Roland and Belinda Hinmueller began an epic ride on the Pan American Highway in July 2009. 17 months and 30,000 kilometers later, they reached their ultimate destination: Ushuaia, Argentina. This is an excellent blog to consult if you’re dreaming of cycling the Americas and want to get a true picture of day to day life on the road.
Despite the usual hardships of undertaking a major bicycle tour, Roland and Belinda remain almost unnaturally positive. Their bicycle touring blog is filled with photos of the two of them sporting broad smiles even as the fight headwinds and unrelenting hills.
Their travel tales have any easy flow to them: a mixture of what they’re been up to, who they’ve met on the road, and how the scenery looks. They write often, which helps to capture the feel of their bicycle tour across the Americas.
Most importantly, they always find time for a little humor:
We will not spend any time discussing the last 30 km heading into El Calafate, as the colourful language we used would most definitely offend our readers. Thrashing head winds are STINK! After finding the cheapest and most quiet camping on offer at Hospedaje Jorgito. Although we had the whole backyard to ourselves we did have the company of a sweet but rascally dog. In the morning we awoke to find one of Roland’s Keen sandals chomped in two. Fortunately the owners were really good about it and got it repaired.
Belinda And Roland also take the time to do a little sightseeing and share their experiences with envious readers:
The detour proved to be worth it as Glacier Perito Moreno was majestic and quite the sight to behold. It’s the third largest ice mass in the world behind Antarctica and Greenland. It is also considered ‘stable’ and is in fact still growing. Several times would hear thunderous echoing noise as parts of the ice would break away and crash into the lake.
Finally, each blog post offers a few observations about the country they’re currently biking through:
Stuff we are loving in Argentina:
- Camping. Argentina very much has a camping culture where campgrounds are plentiful and sometimes we can even come across a freebie. For example, ACA gas stations often have camping areas with picnic tables, use of showers, toilets, electricity and BBQ area.
- ‘Grido Helado’ stores. This is a chain of ice cream shops that can be found in almost every town with the best flavours and cheapest prices. Our favourite is the 1/4kg punnet where you can choose three flavours for a $1.50.
- Food options. Although we are still deprived of our mainstay peanut butter, we have been enjoying the quality, variety and availability of deli products. We have been feasting on salami and cheese baguettes, olives, walnuts, fresh fresh fruit, and new types of confectionery (often filled with nuts) and pastries (their favourite filling being ‘dulce de leche’). If we were big wine drinkers we hear there are some pretty good drops here as well; particularly in the regions of Cafayate and Mendoza.
- Longer, warmer days. Gets light at 6.30am and doesn’t get dark till 8pm.
- Public toilets. They have seats, toilet paper, soap and hand towels. This all seems rather luxurious after Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
The tour may have come to an end, but Cycling with Sally is still a good blog to turn to if you’re keen to someday cycle the Pan American Highway.