Saturday, January 19, 2013

What Ushuaia?

We left early from Puerto San Julian headed south to the first border. We had some fuel so we made the mistake of not stopping about 120 km out of town and had to reduce our speed considerably the last 130 km since there were no fuel stations until we reached Rio Gallogas. Once we got fuel we continued on to the border and spent two hours making that crossing.


We then went on to the ferry and crossed the Magellan strait into Tierra del Fuego . We continued for about 40 km until we reached the gravel section which we rode for 107 km until we reached the Chilean side of the border completed our crossing and then another 14 km of gravel until we reached the Argentinean side then we hit the tarmac.


Initially we were headed toward Rio Grande and then continue tomorrow Ushuaia but since we were already having a long day and the road was good we decided to continue on to Ushuaia and spending two nights there.


We ran into the fuel issue again until we reached a station 100 km away form Ushuaia and had dinner there also. We reached Ushuaia around 1:00 am and spent about an hour until we found a hotel with the air of a guy from Rio Grande with the condition that it be only one night since the hotel was booked.


In the morning we got up as late as possible had breakfast, reserved another hotel online, checked out of the current hotel and went looking for possible shipping for our bikes at the tourist information center.


We managed to find the Ushuaia end of the world sign and Ali talked to the biggest shipping company who stated no shipping to Kuwait. We also cam across a tour guide who mentioned that we should go to the end of Routa 3 which ends in a national park and with a sign that mentions the distance to Alaska.


So we checked into the new hotel and on the way met three bikes two of which where on Goldwings from Brazil, We asked how they managed to cross the gravel road, and they mentioned that it was normal riding although they do get banged up from underneath. Tomorrow we go to Punta Arenas in Chile with the hopes of finding shipping there since we didn't want to ride Routa 3 all the way to Buenos Aires.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

To Puerto San Julian

We left Gobernador Costa early with the intent of doing 800 km. We were on Routa 40 right up until it turned into gravel and veered off east crossing the continent and an oil field until we reached the
Atlantic.



We came across the Uruguay family twice along the way and ended up staying at a nice hotel in Puerto San Julian which is a nice port town.




Tomorrow we head for Rio Grande crossing the border twice and riding a ferry.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Indecision

Up to today we haven't had any progress in finding confirmed shipping for our bikes from Ushuaia and time is running out we don't have enough time to go to Ushuaia and then back to Buenos Aires since that is the only place we now know we can ship out of.


So after a lengthy discussion yesterday we decided to not continue to Ushuaia and go to Buenos Aires instead. However this morning Hussain declared that he wanted to go to Ushuaia alone. We had another discussion and decided to go as far as El Calafate and then see if we get any news of shipping by then.



So we left down Routa 40 headed south until we reached a small town called Gobernador Costa and found a small hotel . We walked around town and stumbled on a family from Uruguay who were going across to route 3 which turned out to be faster since it was all tarmac.


We calculated that if we skipped some of the sights we can make it to Ushuaia and back to Buenos Aires in time. So that is what we decided to do.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

7 lakes to Bariloche


During the planning phase we stumbled across route 234 which is supposed to be very scenic and goes by 7 lakes. The family running the hostel were very impressed with us that they wanted to take a picture with us before we left.


We started down rout 234 and had to stop several times since the scenes were so picturesque , every one on the rout stops at the look out stops so we got to meet many people.


On one of the stops we got to see a 1964 Mercedes camper that looked incredible. it was like we went back in time.The owner wanted to take pictures with our bikes and we wanted pictures of his truck.


The route continued until we reached the gravel part which lasted almost 30 km and past the construction where they are turning the gravel into tarmac.




We reached the hotel in the afternoon with rooms overlooking the lake and mountains it was a great view and a nice end to a great riding day.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Walking in San Martin


Today was washing cloths and exploring the town day but it had to start late since I was having trouble with the laptop connecting to the internet. We had coffee at the best coffee place in town and walked around exploring and found T-shirts with Routa 40 on it which is the main route south to El-Calafate and crossing Patagonia.







Tomorrow we head down route 234 visiting 7 lakes on our way to San Carlos de Bariloche.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

To San Martin

We decided to meet up at my hotel at 7:30 am since it was the closest to the end of town. With only some fruits for breakfast I was waiting for Ali and Hussain who had to ride over some sidewalks to get to me due to the closing of some of the roads for the triathlon.


Once they arrived we left right away down the road towards Argentina until the GPS told me to take a left when there was no road. We continued for almost 15 km until we asked and realized we were going the wrong way. We turned around and started to look for the right road until we asked a guy coming off a gravel road who said that it was the way to Argentina. We rode on gravel for 5 km and asked again, a nice woman explained that the gravel road would take us to Argentina but it wan't the best way. She mentioned another road further back but warned us that it might be closed due to the race.



We decided to go back crossing the 5 km of gravel again and about another 5 km of tarmac until we reached the turn off and found that it was closed since the race already started and will not be open until 4 pm. So we decided to go back to the gavel road and take our chances which tuned out great especially since the road went past many farms and the country side until we reached the road and then found new gravel until the border.




The border was fairly easy and we continued down route 234 to San Martin where we had booked a nice hostel in the middle of town and then went to explore the town with lunch at a very nice restaurant. and found a cafe for tomorrow's coffee time. 




Saturday, January 12, 2013

To the Volcano

When I checked in yesterday to the hotel a list of activities was on a blackboard that caught my attention, it was for a flight on a small plane to the top of Volcano Villarrica. So we decided to go for it and in the morning I went to Ali's hotel for breakfast since there was no breakfast at the hotel I was staying at and then we all gathered at the hotel swinging in the hammocks waiting to go visit the volcano.


Once the driver took us to the airport we got very excited until we saw the plane and the cross winds and were told that the first 5 minutes will be turbulent until the small Cessna plane got to higher altitude.


The view from the plane were magnificent we went over Pucon and for 20 minutes continued to gain altitude so that we could reach the top of the volcano.


On the way we got to see many hikers on the trail climbing the volcano and the view from the top was breathtaking. We wanted to see some red but all we got was some smoke, even though it is an active volcano.



We took off from Pucon airfield and landed in Villarrica airfield with an experience that we truly recommend as far as you take your motion sickness pills.


Later that day we went into town and got to see all the preparation for the triathlon. We decided to leave really early tomorrow to avoid the closing of the roads especially since it is the same way to Argentina.