Ann and Kent Moriarty sent this on Monday 8 March 1999.
By the way, the mail server at webmin.org has been nonfunctional the past few days. If you have sent email to AnnAndKent@webmin.org recently and it has failed, then I suggest that you wait a few days and send your message again.
-- Phil Davidson PhilDavidson@compuserve.com
Whew! Dear Family and Friends!
This short note finds us in Punta Arenas, four or five riding days away from Ushuaia! Hard to believe.... Tomorrow we board a ferry which will take us to the island of Tierra del Fuego and then it's the final stretch! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers, believe me, I think it's all that is holding us together right now.
The last month or so has seen us riding through some of the most beautiful country we've ever seen, the Carretera Austral in Chile, the pampas of Route 40 in Argentina, FitzRoy Mountain, Perito Moreno Glacier and Torres del Paine Park. Kind of funny, but we anticipated beforehand that this part would be all nature and no interesting people. The opposite has proved true as we've stayed at several estancias and with other great folks.
We arrived at one estancia (ranch or hacienda) and Manuel (his nickname is Arroz Crudo for the uncooked rice he used to serve up at a restaurant!) threw a big hunk of lamb on the fire along with fresh sausages. After insisting that we keep up with him in the wine drinking department and then feeding us all this meat, I nearly fell over on to the floor, barely making it to bed before sleeping for almost twelve hours. Kent did a little better, outlasting our generous new friend! The next two days with Manuel proved an education in generosity and estancia life.
Yesterday, we visited the penguins which live nearby. Imagine! Penguins! I've never seen one up close and personal in my life! We also soared (in our minds of course, wishing for our hang gliders) with a gaggle of condors and watched ostrich-type birds running across the pampa. Amazing.
Anyway, we are soon headed home. After arriving in Ushuaia, we will return to the small town of Pto. Natales from where we will take a ferry cruise through the fiords and islands of western Chile up to Pto. Montt. We'll fly from there and hope to be home before Easter. Easter, instead of Christmas! Keep praying -- the bike's front hub is held together right now with a shifter cable and we can't coast because the rear hub is irreparably messed up. So that means we pedal all the way -- even if the wind is pushing us like crazy! Ah well, life continues to be interesting!
Can't wait to see you all. Will try to send a note when we arrive in Ushuaia but if not we will be at our old address in Pinole after Easter. Can't wait to see you all; hope we don't crash too hard upon return!
Love, Ann and Kent
P.S. Dispatch will be coming later. Maybe we'll write it on the ferry if it's cloudy out!