A Fiery Finish

Turning off the highway after a nice little descent on asphalt, it was a rolling dirt road to the coast and finally a glimpse of the Beagle Channel.  We really did have the weather gods smiling on us…

That night we made use of one of the ‘established’ campsites at Rio Varela and were treated to a beautiful clear starry night…

The flip side being a pretty chilly sleep and an icy tent for the first time in a while…

Fortunately, the sun, when it eventually broke the horizon, was warm and defrosted things nicely.  It’s funny how quickly the climate changes, even with the pace that you travel on a bicycle – I guess the ‘climate shifts’ accelerate exponentially as you get to more extreme latitudes and that was also combined with the onset of winter.
Our plan that day was to do an out-and-back to the ‘end of the road’.  Short of getting the (expensive) ferry across to (Chilean) Puerto Williams, this was the furthest point south that we could cycle to on the continent and a somewhat more satisfactory ‘end of the road’ than Ushuaia!  It was a lovely ride, on a rolling dirt road, through lush forest, dipping down to the water’s edge and then back up.  In fact, we were somewhat caught out by the elevation change, with what ended up as 1400m of climbing over the 90km (out and back) – pretty punchy for what was supposed to be a reasonably flat coastal route!
In the early afternoon, though, we finally made it to the distinctly anti-climactic naval outpost at the end of the road!  Not many tourers come this way – there’s no sign to take photos in front of or booth to buy a t-shirt from!  It was a deeply satisfying moment for me though.  And then, just as we were taking photos of ourselves, I spotted a puff out to sea and, sure enough, there was a pod of whales!  Providing us with our very own aquatic fireworks.

5 Comments

  1. Dear cousin Campbell,
    Seeing THAT SUNSET again (and your last camp for the first time) sends shivers up my spine too. It really was something and you were of course far, far more deserving in being treated with it at the end of your incredible journey!
    Wecome back and bon prochaine voyage!
    Jean

  2. . . . and so ends a truly courageous, life-enhancing adventure. Thank you for going to such lengths, in eloquent words and outstanding photography, to paint such a magnificent canvas for all of us, your dedicated followers. Me thinks 2016/17 may well have marked something of a seismic shift in your personal tectonic plates!
    Dad xxx

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