Monthly Archives January 2013

A Day With The Penguins

Little waddling friends
Struggle on shore
Dive in water
Struggle no more


We met several lovely people at the hostel in Ancud. Dita and Zvi from Israel had rented a car and invited us to join them on a journey to see the penguins. We had a wonderful time. It was amazing to see Pingu’s relatives in the wild.



We boarded a boat and circled the three islands and saw several groups of penguins. They were amazing to watch as they waddle up and down the hills and how agile they are once in the water.




We saw both Megellanic and Humboldt Penguins. They roost here for four months per year, have their babies and then all swim off for 8 months at sea. These two species travel on different directions. Megellan currents and Humboldt currents.

Click here to see Pingu’s friends

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Chaco to Ancud (32 km)

Biking is meditative
Even in rain
Thoughts come, go
Inner voice calming


We got up to a lovely breakfast with Marcel
It was raining cats and dogs and he insisted on giving us a lift to the end of the now muddy gravel road. We accepted and loaded our bikes and gear in huis truck and away we went.

We arrived at the ferry at Parqua and bid Marcel farewell. It was a 30 minute ferry ride on a smallish ferry with no place to get out of the wind and rain. Others stayed in cars and trucks.

Once landed we stopped for a coffee and toast while we got warm.

We noticed that the ripio had jarred one of Janises rack bolts off. We were not sure if this was stripped or not. I carry spares and was able to replace this important bolt...

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Riding The Ripio (52 km)

What is ripio
Will bikes work
How many falls
Is it doable

One of the unknowns for us is the 100’s of kilometres of ripio we will need to follow. These are gravel roads. At home with 23 mm tires on road bikes, we go out of our way to avoid gravel. In South America one must be comfortable riding this.

Today we rode 52 Kim’s. the first 6 were pavement and the last 46 was ripio.



By far the toughest day of cycling we have ever done. Several falls, Janis got knocked off her bike onto a rock pile by two nasty dogs (I was able to ping one with a rock from a distance but not in time). Sorry dog lovers but when you are attacked they don’t make you feel like man’s/women’s best friend.

The next time a dog crossed through a fence and started coming at me I got off, grabbed some stones and motio...

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Our First Day. of Riding (20 km)

Start our ride
Mental easels blank
Thoughts of adventure
Discovering new turf

We found our way out of busy Puerto Montt on Hwy 5 (pavement).

After about 1 km we took the paved side road to hug the coast.

After about 20 km we stopped at a campsite called camping Anderson (John, could be your distant relative).

The host and hostess were lovely and offered us dinner and breakfast They have a lovely piece of property on the sea. Steve was originally from souther USA, but relocate to Chile 24 years ago.



Lots of fauna and flora (Louise, you would love the roadside).


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Overnight Bus to Puerto Montt

All night ride
Backs are sore
Passed by volcanos
Bikes back together

We spent a few days in Santiago, getting some fuel for stove and trying to find remote Internet access for our devices.

In the end we decided not to spend $100 per month for hook-up and we would use wifi only. It will be more difficult to blog.

The route we may take changes as we learn more. This is the way we like it, some plans but not too firm.

Many active volcanos in Chile. In the dark of night our bus passed by a volcano that erupted the week before Christmas.


We loaded the bike boxes on the bus.



Once we arrived in Puerta Montt it took 2.5 hours to re-assemble the bikes and fix two broken things on Janis’s bike. Nothing some good old fashion Red Green duct tape wouldn’t fix till we got to a hardware store.

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Toronto To Santiago

Fly by night
Canada outa sight
Three word sentences
Avoids the bog

Brother in law Randy put us onto a way of communicating events and things using only three word sentences. Try it once.

This method avoids writing in the bog (using 20 words when 10 would do).

We had a smooth 11 hour overnight flight. Landing on New Year’s Day and all was very quiet.

Today we go out to source white gas for the stove, food for the next week, and hopefully a bit of technology (110 volt adaptor, turbo stick for laptop etc).

Planning the next week’s routes and options.


Testing new uv water treatment system

Bye For Now

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