Trip Start Oct 20, 2009
159Trip End Jun 23, 2010
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Where I stayed
Rio Gallegos Apart Hotel
Preparation for leaving the La Posta Hostel consisted of polishing our riding boots and washing our riding suits, as they had become very dusty and dirty on the gravel roads. Des also washed the bikes and the panniers and we steadily started packing up ready for departure on Sunday 3.1.10. We went into Ushuaia town to get some Scotchguard for Des's riding jacket to help increase its water resistance after the washing.
Lou and Lynn organized a large print of Hector and the four of us at the end of National Highway Ruta 3, to give to Hector for his La Posta Hostel. He gave us some stickers for our panniers of Ruta 3, which was thoughtful
Leaving Ushuaia was very sad. We probably won’t come this way in our lives again. We have had such an amazing stay here, and seen some of the most picturesque sights we could ever wish to see. It’s hard to capture the beauty of Ushuaia on a photograph, you just don’t get that panoramic view, but we have been very fortunate to be able to experience it for ourselves.
The reflection of the mountains in the still water of the bay is something I will carry with me for a long, long time.
The ride through the mountains was as beautiful on the way out as it was on the way in, except that we didn’t stop at all on the way out, just enjoyed a scenic, leisurely ride around the sweeping bends
We rode 300km to the exit of the Chilean border and then the 110km of gravel road, the latter part of which had just been graded, making it extra slippery with the loose gravel. I negotiated it better this time, and was quite proud of myself for having done so. As we checked back into Argentina, we decided not to go the same hotel in Cerro Sombrero, as it was a bit expensive and Lou thought we could go to the hostel just the other side of the Magellan Straight.
The wind was howling during the evening and as we approached the 'Patagonia Ferry’ to cross the Straight, at about 6pm, we had to dawdle a bit while Lou and Lynn caught up to us. The ferry pilot had already given us a toot to get on board, but we kept looking back as if we were waiting for someone. All the other cars were already loaded. Just as the ‘drawbridge’ was about to be shut, Lou and Lynn appeared and we motioned them on to hurry onto the ferry
While we were on the ferry, a kind man gave us 2 cups of sweet, strong, black coffee and biscuits. We must have looked a sight, so windblown and cold looking. He also gave us a big, strong warning about riding in the high winds and told us to be very careful. We gave him a clip-on koala on the handle of one of his cups in return.
Once across the other side, we banged on the door of the hostel, but no one came out. We were told by the passengers of the ferry that it was closed down. The next town was Rio Gallegos, 94km away. We were all getting pretty tired by now as it had been a long day, starting off at 8:30am departure from the hostel, 2 border crossings, 1 gravel road, 1 police stop, 1 ferry crossing and now another jaunt to find a bed. I put my helmet back on, as did everyone else, and mounted my bike for the last leg of the day. As the scenery was flat and barren I kept myself entertained by singing all the songs I could remember from ‘The Sound of Music’
It stays light long, at 11pm it’s still not fully dark, and by 3:30am the sun starts to pop up again
We didn’t offload the bikes completely, just taking our day bags and roll bags in. We were so tired after the 580km this day, that we all just wanted to crash into bed. It’s mainly due to the strong, never ending winds in this part of the world. It saps your energy physically and mentally and leaves a whirlwind in your head when you remove your helmet. But they say, "That’s Patagonia"