We’d made it to Bruges and with it came excessively strong Belgian beers, pans full of mussels in the main square and a day to recover. I went to Bruges last year with Hanna and although this visit was a little less romantic I still enjoyed having a wander around the streets. In case you didn’t know Bruges means bridges of which there are many. The bridges go over the canals and it’s all cobbled, horses and carts take tourists down the narrow streets, it’s really very nice but I’ll let the photos give you a better idea.
If you’re reading this hopefully you’ve seen the introduction which may give you a slightly better idea about what my overall plan is. For now, I’ll just concentrate on the bike trip part and attempt to offer a bit of an insight into what life on two wheels is really like.
To say I am a seasoned cyclist would be way off and although I did a couple of triathlons a few years ago I’m certainly anything but an expert. Furthermore cycling was probably the weakest part of my overall weak triathlon abilities which may lead you to wonder how much preparation was done for the trip? The honest answer is very little.
As I left Villarrica, my home for the last three months, I took my final night bus, heading north to a city called Valparaiso. Valparaiso is a famous port city just a couple of hours from Santiago. I arrived early morning and made my way to the hostel where I dropped off my bags before going out to explore the place.
With all the dogs now back down at the house there wasn’t so much for us to do. Konrad and I started to build a new dog kennel, complete with two cube shaped dog houses featuring gently pitched roofs and terraces, a masterpiece! The French did very little and it was no great surprise or disappointment when they weren’t around for too much longer. I wasn’t planning on going into any detail on this but they’ve decided they were mistreated by Konrad and Inge and to a lesser extent me. For that reason I’ll give a little more detail as although this blog is about me and my experiences, Aurora Austral deserve a fair representation and Louis and Elodie have provided and publicised anything but that.
Early on the morning of August 18th Konrad, an Italian family of four and I, along with 22 of our finest Siberian Huskies set off to Argentina where we would team up with Hernan Cipriani, owner of Huskies de los Pehuenes, on our mission to cross from Argentina to Chile and back again. These two companies combined are the only companies who can offer this trip. It was first completed in 2009 where TV channels documented their successful completion as the first people to cross the Andes by dog sled. The number of people who have achieved this is less than 50. If successful, the guests would be the first Italians to complete the crossing and the two girls, aged 13 and 11, would become the youngest people to achieve the feat. More importantly (for me) I would become the first British person to achieve this!