Back across the boarder into Chile, we rode over 170km in the strong gusting winds along the Magellan Straits on the last dirt road on our odyssey.
We had to reach Porvenir by 1pm to embark on the car ferry arriving at Punta Arenas just after 5pm.
We returned the bikes, a quick shower and off to our final dinner.
Clutch in OET17…..
After breakfast we had time to walk around Ushuaia and its surroundings until after lunchtime ~ this is real frontierland with many Antarctic ships and round the world sailing yachts berthing here (this is not one of them!)
Our ride continues back northwards, to enable us to meet the ferry that will carry us to Punta Arenas tomorrow.
The road over the mountain is just wonderful as the weather is warm and dry however once we get down onto the Argentinian steppes the wind picks up to over 60km/h and makes for an interesting and wild final 100km.
Rio Grande is our home for the night and also the home base of many of those soldiers that fought and died in the Falklands Islands war.
Tomorrow we head for Puntas Arenas our final destination.
We crossed the heart of Tierra del Fuego much of it along the Atlantic Ocean. A border crossing into Argentina, series of lakes (just amazing that we had 21° and no wind!!) and finally mountain hairpin bends.
We finally descended to the southernmost city in the world reachable by land: Ushuaia.
To finish our ride today we rode the dirt through the stunning Lapataia National Park and to the signpost of Fin del Mundo (World’s End).
We finally celebrated in style tonight in Ushuaia with a dinner of the most southern fresh king crab and Argentinian steak and wine.
Clutch out this morning at 9am and a mix of bitumen and mostly dirt as we left the National Park with fantastic blue sky vistas of Torres del Paine.
Finally the mountainous ridge of the Andes gives way to the Argentinian steppes.
We ride the next 300km of beautiful straight road and struggle to stay awake. Fortunately the weather is good and there is no rain.
It’s been a long run since the last fuel and so we stop in at the only petrol station to find it has closed ~ it will be a difficult run in to C Sombrero.
Once we arrive at the Magellan Straits we rode onto the ferry for the quick trip across (amazingly absolutely no wind and 20°) finnally arriving onto the island of Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire).
Our final 35km into C Sombrero was a challenge seeing most bikes on empty as we finally arrived at the petrol station.
Off to Chile today; 9am clutch out, high cloud sky, and straight back onto Ruta40.
The road leaving El Calafate alternated between bitumen and dirt, fortunately sparing us the wind, which in this region blows with gusts that can reach 130 km/h.
A beautiful run up the steep winding escarpment was a morning delight despite the 8° temperature.
Once we crossed the border from Argentina, taking the obligatory minimum of 90 minutes, we stopped for lunch on the Chilean side.
It didn’t take long before the rain set in and some of us without waterproof gear stopped to put on their rain suits. Fortunately with practice Johnny is getting much faster.placeholder://placeholder://
We rode the dirt into the Torres del Paine National Park to see the the eighth wonder of the world!!!
Not! Due to the heavy rain and cloud this is reality!
We rode round the muddy circuit of the park and stopped at our Hotel Rio Serrano for the night.
If the weather hopefully clears tonight we will have an awesome view of the towering peaks from our hotel.
Today is a rest day and we were driven 80km out to Los Glaciares National Park to walk and of the majestic Perito Moreno Glacier.
Moreno Glacier is the third largest piece of ice in the world. The echoing crack of blocks of three hundred-year-old ice smashing onto the water is an unforgettable experience.
Another beautiful day where there is quiet respite from the wind in the morning. Rhino and a few others took up the challenge to head out horse riding for an hour before our clutch out.
The 130km unpaved road and the unrelenting 80 to 100 km winds was the toughest riding time yet. The windswept gusts continually push us out of the narrow car tracks we are trying to follow into the larger gravel mounds.
Despite being compensated with the views of the Viedma and Argentino lakes when we arrived at the end of this 120km section of dirt our Italian friend Claudio fell to the ground and kissed the bitumen as thanks for arriving safely.
We then stopped at the Hotel La Leona for lunch in the historic estancia that gave refuge to Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid and Ethel Place when in flight after a robbery.
The excellent road surface then ran right through to El Calafate, a much larger tourist town, where we stayed at the Design Suites Hotel located with stunning views overlooking the Argentino Lake.