What is this immense granite monolith pointing towards the sky like an arrow? I stop right there, and quietly fix the Fitz Roy peak coming out of the clouds at the horizon. Since I was a kid, I’ve been amazed by this legendary Patagonian mountain. Contemplating it for real now actually feels surreal.
After 3 weeks riding the 1,000km long Carretera Austral in southern Chile, I realize I have had moments of pure fulfillment like this every day: riding through purple lupine fields along emerald rivers and hanging glaciers, surrounded by flying condors, with the repetitive sound of nothing else but our bike tires hitting the gravel road.
It's impossible not to be impressed by the absolute splendor of our planet's natural wonders.
I'm surprised how being surrounded by the wild nature is so peaceful and energizing. I forgot. My busy life in Montreal comes back to mind, with the reminiscence of all the rush and stress I usually go through in my everyday routine. All those "priorities" now seem ridiculous and artificial compared to this immense forever-lasting nature. I'm so grateful to be here now, getting to discover crazy unspoiled landscapes and enjoying every single minute of it.
Traveling by bike acts as a catalyst to reset priorities and focus on the real stuff. It makes everything so simple, back to the very essence of our lives. You wake up, gobble up a few granolas and ride for hours.
And day after day, the work-related agendas get erased by each pedal stroke and this constant contemplation. The only questions that are left are: What do I eat when I get hungry? Where do I sleep at the end of the day? And I just keep riding in-between.
The time frame of our thinking has shrunk from 6-month planning to 6-hour anticipating. We learn to live in the moment, enjoy the surroundings, and now rarely think about the past nor the future. We fully appreciate the soothing present.
Tired? We find a spot next to the road and take a quick nap. Then, we religiously drink our espresso coffee and start riding again. There is nothing to dictate how our day will go.
Temperature starts to get chilly? We look for a nice spot to shelter and set up camp. We go fetch and filter water, start a fire, eat, tune up the bikes. Everything is so simple - and absolutely essential.
Back to our very basic needs, we learn to master survival skills and focus on what's critical to get us through the day, which is very rewarding.
Story and Photo’s courtesy of Yann Masset and Laura Beeharry. They both live busy lives together in Montreal. Laura and her friend Cécile both love sharing photos, ideas, and travel tips. Feel free to visit them at cecileandlaura.com