19 Feb 2012, Rio Gallegos to Ushuaia, Argentina
Left Rio Gallegos at 0730 straight to the gas station no one there filled up and on my way, freezing, road works out of town again, arrived at the border at 0820 stopped at the Argentine building and they said to go on to the Chile building about 1k down the road they were combined now, put my gear back on and rode there saw a queue of cars went to the front and parked near the entrance, stood in the queue and filled in the Immigration and Aduana forms, first Chile immigration had to show them passport and the bike title, stamps and then to the Argentine TVIP handed the old form in, then Chile TVIP filled in another form and was issued a new TVIP then to the Aduana got it stamped and went out and gave it to one of the inspectors had to open all three boxes then he said go at 0940, took 1:20min a full on border crossing.
Rode on to the ferry got there at 1015 queue of cars rode to the front, ferry left at 1045 and got to the other side at 1100, cost ARS45 or $9 but no one checked tickets and I only discovered where to buy when I went inside to have a look, half an hour on the pavement drizzled for a bit and then onto the dirt at 1130 first and last 20k’s not bad in between varied got to Chile Immigration at 1315, 115k’s of dirt in 1:45hrs, queue again, handed in the Chile TVIP after only 3.5 hours of being in Chile and got stamped out finished at 1345, 30min, rode off still on the dirt for another 15k’s, then Argentine Immigration queue again at 1355, got stamped in and issued another TVIP hahahaha, topped up tank with the 6lt of fuel and left at 1415.
Pavement now rode on to Rio Grande 120kph made good time, they launched the Falklands war from here, arrived there at 1530 filled up and left asked gas guy and got the wrong directions kept asking and one guy said follow me and showed me the way out, drizzled again very cold, strong winds all day making it even colder, road now winding through the mountains at the end slow local traffic and some idiots on quads and trail bikes throwing up clouds of dust riding alongside the road and trucks following them very slowly causing a road block, scenery like Alaska, snow on the mountains, 20k’s out started to feel dizzy, realised I hadn’t eaten all day except for a Coke and a Snickers and I was burning calories to keep warm probably low blood sugar levels, arrived at Ushuaia stopped and checked the Google cached maps to get my bearings and then rode straight to the hotel, arrived at 1805, 581k’s in 10:35.
3 border crossings unbelievable with the number of tourists coming through they should have streamlined this crossing, booked a bus ticket to the National park ARS 85 return $17.
20 Feb 2012, Tierra del Fuego National Park, Argentina
Decided I had to eat as much as possible today, probably lost 5kg in the last 4 months, started snowing at 0930, the forecast was for snow but I did not think it would happen its summer here and at only 55 degrees South which is about the same latitude as Edmonton, Canada is in the North it should not be that cold, Prudhoe Bay, Arctic sea was 70 degrees North and no snow there in summer another micro climate, glad I decided to take the bus and not ride.
Bus arrived early went around picking up other people got to the park 20k’s away at 1030 got dropped off at the visitors centre still snowing wandered around inside bought a fridge magnet and a sticker and a neck warmer like I used in Alaska should keep my face warm tomorrow, then had a snack and a coffee big cafeteria with views all round very well done eventually snow stopped and I walked to the Lake Roca café and back campground there with lots of tents and bon fires, bus came at 1300 got on and then did 2 circuits of the park picking people up and dropping them off, back to the hotel at 1400.
Now you’re all the way down– and congratulations are in order! That dog looks very unhappy. And the bike is looking fine against that house (what style of architecture is that?!)
You would be unhappy too if you were sitting on the ground in the freezing cold.
That is my expensive Hotel and its the corrugated iron style of architecture unique to all hostile environments where bricks and mortar are hard to find.
What now? Faulkland Islands? Do ride up the west coast?
Now its time for a Kit Kat