Friday, 8 February 2013

Arrived and organised

Once I got to Santiago I soon realised that the connection time I had was just no way do-able becuase I had to collect my luggage and re-check in for my final flight to Punta Arenas. As expected and despite running at full speed through the airport I missed the 11.10am flight and was very annoyed by the news that the next 3 flights were also full. I ended up having to wait for 12hrs, with all of my luggage, at the airport until I could get onto the 1.20am flight heading South. I adopted the technique of people watching to help the hours pass.

I finally arrived at the youth hostel where my team mates kindly rolled out of their beds to greet me. It was now almost 6am. (That was the third night with little or no sleep). I got almost immediately into bed but because of the new surrounding and some very squeeky floorboards, I could not sleep! At 7.30 I got up, when the others did, and the day of preperation began.

Hoping everything would go to plan was not quite on the cards today. Thomas and Fred helped me with assembling my bike but we soon realised that the values for the tubeless tyres I had were the wrong size and this was a major problem! We spend the day trying different solutions such as cutting up inner tube to try and form a good enough seal, we wondered around Punta Arenas asking at local mechanics shops if they had anything that could help but unfortunatley this didn´t work out. On our way back we stumbled across a small back street bike shop (that no one seemed to know about). Unbeliveably they even had the right size valves and the tape we needed so after parting with far too much money, our problem was solved!

Next stop was to head to the local supermarket and stock up on snacks for the race and this was follwed with 2hrs of bagging all of my new purchases.

After a delicious fish dinner, some herbal sleeping tablets and a shower I dived into bed.

Today, Friday, we´ve got media interviews and kit checks and I´ve just returned from a quick spin around town on my bike. Everything seems to be coming together finally.

We´ve just been told that we will be starting the race from Puerto Natales at the edge of the Torres Del Paine National exciting!