Friday, 25 March 2011

Ushuaia - the end of the world, the beginning of everything,

Ushuaia - the end of the world, the beginning of everything,
it’s a must for cyclists, the place they call the end of the world. There are no roads on the planet that go any further south. On the way there I met 2 French girls who had set off cycling to Peru, I asked them what about the slums? We might take a bus for that bit they said. We said goodbye and I continued in the other direction. It was a hard ride after weeks of gentle rolling land, full on mountain passes were making my legs feel like lead. I was beginning to think I wasn't going to make it when suddenly I descended for ages down to sea level, I had arrived.
I didn't know what to expect, after hours of riding through mountains some with snow on I was a little disappointed to see an industrial looking place. I stopped and asked a guy where the centre was, he turned out to be an American who had just come to the end of his four month trip," I fly out of here tomorrow, I can't believe it’s over" he said, he was in his own little world, I left him to it and wondered how I will feel when it comes to the end.
I got a hotel, I hate hostels I would rather pay a little more a have a hotel room or sleep in my tent. I went down to the restaurant and ordered a beer, then a meal and a bottle of wine. At the end I got another bottle and took it to my room. This is how I relax; I was going to get pissed. The next morning I got up early and headed down to breakfast, incredibly even after all that booze I was early for breakfast it opened at 7.30 I chatted to the guy on reception as I waited for it to open. I told him I was going to take a boat trip the next day; I had shopping to do today. "No do the boat trip today, the weather here changes so fast. You have a good day today, use the weather" he explained. After breakfast I thought he has got a point I will buy some warmer clothes later. I put all my cycling tops on and headed off. The trip was ok; if I'm honest I got really cold and a bit bored.
I got back and started exploring the town, apart from the fact everybody was wearing gortex I could have been in Europe, with European prices to match. I figured I’ll get warmer clothes on route but what I must get are decent waterproofs mine just didn't work. £150 later I had new waterproofs and waterproof skiing gloves.
I went to the kiosk near the hotel and bought 5, 1 litre bottles of beer, like I said before this is how I relax. On the third night, 6 cans and a 1 litre carton of red wine I then staggered down to reception and got another bottle. I had so many empties I didn't know what to do, I had been hiding them in the wardrobe when I was pissed so the chamber maid didn't see them now I had loads. I was tempted just to leave them so the next person would be confused to why the wardrobe was full of empty bottles and cans. In the end I put them in the bags my shopping came in and strolled down the road and chucked them in a skip.
Before I knew it I was back on the bike, three days had flown past. I put my new waterproofs on it was raining, it doesn't matter how much you spend after 8 hours of pouring rain you are going to get soaked. I was feeling miserable, hard riding, wet and I had to pitch a tent in the rain. The days off had made me lose my mind-set. I needed to refocus on what I am doing here, toughen up a little and get back into the groove. Who knows I might even catch up with those French girls!

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