Argentina 1


On Thursday the 24th of March 2006, I am a bit under the weather, so it is an easy day of walking around Ushuaia and resting.  Ushuaia receives a cruise ship nearly everyday.


Sandy, freezing in the typical Ushuaia breeze (heavy winds).

This is the view from the docks of Ushuaia.  Most of Tierra del Fuego was rolling terrain, but about 25 miles north of Ushuaia, it turned into mountains.  It is late summer, but there is already snow in the mountains.



Ran into an Australian, that flew to Santiago, Chile and bought a used 650 Honda for $3,000 and plans to spend 5 months in South America.

He also rushed to Ushuaia, so he could head back north to warmer weather.

As we have said before, we have had two St. Bernard's and love them.

We have seen more St. Bernard's in Chile and Argentina, then we have seen in the last 20 years in California.


On the 25th we go on a day trip to the end of the road.


This is the kind of view we enjoyed riding the last 8 miles of road.

You can easily forget that you don't feel perfect when the scenery is like this.

It took us a while to get this far, but we finally made it.

No where to go now, but north!

Another thing to check off our list of things to get done before we die!

The end of "Ruta 3".

And Sandy is still smiling.

If you want to go farther, it would have to be on foot or boat.
This is a lake about 5 miles north of "roads end".

The bike got us there....

Will it get us home?

We have seen many foxes.......
This is the southern most full time Post Office, anywhere in the world.

Mailed our grandson a postcard from here.


This looks a little different than the "Ensenada" I am used to.  This is the Beagle Channel.



When we returned to Ushuaia, we took the ski lift to the top of the mountain to enjoy the view from the top.



At the top of the lift is a cabin, where we got warm and had pizza for lunch.
When we got back to Ushuaia, we visited the Museum at the old prison.

It is a highly rated prison, with a lot of history of the prison, the indigenous people of the area and the shipping history of the area.

We are also "Dali" fans, and we caught the next to last day of a "Dali Exposition", which ended the following day, when it returns back to Buenos Aires.

Each prison cell had a display of a particular topic.

Old prisons are ideal for conversion to a museum.

The prison was built like 5 spokes around a central hub.

One arm of the prison was left un-restored.

It was a very bleak environment.

Typical Ushuaia architecture.

March 28th we rode from Ushuaia to Rio Gallegos, a total of about 378.2 miles.  We departed Ushuaia in the rain, which lasted for nearly 2 hours.  The next 10 hours were very cold and windy.  We ran out of gas 15 miles outside Rio Gallegos.  Sandy hitch hiked with a truck driver, then returned to the bike in a taxi.  Ran out of gas just as the sun was setting



The total distance, on dirt was over 100 miles. 

The ferry crosses the Straights of Magellan at Bahia Azul.

The ferry used for the 5 mile crossing.
We were parked next to a load of sheep......
Here we are, 3 minutes prior to the sun setting (the reason for the peculiar lighting), and we are out of gas 15 miles short of Rio Gallegos.

Time for Sandy to hitchhike, while I guard the bike.


As soon as Sandy left, I turned around and this was the view.



And this was another 60 seconds later.



Today is the 30th of March, and we have spent 2 days, still a bit under the weather.  Too lazy, and weak, to pull the camera out for the last few days


Found a few loose bolts on the bike, so did a little wrenching before heading north.

For hundreds of miles the only entertainment is watching the Rhea's and Guanaco's.



Then it happened again.  This time we ran out of gas only 1 mile short of the gas station in Comt. Luis Piedra Buena, Argentina.  But we rolled to a stop right in front of a Hosteria.  While Sandy Hitchhiked to the station, I opened the book on Argentina, and this place was listed as a must see.


This, I hope is the last time we will run out of gas.

We bought a 10 litter jug for the upcoming long legs.

When we ran out of gas, we had crossed 1 of two bridges which crosses the Santa Cruz river.

We were on an island.

This is a high class 10 room fishing retreat located on the island of Pavon.

The room was excellent.....

2 large TV's with DirecTV

Bidet

Large, in room, Jacuzzi

Excellent food

Life is good again!


We stayed in the area of Luis Piedra Buena for a day, and did a little dirt roading....

We took dirt roads to Monte Leon National Park.  We saw only one car during our entire visit to the Park.


Remote....

Nice....

It was distant, but those are sea lions by the water, and penguins on the ridge.

These cliffs are why we could get no closer to the penguins.

150 foot drop off, and you can get as close to the edge as you dare!

Behind Sandy is "Island Monte Leon", where the cables were once used to collect Guano from the bird droppings on the island.
The cables were too far apart to put your toes on one cable and run your hands on the other.....

Sure....

This stand was built to look down into a cavern on the beach.

The sign reads "Peligro" (danger) near the edge of the cavern.

I think the observation stand was just as dangerous.

The cavern of La Gruta.

This was an old ferry which used to cross the 4 mile wide Santa Cruz river.



On Saturday the 1st of April, we again head north.  This could be the trend for the next 4 to 6 months.  The next destination is Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina.


Here we are, loaded up with fuel, in Puerto San Julian, from which the next fuel stop is 211 miles away in Caleta Olivia.

At 29 miles per gallon, I figured I could dump the entire container into the bike 79.26 miles down the road.

The dumping point.

The container is now empty again.

This is the typical terrain in the coastal Patagonia.

Well almost.... usually it is flat!

It goes on forever....
Caleta Olivia is an oil town.

Apparently, many years ago, somebody was drilling for water and hit oil.


It is getting warmer as we head north.  It is finally in the 70's.  The coastal views from Ruta 3 which follows the coast north towards Buenos Aires, which is still 1,200 miles away.



The city of Comodoro Rivadavia is the next large oil town, but is very progressive with it's use of alternative energy solutions.
View of more wind turbines from our 6th floor hotel window.
The old movie theater in Comodoro Rivadavia.

On Saturday, as we rode into town we noticed a race track on the south end of town, so on Sunday, the 2nd of April, we went to the races.


As we rode to the race track we noticed this church steeple.

If you have been following the story, you know that we have climbed many towers.

When I saw this steeple, I was glad that it was not one I had to climb.

The races had 2 types of cars.

This was one type...

And this, the other...

I think that all the cars had 4 cylinder, which screamed.



I realize that I have not taken enough pictures of the local and indigenous people, so I though this would be a good time to make up for it.  The following are photographs of REAL Argentine professional umbrella girls.  I think I now understand why guys like motorsports and racing......


Notice "male" with camera.
Sandy claimed that her figure was enhanced by the black side panel of her uniform.

I told Sandy that without the help of the black panel, not a guy in the world would look at her!

I will try and do a better job of taking more pictures of the locals....
I also have extensive video footage of the locals, if you are interested........
This was Toyotas car about 10 minutes before the race.

In 11 minutes this car went up in flames.

No accident.  Just a fuel leak.


That's it through April 2, 2006.  Hope all is will with Family and Friends.....


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