Chile 11


I am sitting here in the hotel room on the 25th of March trying to get caught up with the web site.  We are now in Ushuaia, Argentina.  We are as far south as you can drive.  Ushuaia is the southern most city in the world.  We are only 580 miles from the peninsula of Antarctica!  It is windy and cold.  When riding, the wind is so strong that it can take your tight fitting helmet and twist it on your head so that you go blind in one eye.  It is like the strongest Santa Ana winds at home, but cold and cutting.  Your eyes freeze, then tear, then burn.  But every minute is worth the enjoyment of seeing this wonderful land!  We have passed the 12,000 mile mark of our trip and that is only traveling south.  Initially we thought that we would travel about 25,000 miles to circle the continent.  We now know that it will, more than likely, be somewhere between 30,000 and 35,000 miles to see the sights we want to see.



On the 19th of March we head from Puerto Natales for 2 days in the beautiful "Torres del Paine" area.  All I can say is that it is incredible.  It is another "Do before you die" thing.  Took over 300 pictures.  Every time you turn your head, there is a scene you want to capture.  And if you do not turn your head, the weather, clouds and sun light will change, and it is another moment to capture.  One evening, at our hotel, we sat and had a drink, looking out the windows.  I got up every 5 minutes to take another picture of exactly the some thing, because the clouds and lighting had changed significantly from 5 minutes earlier.


We head towards Torres del Paine on a great cement road, thinking it had been paved the 100+ miles to the park.

 

Not!

It only went for about 8 miles, then dirt for the balance of the trip.

Every time we cross a bridge, we think of Simon Thomas and his accident.
Our first sighting of Torres del Paine......

The dirt roads are very good.  The winds were very strong, as you can see from the clouds formed by the peaks....



Guanacos, which are related to the camel.

We saw herd after herd.

This is when we wished we were carrying a SLR with a telephoto lens.

The small pink things are FLAMINGO's!

Grandma, with a lot of guys in uniform...
We have seen many foxes.

Everywhere you look, it is a "Post Card" scene.



What a day!

Dirt roads and beautiful mountains.

I am a happy guy today.

We left a lot of our items at the hostel in Puerto Natales, so we were lighter than usual, so riding the bike was a lot of fun.

Sandy, Guanacos, Mountains and Dirt Roads......

Life is good.......

I think the R100GS seemed happy.

It was the perfect GS environment! 

The beast and "Torres del Paine".
The Guanacos are not as skittish as deer.
They seem to hang out in herds of about 20 to 30.
The GS is slowly turning the same color as the Guanacos!

More Flamingos.....
No comment....
This is GS country.

Notice the different colors of the two lakes.  The lake in the background is colored from glacier waters.



The dirt roads were in excellent shape.
The waterfall named "Salto Grande" which flows the waters from "Lago Nordenskjold" to "Lago Pehoe".
Same falls.

Different angle.

Hotel Pehoe, which is on an island in "Lago Pehoe".

When we got to Lago Grey, we wanted to take a 15 mile boat ride to the foot of another glacier.  But we had to wait until the following morning.  There was only one hotel in the area, and it was a five star resort named Lago Grey.  We must suffer.  This is the view from the hotel.



Another view from the hotel, which is on the shores of Lago Grey.

The hotel is on the south end of the lake.

Icebergs from the glacier at the north end of the lake (15 miles away).

We sat in the bar and watched the clouds change every 5 minutes.

Hey.... Somebody has to drink the Pisco Sours!


Five minutes later.



Our diet is merely for subsistence.....
Last year I read an article about 8 airplanes from the United States which circled South America for 30 days.

I was very interested in the article.

Lo and Behold, we ran into their "2006" adventure.

Four airplanes for 30 days flying around South America.

Made for an interesting evening.

They were all traveling in pressurized aircraft.

I'am afraid our Cessna Cardinal would not have fit in with this group!

 

http://www.airjourney.com/?fuseaction=journeys.detail&id=30


On Monday, the 20th of March we arise to this...... No wind and clear!

We were told that during the prior 3 weeks it had rained and you could not see the mountains.



So it was time to catch the boat which would take us from the southern end of Lago Grey, where the hotel was located, and take us to the glaciar at the north end of the 15 mile long lake.
The blue color is caused by compression of the ice, when it was buried deep in the glacier.
The Lago is littered with bergs.
About 8 miles to go, to the base of the glaciers.
Why the smirk?

I have no idea.


The following satellite picture shows the Icebergs from space.



I know from our prior trip to Alaska, that 15% of an iceberg is above water and 85% is below the water line.

Is the ratio any different in fresh water?

 

(Ron Williams...

Do you have a new ratio?)

The glacier is 23 miles long.
Not missing work, at all.......
The deep blue color is amazing....


And it was almost a summer day for down here (between 48 and 52 degrees).
One of the crew speared a large chunk of ice and brought it onboard.

Ten minutes later we were served Pisco Sours, with ice that was 12,000 years old!

A pisco sour at 10:00 am....

Do I have a drinking problem?

View of the peaks, on the east side of the lake.

If you go back up to the satellite picture, you can clearly see the shadow this mountains casts on the lake.

On the dirt road heading back to Puerto Natales.

Lago Grey's 5 star hotel was a little too expensive to stay another night.

For my pilot friends...

What kind of cloud is this?

Very unusual!


110 miles of this!  Somebody has to ride it!



Twenty miles later, and you can still see the weird cloud formation!
And the roads are all dirt.

Loving it!


"Torres del Paine"

What a place..........


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