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Pushing up to Chile Chico on the Carretera Austral | Long Haul Trekkers

Updates – Where We’re Headed Next

Arkel GT-54 Touring Panniers It was nicely alliterative and a seemed a good way to end such a journey—by pedaling back to our hometown.

Plans, however, have changed a bit.

After nearly two years on the road, we’re quite tired. South America has these formations called the Andes and they’re rather difficult to pedal up and over. The Patagonian headwinds beat us to a pulp. We spent over half our time in South America in high altitude, which we love—there are no bugs, the air is fresh and cool, and when we go back to sea level, boy can we run. Pedaling up steep hills (let’s face, it, there’s no pedaling involved, we’re pushing. For hours.) in high altitude, on the other hand wears a cyclist down.

Just how strong were those Patagonian headwinds? Read all about them in the Tale of the Patagonian Wind Monster Part I and II.

And so, we’re feeling a big haggard, and are in desperate need of a break.

I mentioned recently that I have grown tired of cycling. My real passion is running and being away from the sport for so long has got me aching for the trails. I want to hike in familiar territory and what still remain as my favorite places on this planet.

Knowing that we would have to fly or take a boat from Colombia to reach Panama, we figured, let’s just fly back to Portland. Our co-cat-parent flies home to England each year to visit his mum, so we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to fly back to the Pacific Northwest, see some friends and family, hit the trails, and take care of our own cat.

As it stands right now, we fly home on the 20th April and will stay in the Pacific Northwest through the summer, splitting our time between Oregon and Washington.

Currently, we’re considering heading over to Japan and Korea for some cycle touring and then traveling through SE Asia, though it’s a bit up in the air. I’m honestly not sure if I want to cycle more at this time or if I’ll need a longer break. 

We decided to relocate to Spain, Granada.

I feel pulled equally by the lure of travel and the desire to stay in one place for a little bit and run and make delicious vegan meals and treats and hang out with friends and drink proper beer.

Either way, adventure is on the horizon, whatever it may look like.

Have you felt burnt out from cycling, or doing anything long term? What advice do you have for me?
Jen Sotolongo

Jen is the Chief Storyteller and Photographer for the Long Haul Trekkers. Born with the travel bug, she has lived in Spain, Chile, and New Zealand. When she’s not galavanting around the world by bicycle, she is running long distances in the woods, exploring nature, or whipping up delicious vegan meals. She is always planning her next adventure.

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