The return of Class 3

Trip Start Mar 11, 2005
Trip End Jul 15, 2005

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Dear Class 3

We have received your second lot of interesting questions and are happy to reply:

Is it fun doing your cycling trip?

Yes it is fun, but it is also very hard work. It can be tough because we often have to keep going just to find somewhere safe to stay at night. However we have done the hardest part of the trip and are now making sure that we have lots of fun too.

Do you miss Miss Robins and your family?

Yes, we both miss our families and friends.

Do you feel lonely sometimes?

No, we do not get lonely as we are travelling together and we are good friends. However, we have met a few people cycling on their own and we do wonder if they get lonely.

How many miles have you cycled altogether now?

We have cycled 3,058 miles since we started this trip.

How many more stops will there be?

We really don't know. It will depend on what we find along the way.

How many countries have you been through?

Only 2 countries: Argentina and Chile. We went into a small part of Chile at the beginning, but it has mainly been Argentina so far. We will soon go back into Chile and then finish in Peru.

Do you know a lot of Spanish?

Andrew knows a lot of Spanish so he does a lot of talking. Philip knows very little Spanish and stays very quiet!

Do you know the names of the people you have met?

We have met quite a lot of people but as we don't stay very long in one place, it is very hard to get to know them well. We did meet 2 people from the United States of America called Andy and Mandy and got to know them quite well because we met them twice.

Are the Andes mountains very big?

Yes they are very, very big. They are the longest range of mountains in the world and the second highest range (after the Himalayas). We have seen the highest mountain in the Andes, Mount Aconcagua, which is 22,841 feet (6,962 metres) high.

Do the Andes mountains have snow on them?

Yes they do. The higher mountains are covered with snow all the time, but the lower ones only have snow in the winter.

Have you been through any deserts?

Most of our cycling has been through 'deserts'. Sometimes we think of deserts as being just sand, but often they have a lot of plants which are very tough and can live in very dry soil. This has been the kind of desert that we have been travelling through. Later we will cross the Andes mountains into Chile and cycle through a part of the Atacama Desert: we are not sure what it will be like.

Have you ever fallen off your bikes?

Yes, we have both fallen off several times. This happened mostly when we were in Patagonia and the road was not smooth but covered in loose gravel or sand. We also use a system on our bikes where our shoes are attached to the pedals of the bikes, so if you stop and can not get your foot away from the pedal quickly, it is easy to fall over.

What colour are your bikes?

Andrew's is red and Philip's is black.

What sort of bikes do you have?

Andrew's is called a 'Schwinn' and Philip's is called a 'Thorn'.

What colour is your tent?

The tent is green. When Philip bought the tent, he had a choice of red or green. He was told that green is better because if you want to put your tent where you should not, it is less likely to be seen!

What kinds of biscuits do you eat?

We eat sweet biscuits as they give us energy quickly when we are cycling. However, we avoid some biscuits as they are too sweet and make us feel sick when we eat so many of them!

How many packets of biscuits do you eat in a day?

It depends how hard the cycling is and how far we are going on that day. However, in a full day we usually stop 3 times for a 'biscuit break' and (depending on the size of the packet) we eat a packet each.

Can you bring home some biscuits for us (Class 3)?

We would like to but we can not carry very much on our bikes and also we think we might eat them before we get home!

Have you been fishing?

No we have not. We did try to go fishing on Philip's birthday as there was nothing else to do, but we could not get the equipment we needed.

What kinds of fish (if any) have you seen?

We have seen some fish in the rivers and lakes but we are not sure what they were. However we have eaten some trout and salmon which were very tasty!

Have you been swimming?

No, where we have been the water comes from the glaciers and is very, very cold. We have used it to wash but neither of us wanted to swim in it.

Have you seen any forests?

Yes. At the very beginning of our trip in Tierra del Fuego and also in the mountains we have seen and cycled through forests. A lot of the trees are very different to those that you find in England.

Have you seen any rainforests? If so, have you seen any cuckoos?

No, we are too far south so it is not yet hot enough for rain forests. We will be going farther north but will then go into the mountains where it will be too high and cold for rainforests.

No, we haven't seen any cuckoos but we have seen lots of other birds.

Have you seen any foxes?

Yes we see lots of foxes, particularly grey foxes. Unfortunately we see many dead foxes as a lot of them get hit by cars.

Have you seen any scorpions?

Yes, we think we have seen some when cycling, but we have not stopped to find out!

Have you been bitten by any mosquitoes?

Yes we have, but not much. Philip seems to get bitten more than Andrew.

Are the shops the same?

Many of the shops are the same but they have different names. In Patagonia where there are very few shops, each shop sells all different kinds of things.

Do they have the same cars? (Miss Robins wants to know if you have seen any minis?)

Some cars are the same, but many are different. Many cars come from the United States of America and are quite big. Many cars are also very old and in very bad condition. (We have not seen any Minis!)

How many hours time difference is there?

At the moment Argentina is 4 hours behind the United Kingdom.

We enjoy answering your questions, so if you think of any more, please send them to us.

With best wishes,

Philip Robins and Andrew Starke
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