Friday, 13 April 2007

The End...

And so to the final week...

From El Bolson, it was a final scenic, albeit rather hilly, 130km ride north to the chocolate heaven of Bariloche. Sitting on the edge of a large and beautiful lake, Bariloche is the primary destination for holidaying Argentinians, and for good reason. Situated in the Argentinian Lake District (a bit like the one in the UK, but on steroids), it is surrounded by national parks and has enough outdoor activities to keep one happily occupied for a good couple of weeks.

It was a beautiful place, but also marked the beginning of the end of my trip for me. It was a very sad moment when I came to dismantle my bike, wrap it in bubble wrap (if anyone knows the spanish word for bubble wrap, I would really love to know it...) and carefully stow it in a box for the journey home. The bike did me proud, I could scarcely have dreamed of it giving me so few problems. No mechanicals (the rubbish front pannier racks aside), 3 punctures and just shy of 3,000 kms on generally "challenging" roads.

The cycling part of my trip over, I spent the remaining time doing the more regular tourist things, first in Bariloche, and then finally in Buenos Aires.

Testing out a couple of different transport options, I explored the edge of the Patagonian steppe on horseback,

and then pottered around in a kayak on a nearby lake. A thoroughly relaxing way to spend an afternoon!

My time in Buenos Aires was generally spent wandering all over the city, probably best illustrated by a few photos,

The colourful buildings in Boca, the vibrant, slightly dangerous area near the football ground.

The graveyard! I've never seen such impressive "streets" of tombs...

I couldn't quite work out if these cranes were still being used, or had become part of the designer look of Puerto Madero, the newest district. I quite liked them though!

The infamous obelisk in the centre. When I saw it, there was a huge demonstration going on, blocking the whole of the centre of town. Apparently, it's a common occurrence!

And that's it really. I'm now back home in England, still struggling to put my thoughts and experiences into words. What should I say as an appropriate ending to my final entry in a blog of such an incredible trip?? I saw and did so much, that I really don't know where to begin, and if I did, I probably wouldn't know where to stop!

Looking back to the first entry I posted, back in December, I ended up doing everything I'd vaguely intended, and then some. I really feel that I saw both Bolivia and Patagonia, not to mention dipping my toe into Antarctica, and I love South America. It's such a vast, varied and exciting contintinent to explore. Fortunately there still remain huge tracts of it that I've yet to visit...
Bye for now,


none said...

We'll miss you in South America. Keep in touch if your excursions ever bring you to the States.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

Hi, I came across your blog. I run the website and after a year documenting the importance of bicycles to the world, I'm expanding the site to be an online mag. One section I'm building is the Bicycle Tourism. Rather than a journalist in an office put this section together I'm wanting it be user generated content and people who have actually taken a trip by bicycle to give handy tips for others. The mag is by women, for women about women on bicycles. I'd like to invite you to write a guest post about your bicycle travels in Bolivia. Best regards, Bojun.