Wednesday, December 29, 2010

In the beginning...

So what's all this then? The things have a blog now. New year, new blog. This is not just any old ramblings though, this is our journel of tandem-based cycling adventures. And to kick it off, we're off on a jaunt in South America in the New Year: read on to learn more!

According to convention, we should explain what we are doing, and why. That could be difficult though. We have an approximate plan which involves flying to Buenos Aires on Sunday, and flying back from San Paulo at the end of March. From Buenos Aires we hope to get a local transfer down to Rio Gallegos and start cycling from there, on Dobbin (our Thorn Adventure tandem). We plan to wind up via Torres del Paine, El Calafate, and the challenging Villa O'Higgin's crossing back into Chile for the second time. Our first real 'must do ' on our trip is the Carretera Austral, the 1000km (mostly) gravel road to Puerto Montt.

Other things on the to do list are the Chilian lake district, some high passes over the Andes, the northern salt deserts, and the Bolivian Altiplano, and who knows maybe as far as Cuzco. You probably get the idea, it's a fairly free-form plan, which is how we like it.

As to why we are doing this, that's perhaps even tougher. We've both been in continuous fulltime employment for over a decade, and felt an extended break was long overdue. We originally planned to tour across Europe -- starting in the Pyrenees and head due East -- from May. However other ambitions for Summer 2011 meant it was increasingly difficult to find a good time to fit it in. Maybe we'll write more on those plans in a future post!

So, this gave raise to the plan to go away in winter, missing the worse of the British weather (or so we thought!!). And within the southern hemisphere, there was really only one candidate for where we'd like to spend a couple months.

The next couple days will be much like the last; packing bags, preparing the bike, cleaning up the house ready for letting, and of course catching up with friends over New Year's Eve before we head off. Cycling through the Pampas of Patagonia seems both impossibly far away, yet terrifyingly close!

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