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

Location: London. Back.

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

Sunday 21 February 2010

The first 100k..

Well, actually the first 105k...have been completed!!

It wasn't Julie Andrews in the end who got me through but, to Phil´s horror, the lovely Dolly Parton who saw me up a cruel end of the day hill yesterday evening with ´Baby I´m Burning´ which my thighs certainly were. We slept like the dead last night, after a big second day, in the back room of a huge bakery in Tolhuin surrounded by flour sacks and the smells of Empanada preparation.

We set off finally on Friday lunchtime, after a small back brake delay, fully loaded and heading for the hills. It was made very special for us because Mark, Sarah and Steve came and saw us off and made a real occasion of it. It was so lovely of them all and we have a hilarious little film of the actual moment which we will post at some point.

The bikes weigh a lot. Phil, to my eternal gratitude, loaded his heavier than mine but still they are both pretty unwieldy when not being ridden. Like fish shouldn´t be on land, these bikes shouldn´t be pushed. And we had to get them over that mountain pass.

In the end, of course, it really wasn´t that bad. We have some very low gears and so one just digs in and crawls it out! At one moment I was going so slowly I was able to observe mosquitoes flying past.

We went a pretty steady 34k on day one and camped at a ski resort where the lovely caretakers, Fabien and Noe, let us use their kitchen. We stopped earlyish because the final 12k big climb was ahead and we needed early morning energy for it. We slept on the edges of a wood with a river running near, surrounded by huge snow capped mountains with birds of prey swooping around. Our lovely hosts took us on a walk to search for beavers and we saw just how much destruction they can reek on surrounding woodland. It was magical.

Then yesterday morning we started the 12k ascent. An hour and a half later, we were at the top of the Garibaldi pass. It was glorious. I couldn´t believe we'd done it. But the views on the way up had been incredible, and so they were on the way down.

THE WAY DOWN! Now I know why people bike up hills! For the rush of the descent. 9k knocked off in thrilling, wind in the hair, no pedalling glory. What a thrill. With the sun shining and a huge glistening lake ahead of us. It was wonderful.

Then on, for a steadyish 50k to Tolquin, a lakeside town. On the way we met Sebastian and Sarah, a French couple just coming to the close of their 18month odessey by bike from Alaska, joined by their friend Heather for the last few months. We stopped by the roadside and caught up. They told us about the bakery.

And so we find ourselves this morning, enjoying more hospitality and awoken to such wonderful smells with another day of riding ahead.



  1. That first 105 will surely be the worst. Well done - that's broken the back of the journey!
    M x

  2. Wow guys, congrats on the first 100k! We're really excited for you guys. Keep it up! As for the beavers, why don't they just hunt them to extinction down here? We humans seem to be pretty good at that.

  3. Hello Phil & Liz!

    Congratulations on getting underway and muchos suerte! We will be following your progress.

    We have passed 7000km today since beginning in Buenos Aires - stopped in Chos Malal to try to watch the Gold Medal Hockey game!

    Peter & Petra