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Feb 25, 2012:

On a Long, Lonely Highway

Total to Date: 1252 km , 751 miles
FYI - Next Update: It could be two weeks since we'll be going through remote territory.

We are finally getting back into the groove of "cycle-touring" and maybe even starting to feel like "cyclists." The strong headwinds and dirt roads of the last month have caused us to go slowly and ride for only a few kilometers each day. But the road between El Calafate and El Chalten was good to us. We are really connecting the dots. We're still not going the distances that we did in our ride across the US, but our legs are getting stronger and we're breaking those saddles in nicely.

Aside from the tourist-towns of El Calafate and El Chalten, there is really nothing in this part of Argentina - well, except the flora and fauna of un-tarnished desert, which is really cool. (We saw guanacos and condors and we hear there are many other things that we didn't see, but we are sure that we were close to.) Here, Ruta 40 is the kind of road we dream about - smoothly paved with very little traffic. Happy days.

We also want to announce the roll-out of Project Documentary. That's right - a film! Director Laura Rosensteel has gathered a film and production crew, and this project got a little bit bigger. After all, our aim is to educate the world about the abilities of the blind and to inspire everyone to get out there and do things - how better than from the big screen? (Update September 21, 2012: This documentary film project has been canceled.)

The crew is planning to meet up with us in Santiago, but they need some equipment and things before they can make it happen. So, they put together this IndieGoGo site, which we are posting here in hopes that you will share it and help us all get this project rolling:

Two Blind to Ride Documentary - IndieGogo Fundraiser

We left El Calafate late in the afternoon and camped next to a river.

Going north to El Chalten (200 km) on Ruta 40, we encounter this sign.

The easterly winds off of Lago Argentino are notorious.

But we were lucky since it wasn't that windy. In the distance is Lago Argentino, and to the left some 40 km away is El Calafate.

Even at this place, Fitz Roy peaks out.

Cerro Fitz Roy towers even almost 180 km away.

Along the way, we meet some Swiss-es. A Swiss couple who are cycling from Quito, Ecuador down to Ushuaia, and a Swiss family (mom, dad, and 3 years-old junior) who have spent the past 6 months roaming around Argentina in the yellow van. Here we share with them our Two Blind to Ride project.

Onward we go until another break where we'll last see Lago Argentino.

Mountains in the distance supply water for the lake.

MP3 players are good on days like these.

One good thing about an empty road like this is that we don't have to worry too much about traffic.

And when one does appear, it's worth a photo.

As we continue onward, we come across these signs again.

It's really really windy!

Ooops, it's in the other direction.

Christi gets airborne.

In La Leona, 110 km from El Chalten, we camp next to a river. There's a campsite across the bridge, but they charge $10 per person per night for the same thing. Why pay?

It's cold and windy the following morning. We pack up and are ready to start the day.

Faint in the horizon are the mountains near El Chalten.

We fought headwind for the first 20 kilometers; but once we made the turn-off to Ruta 23, it's mostly tailwind to El Chalten.

The flags are signs of happiness.

But there's not enough time to get to El Chatlen today. We pass Rio Cangre-jo 50 km from El Chalten and decide to filter water for the night.

We find a horse ranch along the road and were given permission to camp for the night. The following morning, Christi packs up for the final 45 km push to El Chalten.

Signs on this road don't make sense. Tauru is baffled by this "uphill." Where? This is just a bump, NOT an uphill!

The road continues, but it's desolate.

Finally, nestled in a valley, we reach El Chalten.

This is the image of relief, happiness, and "we're here!"

Spread the word and help us Raise Awareness!

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