Publicans swap pint pumps for bike pumps on epic trip across continent

08th February 2018

A couple from Felsted cycled more than 3,000 miles from Chile to Argentina to escape the stresses of every day life and experience the simple life.

Joss Ridley, owner of The Compasses pub, in Littley Green, Chelmsford, and his wife Linda, set off in November 2017 from Cauquenes in Chile.

The pair headed down the Carretera Austral, a highway which runs about 700 miles through rural Patagonia.

Joss, who has been running the pub for 10 years, said: “You can go for 120km without seeing a house or another person. It was nice to be in the moment and let all the other things in life disappear.

“I think it helped me realise the important things in life. We get distracted by things that aren’t that important.

“It was extraordinary how every day provided amazing scenery and things to do and see. I thought there would rubbish in between but every day was extraordinary and different.

“You almost have to enjoy suffering sometimes. You have to find it in yourself to push on. There are moments every day when you are suffering.”

Joss said the route could be quite dangerous in places, but the worst part for him was getting wet and cold.

He said: “Generally speaking, it was very safe where we were. You can have some personal battles about how to keep going. But there is always the reward of getting to the top of a hill, for example.”

The couple finished their trip on January 13 in Ushuaia in Argentina, the southernmost part of South America known as the ‘End of the World’, and returned to the UK on January 18.

Asked if he would do it all again, Joss said: “I’d like to do it again. It’s nice to get out there and meet interesting people. I think it can be quite addictive. It becomes a way of life and a real community.”

For their next trip, Joss and Linda, are thinking about cycling across The Unitd States of America.

Joss added: “With cycling you get more of an organic feeling to travelling through a country. It helps you to have a simple life and you get out of it what you want.”