Test from tablet

2 01 2013

So I went and bought a new tablet.  Hopefully I can get away with just this on the next trip. At least that was the plan – it’s really just a new toy 🙂

Edit: 3 January 4.5billion and 13

More on the toy later.

I forgot that people who are following the blog would get an email that it’s alive again. I was only trying to test the WordPress Android app (which seems to work pretty well, but the on screen keyboard leaves a bit to be desired). Woops. Not to worry. As John has reminded me, before I talk about future trips (which I hope there will be one) I should ‘complete’ the last trip. I’m somewhere in China or Pakistan still – a year later, I still haven’t looked at some of the photos I took in India…

It’s a bit embarrassing that I haven’t made a single post in 2012. Not so much Adventure, but plenty of work.

Hair loss

24 06 2011

I’m still in Kashgar. Mentally preparing for what’s coming. Well, no, I’m waiting for a Belgian guy to turn up so I can ride with his mate. I think a small group for the next bit is a good idea. (See? I am sensible, after all).

This seems to be a hub for travellers. Yesterday there were 9 cyclists in the youth hostel – and I know of others. And a few ‘traditional’ back packers. And they are all French. Something strange is going on here. Maybe Sarcosey has sent them all away for the elections.

So I went out to eat with some of the French. For a lot of the time, they were speaking English, just for me. In amongst all the other traveller conversation, for some reason the girls started talking about how their hair is falling out. They came to the conclusion that it was the diet and altitude that was causing it.

Eureka! I’m sure it’s not true, but I think I might have to recycle that excuse.

Massive Cheat

22 06 2011

When I started this little ridie thing, I had a crazy idea that I might be able to cycle all the way home. Except for the obvious bit that was frequently pointed out to me in Europe – the last part between about Singapore and Darwin.

I was doing pretty well until Greece. Every kilometre had been peddled. Then someone turned on winter and the plan started to get a bit wobbly. I tried pretty hard to work out a way to get out of winter without flying, but it turned out to be damn near impossible (without making some rather absurd travel arrangements, such as going all the way back to Venice to take a boat via Syria to Egypt – with accompanying visa dramas). As you probably noticed, I had to cheat to get to Egypt and start the ‘Revolution Route’ side trip. Riding though Egypt during a revolution, which, it has been pointed out to me, it took me a week to notice.

And then the problem of what to do post Iran became a reality. I like the idea of riding through Central Asia, and probably will do it one day. But I couldn’t stand the idea of making a plan, and then arranging all the visas around this. It just didn’t fit (and another reason has surfaced that will become evident in September). So I looked at going through the other options, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Some crazy people are travelling in Afghanistan, but I’m not that crazy. I couldn’t get a Pakistan visa (without flying back to Australia to organise one – and that seems rather silly to me).

So I stressed and bit my nails, read lots of things on the internet and finally decided that one part of Pakistan didn’t sound too dangerous, at least relatively. And it sounds like it is possible to get a Pakistani visa at the border with China. So I crossed my fingers for the Pakistan visa, got my Chinese visa in Tehran, and tried to work out how to get to the far west of China. I failed to find any decent option on the internet, but through blind chance (while at a diplomatic function at the Norwegian Embassy) I was told about a direct flight to Urumqi on a Chinese airline (by an Italian Architect).

Long, long, long story short I got a plane ticket and enjoyed my last few days in Iran. Louis and Lysanne, a couple of Quebecois cyclists doing something similar to me, helped me out no end by arranging a (very small) bike box and a place to crash in Tehran – while I watched lunar eclipses and ate watermelon and ice cream, although not at the same time, in Yazd.

L, L & I spend the better part of a day and a half solving the puzzle that is packing three bikes into boxes that are far too small for them. Some cursing, much gnashing of teeth and at least one stupid mistake on my part when removing the pedals and the bikes were packed away. Poor Frankenbici had all manner of bits pulled off him for the packing. It’s the first time I’ve had to remove the forks (and pretty much everything that can be removed) to put a bike in a box.

I tried to send some winter clothes home but at the post office I had a change of heart, when I decided I didn’t have any confidence in the post and besides they wanted to charge me an arm and a leg to post 3kg home. So L, L & I had a final kebab and I re-packed my bags one final time.

A taxi, which had been generously arranged for me by our host, Sasan, came to pick me up to take me to the airport. The driver took one look at the bike box and the big bag holding the panniers and decided he didn’t need the job. There followed a comical few minutes while the bike was loaded into the ute, unloaded, and we stood around while the Iranians, err, discussed the situation. The bike was again loaded into the ute and we drove around town for a few minutes. I was at  loss as to what was going on, but there was much shaking of heads and it appeared I wouldn’t be getting to the airport this way. Sasan had come with me, and somehow he arranged another taxi which did take me to the airport. I’d left plenty of time, so there was no stress – at least for me, but I did end up leaving Sasan somewhat stranded. Thankfully the last few minutes in Iran didn’t go smoothly, otherwise I might have taken away a different impression of the country. Although the check-in at the airport went far too smoothly, they took my bike and allowed me my 35kg of luggage (while I was almost bent double with my carry on bag).

And then the massive cheat began. I flew from Tehran to Urumqi in far North Western China, leapfrogging 4 countries, several serious mountain ranges, and a whole bunch of cyclists who are more hardy than myself. Somehow a 4 hour flight took from 11pm until 7am – that’s what you get when China is on a single timezone.

I got to Urumqi, a new country, a new language and a new currency without a Yaun in my pocket. I tried to get some at the airport, but the money changer was closed. I couldn’t take a bus or taxi, because I had no money (there’s a hole in my bucket…). So I took the obvious option – put the bike together. I had quite an audience of Chinese taxi drivers, but I managed to get it all back in one piece (despite it being 4am in my own personal timezone, and having  slept for about an hour).

I rode into Urumqi city, blearily looked around, had breakfast and then tried to find the train station. A gazzillion people had the same idea. One of the harrowed ticket agents managed to tell me that there was no train today, the cost of the train, and indicated by a surprised expression that the bike wouldn’t be welcome. So I went off to find the bus station. Found it, and despite only really being interested in the timetable, found myself on a sleeper bus about 15minutes later.

25 hours on the bus later and I’m in Kashgar. The end of the world – at least the end of the Chinese world. To the south is Pakistan (and then a left turn to India), and a border that all reports say is open and issuing visas on arrival. All non verified, unofficial reports. But I’m here now and I’ll go ride up the ‘hill’ and check it out in a day or so. I hope they let me in, there are some big mountains to see between here and Islamabad. Some really big mountains (I can’t wait!). Karakorum Highway, here I come!

The next case of visa stress will be India before another cheat – there doesn’t appear to be any way of getting out of India without flying…

Now, aren’t you glad I didn’t have time to write a blow by blow account of Iran?

Rain rain go away, you’re making me think ahead

10 03 2011

I left Jordan with it’s 25C sun-shining goodness in my haste to see Damascus, and I’ve been rewarded by below freezing at night. It’s raining and windy, and just plain unpleasant for exploring a city or riding. Luckily I have internet and the Felafel and Shwarma are both cheap and good.

It’s raining left of me, right of me and in front. It’s raining in Lebanon. For goodness sake, the internet tells me it’s even raining in the desert (which is probably where I’ll head next to get out of this cold and rain)! Looks like I’m marooned until Spring comes. Hopefully tomorrow.

Not to completely waste time, I’ve got an agency working on my Iran Visa (at least they tell me they are…), and I’ve visited the Indian and Pakistan Embassies to get more visas. The good news is the Pakistan Embassy won’t give me a visa – they tell me I can only get a visa in Australia. So that removes any temptation to cycle across Pakistan. The other good news is the Indian Embassy wont give me one here either – they say I’m too far away (in time) from entering India, but it should be easy to get in Iran. So now I have to wait until the Agency / Iran grant me a visa and I should come back to Damascus to collect it. In a week, or two. Or maybe three. Inshallah (god willing).

So to back up a bit – since spending time with Jurg and Rahel in Santorini (that mysterious 2.5 months of the bike trip where the bike didn’t actually go anywhere), I’ve been infected by Jurg’s enthusiasm for riding across Central Asia – “The Stans”. And I think it would be a great way to go – in fact it appears to be the only way if you don’t want to fly or otherwise skip countries. Some of the scenery, especially the Pamir Highway, would be amazing. The only real problem (apart from the travel advice not to go to Kyrgyzstan due to recent unrest) is the pile of visas you need to collect. And it probably all could be arranged in Turkey, as Jurg and Rahel plan to do it. And I could, in theory, still visit India by cutting back from China and through Pakistan on the Karakorum Highway – more awesome scenery (although I’m not convinced I’d be able to get a Pakistan visa at the China border). But I have been thinking that a better plan, and one that allows me the flexibility that I need when I travel (only this stretch from Egypt to Syria I’m already 2 weeks late from the plan I made… in Greece). I’ll try to spend a month in Syria and get the Iran visa. Then ride through Eastern Turkey and enter Iran. Hopefully in Tehran I can get a longer visa so I can see most of the highlights in Iran, and then I’ll probably fly across Pakistan (from where I don’t know yet) into India. This way I:

  • will get to see a large chunk of Iran (instead of just a bit in the north)
  • will get to see India
  • will be able to see Nepal (if that part of the plan can be made to work)
  • will miss months of riding across desert in China
  • will, maybe, be able to ambush Stefan and Sabine’s holiday in Ladakh 🙂
  • and will have a couple of major attractions in the region as a good excuse to go that way – one day.

The only negative that I can see is that I’ll have to fly at some point to jump Pakistan, and then again to get out of India into SE Asia. It would be better if I didn’t have to. But I’m not really sure yet, both routes seem like a good choice. I’ll be changing my mind a few times a day for the next month or so.

I found this poll thing in WordPress when looking for the dot point button. Let me know what you think! Or leave a comment.

Marathon. Additional.

8 03 2010

The last post was rather short. I was rather tired. This one is rather long. And all about ME!

I finally managed to start and finish a Marathon. Many of you will have heard about my inability to start a marathon – generally due to blowing up my Achilles in the last month or so before the race. I’ve done that 3 times now. You’d think I would eventually learn.

I’m not fit enough to run one of these things off the bat. I tried to follow a training plan. But failed. I thought I was a generally healthy person, but listen to this:
Before the 18week plan started, I was feeling like I could already run most of the way, running 10k regularly, and more than 20k occasionally.
The third week of the plan I had my Wisdom Teeth out. Shortly followed by getting sick for a few days. Followed by working night shift for a while. None of these are conducive to running.
The next week I started getting blisters that even had me surprised (look at my feet after a Rogaine and you’ll understand). I couldn’t run on that! Took me a while to fix that, but in the end I think it was the socks that solved it (I ended up with fancy arch compression socks that I’ve never needed before).
About Christmas time, I did blow up my Achilles, going for a long run over hilly terrain in Australia. But that was quickly followed by a virus that was really quite nasty (the same thing managed to send my father to the hospital), so it forced me to rest – which meant my legs got time to fix themselves. Oh, and I was working night shift again for almost 2 weeks, so I couldn’t get myself to run anyway.
After that I took a look at the date and went into overdrive. Which meant I was risking the Achilles again, but I used every trick I knew to save it. Which may partly explain the minor shin splints I developed after the last long run (32km), which stopped me for a week. And only one calf muscle was complaining!
But again, that was ok, because I had a fever for two nights, and felt terrible for the whole week – so my legs could repair. At that point I was supposed to be tapering, so I figured that in the absence of any decent training, I should just rest well. Which I did extremely well. Except for going for a last jog the week before, in which I strained or broke something in my left foot – I literally couldn’t walk the next morning (a week before the event). But this seemed to go away (for a while).

Ready to go!

Despite my best efforts, I was able to get to the starting line under my own power. And I even felt pretty good. Although it was a bit chilly, 5C at the start according to the internet weather report and about 10C at the end. Shorts and T-shirt. Probably would have been happy with a thermal.

I started up the back of the 3:30-4:00 expected time group – a small group of only about 5000 people. And got stuck at their tempo. With that many people, the four lane street isn’t wide enough. But that was ok, I was able to start gently which was probably good in the long run. I was aiming to simply finish after all. A few k’s in, I saw a hat with an Australian flag printed on it. Another Aussie! So I caught up and said G’day. He had no idea what I was talking about, he was Belgian – he just liked the hat. But at the same time a real Aussie caught me (with my Aussie flag stick on tattoos) and we chatted for a few kilometres. He was an iron man. Had run several marathons. Suggested that my target of 3:30 was quite ambitious and just finishing was a pretty good target for the first time. So I ran off from him, and bumped into a pair of Irish (Steve and Ken) who were at my pace. We struggled to make sense of each other for about 10km before we got separated at a drinks stop and I never saw him again. Steve also suggested that 3:30 was a pretty mean speed, so I readjusted my expectations to hit 3:45, knowing that anything could happen in the last few kilometres.

My left foot (the one that was damaged a week ago) started to let me know it wasn’t happy about 10km in, but at the half way point I felt pretty good. Considering the last half marathon race I practically collapsed at the end, I was happy about this. After about 30km I felt I should start to increase the pace a bit, but the body had found a groove and I just couldn’t go any faster. I also knew that the time for bonking (running low on energy) was coming up… But it failed to hit me. Although it was obvious something was happening at about 38km. Many, many of the younger, tall, fit looking people started to walk with a fair amount of pain on their face, and several of the older folks found another gear. I guess this is the experience showing. A swift burst of mental arithmetic told me that I was on target for 3:45, but I thought 3:40 sounded better. I just kept on going, same pace, same heart rate (but couldn’t go any faster).

Garmin Connect – Activity Details for Barcelona Marathon.
This may sound terribly geeky, but the pace data the running computer I have (and nearly everyone else has) gave was pretty bad during the run. Mostly due to all the buildings I guess. But the heart rate data was pretty good – I am pretty happy with that. The big drop near the end was a drink station I walked through (for a few more seconds than was absolutely necessary) – I walked through most drink stations. But still managed a pretty good split: First half: 1:57, second half 1:47

Results website. Number 7876. I haven’t seen it yet, but the finish photo may be a little embarrassing. The organisers have done this before. The timing system has been perfected. They send live updates to the web. Brilliant.

I finished well, still running. The sprint finish was a bit slow, but I was still moving well. Yes, yes, fully an hour and half after the winner had finished, at least I got there. Drank and ate what I could, then hurried into the pavilion to stop shaking. It was cold! And stumbled into the massage area. Well, that was a bit of good luck. Had a massage, and stretched for a bit. Walked home, had a shower, phoned home – first honest response: “that’s a long time” (can be taken two ways). I then convinced my legs that the best thing for them was to go for a walk, so we did. I even found some stairs to torture myself on. That’s always fun when the quads are hammered. I walked back to the starting line – all the tents and infrastructure was almost all packed away, most of the rubbish gone and they were painting over the advertising they had painted on the road. They really have done this before.

Last night I was shuffling a bit, and the body chemistry was all out of balance, but today things are back to normal. Just sore, but that’ll be gone in a few days.

So I did it! Hurray! Finally.

Something doesn’t look right here… Should’ve tried out the Chinese made stick on tattoos before race day 🙂

Current plan

17 12 2007

For those that are interested, the plan for the next few days is:

San Juan today (17th)
Ride to Mendoza (18th and 19th)
Spend a few days in Mendoza (20-22 maybe)
Ride to Santiago de Chile, over another pass (23, 24, 25)
Spend some time in Santiago – maybe as much as a week (26-next year). A few things we need to get there.

So it looks like I’ll be away from chaos for Christmas.

Almost a new way to go

10 08 2007

Well, a bit happened in the last few days – so much I haven’t even been on the net.

I spent a morning with John looking for motorbikes in Quito. As I’ve said before, this is a strange town. There is a complete absence of a second hand market in motorbikes. The few that I could find were ridiculously overpriced (not much less than new and beaten up terribly). So after an hour or so of helpful phone calls  John, I decided not to buy a cheap Chinese import (if a dealer tells you the brake master cylinder is dodgy, and the bikes are not put together well over the phone you should reconsider getting one to ride across the continent). So the bike was out.

John then took me to  a Land Rover repair guy who had a few Series 3 ´Rovers for sale. Considering these are early ’80’s cars, they were is remarkable condition. I was sorely tempted, I had even sussed out the paperwork required, and it was all possible. What a change that would be, from a bike to a car in an hour or so.

After a few minutes consideration, I decided that that is a trip I would love to do, but not this time. So it was back to a motorbike or buses. Until I met a Dutch cyclist who had just come from Ushuia. That was rather unfortunate. I started talking to him about the route, etc, and complaining that I couldn’t find the panniers, racks, etc here otherwise I might do the return leg of his journey. I got seriously keen again on the bike idea (and much to my mothers disappointment I’m sure) changed my mind again. I bought his front panniers, and his bike computer, and stole a few of his ideas re route. Meeting someone like this was a serious coincidence (I later found out that a Swiss couple going from Ushuia to Canada had passed through 2 days ago – I saw them ride past me, but didn’t stop them to talk. I also met a Belgian couple who had finished a Buenos Aires to Quito tour yesterday – perhaps there are more cyclists than I thought.)

Well, to cut a long story short (anyone who has been shopping with me will agree that it a long process) I eventually bought a new Orbea bike. I found some pannier racks after a great deal of searching. I’ve bought the best saddle and gloves I could find – hopefully this trip doesn’t destroy me.

And yesterday I rode to the equator, only 25km north. The trip has to at least start at the equator. I didn’t take all of my gear, but a fair portion of it. And I can tell you now – the hills / mountains will be all sorts of fun 🙂

And today I may or may not leave Quito. It’s 10am, I haven’t packed and I don’t really know which route I should take. Perhaps I’ll just go a short distance.

It’s a damn long way to Ushuia. 12000kms. I´ve come 25. Perhaps 6 or 7 months. To be honest, it is a little daunting. But hey, I’ve got nothing else I should be doing. This is going to be a hell of a trip 🙂

Death by USB

7 08 2007

I have a few mins to kill this morning – my lovely Scottish friend is on the phone at the moment trying to track down a motorbike for me. He’s still trying to convince me that a car is the better option and it probably is (it is definately safer). But it’s less like what I wanted, so I’ll keep looking for a motorbike. By the end of today I reckon I’ll either have a plan to ride a motorbike or be getting ready to catch a bus (and continue on buses until something better comes up). Unless I fall over a good quality second hand bike with panniers on my travels today (that is not going to happen).

So I thought I’d upload some photos. Plugged in my USB stick. And nothing. Try again. Nothing. Different computer. Uh oh. All my emails… all my passwords… photos… It appears I was relying too heavily on one device. Did I make a backup somewhere… I hope so and I’ve just forgotten. I know for sure that the photos on there are with Ol and Jess (please tell me the DVD is ok Jess 🙂 ).

Life goes on. Somehow.

Where is everyone?

6 08 2007

Quito is a very strange place. Three nights I have now been here and I’m struggling to work out where the hell everyone goes during the day. I know yesterday was a Sunday, but really, why are none of the shops open duruing the day, or for that matter, any of the night? It is frustrating my attempt at pricing a motorbike or a pushy. Although today, I am preferring the motorbike idea. The car idea has fallen away – maybe if I had a travelling companion it’d be a goer, but solo I only need two wheels.

We’ll see.


4 08 2007

Dillemma of the day… I met an ex-Scottish bloke today who is looking for a cheap 4wd in Quito. So he got me thinking that maybe that would be a better option for me. I’ve been in buses now for a fair chunk of Peru and Ecuador and i am a bit surprised at the amount of desert and pretty dull country I’ve been in. There has been good places, don’t get me wrong, but spending days at a time slogging through desert or up a freaking big hill is looking less entertaining.

Options are:
Join the Gringo trail and stay on the buses
Get a cheap car
Get a motorbike
Get a pushy.

Hmm. I’ve still got plenty of time to decide. I’ll look around Quito while I mull it over.

Still Getting Ready

19 06 2007

For someone who is deliberately not planning very far ahead, you’d think I’d have nothing to do, except maybe cool my heels before I left. Right? Well, I seem to be busy doing stuff every day. Ok, it’s not much stuff, but at least I’m keeping busy.

Otherwise I might have to entertain myself. In this weather that could get very chilly (it is really really cold here – after Queensland I’m wearing a beanie, two woollen shirts, jeans, etc, and the heater is on).

Now I have travel insurance. For 9 months (seems like a good starting point, I expect to be extending the policy). I have been rejected in a credit card application (it looked good with no fees, but the application was lacking a certain ‘oomph’ when I had to say I was unemployed 😉 ). I have new cards from the accounts I regularly use. Tonight I noticed that my backup credit card is going to run out of date this month… New one will have to be ordered tonight. (doh!)

Vaccinations sorted. International drivers license sorted. Talked to the banks a few times (they like to know what you are doing in more detail than I want to know right now).

When I look at the list of things I’ve done (and  still have to do), I probably could knock it over quicker than I have, but then… What else would I do for the next week? Sit outside in the cold?

So little time, so much to do

15 06 2007

Only 11 days until I fly out. Still plenty to do.

End of Work

12 06 2007

The end of work countdown was a bit of an anti climax. I was able to finish the job quicker that expected, and have since flown back to Adelaide to spend some time with family and friends before leaving for South America.

This weekend has been the first time I have been unemployed in my adult life. Well, no – I didn’t work for all of the final year of my degree. But other than that.

So that is that. No more work for me until I get sick of travelling. And with careful financial management, that may be a while 🙂 Hopefully a year.

Oh goodness, dial up is slow when you get used to (even slow) broadband.


4 06 2007

Just watched The Motorcycle Diaries. Story about Che Guevara and a trip with a friend across Latin America (on a motorcycle). It made me realise that I didn’t know anything about the man, and have since spent a few hours on the Internet. Now I feel much more informed. I’m going to miss the instant on knowledge that the Internet can provide.

One scene in the movie (especially) made me think. A couple were basically fleeing for their life to find work and food, and encountered Che travelling. They asked why he was travelling. After giving their account, Che had no answer. I guess I’m going to be in a similar situation. I’m about to go travelling because I can – there is no government stopping me, or starvation to deal with. All it takes is a flash of inspiration or desire and I can go, where so many others have to break their backs every day to simply survive.

<delete rant on the inequity of the world. also delete rant on capitalism. – it’s too late (at night) for me to make any kind of sense on these issues>

Package from Canada

30 05 2007

I got a package from Canada today. It contained my latest camping gadget – another single man tent. This one is a bit different though – it’s a hammock (from Hennesy Hammocks). I thought I’d try one out as a possible replacement for my Macpac Ultralight.

The hammock is pretty small (when packed) and probably about the same internal area… of course I set it up in the backyard after dinner! I think the best part may be saving weight and volume by not having to carry a thermarest, but the obvious downside will be needing to find trees each night I want to camp. Casting my mind back, there have been very few campsites I’ve stayed at without trees, or at least without trees within a few minutes walk. So hopefully this wont be a major problem until the Altiplano (Bolivian highlands), where, to all accounts, there are no trees. For days. Oh well, sleeping under the stars might not be so bad for a while.

I suspect that gringo travellers of any kind will cause a stir as they pass through villages in SA, but one who carries a hammock might be a bit more of a novelty.

I wonder if camping with all of this single person gear is contributing to my relationship status?

Surprise surprise

28 05 2007

The training climbing / surfing trip didn’t happen on Sunday. So I read, moped around, juggled, slept, walked and… well I guess you could only call it relaxed.

Climbing tonight was on though! Except the people I expected to be there, weren’t. But others were, so it’s all good.

A few days ago I decided to start my holiday proper (after climbing, messing about and having fun near Lima with Ol and Jess) in Ecuador. I have no special reason why there exactly, but it makes a lot more sense than starting in Terra del Fuego in August. Yesterday I decide that flying from Lima to Santiago to ski for a week, and then flying right back on my way to Ecuador, and then travelling back down the country overland didn’t make a whole lot of sense. It would be great to ski with Ol and Jess, and I hope that by piking now I’m not ruling myself out of future trips (although I might be). C’est la vie.

I got an electronic copy of my passport photo from my housemate (who is a pro photographer if you are in Brissy and need a wedding taken). I thought I’d place it on Flickr. Yes, it’s me. See?

Plan update

23 05 2007

Tonight was a failed climbing night. I rocked up full of enthusiasm and sweat only to find the people with the ropes had already had enough and wanted to go home. So we watched the state of origin instead. Qld won, I guess that means ‘we’ won. Yay. Clearly not enough enthusiasm.

So I think something just went click in my head. Actually, it probably went crash! And probably long ago… I have had this grand plan of riding the Americas. I don’t know why. It probably comes from the same place as riding form Oz to UK came from. Since I’ve done some research, it doesn’t sound half as challenging going by motorbike – only cycling will really count. For some reason, I wanted to start at the southern tip and go north. This has been troubling me as July/August practically in Antarctica doesn’t sound like heaps of fun. Today (or rather late tonight) I stumbled across a blog of someone who has cycled from Ecuador south. That sounds like a much better plan.

Current plan:

Climb / Walk in Peru
Ski in Chile
early August, get back to Peru, get a bike
Get to Ecuador
Ride to Ushuaia

hmmm… could work.