From Ushuaia to Punta Arenas

Posted: August 3, 2012 by Ben Weber in Cycling, English, Training
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Patagonia – Near Ushuaia (c) Arangoa – Beautiful but perhaps not the most challenging of environments

The other ride we are considering, after John O’Groats-Land’s End and Buenos Aires-Santiago is my personal least favourite of the lot – from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas.

It should be… spectacular with the scenary. Going through the Patagonian landscape is not something one does every day. There are plenty of beautiful mountains to pass through and plenty of side trips that could extend this relatively short journey (approximately 700km if we did it direct), which go into areas like the Tierra del Fuego, and islands such as Cape Horne… To make it more challenging, we could go in July, the winter in the southern hemisphere, so we get to experience colder and windier conditions. We could also extend it to make it longer by cycling up to Puerto Deseado – something that would make it almost on par with the distances that we would otherwise cycle in the UK or in going to Santiago.

But in comparison to the positives of the other two trips, with the altitude gain going into the Andes; the longer distances involved in those journeys; the weather conditions in the British winters… this just seems inadequate and won’t prepare us as well for the worst that the roads could throw at us. Though we would be going through mountain valleys, there would be relatively little in terms of altitude gain and loss by doing this route, and the routes would be largely flat. And finally, although we are in South America, getting around the place still isn’t the easiest task in the world, and neither the cheapest – and going down to Ushuaia could be as costly as going to the UK, and even take considerably longer due to the connections we would need to take.

So I will take some convincing to choose this route instead of the others. If you have some ideas about the route that I might not have considered, however, I would be eager to hear. As I say, going to Patagonia isn’t something we do every day…

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