For three days riding a couple thousand kilometers in one of the windiest places on earth, I was beyond lucky to arrive without any wind, no struggles, nice and warm air.. unheard of!
I didn’t expect that luck to last even one day more, so when the wind picked up on my 2nd night in the campground, I was like, “there you are!!”. It’s a good thing Gabby left, because this is what I woke up to!
I shouldn’t say woke up, because I was awake most of the night battling the wind. I kept unzipping the tent and trying to figure out in the dark what I should do with the bike. I moved it like 3 times, and thought I had it right. I thought about laying it down on the ground and be done with it, but I worried myself that if laying horizontal for too long would cause some other damage or problem to the bike, especially with my recently!.Somewhere between 4 and 5 AM, I must have finally slept through the roaring noise. When I opened my tent one last time with a bit of daylight, the bike was down. I didn’t hear it fall! Either from lack of sleep or it went with the sound of crashing trees right across from me, I don’t know. I did hear the crashing trees, most familiar with that sound. I remember throwing my arms over my head and hoping for the best! I do admit I considered putting my helmet on to try to sleep. That tree crashed close enough to me confirming I should have done exactly that! There were some great suggestions from facebook friends hat I should have just laid my bike down to begin with (I knew it!) or lean it against a tree. I did even better after that. There were two trees growing closely together. I could park it between them which will hold up the bike no matter what direction the wind might blow. The family that own the campground have a large building with kitchen, etc. When I walked in that morning, they say, “You’re alive!!” The son, Gaston, calls me Julia (Hoolia) He doesn’t know why, he just thinks I look like a Julia. I’m okay with that since it’s my most gorgeous nieces name, so Julia (Hoolia) it is! They say, “Julia, next time the weather is like that you come inside the building for the night to be safe.”
Here is where I’ll be camping for a while, Rio Pipos. I need to wait on James who is in Punta Arenas, Chile which is 430 kilometers away to wait for his BMW parts to arrive from England. It’s going to take awhile. He keeps saying 5 days express post, but I’ve been down that road. There is no 5 days about it! South American customs, no matter which country, would never allow a package to arrive that easy..NEVER!! So I settle in.
Finally a nice weather day, thought I’d go and ride around Ushuaia, just because I can. Also I need a hardware store since most of the bolts to my panniers are missing from the rugged gravel ride south, so it might be worth replacing those today too!
I got a kick out of the trees below. How they grew through the strong winds is interesting, and proof you need to be tough to survive at the bottom of the world!
I do like it here. Most riders get their “badge”, have their celebratory drinks, a photo, and leave the next day. I can’t help to keep thinking that out of all the places in the world I get to call home for a while, it’s at the very tippy bottom of the world, Ushuaia.
Every morning I walked into this building to have my breakfast and work on the internet.. blog of course! Ruben always had something for me. A piece of chocolate, fruit salad, one day even a big slice of cake! And then he takes to flying his little remote control helicopter around the room, with me being his target practice. This truly was completely entertaining and he’s quite good at it! He flies it up through the rafters, around big lights to land on my little desk.
This is Argentina, they make good food. Usually an asado (lots of meat on the supersize indoor grill) is happening, today is empanada day. Quite a big project from one woman, Maria. So she puts her husband to work!
Focus, Ruben, Focus!! He can’t… ;-)))
They are such a close family. Four sons, wives and grandchildren stop by every single day.
You couldn’t ask for a better Grandpa…
One day, number 4 son, Gaston came in and asked, “Julia, my brother and I are going on a hike today, would you like to come?” Si!! Yes!!! Anything to get out of here and do something different!
I had no idea where we are going, doesn’t really matter. We just left!
We drove down the road for bit in the car, parked it and this is the beginning of the trail.. Looks freakin’ good to me!!
We came across several of these very impressive beaver dams. Beavers are introduced species here and actually cause a lot of damage. But you have to admit, that’s a pretty cool house!
The melting glacier above supplies this beautiful lake.
We hiked to this point, the goal for Gaston, his brother and friend. Here we will stop and eat our lunch. How’s this for a little lunch break!!?? I love my life!!
The color of this glacial water is striking. I remember similar colors in the water around Lake Louise, near Banff, Canada.
After lunch, you can always count on the wind picking up, especially around the mountains.. And boy did it ever!
We took a different path to the car and walked through a property that does dog sled tours.. in the winter of course! For now it looks like they remain tied to a pole with a barrel house.
Thanks Gaston for inviting for this awesome hike. A true highlight of my time in Ushuaia!
A couple days later I got a surprise visit from none other than James!
That sucker had returned the day before from Punta Arenas by bus, fixed his motorcycle which was stored in town and then came out to see us. What a surprise! I guess I can now start making plans for my future, I was starting to think I would be living in Ushuaia forever!
James had asked me long ago to wait making the obligatory ride to the official end of the road until he was here. So today we can finally, finally, finally after my break down and his break down make it to the end of the road.. woo hoo!!
Some lazy views as we ride through National Park Tierra del Fuego.
I’ll just stay here..
Here we are.. no riding south of here unless we continue via icebergs to Antarctica! 😉
I finally got my scout badge.. The famous photo at the end of the road. The southern most point on the planet we can ride a motorcycle.
I’m so happy we have two functioning motorcycles. This means my time at the bottom of the world is perfectly complete. What a ride!!!