top Gear and the story of Cassidy. After lunch spent joking about our brush with the likes of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond at the small encampment by the river, we set off to our final destination for the night.

In Lago Puelo we found camping at a family farm/campground on the edge of town. As the sun set over the small lake town, dogs of all sorts began barking. We've realized that barking call and response is a common occurrence as stray (and pet) dogs roam the towns and roads of every region through which we've traveled. The activity in Lago Puelo reached a comical, if not frustrating level, with dogs barking and running through camp throughout the night. 

The next day temperatures rose quickly as we cycled north on route 40. The day's ride included two climbs, the second of which had a false summit where the switch backs appeared to crest the ridge but actually continued for several more kilometers (photo 2). After a long day we found camp down a long rocky descent to the edge of Lago Guillelmo. (photos 3 and 4 - the second is a long exposure taken at night by Eli - notice the stars!)

On March 7th, 1990, a little baby named Noah was born. Twenty seven years later he awoke to the morning sunlight on his tent and the sounds of his friends making coffee on a camp stove. The world was coming to life along the lake shore they had camped upon nestled amid the peeks of the Andes Mountains. We laughed and joked and drank coffee as the birds sang and the mist on the lake slowly dissipated. The ride the day before had been long and today's ride would be short and much easier, so we took our time and admired the morning for what it was.

After packing up, Noah announced the rules of the day's ride. First, we would all ride the remaining 35km together. Second, we would play music on his portable speaker the entire way. Third, anytime we passed a sign that said cerveza or beer until we reached our Airbnb, we had to stop and get a round. This plan was agreed to wholeheartedly! We saddled up and took off for Bariloche with high spirits.

The road was beautiful and wound along lake shores and mountainsides. Unfortunately, we didn't pass a single place offering drinks. For the last three days we had ridden past maybe five a day, but today, of all days, none were to be found. Before we knew it, we crested the last climb and descended into Bariloche. It felt strange to be in a larger city again after so many weeks in small towns and wilderness. We reached our Airbnb and checked in. We all thanked the gods of water pressure and hot water on demand and cleaned up before heading out to find burgers and beer. The day ended with full bellies, many smiles, and the embrace of a soft warm bed. Sometimes little things are the greatest gifts.

Birthdays change in meaning as we grow older. Now they seem more like an invitation to reflect than a day of celebration. To take stock of where and who we are. To give thanks for all the gifts that our lives have brought us and to get clearer insight into what we hope the future will hold. We have all reflected on our loved ones back home and the love and support that has enabled us to be where we are today. The gifts we have been given and the blessing of the challenges we have overcome. The way ahead may not be straight or clear, but we look forward to seeing what is around the bend.

After two days in Bariloche, enjoying Rapa Nui (epic chocolate and ice cream shop) on more than one occasion, we departed with the hopes of reaching Villa La Angostura. We fell short by fifteen or so kilometers as evening rains set in. Cameron, Eli and Peter found a free camping area between route 40 and Lago Nahuel Huapi and left road side cairns for Noah to find our camp. The three of us quickly set up our tents and began to make dinner before the rain. Noah rolled in just before dark and joined us while the cold breeze came off the lake (photo 5). The following morning, spirits were low as the rain continued and temperature remained cold. We made our way to a gas station in Angostura with Wifi and a Nescafe machine to wait out the rains. Before riding to a wild camp out of town, we returned to Bahias (bays) Brava and Mansa for lunch, upon specific instructions from our Argentinian guide, Andres. We've learned that it's always best to listen to Andres - indeed, a beautiful lunch it was! (photo 6)

The following day we woke to a beautiful mist coming off Lago Espejo Grande (photo 7). The day's ride was another recommendation by our friend Andres and one we had seen featured in Bicycling Magazine during the prior year of planning. The Road of the Seven Lakes offered excellent paved roads with a wider shoulder than we'd ridden on so far (photos 8 and 9). The day finished with a fifteen kilometer decent to San Martín de los Andes (photo 10), where we decided on a hostel for the night.

It was Monday morning again, but none of us knew the difference. Sunday is often the only day of the week we take notice of, as we often roll into a town and wonder why nothing is open or why there are so few cars on the usually busy roads. We began the ride with a shorter climb out of San Martín toward our lunch destination of Junín de los Andes, where we planned to visit Via Christi sculpture park. The park consists of a network of trails climbing up a mountain side with sculptures along the way that depict a story of Christ, along with other pieces that tell stories of people who have enacted or exemplified the lessons of Christ's story (photos 11, 12, and 13). The park truly was a unique place and we were very thankful that our trusty friend Andres made sure to tell us about it so we wouldn't miss it. After wrapping up our visit around 5:30, we decided that we'd push north just a bit further to a wild camp alongside the river - within an hour and a half of easy riding, we'd found the spot and settled in to wash up in the river and cook dinner before bed. 

Tuesday morning met Noah with a nasty stomach situation (whether it was bad empanadas from the day before, maybe some bad water, or what, he definitely wasn't feeling his best). Insisting that he would be ok on his own, Eli, Cameron, and Peter pushed off around 10:00 AM with the plan to regroup with Noah on the other side of the Chilean border in Pucon. While the three weren't quite sure whether they could make it all the way to Pucon in one day, they thought they'd come close, and Noah agreed that he'd hitchhike if he wasn't feeling better soon. After a very reasonable paved climb up the river valley towards Volcan Junin, the road turned to rippio once more for the last 15 km before the border (photo 14). After a short lunch, the three continued over the border and rejoiced when they realized they would be descending (apart from a few rollers) on smooth pavement towards Pucon for the next 70-80 km. Though it was a beautiful ride and a nice evening, Eli, Cameron, and Peter decided to call it a day when they arrived in Curarruhue, just 35 or so kilometers outside of Pucon. During a quick potato chip, beer, and ice cream bar pit stop, a local woman stopped to let us know that she had a small cabaña for 5,000 pesos each - a steal at less than $7.50. We decided to check it out and were pleasantly surprised with our own place  and nice beds. We were even greeted with kittens the next morning (photo 15). 

The next morning met us with some cheesy scrambled eggs and what we've termed lattes (nescafe with powdered milk) before rolling the easy 35 kilometers into Pucon. After arriving in Pucon, we met up with an Australian, Luke, who we'd first met all the way back in El Chalten, Argentina. Luke was finishing his trip and realized through our Instagram that we'd be pulling into Pucon just as he was concluding his trip. After catching up over coffee, Luke showed us a really nice, reasonable, and relaxed hostel where we'd spend the next two nights. Thankfully, Noah got in touch later that evening and we all rested easy knowing that he was safe and sound and feeling better. Despite trying to hitchhike, he'd ended up riding the same section we did, but a day later. 

We're looking forward to pushing on straight through to Valparaiso from here, where we're going to meet Eli's good friend, Ben Brody. Ben's also planning on renting a pickup truck and we'll all be driving from Valparaiso north to Calama, Chile, before getting back on the bikes to head into Bolivia by mid April. 

We'll be in touch from Valpo!

-Eli, Cameron, and Noah (and Peter)

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album Parque Nacional Los Alerces to Pucon, Chile

Coyhaique to Parque Nacional Los Alerces

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - Coyhaique to Parque Nacional Los Alerces

After a really nice stop in Coyhaique, a couple nights in an upscale hostel (by our standards), and celebrating Eli's birthday with a great group of friends, we hit the road again. We were all a little weary after a later birthday night, and possibly some stomach-upsetting street empanadas, but we finally shoved off by mid-day on the 23rd. Just a kilometer or so into our ride, we met a dog (that we aptly named Coyhaique) that would follow us for the next 30 kilometers, first on pavement up a long climb, and then onto the old route of the Carretera Austral on dirt. We did our best to get rid of Coyhaique, knowing that the most 'humane' thing to do would be to try to get the dog to return to its home, presumably back in town. After our best efforts, we realized the dog (photo 1) wouldn't turn back until she was ready. Fortunately, Coyhaique couldn't quite keep up after about 30 km and we were all relieved that she'd decided to call it quits... even if we did find ourselves wondering if she'd be our mascot for the rest of the trip.

Though the start of the day was marked by some dreariness, the dilemma of the following dog, and clouds in the sky, Eli's birthday ended with clear skies, downhill, and a nice tale wind (photo 2). We'd agreed that we'd do our best to meet Peter (our new companion from Scotland) in Villa Maniguales. Sure enough, we found him at a campsite just off the main street in town and retired for the night.

The next day, we hit the road north and found ourselves gleefully pedaling on paved roads with unbelievable views (photos 3 and 4). Before finishing the day off, we stopped at a small lake called Laguna de Los Torres, and decided it was time for our first real swim - the water (at least the 12 inches closest to the surface) was warmer than anything we'd felt, and was perfectly refreshing. Cameron decided to get out his sleeping pad, knowing they made great floats (photo 5). After the swim, we pushed on to a wild camp alongside Rio Cisnes, with the plan to make it to Puyuhuapi the next day. After arriving at the wild camp, Eli and Noah decided it was time to have a bow drill fire contest. Most of those reading know what a bow drill fire is, but google it if you don't! Eli and Noah grew up learning primitive wilderness skills, and that night on the river was time to put their skill to the test with a 'first to flame' contest. Unfortunately, after an hour of attempting the friction fire, the two conceded defeat, agreeing that the wood was much more difficult to work with than they'd anticipated (photo 6). 

The next morning woke us with what later became commonly referred to as a 'blow-over,' or a rain storm that we hoped would quickly pass. Unfortunately, this 'blow-over' would last through until the afternoon, not giving in to our denial, and accompanying us up a very steep dirt climb towards Puyuhuapi. Before the long decent, we wrung out our now soaked clothes, put them back on and enjoyed a skidding through the corners, switchback filled, blast of a descent. After regrouping towards the bottom of the descent, we continued to the bay and even spotted some seals and dolphins playing. Soon after our return to the bay, we were stopped with a road block. We soon learned that there had been an avalanche blocking the road 7 kilometers ahead and that they weren't letting anyone through until the next morning at the earliest (photo 7) . Before returning to a small store about a kilometer back, we purchased a couple fresh avocados from a truck that had also been held up. After regrouping and having a snack, we decided we weren't done with trying to continue farther down the road, even if it meant only to see the avalanche with our own eyes. Joining with another Argentinian cyclist, 'Nacho,' we pleaded with the road crews to let us pass - we assured them we'd cause no trouble. Eventually, we learned that, while we definitely wouldn't be able to pass where the avalanche had taken place, there was a small boat that was shuttling people from the shore to Puyuhuapi. Excited that the day's adventure wasn't yet over, we continued on, eventually arriving to the boat landing. We got in line with a number of others who'd heard that there was a boat, but were quickly told that the boat 'captain' wouldn't take us with our bicycles. We decided that we would wait out the long line of people (photo 8) hoping to catch a ride and would let everyone without bicycles go ahead of us. As the sun set (photo 9) and the boat owner came to pick up what could have been his last load, we asked whether we could pay him a small amount to come back one last time. He obliged and we all chipped in $5,000 Chilean pesos (~$7.50) for the the 10-15 kilometer ride in the dark to Puyuhuapi (photo 10). Tired, but relieved to have made it to town, we found a small camping spot and got to sleep as quickly as we could.

Eli joked about how he could post a status that read something like: "Patagonia: where you can wake up alongside a raging river, cycle on beautiful pavement, climb a pass in the rain on washboarded dirt road, drink from a glacial stream, spot seals and dolphins playing in the bay, be stopped by an avalanche that's blocked the road, and where you hop a 15 foot long boat in the dark to make it to town." - it was quite a day.

The next day we were off again, headed north for our final push of the Carretera Austral. We had planned to push through towards Futaleufu, Chile as quickly as possible, but it was a hot day and we'd all been kept up later than anticipated with the previous day's adventures. About 15 kilometers north of the town of La Junta, Eli and our new friend, Nacho, found a small patch of grass on a farmer's property just off the road. The farmer showed where we could tent for free and we decided we would call it a day, clean some clothes in the river, and get to sleep before too late (photos 11 and 12).

We awoke the next morning with a determination to make it as close to Futaleufu, Chile as possible. We knew that it might be slightly out of reach for a one day ride, but we quickly covered the first ~50 kilometers, before turning off the Carretera for the last time and heading east. After very dusty rippio roads that we aptly named 'dust forests,' we met up with two Argentinian brothers on motorcycles who were taking a break beside Lago Yelcho (photo 13). Little did we know, they'd offer us donuts and mate, a great snack for our final kilometers of the day. After sharing stories and telling them a bit about our trip, we pushed on and made it as far as Puerto Ramirez before deciding that we'd better call it a day.

The next morning woke us all with a pelting rain... again. We all had a hard time not feeling a bit defeated, but after some procrastination, we all made a break for a nearby bridge for cover. We broke down our tents, put on warmer layers, and had breakfast under the shelter of the bridge (photo 14) before setting of towards Futaleufu, one after another. Eli being Eli set off first, determined to get to town as quickly as he could. The rest of us followed, eventually meeting up in the town park early that afternoon, happy to know that we'd be in Futaleufu for at least one day off. After asking around town about a hostel, we found ourselves very lucky, finding a really nice, reasonable place with a room perfect just for the four of us.

The next day, we headed to Expediciones Chile, a rafting company recommended by a friend of Cameron's. We had heard from many others that if we wanted to raft, the Futaleufu river was one of the premier rafting destinations in the world. Despite it not being in the plans, we decided that it wasn't something we should pass up. Unfortunately, we were a bit too late to get a reservation that day, but we booked a 'Bridge to Bridge' trip for the next day. Though we hadn't anticipated staying in Futaleufu for two days, we realized that maybe it was a blessing in disguise, allowing us the time to have a full rest day and to hand wash and dry our clothes before the next segment of riding.

The next day, we got ourselves ready, thinking we'd head out of town that night after rafting, and headed to the rafting company. We made our way to river only to be held up on the dirt road by two bulls in the middle of the road squaring off against each other. We watched as one of the bulls pushed the other into the trailer ahead of us, carrying our raft - quite a sight.  We caught it on video, but too big a file to upload during the trip! Rafting itself was pretty ridiculous - absolutely the biggest water we'd ever seen. Our guide was an American who'd done his time on many other rivers before getting to the Futaleufu. Just when we thought we'd more or less seen it all, we hit one of the last rapids and the boat pirouetted to the right, nearly capsizing. Everyone in the boat except Eli (including the guide) fell out, leaving Eli pretty surprised not to find anyone else in the raft. After pulling the guide in, the guide pulled Cameron in, and Eli pulled Noah back in. The rest of the four boaters had had to swim to shore, leaving the three of us feeling at least somewhat victorious that team Mundo Pequeño had all made it back into the boat quickly. Eli, on the other hand, was ecstatic, exclaiming "Guys! Guys! I was the only one in the boat! I was like, holy shit, where did everybody go?!" After gathering the others in our boat we finished off the day without incident and all agreed that it'd been worth it to raft the Futaleufu. After a 40 minute ride back to town (forgot to mention it rained all day while we were on the river), we agreed that we were all wet and cold and really didn't want to go grocery shopping and head out that night. Fortunately, our four person suite was still available, so we happily enjoyed one more night in a bed before hitting the road the next morning.

From Futaleufú, we headed back into Argentina towards Trevelin, and Parque Los Alerces. The start of the day greeted us with smooth pavement all the way to the border of Argentina, where the road quickly changed to rippio (but it was better than some we'd seen!). We'd pushed on towards Trevelin, hoping to make it a ways into the Parque Nacional Los Alerces that evening. After a longer than anticipated grocery stop in Trevelin, and losing our Scottish compadre, Peter, to an emergency #2 break, we soldiered on towards the park. By 7:30 or so that evening, we'd made it to the first campsite in the park - a beautiful spot on the southern end of Lago Futalaufquen (photo 15).

After waking to colder temperatures than we'd felt in a while (the Argentinian side of the mountains was much drier, but the nights much colder), we hit the rippio road in the park at a leisurely pace, enjoying the beauty around us and savoring the solitude and quiet of the park. Around kilometer 55, we realized we were about to pass the last campsite in the park back into much drier and less desirable camping options. Instead of pushing on out of the park, we called it a day in the middle of the afternoon, agreeing that an afternoon washing clothes, swimming, and hanging on the beach by the northernmost lake in the park (Lago Rivadavia) was worth our having a couple longer days ahead of us (photos 16 and 17).

Until next time,

-Cameron, Eli, and Noah

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - Coyhaique to Parque Nacional Los Alerces


Lago O'Higgins to Coyhaique (The Carretera Austral Part 1)

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - Lago O'Higgins to Coyhaique

We were up early on Sunday the 12th, ready for our ferry ride at 7:00 AM and eager to hit the Carretera Austral after weeks (and months and years) of anticipation. Though the bay was sheltered (photo 1), we quickly learned that the wind on Lago O'Higgins was no joke, the small boat swaying back and forth and motoring against the waves for the first hour of the ride, before turning to ride the waves east. We even noticed that the captain was steering the boat between each big wave, trying to make progress north, while also squaring the boat up to ride oncoming waves east (photo 2). About 3.5 hours later we were safely in O'Higgins and stopped for a resupply of food before hitting the road. We'd all decided that after the overland crossing from El Chalten, the day before, that we'd aim for 30-40 km before finding a wild camp for the night. Not long after leaving O'Higgins, we'd come upon huge mountains and waterfalls cascading from the glaciers. We soon found a hidden spot off the road and by a good size river... though we learned the next day that our camp, downwind of a lake, was a mosquito haven and our new friend Peter, from Scotland, got his share of bites :)

The next day we set off with the goal of making it to the next ferry, about 75 km from our camp. We all headed out around 8:00 AM, each riding at our own pace and stopping to regroup at a small river for lunch. After lunch, the rain set in and we were faced with about 40 km of climbing and descending next to muddy rivers. After a last stop around 2:30 pm, we learned from cyclists traveling South that we should try to catch the 4:00 PM ferry (20 km up the road) if we wanted to be sure to get to the other side of the bay that night. They told us the ferry was scheduled for 4:00 and 7:00 PM, but that if no cars were waiting for the late ferry, they might not run, leaving us on the south shore until the next day. With some strong pushing, we made the ferry with about 15 minutes to spare - soaked, but glad that we would make it to the other shore where there was a shelter we'd been told we could camp in that night. After making dinner on the steps of the shelter, and (unsuccessfully) hanging our clothes to dry, we hunkered down in the shelter with two other cyclists traveling south. The shelter was really just a room with benches, maintained by Los Cabineros de Chile - basically the national police force of Chile. They were very welcoming, and explained how their service rotated between regions of the country, sounding somewhat like our National Guard. Photo 3 is a picture of the ferry at night, where the Cabineros gathered to spend time together... they even had a satellite cable hooked up for TV once the ferry was docked for the night.

The next morning, still soggy from the day before, we hit the road and soon learned that climbing would be a central theme on the Carretera. After sweating our way up a forested climb for most of the morning, we descended into another valley, where were greeted by sunshine and smoother rippio (gravel road). After a short lunch, we all got back on the road at our own pace, and cruised beside the biggest river in Chile, Rio Baker (or Rio Cochrane on Google Maps) for the next 30 km (photo 4). After struggling over the final 20 km of hot, dusty, wash-boarded road, we found a small campsite right by the river and across the road from a small farm house. We decided to ask the homeowners if it was ok to stay across the road and they assured us it was fine and offered to sell us fresh baked bread and eggs... we happily obliged, devouring the first loaf immediately (with mayonnaise stored in a mustard container - a mix we termed mustaise). After taking our time washing clothes and bathing in the river. we cooked dinner over the fire, and got to bed early, knowing that our next town and (fingers crossed) bed would greet us the next day.

After waking around 7:00 AM, we all hit the road at slightly different times, agreeing that we'd do the 50 km to town at our own pace. Cameron headed off first, hoping to get to town in time to do some media stuff, instagramming, etc. Eli, Noah, and Peter followed and we all arrived between 1:00 and 2:00 PM after a very washboard covered route. Unfortunately, Peter's hub was trashed and he'd broken a spoke, so it looked like he'd be hitching at least to the next major town of Coyhaique. After having a late lunch and wandering around town for at least an hour (many places close during the afternoon hours, making it difficult to find a place to stay if you arrive in the afternoon), we managed to find a spot in a small hospedaje - basically a boarding house with shared rooms, kitchen, and bathrooms. We were pretty excited for the first hot shower in quite a while, and after finally figuring out that the on demand water heater was out of propane, we cleaned up and headed to the store for dinner fixings. In the process of our hostel/hospedaje search, we'd met Meg, who was staying in town while working as a teacher for an expedition school from the States. Meg invited us to make dinner at her cabin, so we picked up more food than usual and headed to her place for a great meal, conversation, and story sharing.

After waking to more rain in Cochrane, we (Cameron more than the others) weren't very enthusiastic about getting soaked yet again, especially when we weren't sure exactly where we'd end up that night... maybe at another wild campsite with little shelter. After motivating, getting to the grocery store to resupply for the next several days, and packing all of our food, we finally hit the road early afternoon. As luck would have it, we were lucky with the rain, and blue skies soon returned only an hour or so into the ride (photo 5). We were all a bit slow and decided that we'd shoot for 40-50 km before calling it a day. Fortunately, north of Cochrane the towns aren't as few and far between, and we ended up in Puerto Bertrand that night at a tent camping spot. We'd recognized that our accommodation options were either to wild camp (free), tent at an established area in a town (usually 3,000-5,000 Chilean pesos or $5-8 with a shower, sometimes a shared cooking/kitchen space/wifi), or stay at a hostel or hospedaje (shared room, kitchen, bath, sometimes breakfast provided - usually 8,000-18,000 pesos or $12-28 per night). Cost wise, wild camps are always the way to go. With a budget of approximately $20 per day per person, we've pretty much agreed that we enjoy wild camping when the weather is good in exchange for a hostel here and there when we can afford it. On the other hand, we also will pay to camp if it includes a shower and dry cooking space, especially if the weather is bad or if it's later in the day. After arriving in Puerto Bertrand around 8:00 PM, paying for a tent site that would allow us to shower, cook quickly, and get to sleep for another early wake up was agreed on as the option that made the most sense.

The next day we'd push on, shooting for the next town of Puerto Tranquilo and the neighboring Marble Caves that we'd read about. After a climb out of town, and some rolling hills, we arrived at a bridge between the two lakes that feed Rio Baker (the river we'd ridden beside for days). This bridge held some significance because, when looking at Google maps and street view before the trip, we'd picked this spot as a reference point several times - excited to see the teal water, one lane bridge, and mountains in the distance (photo 6). The landmark didn't disappoint. Another interesting fact that Meg (the teacher from the States) had taught us was that these lakes didn't always empty into Rio Baker and that it had been a tectonic shift that had caused the waters to flow west towards the ocean. After learning this, we definitely observed that the volume of water flowing indeed seemed to be more than the river had originally held. This is part of the reason that the region has become a popular rafting and kayaking area, with Puerto Bertrand as a popular rafting put in spot. After the bridge siting, we pushed on again, hoping for a couple more kilometers before a lunch stop. The last push of the day took us high above the lake before a final descent into Puerto Tranquilo. We'd hoped to go to the marble caves, but the wind was too strong, and no boats were allowed to travel... guess that means we'll have to go back and visit again! After arriving in Tranquilo, the rain returned again and we decided that another camping spot with a dry cooking space and a shower was in order. That night, we also happened upon a couple from Santiago - after sharing food and conversation and telling them about our trip, they generously offered to host us in Santiago whenever we arrived. Soon after dinner, it was off to bed.

The next day greeted us with more wind and rain and we knew that we were in for an adventure, with no towns within a day's ride. We had been at it for over a week straight with no rest days at that point, and had talked the night before about how we might split up in the coming days with the plan to meet in Coyhaique. Eli was feeling strong that day and wanted to push on as far as he could. Cameron was feeling similarly, but the rain and wind had him procrastinating and moving slower than normal, and Noah really probably deserved a full break and recovery at this point. About 30 km into the ride, Noah and Cameron talk about the possibility of Noah hitching a ride ahead to Coyhaique. It was a more in depth conversation, but the dilemma of keeping to a schedule vs. riding every single kilometer came up and the two agreed that the end goal was really to make sure that we all arrived in New England together. Cameron set off again, hoping to find Eli somewhere up the road and with the plan that if we didn't see Noah that night, that we could trust that he was safely getting himself to Coyhaique or camping solo for the night. After spotting a Boston Red Sox cap and bandana on the side of the road, Cameron realized Eli was hidden out in an abandoned cabin, waiting for Cameron and Noah to arrive... and to make a game plan. Thinking that Noah was likely going to catch a ride ahead, Eli and Cameron briefly considered riding an additional 70+ km to make it to Cerro Castillo in one day instead of two... but just as they were about to head out, Cameron looked at Google maps one last time for reference, and the two decided that pushing ahead that late in the day would have been stupid. Within minutes of their more responsible decision making, Noah arrived safe and sound and the three were back together again in their abandoned shack (photo 7) for the night.

The next day, the goal was Cerro Castillo. Noah was still recovering from a cold he'd been fighting over the last few days, but was going to push on at his own pace. With a similar plan as the day before (Noah would do what he could, but would make sure to give us a wave if he decided to hitch a ride to Coyhaique). After Eli and Cameron stuck together for the first half of the day, riding a good climb and descent in the first 30-40 km and finding some tailwinds, Noah rejoined again - continuing to impress with his resilience and biking stamina... especially without the riding history that Eli and Cameron had brought to the trip. The day continued on over one last climb on rough rippio for about 20 km, before the views of the valley and Cerro Castillo opened before us. We'd coast into Cerro Castillo that night to find a nice, quiet hostel and knowing that we just had one long day (on pavement!!! after over 500 km of gravel roads) ahead of us to Coyhaique. (Photos 8 and 9 of the mountains outside the town of Cerro Castillo)

The next day, we aired up our tires with higher pressures for pavement, and pushed off early (photo 10), knowing that we were about to do a 800+ meter climb and would be hitting the highest point on the Carretera Austral. After several hours of climbing (photo 11) (and thinking about climbing on light road bikes without gear), we'd arrived at the summit and relished the winding downhill on the other side. After a short stop for our first lunch about 30 km into the day, we pushed on and the change in route greeted us with the first headwinds we'd felt in quite a while. With some bitching and moaning here and there and a stop for a cold coke and cookies, we'd pulled off the last 30 km of the 100 km day without too much issue. That night we found a modest place to stay, agreeing that we'd take the next two days off to rest and to celebrate Eli's birthday, that was coming up on the 23rd. On our first day off in Coyhaique, after 10 days of riding, we were all pretty beat... not able to accomplish much more than downtime together and finding a nice hostel for the next couple of nights.

The next 5-6 days of riding will take us to Futaleufu, Chile, arriving sometime around February 28th, before crossing into Argentina yet again, and riding north towards Bariloche. As of our second day off, we're all feeling recharged and as though our legs are ready to keep pushing us closer to home.

Signing off until next time,

-Cameron, Eli, and Noah

Please find the photos for this entry here: Google Album - Lago O'Higgins to Coyhaique