Pedaling South

L'expédition en vélo de l'Alaska à l'Argentine de Lucie et Torrey

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Angels We’ve Met!

Clara – Buenos Aires, Argentine
Cycling activist and warm showers host, Clara is a university student currently planning her tour of the world. We rode all over her megacity together, ate milanesas and mantecol, drank mate and Fernet! Clara even helped us find boxes and a taxi van to take us to the airport.

Quiko – Rio Grande | Rio Gallegos, Argentine
This charming poet gave us a lift all the way across the Island of Tierra del Fuego back to the mainland, where we caught our bus to Buenos Aires. We enjoyed one another’s company.

Sebastien – San Sebastien | frontiere, Argentine
Seb, who works for a gas company near Rio Grande, helped throw our bikes in his pickup and dropped us off right at the Chilean border.

Ruben – Ushuaia | Rio grande, Argentine
Delivery truck driver Ruben picked us up on the side of the snowy road outside Ushuaia and helped us begin the first leg of our homeward journey.

Irma & Osvando – Rio Grande, Argentine
Caretakers of an agricultural school, Irma and Osvando gave us a warm place to sleep and coffee in the morning in snowy, blowy Rio Grande.

Emilio – Tulhuin, Argentine
The famous owner of Panaderia La Union, Emilio’s casa de amistad gave us a place to rest before the final push to the End of the World.

Juan – Onaisin, Chile
We asked for some water and ended up with shelter and all the lamb we could eat. We waited out the weather for two nights, dried our clothes and enjoyed sipping mate by the wood stove with Juan, a ranch hand who appreciates the simple life. Really saved our asses actually – this part of the world is a hard ride and we were cold, wet and miserable.

Esther – Draga, Chile

Esther gave us an empty cabin for the night. Instead of having our tent obliterated by the 100 km/h winds, we had our supper next to a toasty wood stove and slept in a bed!

Angela – Punta Arenas, Chile
Friend of the family of our friend Xavier back in Montreal, Angela welcomed us, fed us and took us on a tour of Punta Arenas, a lovely city at the edge of nowhere.

José & Nancy – Puerto Natales, Chile
We asked to camp next to their property where there was a bit of cover from the wind. They invited us in for some home-cooked cordero (lamb) for supper and morning coffee before we hit the road again.

Steven & Angela – Carretera Austral, Chile
This German couple were living a life-long dream in visiting Patagonia. We crossed paths a couple of times. They stopped to make sure we were okay and invited us for a picnic.

Riccardo – Junin de los Andes, Argentine
We camped next to his home and he had us in for some mate in the morning.

Leila – Trevellin, Argentine
Leila and her dad set us up with a swell place to camp for the night. She told us all about horses and demonstrated her impressive riding skills. See you at the rodeo, Leila!

Chicken leg family – Route 5, Chile
Just as we rolled into a rest area to camp for the night, these guys quizzed us about our journey and gave us a bunch of bbq’d chicken and homemade apple juice!

José Ramon – Santiago, Chile
Answered our call for help and set us up in his apartment in Santiago de Chile, even though he was about to leave town on vacation. Hope to see you down the road, JR!

Carlos Frias – Santiago, Chile
Warm Showers host, architect and beer connoisseur, Carlos (and girlfriend Paulina) introduced us to some of Chile’s hottest microbrew pubs in the jet set center of town at Patio Bellavista. Good times!

Guillermo – Rinconada, Chile
We met grape grower Guillermo when we ran out of gas climbing mountains with stiff headwinds. He was intensely interested in our adventure, and seems about ready to hit the road himself after years of logging long hours on his farm. We had a great rest and left with a couple kilos of fresh, tasty fruit!

Leandro Gomez –Mendoza, Argentina
We were lucky enough to meet this charismatic agronomist through Couch Surfing. Everything we know about wine we learned from Leandro during our few fantastic days in the Mendoza area. He brought us out to some of the best vineyards in Argentina, treated us to a delicious lunch and was super cool in general. Wine! Champagne! Yeah!

Antonio & family – Belén, Argentina
We met Antonio through Warm Showers, and spent a couple of fiercely hot days in his home just of Ruta 40. This calm and collected weaver of fine wool garments made us feel very welcome, and was always happy to share in some great conversation. Laughed at us when we repeatedly failed to find food during the all-day every-day six-hour siesta religiously observed in this part of the country.

Bomberos – Salta, Argentine
These volunteer firefighters put us up in their big empty conference room during our stay in Salta, where we were forced to waited several days for customs to release our package. These guys fed us, gave us souvenir t-shirts, taught us about their region and country and were, we think, a little sad to see us go! Thanks, guys!

Normando – Abra Pampa, Bolivia
Lucie was sick. We greeted him saying “Happy New Year!” and he gave us each a kiss before letting us camp in his field.

Teodora & Florencio – Potosi, Bolivia
These longtime Warm Showers hosts, who live in a residential section of Potosi, welcomed us in and invited us to consult the huge tome of information left by touring cyclists over the years. We slept 13 hours in their awesome upstairs party room.

Bomberos, Oruro – Bolivia
Welcomed us into the station, where we slept in the commandante’s office, no less! Thanks for the chicken and fries! We left a guestbook for future travellers to sign.

Peter & Miriam, Oruro – Bolivia
In true angelic style, these two dutch caravaners yelled “ya want some coffee?” from the window of their camper as we neared Oruro. They pulled over, made us some fine lattes with Colombian espresso and gave us the chance to share our mutual joy of living on the road.

Javier, Felix & Jorge, Ayaviri – Peru
We slept behind the Ayaviri toll station to get out of the cold, bold altiplano wind. These two cops stood watch all night, chatted us up about our trip and gave us a big bag of oranges for the road!

Julie & Darcy, Cuzco – Peru
Our old friends from our bygone messenger days, who now run their guiding company out of Cusco, set us up with our own apartment for a month (!!!), where we had to opportunity to cook our own meals and got used to regular showers, furniture and having a set of keys for the first time in a year.

Gustavo, Ayacucho – Peru

Sandra, Maritsa & Zenaida, Tarma – Peru

Edouardo, Cerra de Pasco – Peru

Tomas – Peru

Carlos, Huanuco – Peru

Ivan & Milton, Huaraz – Peru

Jose Luis, Marcara – Peru

Areceli, Angela, Lance & Lucho, Trujillo – Peru

David & Marie-Claude, Montréal – Canada

Steve & Chris, Lima – Peru

Jimmy, Ronald & Frank, Sullana – Pérou

Carlos & cie, Tumbes – Pérou

Santiago, Tumbaco-Quito – Colombia

Pompiers, Pasto – Colombia

Maria – Colombia

Gustavio & cie, Macoa – Colombia

Igel & Paola, San Agustin – Colombia

Josephine – Colombia

Elisa – Colombia

Angelica & Claudia, Bogota – Colombia

Calixto & cie, Plato – Colombia

Pedro, Ramona, Maribel & Oscar, Plato – Colombia

Dina Luz & Arnando, Carmen de Bolivar – Colombia

Victor, Turbaco – Colombia

Jonas, Cartegena – Colombia

Luis, Rumaldo, Gloria & Luis, San Onofre – Colombia

Benjamin & Alba, Lorica – Colombia

Jose Luis & Jedys, Cereté, Colombia

Diane & Sylvain, Altos del Maria – Panama

Marianne & Jim, Altos del Maria – Panama

Pastor, Mesa – Panama

Carlos & famila – Panama

Marie-Danielle, Robert & Arnnaud, Ojochal – Costa Rica

Manuel, Delia & Oscar, Dominical – Costa Rica

(Juan), Adrian & Rita, San Isidro de Guarco – Costa Rica

Walter, Miriam & cie, San Raphael Norte – Costa Rica

Naty & Eduardo, San Jose – Costa Rica

Maria – Costa Rica

Sonja – Costa Rica

Grace – Costa Rica

La famille Reyes – Honduras

Dr. Emilio – El Salvador

Plutarco Antonio, Taxisco – Guatemala

Juan Carlos & David, Escuintla – Guatemala

Sophie, Antigua Guatemala – Guatemala

Carlos, San Andres Iztapa – Guatemala

Geneviève, San Pedro la Laguna – Guatemala

Miguel, Gehovany, Emilie, Fernando, Marjorie, Gehovany, Blanca & Gloria – Buena Vista San Juan, Guatemala

José, Carlos & Mama- Guatemala

Steve & Tony – Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Suzanne & Wayne – Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Jesus, Jesus jr, Lilia & Valeria – El Embarcaderro (Acapulco), Mexico

Eleanor & Bob – Barra de Navidad, Mexico

Chuyita, Victor & Victoria – Chamela, Mexico

Alex, Alfredo & Maria – Puerto Vallerta, Mexico

Elizabeth & David – Mar de Cortez, Mexico

Brian Conway – La Paz, Mexico

Kurt Lorenz – La Paz, Mexico

Dirk, Jim, Garreth & Venus – El Juncalito, Mexico

Roberta – El Juncalito, Mexico

Bill Enos – Mulege, Mexico

Rogelio, Delia, Jose & Canica – Ensenada, Mexico

La famille Valles – Ensenada, Mexico

Larry “El Lobo del Mar” – Puerto Nuevo, Mexico

Alberto – Tijuana, Mexico

Julie & Jim – San Diego, California

Steve & Erin – Carlsbad, California

Capitaine Jack – Long Beach, California

Joel Diringer – San Luis Obispo, California

Dean Hilger – Cambria, California

Brian Recht – Monterey, California

Michael & Anne – Santa Cruz, California

Simon (& Yasmine) – Oakland (San Francisco), California

Cat & rev Jim – Oakland (San Francisco), California

Gary Jones – Anacortes, Washington

Gary, who we met fresh off the ferry from BC, gave us his extra travel points toward a motel room in Fort Bragg, California. A night in a motel would have been an obscene luxury for us given our budget and the length of our trip. We swam in the pool, enjoyed late night TV and had microwaved popcorn with a $4 bottle of wine. Sublime.

Kathy – Eureka, California
We rode through crazy weather through mean streets in the dark to get to Kathy’s door. We warmed up by the fire and had some great stuffed peppers with red wine. Left with all our stuff clean and dry! She even gave us a map to get back to the highway.

Rusty & Georgia – Waldport, Oregon
Baked us brownies and the best bread we’ve ever had. Enjoyed watching us eat (saying “I love it! They eat so much!”) and opened our minds to what constitutes an acceptable camping spot (patch of grass in the town square? Great!) Shared their cycling adventures with us, to our delight.

Jason, Vicky & Bill – Pacific City, Oregon
These guys researched our blog to see what types of beers we like and stocked up at their amazing local brewpub! Then they fed us till we couldn’t move. We arrived in a storm in the dark and left in calm bright morning sun, which pretty much sums up the effect this family had on us.

Alex – Portland, Oregon
This hip young educator put us up for a couple of cold and rainy fall days. He gave us a great map of Honduras, which would prove extremely useful four countries down the road! Had some nice talks around the dinner table, did some laundry and just enjoyed his laid back North Portland neighborhood.

Marlin & Christine – Seattles, Washington
Have bike toured through jungles, over glaciers, across deserts, all over the world. When we were homeless in Seattle, they rescued us, took us home and fed us Pad Thai. We had a very happy Hallowe’en! Check out their travels here!

Jay (& Kathleen) – Clinton, Washington
The Bike Cabin. This artistic couple, whose greatest adventures may yet lie ahead, set us up in their little cabin in the rainy forest near their home. We sat by their fire and chatted. Jay made us delicious hot egg and garlic sandwiches in the morning and gave us great directions for getting into Seattle.

Lexi & Art – Anacortes, Washington
Pizza! Showers! Introduction to Trader Joe wine – the infamous 2 buck Chuck! Our first “lower 48” American hosts treated us just right.

Lorne, Sherri, Katie & Tessa – Victoria, BC, Canada
The cousin I never get to see enough of (had never met Lucie) and his wonderful family welcomed us in after a rain-soaked run across the Island. We smashed the household pancake and burger records, went crabbing, went to school theatre rehearsals with the kids, filled up our mp3 players and just enjoyed seeing family for the last time of the year.

Doug & Cathy – Comox, BC, Canada
We were fated to stay with this great bike touring couple. No kidding. Doug spotted us at a gas station, and later guided us in with the car as we got close to their digs. Fat steaks. Asparagus. Glasses of fine red wine appeared in our hands before we could even take our showers. Nice talks of travels, theirs and ours.

Lee, Cathy & Gareth – Nanaimo, BC, Canada
We arrived in the dark in the pouring rain after days of hauling ass. Lasagna and brownies! Fun talk with Gareth, their teenage son. Left with clean socks!

Caitlin & Fred – Fort Rupert, BC, Canada
My grad school compatriot Caitlin and her husband Fred welcomed us into their empty apartment in Fort Rupert, where Caitlin recently landed a real live job teaching English literature! Had a great hike through the reservation and to the sea, shared meals, laughter and conversation.

Amy, Matt & Finlay – Terrace, BC, Canada
A transplanted American Warm Showers couple with an infant son who welcomed us in after our totally wild experience on the Cassiar Highway. Walls had become totally alien for us at that point. We stayed two nights, re-humanizing with this great little family.

Rick Taylor – Prince Rupert, BC, Canada
“Yeah, this is the bar. Come on it, I’ll buy you a beer!”
Alright then. Local grocer Rick Taylor shared his passion for travel and the outdoors and kept us in pints of great brew while we waited for our waylaid ferry to Port Hardy.

Judson from Cowpuccino – Prince Rupert, BC, Canada
Owner of Cowpuccino’s, the place to grab a joe in Rupert. We hid from the rain in Canada’s rainiest “city” in his cow-themed den of beans right in Cow Bay. First donation on the road!

Levis & Maurice “pointu” – 40 Mile Flats – BC, Canada
An unlikely meeting with an exiled Quebecer (Maurice), and his pal Levis, met in Dease Lake, BC. Hunters looking for moose and grizzly bears. We were offered a night in a heated trailer and rode through the moonlight through prime grizzly country to get there. It was worth it. More salmon to go!

Philippe – WhiteHorse, Yukon, Canada
Owner of the best darn bike shop of the North, Philippe’s Bike Repair. After Lucie got run over by a big pedicab in a group ride, we stopped in for a tune up and accepted his offer of moose steaks in his mad loft above the shop. We stayed up past our bedtimes. Our first real spontaneous offer for supper with a local that determined our “We never say no” policy on such matters.

Jeannette – WhiteHorse, Yukon, Canada
Friend to all friends. Our first collapse after riding all of Alaska and a good chunk of the Yukon. Roasted vegetables (!!!) saved us from scurvy, and a huge carrot cake (!!!!) with cream cheese icing (!!!!!) soothed our souls in our battered, frozen state.

Sarah – Haines Junction, Yukon, Canada
Friend of a friend’s friend (Stephanie) who heroically welcomed us into her big log cabin housesit. We watched “Being Caribou” and drank hot chocolate and did laundry! While waiting for her to get home from work we bbq’d 5 pounds of chicken and ate it all.

Peter – Marsh Lake, Yukon
Cold beers thrust into our hands upon arrival, a houseboat ride to the mouth of the Yukon river, great discussions about travel and life. Lucie wanted to stay up all night just to appreciate our tiny personal log cabin with woodstove on the lake. Holy bacon that “stuck to our ribs.”

Tom & Mandy – Palmer, Alaska
Our first Warm Shower! Schooled us on what to do during our inevitable bear encounter. Unforgettable salmon omelet!

Kirk & Cheryl – Anchorage, Alaska

Taking us in fresh off the plane, Anchorage’s top bike messenger, Kirk, and his delightful wife, Cheryl, set the bar high for the rest of our journey. They spoiled us with salmon and fine wine and gave us the tour of the town. Delicious tinned salmon and chocolate-covered espresso beans for the road!


2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Vicki Howry // Dec 13, 2009 at 7:56 am

    So great to hear from you two!! We three are doing well and looking forward to holidays w/ family and friends. Our best to you in your travels.
    Vicki, Bill & Jaosn

  • 2 Eleanor and Bob // Feb 8, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Hope you are having a great time. It was good to have met you. Carry on! Eleanor & Bob

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