Our good friend Hugh is about to embark on a lifetime trip - 10 weeks bicycling solo along the Andes Trail in Patagonia. Not for everyone, that kind of an adventure... It's 11,000 km, for openers (6,875 miles)
And you meet a variety of conditions, from salt pan deserts to glaciers, volcanoes to pampas grass. Llamas to trout fishing...
An international calibre course builder, he's the man who built Nancy's training fences for the horses in the back fields -- and hopefully he's going to be able to get here for at least one more day of building/repairing before he loads his bike up and heads south.
He dropped by yesterday, testing his gear. After all, the forecast was for cold winds, rain, and rather nasty conditions. Just what might be expected in sections of Patagonia at this time of year. It's not a trip to the beach that Hugh is taking on!
It took him 9 hours to ride (mostly uphill) to Bondi, from his home near Bobcaygeon. We took photos of his bike, 'Jaunita', and made sure he had a good hot supper. He then set up his tiny little 'house' on the lawn. How tiny? Well, despite best efforts, there was just not enough room for Achmed the cat to climb in with him. The equipment available nowadays is truly remarkable -- lightweight, compressible, weather proof. Since there was a very hard frost last night, we left the door open, so he could crawl in next to the fireplace if required, but this morning he reported that he had been 'toasty warm'. The deer looked mildly puzzled to find this tent in their midnight midst, but Hugh was undisturbed.
He packed up this morning, (with a little supervision from Achmed) and headed home. We figure 8 hours for the ride back -- after all, it's downhill from here to Bobcaygeon!
Nancy has helped him set up his own Blog, (yes, he has researched the fact that there are internet cafes along the trail!) so hopefully we can all follow him on this wonderful adventure, even if we ourselves aren't quite up for the challenge! His Blog site is very new, so he's just getting started on it.
There is a bike race that follows much the same route as Hugh has planned -- it goes every year, starting in August, following this map, but Hugh prefers to go it alone.
If you'd like to sneak a peak at the sort of country he'll be cycling, you can click here.