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Cycling Patagonia

EC CommunityJames Hipkiss

I am currently studying abroad in Santiago, Chile. During the 3 month summer holiday I am cycling the length of Patagonia, one of the wildest and most beautiful regions of the world.

I start cycling on December 16th in Pucon, a town at the northern fringe of Patagonia, before heading south, following South Americas Andean spine. I first pass through the Argentine Lake District, famous among other things, for good chocolate, good beer and taking in retired Nazis. After, I leave the comforts behind and begin riding down the famous Carretera Austral, a road only finished in 2000, costing many lives in the process as it was carved though one of the worlds wildest, least inhabited regions.

Hemmed in by glaciers, virgin forests and towering unclimbed peaks, its the region I'm most excited about. Once off the Carretera Austral, I continue through beautiful, well-travelled, Southern Patagonia and onto the epically named Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire) at the tip of the continent. The road comes to a halt in Ushuaia, in Argentina, the southernmost city in the world, and so short of attempting an aquatic bicycle crossing to Antarctica, Ill haul myself to the nearest hostel and rest my tired limbs.

Speaking fluent Spanish, I do not plan to rush through the region. Rather I plan to learn about Patagonia through interactions with the people and about the drastic environmental and social changes which are taking place there I am writing a blog about trip, updating it as often as internet allows me.