White Bread, Nes Cafe, and 701 km of Racing.. GO!
Note: Pics are hard to upload down here, so check out our pics on the photo link (to the left)! Thank you!
We made it to Punta Arenas with all of our bags and bikes, which is in itself an amazing feat. In past years we have had bikes and bags not show up, which makes the race even more interesting! Punta Arenas and the Hostel Victoria feels very much like a home away from home, we keep in touch with George the owner and his family through out the year, and they take us and all of our gear in with open, welcome arms.
The first days found us doing gear checks, testing out our bikes and of course eating lots of white bread, empanadas, Lomit's burgers and golden nuss (our favorite chocolate bar).
Today was the day we got the maps, and went over them with Race Director Stepjan. We were thrilled to see that over 90% of this years course is brand new to us! The race would include a serious glacier crossing of the Southern Continental Ice Shelf, a pack rafting section among icebergs, and of course monster treks. After the overview, each team was allowed only two questions and then sent off to assemble their bags for final food and equipment drops. Below is the race stats in a nut shell:
701 km total
60 km paddling
350 km mtn. biking
300 km trekking
The excitement among the team was palpable, as we tried to make far reaching decisions. "Are we gonna need extra food in Bag #5? Should we stage shoes and dry socks in the kayak bag, and if so, will we just carry them with us on the bike?" "Can we do that 46 km in a single day?" Some of these were critical - get too much food to early and we have to carry it with us adding weight to packs; get food too late and wind up hungry and weak. These questions were debated ad-naseum as we stuffed gear in oversized duffels.
Eventually the time came, and our bags were loaded onto the truck. So we prepare for one last night of sleep as we continue to wonder if we hit the right combination of conservative packing for "what-ifs" and the fast and light mentality that will get us a top place. With all three of last year's podium teams returning, (we got third) it will certainly be an exciting race. We start at midnight (Chilean time) in Puerto Natalajes on Tues AM.
You can tracks us LIVE at www.yogaslackers.com and read our updates at www.facebook.com/YogaSlackersadventures. Also, please follow gearjunkie.com for posts from Stephen Be sure to also check out www.patagonianexpeditionrace.com and their Facebook page as well to see updates on all the 11 teams!