PUCON to ALGARROBO (SANTIAGO)
We’ve made it! That was the feeling climbing over our last hill and looking toward the beaches of the Santiago coast. We’d cycled over 800kms in just 6 days along the Pan American highway to get here.

It was always going to be a tough ride – long, boring days, in the 2m shoulder of the Pan Am, under the hot Chilean sun. Our Andean views had been replaced by endless fields of grain, corn and timber plantations. The logistical challenge became the most engaging aspect of the ride. Where do we get water/food without having to travel too far off the highway? How much rest is enough, so that we don’t burn out, but also cover the required distance per day? Where can we find somewhere safe to camp in increasingly more populated areas?

Life truly became a highway for us. We spent all day on it, then slept beside it at night. The constant vroom, vroom of trucks and buses made us delirious. At one point, both laughing at nothing till we cried in a roadside bus shelter?? For the first time we were all alone too. Cut off from passing cyclists by 4 lanes of traffic and a metal barricade.  Our planned beach break was all we thought about and all that kept us going. It was a trip worth doing though – after all, it’s the boring bits, that make the good bits, so good.

Speaking of good bits, we’ve splashed out and rented a cabana in the beachside resort town of Algarrobo. It’s directly on the coast from Santiago and about 60km south of the very popular Vina del Mar. We’ve earned the break and are spending our days walking along the beach, lazing about in the sun and eating lots of manjar cake (think jam rolly polly, but replace the jam with caramelised condensed milk… very delicious!).

From here, we’ll travel up to “Vina” for a quick look and then head back toward Argentina and our first real Andean pass – Paseo Mendoza (3,800m)!  Wish us luck, I think we’ll need it after all this cake…
Jules & Jess

Leaving the views behind

Leaving the views behind

The PanAm

The PanAm

Life is a highway

Life is a highway

Overdue a shower and shave

Overdue a shower and shave