The Big Ride is finished – bags are packed and I’m now at the airport for the first of my flights back home.
I’m a tad dissapointed I didn’t get all the way to Ushuaia, but to have covered 80% of the distance in 90% of the time I’d set myself (excluding injury time) is pretty good going, and I’m very satisfied with this achievement. Any disappointment is also more than offset by the huge adventure I’ve had. In 12,028 miles from the Arctic to the Atacama Desert, I’ve cycled through challenging and stunning landscapes, experienced diverse ways of life, met amazing people, ate great food and been up close to animals in the wild. To have been successfull in avoiding an array of tropical diseases, bear attacks, road traffic collisions, and crime (despite passing through 5 of the 12 most dangerous countries in the world) is another bonus!
In the end I didn’t set foot in Bolivia (combination of altitude & poor road surface) or Argentina (sustained altitude and inadequate tent). But I did manage to end the ride “on a high” by cycling up to just over 4800m above sea level (just under 16,000 feet – the same height as Mont Blanc). This was an incredible experience, and like the whole trip, off the end of the challenge-reward scale.
It will be great to be back in Jersey with Sue, though I gather the weather’s been a bit wet, and having not seen rain since mid March, it looks like I’m in for a shock!
Again, thank you for your comments and support – especially to Sue and my parents.
PS I’ve been uploading photos and blog entries to Strava. For those not on Strava, my brother Ken, has kindly added them to this page: www.keith.bike/strava