Whew! After a whirlwind final few weeks in Santiago, we finally managed to sell all our stuff and reduce our mass of accumulation over the past four years to several heavy and overloaded bags while simultaneously packing for 6 weeks of cycling and trying to keep an eye on Indi as she unpacked our things. It was a relief to put the madness behind us and head for the open roads of southern Chile where we have been tooling about for the past 2 weeks. The riding has been incredible - the scenery is stunning and remote and the people we have met have been kind and welcoming...it helps to have an uber cute baby with you! Indi has been charming her way along, scoring us dinners and comfy camping while at the same time managing to get her hands into everything (really...EVERYTHING!). She babbles and screams Papa and Mama and various other new words as we cruise along, always ready to explore our newest destination. We stop frequently to munch on the hyperabundance of the fattest, juiciest balackberries imaginable and there is never a bird or dog that Indi isn´t ready to chase. She has taken to adventuring and adores the attention she gets everywhere we go. She has perfected her puddlemucking, thanks to adorable boots from Suzu and takes every opportunity to swim, clothed or not.
We left Puerto Montt under clear blue skies and quickly realized that cycling with a child, expecially one so young, is an entirely different experience than we are used to. If our previous trips have been defined by long days of hard riding followed by relaxing evenings of reading, cooking up massive feasts and enjoying our surroundings, riding with Indi is pehaps the polar opposite. Even hauling a trailer that weighs as much as my bike and gear combined is cake compared to trying to keep up with Indi after a long bit of riding. While she´s been sitting patiently, storing up all the energy possible for the next stop, we arrive pooped and ready to rest. It is exhausting! As soon as the pavement ended, we quickly realized that our planned route south from Puerto Montt was a tad ambitious and
coupled with a ferocious weather report for the coming week on the
Careterra Austral, we decided to head north to the small village of
Puelo and take a little used route connected by 3 boat rides across epic
mountain lakes to get to Argentina. On the first ferry, we met a
wonderful Chilean family that owned a fishing lodge on our route. They
invited us to camp on their amazing property alongside Lago Tortorel and
treated us to a delightlful Chilean asado and even made me a cake for
my birthday! I think it was Indi that won their hearts.
After a final boat ride yesterday across Lagos Inferior and Puelo, we
finally stamped ourselves into Argentina and left behind the jarring
dirt roads for the welcoming pavement of Argentine Patagonia. We
arrived in El Bolson yesterday where we are until we head north again
Hugs around - we miss you all and can´t wait to see you in April!
A long time coming...
0 degrees fahrenheit. No heat, no lights, solid block of drinking water, exploded beer, frozen ketchup and it's only 8pm. After all that, we still had each other and we still had our determination to realize our vision. Despite the circulating perceptions that this maniacal way of life would inevitably lead to a divorce, we are pleased to say that you were wrong! We are as happy as ever and every frozen bone was well worth it! After 4 years of living together in our 21ft RV, we managed to pay off our debts, Kirsten complete graduate school, Seth become a certified arborist, both work multiple jobs and manage to save up enough money to travel. So here we go. We hope that you can come along for the ride.