feliz navidad

Brett and I woke up at 5:30am, in the pouring rain, to get to the ferry port at Chile Chico in time. We waited, getting soggier, whilst everyone else got on the ferry but we were made to wait till last. Cycle prejudice is rife. Inside the ferry was crazily crowded so we squeezed ourselves in to a cafeteria to eat breakfast of oats and yoghurt and coffee. I headed off from Puerto Ibanez with the rain still lashing down, selected a low gear and started climbing. I left Brett faffing about with getting warmer clothes out of his panniers.

I bumped into Monica and Thorsten again at the junction with Ruta 7, where the tarred road snakes its way up to a 1100m pass. We had a bit of lunch sat in a bus stop shelter and continued up the hairpins. Thorsten and I had a good chat and, once we got to the top, took some photos in the snow. (White xmas!) When Monica caught up we continued in sleet and then snow.

As we sped down hill the sky cleared and huge mountains loomed over the road. Fantastic views waited around each bend of forests, lakes and fast flowing rivers. Probably some of the most dramatic scenery of the trip so far. Another uphill bump and the scenery changed again turning into rolling green hills and farmland. Not unlike Hampshire believe it or not. However, a headwind picked up and, after I stopped for a few biscuits, M&T caught up. We camped in El Blanco beside the confluence of two rivers and ate pasta, cheese, chocolate, walnuts and cake (not all together (or necessarily in that order)).

Today, Christmas Eve, began with filthy wet weather and a biting cold headwind. The big mittens made their first outing of the trip. Fortunately it was only a short 33kms to Coyhaique, where I soon found Brett, the campsite and, later, Michael. So there is quite a crowd of us now. I think Monika plans to cook a traditional German xmas dinner tonight which should be nice. Crimbo Vino is bubbling much slower so fingers crossed it will be drinkable tomorrow. Planning to have Boxing Day here too (to recuperate).

Hope you all have a fantastic Christmas time and all the best for 2010!!! Stay tuned for my New Year's Resolutions...

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  1. All the best Pete, love the photo. Keeping up to date with all your postings. Cya in 2010.



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