Cycling through the unknown fills my heart with energy. Most of the time, when nature tries to beat me, I discover my resistance being strong. Hours of climbing in the midday heat are rewarded by amazing views of mountains, volcanoes and glaciers and it is just a matter of moments until my eyes are filled with tears. Wind can be on my side and help me in getting to the next village where I meet new people that can invite me for a drink. I laugh with joy. We may not speak, and we just stare at each other. However, It feels just right.
Here, I share some of these feelings with you on camera. Go to the monthly Face2Face and As The World Turns video series to enjoy even more.
Back in Europe. It is not the same as going down the Americas. Though, still exciting. I did not want to finish my journey by arriving at the airport by plane. Instead, I dreamt about spending the last night close to my hometown Amsterdam with my friends in Amsterdam. Since, I lived in Spain for one year and I have many friends living along the route through Spain, France, Belgium and The Netherlands, I started the 1,500 kilometer ride back to the tulips.
The Carretera Austral runs from Puerto Montt to the South of Chile, where cars have to return and cyclists continue their trip on narrow trails to Argentina. Without doubt one of the most scenic cycling routes in the world. Pick the right season and amazing views are guaranteed.
Between Santiago de Chile and Patagonia still lie 1,000 kilometer. Instead of the boring national highway, I opted for some more adventure. Satellite images on Google Maps showed some interesting dirt roads meandering through hilly forests. “So, why not getting lost in the beautiful Lake Region?”, I asked myself. And I got the answer quickly. Already after the first day of pushing my bike and sliding away, I had blisters on my feet.