Had my first taste of "Ripio" (unpaved gravel roads) as I left Ushuaia to get to the National Park. Only 25 kms of not too rough stuff, but it´s a taste of things to come and the dust kicked up by passing lorries is like a white out in snow.
Had my first bike mishap when a peddle worked loose and seperated itself from the bike, probably due to vibrations on the bus (and a lack of checking on my part) taking a good chunk of thread with it. I seriously thought I would have to get a new crank arm, but 2 hours of bodging with a knife and screwdriver managed to cut enough thread to get the pedal back on. Just hope it holds.
The national Park is beautiful - Beech wooded slopes and terrific views over the Beagle channel. I just had to cycle to the end of Route 3 - the road all the way back to Buenos Aires, as the official start of the ride. Camp was rough (and free) in a secluded dell next to a river with hawks circling over head and rabbits all around with a roaring fire to cook on. Bliss.
There is a great hike up a 970m peak (Cerro Guanaco) with fantastic panoramic views all the way back to Ushuaia 20kms away. I met a couple of American cyclists who joined me on the hike and whom I may meet up with in Chile to hike in Torres del Paine.
The sign says 3079km back to Buenos Aires - it starts to sink in about the scale of this place. Then a freezing 20 kms in the pouring rain back towards Ushuaia to meet up with the Americans for a free camp just off the main road.