That's now Day 17 complete and I am now 2137 miles into the challenge, a huge contrast in regards to so many elements, the scenery, the culinary options, the weather and the cycling conditions.
The decision to take a days rest on day 9 to await the wind change was very difficult for myself as I am forever conscious of the clock ticking and it felt alien to not be on the bike making progress.
The decision however was the right one as the following day the winds had changed and I managed to achieve 155 miles that day with half the effort that I was exerting into head winds.
Day 11 and 12 I had reached Northern Patagonia and the scenery was breath taking, and not of what I had witnessed for the week or so previous. The region is very similar to Scandinavia with the mountains of the Andes, numerous off season ski resorts, pine trees and huge lakes. I was pleased that my opinion of Argentina had changed somewhat these last 2 days before I entered Chile.
Entering Chile for me was a huge hurdle achieved, I knew Argentina and Patagonia was going to be difficult, both in regards to the weather and also the fact it was the first country of so many.
The Chilean border which sat on the top of the Andes range took us some time to cross and so has added additional hours we had not factored for. The contrast in the scenery and weather was instant, the pine trees were replaced with jungle vines, and the clean crisp air had been replaced by a tropical humidity.
The following day I picked up the Ruta 5 which is a motorway that runs all the way through Chile to the Peru border, unlike the U.K. I am able to ride on this road...well the hard shoulder mainly.
Ive encountered numerous road works, but the morning of day 14 saw me hit a sign and take a hard fall on the bike. Normal cuts, scrapes and bruises but also some damage to the biking equipment, fortunately nothing too serious considering I was travelling over 25 mph (40km) but a swift reminder how easy it is to come unstuck.
The following days have seen me on the Ruta 5 with a nice gentle tail wind enabling me to gain some good distances between 150 and 169 miles over the last 4 days. I've now tackled Santiago and situated 70km north and will reach the Pacific coast tomorrow and onwards towards the Atacama desert, known as the driest non popular desert in the world.