Latest Update (as at 30/1/11):

Location: London. Back.

Total Distance Cycled: 10,325km
Days Biking: 140
Longest Day: 174km (2/12/10)

Friday, 19 February 2010

Climb every mountain...

Today, I will climb my first ever mountain on a bike. My first ever. I do not predict a Julie Andrews like twirling and singing but more a thigh busting grind and a lot of walking. As Phil referred to in his blog, Ushuaia turned out to have a little surprise waiting for us. And so, the start is not flat, but very very uphill! I am properly nervous.

I think I will resemble Julie in squeeky clean, new kittedness though. This is like the first day at school, when you have your shiny new pencil case and a crinkly and fractionally too big skirt. All the kit is clean and lovely, all the clothes smell nice. I am embryonic, unformed, unfit and amateur!! As we have sorted ourselves out in this glorious, Edelweiss town filled with adventurous types this has been all too obvious.

However, one of the really exciting things about this trip so far is all the people we have met, some also climbing their own metaphorical mountains. The 'end of the world' attracts a great number setting off on adventures. In Rio Gallegos we met the truly inspiring Brian, off ahead of us on his bike following a similar route with about a tenth of the kit and planning to do ten times the speed. Peter and Petra are motorbiking from Ushuaia back to Toronto, Suzanne and Mike are away for 11 months from Colorado travelling around South America, Sarah and Steve have been away from the UK for a year and have seen most of the globe, two lovely ladies yesterday were on their third trip to Antarctica and provided the classic line, 'last time I went home by boat from Brazil to Dartmouth. That worked well because I can get a bus to my house from there.' We saw others yesterday setting off on bikes, on motorbikes, on foot all off for different reasons and with different aims.

We have also been staying here with Alejandro and Frances who have opened their dream home (much of which they built themselves ) to us and have seen so many types like us pass through over the years. Their home from home has been the perfect jumping off point.

And then there was Mark. Mark Beaumont yesterday finished his 9 month trip from Anchorage to Ushuaia by bike, throwing in an ascent of Mount McKinley and Aconcagua just for fun. Mark is the world record holder for going around the world by bike and this was his latest challenge. He has been followed by the BBC and in March (from 22nd) you'll be able to see what he went through on the route that we are setting off on. He is a friend of Tracey and Andy in Edinburgh who inspired us to take this trip on together and so we met up with him just after he had finished. He was in the midst of media interaction when we met him only two hours after finishing but we had dinner with him later along with the above mentioned Sarah and Steve. We had a wonderful evening, sharing stories and hearing how Mark's epic trip has been. We felt very priveleged to share his first evening off with him and he was generous and funny despite being very tired. A great night.

So...back to the mountain. Fuelled with so much inspiration. Thank you for all the emails of encouragement and support. The next time we blog we will have some cycling and wild camping under our belts and some of the rather delicious dried food we have bought in our bellies..... and of course a song and a twirl in our hearts!

Byeee x

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    R x

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