Getting from Coyhaique to Cochrane, the next town with a supermarket, has meant covering only a distance of about 300km, yet 7 days later we have arrived after a really challenging journey on terribly corrugated (washboard) roads. It's not really hard, you just have to go slow and concentrate on the exact route that you will take to navigate the holes, ruts, rocks, sand and bumps, meandering across the road hunting for the smoothest line like a cursing drunk cyclist. I also have the problem that if Leo is asleep it's good to keep him that way, so bumps that I can bend my legs and arms to prepare for, he MUST avoid or take very slowly.
The pace adds its own pressure because we only do about 4 hours a day, so if we are only averaging 8km/hr all day then we don't go very far and we will never reach the ferry to Argentina before it finishes in April.The road is sometimes too steep and gritty to get grip on when you are pedalling, so we have done a fair bit of pushing, although never for very long as the hills down here aren't big, just a few 100m of climbing every now and then, but it does add up as the road skirts lakes and deep gorges on its journey South, regularly approaching 1000m of climbing every 40km or so.
The landscape is the redeeming feature and the lakes and rivers are almost scarily coloured, turquoise in a way that makes you take off your sunglasses to check if it is just an artefact of the lenses, or deep blue surrounded by snowy peaks.Just wish they graded the roads a bit more often, or even put down some tar, so I could look at the view while I cycled along rather than having to stop all the time.