- Useful Links
Cities become a pleasure to cycle through.
The Edge 810 is newer and has a better battery life but the 800 is fine. We tend to use the simpler but excellent free routeable maps from http://www.velomap.org/ on the Garmin.
For seeing a view of the whole route it is useless as the screen resolution /size is too small, so we end up buying physical maps or using the completely free Open Street Maps or Open Cycle Maps on a computer/tablet to work out our route.
Open Street Maps, save them online or export them as Google Earth files. You can save in many other formats and can add the routes to your GPS and also view great height profiles too. It doesn't work well on a tablet but on a computer it is fantastic and the saved online routes mean you can get the routes wherever you can find internet. In theory someone at home could plan your route on the site and you could download it to your gps wherever you are.
iPADWe used an employer provided iPAD throughout our Eastern Europe trip but it was a bit restrictive about what we could do with it and it was difficult or expensive to get all the free Open Street Maps on it. It felt like anything new we wanted to do with it cost us more money. It was also big and heavy.
Nexus 7 (Android)For South America we used a little Nexus 7 and were able to add all the free maps from Open Cycle Maps including contours and hill shading. We used the excellent app - OsmAnd which is free but has a low-cost paid-for option which gives routing. You can also add a contour lines plugin for incredibly detailed information about the route. The maps all work offline and even the routing works really well offline. The main reason for using the routing function is to find the distances to places as there is often only one suitable road.
This app was really useful and it is possible to add maps of anywhere in the world through the internal menus. We had the whole of Chile and Argentina on it and could check out the heights of passes or plan our overall route at night or on rest days, using the high resolution screen.
With OsmAnd it was possible to add gpx tracks from the computer and see them on the screen, so in theory you could plan your whole route before the trip and see it on your tablet.
The Nexus 7 is a really useful size and weight for travelling:
OTG cable we could put loads of TV programmes for Leo on it as well. Unlike the iPad we could charge it with our dynamo and it fitted nicely in the handlebar bag.
Below are files that you can open in Google Earth. The kmz file can be expanded to see the separate sections in Google Earth and you can import it into the free Garmin BaseCamp software to send it to your gps:
The last 21km section across the border into Argentina involves a boat, pushing up a farmers track for 5km, 11km of OKish riding, and 6km of pushing, lifting and carrying your bikes and bags through a forest, over streams, roots, rocks and for the last 2km, down a heavily eroded gash in the earth 'just' wide enough for your bike.
Just before Freire we saw a sign for a cabaña and went down a little track. It led to the house of Elizabeth and Irving, whose cabanas were full but who happily invited us to camp in their garden. Amazingly Irving had a small museum of mainly British motorbikes in various stages of restoration, and was the only Chilean member of various British motorbike clubs. He had Enfield, Triumph, Ariel and Panther bikes and was really pleased to see our Brook's saddles as one of his oldest bikes had one too.
Down near Puerto Rio Tranquillo along the Carretera Austral we met a couple on a campsite. Carolina, had some British roots and had worked as a photographer in the past in Santiago. As they drove past us the following day she took some photos of us struggling on the ripio and sent them on to us yesterday.
As soon as it's terrible it's good.
Leo went to bed moaning, with a bloody mouth, slept ALL night, woke up smiling, ate loads of soft bread dipped in jam and then picked up his shoes and went to the door of the cabaña. After we dressed him he went outside and played independently with some kittens, hitting them with a straw and trying to kick them :) We were so proud. No crying, just big smiles and free roaming while we stayed in the cabaña and packed. It was his first breakfast in 6 days.
The boy is back!
(until the next teeth come through)