The good thing about expecting harsh, ugly weather is that when you have sort-of bad weather, it's totally manageable. Since Ushuaia, we slept on snow our first night, battled a few days of strong winds, and only had a little bit of rain and sleet. Our greatest difficulty has been avoiding an accident with Argentina's crazy drivers, who pass each other going unbeleivable speeds directly in front of "no passing" signs. Since spring hasn't quite yet sprung here (and we're without snowshoes and skis to cross the mountains), we're weaving our way through Tierra del Fuego along La Ruta 3 which is a 1.5-lane paved highway (with a nice dirt shoulder and sometimes an accompanying trail).
We arrived in Tolhuin (population 5,000) yesterday ready for warm beds, showers, laundry, a day of rest, and a full meal. Although we've filled ourselves with delicious pastries from the well-known Panaderia La Union, we've yet to eat a well-rounded meal due to yesterday's random town holiday which subsequently shut down restaurants off-schedule today.
We head off to Rio Grande tomorrow. We hope to find a better internet connection where we can spend more time to catch up with loved ones and upload more pictures to the blog (there's so much more that we wanted to share).
Some of our favorite moments:
-Unzipping our tent yesterday morning to a sunny, crisp day on the edge of lake Fagnano (larger than lake Tahoe) which was calm as glass with snowy mountains flanking its shores
-Waking up with two cutie-pie dogs outside our tent (sadly we had to scare them away when we returned to the highway)
-Arriving in Tolhuin to two ladies who told us they've seen us every day for the past five days en route from Ushuaia to Tolhuin
-Morning and evening yoga in the mountains
-Being coined the "chicas locas" by several folks... upon hearing of our adventure a lady remarked (in Spanish), "You're walking all the way to Colombia? But that's impossible. That'd take you.... at least... THREE MONTHS (ok, try a year)! Son locas!"
-Personalized daily honks from passing truckers and tour buses
-Coming upon a restaurant on day four where we purchased three chicken empanadas each, one orange fanta each, and two large slices of pie.
-In a bed in Tolhuin, Sarah woke up in the middle of the night and tried to unzip the tent to go to the bathroom
-Finding a store that sells grains, dried fruits and nuts in bulk
-Realizing that this is what we'll be doing for the year and feeling awesome about it
Some of our not-so-favorite moments (still working out some kinks):
-Didn't leave Ushuaia until 1pm (wanted to leave at 9am) because we found out the afternoon before that the post office only sends packages to the U.S.A. from Tierra del Fuego from 9am-12pm every morning... and then the line took forever
-The sign indicating that Ushuaia is the "fin del mundo" is being repainted so was not available for a commencement photo
-Denatured alcohol comes in many formulas. The one we purchased (without testing on our stove) doesn't burn hot enough to boil water so we've had a raw food diet
-Stores are open when they want to be. And usually not from 3-6pm.
-Internet cafes (i.e. this one) can experience lapses in service for the better part of the day
-Steripen is not sensitive in cold weather, it is VERY sensitive in cold weather
-I, without sleep one night, could hear Sarah's stomach growling in her sleep
-Sore legs and achy feet
|First day on the road... realizing we're in Patagonia!|
|Hiking over a pass into the fog.|
|Taking in the "view" from the scenic overlook.|
|Showered in Tolhuin.|