My extended 3 week stay in a tent Ushuaia style has finally come to an end. Now it’s time to say goodbye to another Argentinian family who I just adore. I really loved living here, Camp Rio Pipos for any of you heading to Ushuaia, I highly recommend!!
I have no idea what could ever replace my mornings of having a helicopter land on my breakfast table!
There was a young couple from Poland staying at the campground and we chose to ride together today to Punta Arenas Chile, about 430 km north.
We got to the border and there was this motorbike parked using the fence to prop it up. I thought, this bike has to be a joke, there is no way somebody actually rides it! But I was wrong, the rider was waiting in line for immigration and sipping on his Yerba Mate.
The headlight is busted out and there is no side stand.. and I don’t think it could handle a side stand anyway! And I never want to hear anybody judge me by my black bag again. This is a male rider!!
There is a cheese grater by the license plate. The computer bag is hanging over the fence side of the bike.. open! I wish I had a Horizons Unlimited business card. The guy needs some guidance from their website! But I may take up his idea to travel with a cheese grater..!
The road to Porvenir Chile, where we’ll catch the afternoon ferry.
Even with 3 gps’s at work, there is always a question which way to turn in town.
Irrelevant. I remember thinking while watching the Mom do yardwork, that I haven’t worked in my own yard for 2 1/2 years.. and thinking about my yard caused me to take this photo. Not logical but that’s a bit more insight into how my mind works than you need! ;-)))
We got to the ferry on time, which is important because there is no ferry again until this time tomorrow!
I think every ferry I’ve ever been on is where we meet other riders.. always! Here we met some guys from Brazil.
We stayed the night in Punta Arenas. James had been living here for 3 weeks, so there wasn’t much point in hanging around. I got my new tires (Heidenau’s! ;-)) the next day and we headed north to Perito Moreno Glacier.
First glimpse of the glacier.. wow!
Perito Moreno Glacier is the most impressive massive glacier I’ve seen on the planet thus far. I knew it was a highlight for the area. Quite honestly, I’ve seen plenty of glaciers in northern Canada and Alaska and was just expecting the same. But this crazy glacier blows those other ones away and well worth the journey!
I usually don’t like photos that include tourists, but this one I like because it’s a better perspective of just house enormous this thing is!
Every few minutes there is the large sound of thunder, which is not thunder but the sound of a big piece of ice breaking off and crashing into the water.. spectacular!
To me, this looks like nature’s cathedral.
I really enjoyed hanging about. The park services did an excellent job putting together viewing platforms from top to bottom and even a boat to get you closer.
We stayed in El Calafate, and I made a surprise decision, even for myself! The road north of here is supposed to be gorgeous, the Carretera Austral through Chile. What will I see? More beauty.. lovely lakes, mountains, views, the type of world we dream of. But I’ve been seeing beautiful lakes, glaciers, views, Iguazu Falls, Machu Picchu, Galapagos Islands.. the list goes on forever! Feeling very content and ready to complete my South American tour, I decide to bypass more pretty roads, leave James behind and head out. My plan is to get to Buenos Aires where I’ll be shipping my bike to New Zealand. Buenos Aires is the last big thing on my list for this part of the world and all I can think about is getting there and preparing myself and my bike for the next phase of the Because I Can World Tour!
My heated jacket is still not working, so in this chilly weather I’ve got all my layers on including my winter coat! This is one supersize Sherri Jo, but at least I’ll be warm~!
James is not so pleased that I’m leaving. It’s always hard to say goodbye to friends you travel with. But there is no question.. I gotta go! James still has a lot to accomplish of South America, including Bolivia.. big wishes that the remainder of his travels are safe, a nice big hug and I’m gone.
After all those photos I took yesterday at Perito Moreno Glacier, I forgot to recharge my camera batteries last night. This is the one and only photo I took all day.. What a shame! This road was crazy. 280 kilometers of super deep gravel ALONE. I did not see a single car all day, only a couple on a double bicycle loaded down with gear, which to me is worse! I stopped and asked if they needed anything as they were pushing that push bike up a hill. They didn’t. Why the heck would you come to this part of the world and ride this gravel road on a bike!? I guess I’m not one to speak. It was a shortcut for me, is why I’m riding it today..
You see that little bit of blue sky in the photo above? I chased it the entire ride. It was black, pouring rain in El Calafate, and didn’t want it to get me so my goal was to ride faster than the clouds and I won!
I couldn’t believe it. I rode so fast standing on my foot pegs, nearly hitting every Vicuna on the way. I wish I got photos of them, they were great. Near the end of the road, I was wondering how much farther to Ruta 3, so I looked down at my gps. In that split second I put myself into the middle of the road where the gravel was the thickest.. Really deep. My bike starting swaying so hard back and forth in the soft rocks, there was no question I was going down big time. It kept swaying and I kept trying to gently direct the sway out of the gravel.. and I won that battle too! Seriously couldn’t believe that one either.. I was going way down and didn’t!! I slowly came to a stop.. took a few breaths.. said a few bad words. Saw the gps finally, it said only 5 km’s to Ruta 3. If only I had known I shouldn’t have bothered to look.
Once on Ruta 3, I turned north and that wind was blowing a gale. I had it behind me down the gravel road riding east, which was great. But it was evil as I rode north again. I was tired and didn’t feel like battling the wind, but I did it anyway and made it back to the same campsite I used on the way down a few weeks ago near Puerto San Julian.
Now I just need to concentrate on riding north 2,200 km (1367 miles) to Buenos Aires.
Fairly uneventful.. few photos, just wanting to get the job done.
I stopped in Puerto Madryn for the night at a backpackers and learned about Peninsula Valdes. Some of the young guys were telling me there are Orcas out the peninsula. Well, I haven’t seen an Orca yet!! I decided to ride the gravel roads out there to try my luck. There is no guarantee they’ll be there the next day, but it’s worth a try!
You can see how the wind blows the sand and gravel around like snow.. Nonetheless, it’s a super easy ride. Well maintained road.
I arrived the point for the best views of the Orcas supposedly. I was early enough that I was the first one there. The park ranger was really cool. He said I’d have to hang around all day to see the Orcas and if they show up, they are pretty far out there. You need high tide for them to be close, which is around 4pm. My Orca experience is getting dimmer and dimmer.
The sea lions are cool though! I’ve seen a fair amount of these guys lately, so I’m not as excited as I should be. Really enjoy watching the pups play, they are so goofy! But I get an unnecessary worry when one of the babies is crying to his Mom out to sea. I can’t help but to want to sit with it, keep it calm, give it some fish.. but I can’t!
Back down the dirt road, the same way I came in to head back to the mainland for my ride north. I still have quite a lot to accomplish today.
One last stop at Puerto Piramides.. It’s time for a very late lunch, about 3 pm.. and I’m starving!!
Mmmmm. Vegetable tart at a cute little oceanside cafe!!
El viento viene.. El viento se va. (The wind comes, the wind goes… ) That is South Argentinian life,and I can say it comes far more than it goes!!!
Finished the road.. no Orcas.. but lots of Sea lions and an awesome lunch. Now.. on to Buenos Aires!!!