Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ushuaia to Bs.As.

April 1st 2011
After a few last pictures from Ushuaia it's time to come back to Buenos Aires. At the unpaved Northern part of Tiera del Fuego, my friend Fernando lost his chain. The chain then went flying on his engine casing which then started pissing oil. Then next town is Rio Gallegos and we have to enter/leave Chile to come back again to Buenos Aires. I had a bottle of black oil I was using to lube the chain, we pourred it into Fernando's bike when level was going low. We managed to cross the last border just before it closed AND find oil from a trucker guy waiting there at the border. We had enough oil to reach the next town.

We've found a hostel then cleaned the bike up the naxt day to see what's wrong. Yes the engine casing had a crack. Fernando patched it with some kind of liquid metal I had. 
My bike covered of oil from follwing Fernando. 
His chain was gone, had loose in every direction I couldn't beleive the thing was still holding. We went looking for parts but Fernando didn't want to buy a new chain since it's cheaper in Buenos Aires. I was just hoping the thing will still hold until then.

We made it to Puerto Madryn. 
Near Puerto Madryn there's Peninsula Valdes. In Peninsula Valdes there are some "mulitas". They can't see anything but they sure can smell food, and if you have some they won't leave you alone. 
And also there are sea lions and elephant seals lying down the beach just waiting for some killer Orcas (a whale) to come over kill them! No kidding, and there's a whole bunch of people going there hoping to see that. Well they didn't come that day.  

Also some cute little pinguinos. 

And that was it about Peninsula Valdes.

Then food and beers.
Did I mentionned in Argentina everybody is drinking Mate. It's like a wooden carved mug when you put some king of tea and drink it with hot water. In every gas station you can find hot water and everyone is carrying a thermos so they can fill up hot water easily.  
We stopped in Azul on the way at kinda biker friendly litle hostel.  
And Jorge a great guy making it possible, I could see writtings from travelers I personaly met,  so many have stopped there.

Then Buenos Aires. April 6th. 

And I met this nice women the 1st time I came here, apparently she was waiting for me there so I paid for a month at the same hostel I was in Recoleta, to see what will happen.  

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tierra del Fuego - Ushuaia

March 29th 2011
I left Puerto Natales in the morning and decided to skip Punta Arena and went east to the short free ferry to Tierra del Fuego.

I as get off the ferry I saw a few motocyclists so so I went over to chat. They told me they are going to Alaska in 2 months!!! I saw a truck full of tires. They paid for an organized tour. 2 months is quite unrealistic, it took me 6 months from Canada to get there and it felt to me I had to rush at the end.... I'll keep my comments on that for myself...
Here's Tiera del Fuego.
There are many dirt roads going to San Sebastian, the next "town". I followed my gps to a more unused road. It rained there lately because the road soon became hard to ride, lots of mud.

Then it was nice.
Puerto Natales is in Chile, the ferry is in Chile, I needed to cross a border to Argentina to reach Ushuaia. For some reasons Tiera del Fuego is about half in Chile and half in Argentina.

Past the border, at San Sebastian, the road became paved again. Good thing since the sun went down and it's always safer not ridding dirt at night.
I got in Rio Grande and decided to stay there for the night. I could have made it to Ushuaia but I wanted to arrive during daylight and take pictures and the Ushuaia sign and take my time to find a place to stay.
In Rio Grande there's on one hostel, otherwise everything else was either full or very expensive. Met some cyclist there, nice people, they've met the "crazy" bikers group on their 1st night out.
I received an email from Fernando, when he had problems with his bike on routa 40 a pickup truck picked him up and he went to Rio Turbio, near Puerto Natales. He was waiting for me there but I had no nay of knowing that, anyway he was in Ushuaia and told me where he was.
I had to do about 220km to Ushuaia, not very much, but it was a little cold and was raining.
As you get closer the landscape change, from flat field and deserts to hills, lakes and mountains.

I took a million pictures here at that sign.
I made it!!!!!! Nobody now can take this away from me. I rode my motorcycle from Calgary, Canada, to Ushuaia, Argentina. About 33000 km later.

I met Fernando at the hostel he was. It was his birthdate so we got some good food and wine at a buffet.
We wanted to take a boat and go down the Beagle Canal for a day cruise. There are penguin colonies there, a light house, etc. Due to weather no boat will be leaving that day. We walked around a little instead and took a few pictures. I will be our last day in Ushuaia.

We decided to go to the National Park there. I've let Fernando do the talking so I paid local price. In Argentina they charge much more when you are a tourist VS a Argentinian... The thing is we got there too late, it became dark by the time we reached the end.
April 1st 2011
We left Ushuaia, next destination: Buenos Aires, at 3043 km away.

Next post will be about our way back to Buenos Aires, the adventure is not totally over just yet.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Torres del Paine

March 27th 2011
From El Calafate (previous post) to Puerto Natales, which is in Chile. The border was quick and painless, like it should be. Puerto Natales is very close to the National Park Torres del Paine.

Found a nice hostel and got some very good Chilean beers. 
The hostel also organize many hikes and do tours in the park, so they were very knowledgeable about it. I decided to do a one day loop across the park and skip the hiking. It's about 250km total, mostly gravel road, in good condition.  

I found it to be very similar to western Canada; blue lakes and mouintains.  

Many llamas everywhere, same as the rest of Patagonia. 

Also some big bird that doesn't fly, in Patagonia when they see you they ran away like their life where in danger. They can't jump a 2 feet high fence and will try to get across anyhow... Here in Torres del Paine they seem used to human life, so you can get closer for a picture. 
The next day, I left to get closer to Ushuaia, coming up!