Patagonia – Conditions of Participation
BaltiCCycle (BC) is not a commercial tour, all organizers are volunteers, and the registration fee collected goes only for covering organizational expenses. Each route is different, therefore it is impossible to work out all details in advance. Joining BC, you become a part of the team, and we expect from you a good will and a right understanding of our principles and rules. Your assistance in organizing daily program and solving all difficulties is highly appreciated.
Note. The BaltiCCycle 2019 “The Carretera Austral – on an Ultimate World Road” will happen on the conditions we offer here if not less than 10 participants register for the whole route. We must know it in advance (for booking plane and ferry tickets, hostels, etc.); therefore, the deadline of registration is fixed at the 30 November, 2018. If we not collect enough participants, the current ride conditions can be changed (membership fee will increase). After registering, you will be regularly informed by email about the registration progress.
The BC2019 expedition to Patagonia is scheduled for participants having experience in long-distance travels and harsh cycling-camping conditions as well as cycling on unpaved roads and in unpopulated areas. To cycle the whole route is a challenge. Be prepared for adventures, extreme weather conditions and unexpected obstacles on the road. The ride is open for everybody but before signing, you should think about your mental and physical capability to complete it.
The condition of roads is very different and varies depending on the weather. You should be very careful when cycling down on unpaved roads. Many unexpected obstacles like stones, sand can cause a serious accident. It will be ~60% of gravel roads on the first part from Puerto Montt to O’Higgins and ~25% on the second one from O’Higgins to Punta Arenas. Every year more and more sections of the road are paved; possible construction works.
BC participants gather for the ride from different countries and continents. We recommend bringing on your bike a national flag or other symbol that local people could see us as an international friendly cycling community.
Organizational rules. We try to keep our organizational principles similar to the previous BC tours.
- The daily cycling distance averaged through the whole route is 64.6 km. It is shorter as usual because of hard cycling conditions and many natural wonders on the route.
- The rest days are planned once a week or more often, if there are famous sights on the route.
- The route will go through sparsely populated areas; therefore we will often camp in a wild nature. In towns and villages we will sleep in official campings, sometimes hostels. Many sleeping places are not arranged in advance, and starting in the morning you do not always know where you will sleep at night. The driver of our supported car will look for sleeping places and help us to find them leaving marking signs or informing by mobile phone if the net is available.
- The maps with a marked day’s route will be distributed during a map-meeting every morning as well as the day’s program explained.
- From sleeping to sleeping place you can travel individually or in small groups. When according the program some common event is planned we will cycle in one group wearing T-shirts and other BC symbols.
- Though we will have the support car on the route, you should be ready to carry all your necessary stuff on the bike for a few days (in case of car break or other unexpected circumstances). The service of luggage transportation is limited to 20 kg in one standard bag (you will receive it). This service is included in the membership fee.
- In case of serious emergency you can call the driver (though the cell phone net coverage is limited to the major populated areas) asking to transport to the nearest first aid or service centre. In case of injury, sickness or other reason when participant is not able to continue cycling, the organizers can offer to transport the cyclist and his bike for 2-3 days.
Arrival/Departure. Costs of the arrival/departure are not included in the participation fee. You can join and finish the ride at any point of the route, and you have to plan yourself how to do it. We can pick you up for the additional fee (5 € per 10 km) in the radius of 50 km (100 km both ways). You should contact the ride organizers at least two days before. Though the ride schedule is fixed but the real dates in some parts of the route can be slightly shifted (plus/minus 2 days) because of unexpected obstacles. Have it in your mind when planning arrival.
Click here to find the rough recommendations how to reach us on the route.
Visas. You have to check if you need visas at consulates in your country – we will cycle in Chile and Argentina. It is recommended to obtain all necessary visas individually, no group visas available. Citizens of EU countries are allowed to enter these countries and stay up to 90 days. Your passport should be valid at least a half of the year ahead from the start of ride.
Weather conditions. Weather in Patagonia is unpredictable and you should come well prepared for all weather conditions. A region below the 40th parallel has a strongly oceanic climate with high amount of rainfall from 2000 to 4000 mm per year. Strong westerly winds dominate the region. The Carretera Austral isn‘t particularly windy. The region after El Chalten encounters regularly strong winds which normally come from W/NW. We will cycle when summer months finishing and the autumn starts. The temperatures become cooler. In March the average high temperature in Puerto Montt is 16oC, and the average low 8oC; the sunshine lasts 8 hours. In Puerto Natales the corresponding temperatures are 14oC and 9oC with the same sunshine hours.
Hiking. We plan to visit most impressive sights of numerous national parks which are accessible only by hiking trails. You should own good hiking shoes, hiking clothes, rucksack, and trekking poles advisable.
Catering. It depends on you, but it is highly recommended to bring along a gas stove for preparing meal in the campsites. There will be long wild parts of the route without restaurants and supermarkets. Entering unpopulated areas it will be a possibility to carry some reserve of products as well as drinkable water for necessary number of days in our van. If no drinkable water at the campsite, the driver is responsible for providing it.
Vaccination. You have to bring with you the International Certificate of Vaccination (the yellow booklet) with certifications of vaccination. The vaccination/medicine to be active must be taken a few weeks before your start. Consult with your local vaccination centre. No obligatory vaccinations are required in these parts of Argentina and Chile we enter. Recommended vaccinations:
- hepatitis A,
- hepatitis B,
- diphtheria / tetanus (DT),
- measles / mumps / rubella (MMR).
Necessary equipment and documents:
- bicycle prepared for long travel (carriers with panniers or saddlebags, safe brakes, reflectors and lights); click – here – for the recommendations how to prepare the bike;
- passport of your bike or other document proving your ownership (you have to show it when entering/leaving the country);
- good bike wear for different weather conditions, sun protection creams and glasses;
- cyclist first-aid kit (more parts and tools in the support car);
- first-aid kit (more medicines in the support car);
- mosquito net and insect repellents;
- valid passport with necessary visas (at least a half of the year ahead);
- INDIVIDUAL MEDICAL INSURANCE is obligatory, no group insurance is provided;
- camping gear (windproof-waterproof tent, warm sleeping bag, gas stove, light etc.);
- hiking shoes;
- money for personal expenses i.e. bicycle repair, food, museums, excursions, permits to national parks, ferry tickets and other expenses);
- mobile phone;
- GPS receiver with off-line maps.
Children until 18. Children can take part in the ride only together with parents (one or both) or another adult who is authorized by notary to take care and is fully responsible for the juvenile.
Luggage transport. We strongly recommend carrying all necessary personal stuff in the panniers on your bike. The service of luggage transportation by the support car is limited to 20 kg in one standard bag you will receive; it is included in the registration fee. You should be ready to carry all your stuff a few days on the bike when crossing the border from Chile to Argentina (Villa O’Higgin’s to El Chalten) and in case of emergency (car break or some other unexpected circumstances). If you plan to transport any additional bag in the support car you have to indicate when registering and pay in advance (2 € per diem).
Neither organizers nor drivers are responsible for safety of your luggage. You should insure your luggage against theft personally.
Crossing the border from Chile to Argentina (Villa O’Higgins to El Chalten). The Carretera Austral ends at Lago O’Higgins. To enter Argentina from O‘Higgins we have to take 2 ferries (51 km – 3 hours, and 10 km – 45 minutes) and to beat a trail ~20 km of tough riding between two border stations. One section of the trail with trenches is impossible to cycle. We plan to travel this distance in 2 days but a real time depends on ferry schedule related to weather conditions. Our support van will go around over 1000 km and meet us in El Chalten.
Ferries. To complete the whole route we need to use many ferry crossings on the road. The price of tickets is not included in the membership fee and you have to buy tickets yourselves. For some ferries we need to book tickets in advance; we will inform you about group ticket options after your registration. Below there are the main ferry routes, approximate duration and ticket price:
- Parqua – Chacao, 30 min, 3 €;
- Quellon – Chaiten, 4 h, 30 €;
- Puerto Bahamóndez – Candelario Mancilla (including excursion to O‘Higgins Glacier), 3-4 h, 110 €;
- Lago del Desierto from Punta Norte to Punta Sur, 1 h, 36 €;
- Punta Arenas – Puerto Williams, 31 h, 140 €.
Membership fee. The membership fee is fixed to 20 € per diem. You have to indicate the number of days you plan to travel in the table of the Registration Form, and your membership fee will be counted automatically. To organize the whole event with fewer troubles we ask everybody who has intention to take part in the expedition to register as soon as possible.
If the registration and the half of membership fee are not received until November 30, 2018, the discounts are cancelled. The second half of participation fee must be paid 5 days before your start date; otherwise the whole fee increases by 10%. Participants who do not have any discount, must pay the fee at least 20 days before their start date; otherwise the fee increases by 10% as well.
The membership fee includes:
- sleeping places for a tent under simple conditions (drinking water, waste-baskets) in wild campsites or in private land as well as in fully equipped official campsites or hostels when outdoor camping is not available;
- car following the group with first-aid kit and basic bicycle repair instruments and tools; possibility to call the car in case of emergency;
- transportation of 1 standard 20 kg bag;
- copies of maps with the marked route; list of recommended sights as well as a short description and a daily consultation regarding the route and cultural program;
- T-shirt, flag and sticker with BC2019 ride symbols;
- cosy surprises prepared by organizers or local authorities.
Discounts. The discounts are applicable only if the Registration Form and at least the half of membership fee is received before November 30, 2018. Discounts do not accumulate.
- 15% – for students (until 26 years old), families (3 and more persons) and BC veterans who cycled more than 100 days in the previous BC tours. If the 100th day comes during the ride, the discount will be counted from that day.
- Special – participants who obtain potential sponsors or support organizers before or during expedition in another way (preparing the route, driving the support car, medical or bicycle service, etc.) will receive a privilege discount negotiated personally.
Additional paid service (optional):
- booked by registration;
- transportation of one additional personal luggage up to 20 kg (2 € per diem);
- additional T-shirt with the logo of the ride – 15 €;
- booked during the ride:
- bicycle spare parts (bike shop price; we will have a very limited amount of spare parts);
- possibility to use transport of organizers for arrival/departure to/from the ride in the radius of 50 km (5 € per 10 km).
Resignation rules. The date of resignation is fixed up when the resignation letter is received by organizers (before the ride by email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, during the ride it should be delivered to the leaders of expedition and confirmed by them). The date is important, because it determines the amount of refund. The membership fee for the travel days exceeding 30 days after resignation date are fully returned, and for the first 30 days are returned in the following manner:
- up to 60 days before the start: – 100%;
- 10-60 days before the start: – 70%;
- less than 10 days before the start – no money repaid, however 70% are deposited in participant’s account for the next year BC tours;
- after 20 and more days of cycling – 80% of unused money (for the first 20 days no refund);
- money is paid back under mentioned above circumstances within 30 days after the end of the expedition;
- money is not paid back for participants excluded from the tour;
- if you decide to change the sleeping place provided by organizers to another, you will yourself cover a cost for it, the organizers don’t give money back if you don’t sleep with a group;
- if due to some reasons the participant separates from the group for one or more days (nights) no refund for this lost time is applicable.