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The First Four Days

Ushuaia. 2009-12-08. 0 km.

Start in Ushuaia. 0 km.

I left Ushuaia the 8th of December filled with various expectations and a lot of curiosity of this nomadic way of living. The weather was sunny and there was almost no wind! The road took me through beautiful valleys along the mountains, and the first climb of “only” 416 meters went alright. I then descended down to Lago Fagnano, where I put up my tent after having covered 90 km. There was an Argentinian couple fishing by the shore, and I had two bites on my cheap Chinese equipment, but did unfortunately not land any trout (öring). However, the others did, and they were very kind and gave it to me for dinner. I’ve never seen a fish with such a red meat. Delicious!

Nice view

Snow-capped mountain

I’m amazed by watching the landscape change as you ride, and the following days the mountains flattened into hills and the wind started to blow. Still ok though. The second day, I met the first cyclists – two guys from Switzerland. Christian, the guy to the right in the photo below started in Alaska…

First cyclists - two guys from Switzerland

The third day, I came to a river called Ewan Sur that was supposed to be good. I fished for about 45 mins without a single bite, but on my way back I spotted a nice one standing beneath an overhang on the river bank. I tried with a fly and he only took a closer look. Another fly – nothing. A spinner – still not interested! So I got frustrated and wondered how to get my dinner out of the water. Then I recalled a way my dad told me he had caught pikes when he was a kid, with a snare! So I made one on my fly-fishing line, plus a straw of grass just to keep it in place. I tried several times to get it around the head, and eventually it was there and I pulled – and so, my first Patagonian trout was landed!

First Patagonian trout - caught with a snare!

I know, a lot of talk about fishing this time, but this is actually the trout fisher’s paradise :-)

Second day camp

Second day camp

Curious fox

The third day was quite windy and I realized that I wouldn’t make it all the way to Rio Grande. Besides, there were no sign of rivers to grab water from so I stopped at Estancia Viamonte (an estancia is like a farm) to ask if I could camp on their property. I got a no, but was instead welcome to sleep in one of their empty 10-room houses that usually hosted the shepherds. The warm man who greeted me was Adrian, born Argentinian and fluently english-speaking. He was the 4th generation of running this estancia. His anscestors were one of the first missionaries to settle down in Tierra del Fuego, and I was very excited to listen to his stories. They had about 20.000 sheep!

Sheeeeeep

Parrot

Yesterday, I arrived to Rio Grande, which is supposed to be the “capital” of trout fishing. The river (with the same name) holds many records. I’m gonna go upstream and try to catch a beast later on tonight! After not having showered for 4 days and 240 km, it felt very nice to stay at a hostel. It turned out I was not the only cyclist here. I met Lasse, a 68-year old Swede who was out on an adventure with (I think) 65 kg’s of load! A very strong and positive guy. He left today but I will probably catch up with him on my way to Chile. Moreover, I met the German couple Peter and Anna (www.worldbybike.de) that I will ride with towards the border starting tomorrow morning. They have been on the road for 5 months and use to have long days in the saddle so it’s gonna be a tough day!

Rio Grande - trout fisher's paradise

Lasse and me

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