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Old 02-08-2014, 01:19 PM   #676
DRRambler OP
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Day 155 Tierra del Fuego

Day 155 Rio Gallegos to Rio Grande February 6

Our hotel room window was so close we just passed our luggage through.



One of antique pieces at the hotel



Our switch install from yesterday



Today turned out to be a pretty big day with about 350km, two border crossings and a ferry. The skies were mostly cloudy when we left the hotel but some sun was getting through to make it 17 degrees.

I almost shed some of my layers but am glad I did not because the wind is so cold. In no time we covered 70km and arrived at the border but discovered a very long line of people in the building.





It took about two hours to get through the line. This border, like many of the Argentina and Chile borders have a great system. Both the countries officials are under one roof and the stations are numbered so you know exactly which line to stand in first. It's pretty efficient if they have enough staff to handle the volume.

We got back on the bikes in the rain and this time had no inspection of our luggage. The ferry that crosses the Magellan Straight is another 55km from the border. We rode past the long line of trucks and cars at the terminal. It appeared as though the officials didn't like our move to the front and waved at us to move over to the side.



A ferry was loading at the time but they did not allow us to board and it set sail. A few minutes later another boat arrived and again they held us back. At the last minute we got the go ahead and rode on.



Before our engines were shut off the ferry closed it's ramp and set off across the straight. It was so windy we thought the bikes would fall over so we stayed with them for the crossing.

We reached the other side really quickly and rode off onto the Island of Tierra del Fuego without being asked to pay a fare. We talked to other travelers that say this is normal. Perhaps we pay going the other way.

Because today's ride was right about the distance of our fuel range we needed a top up. Research told me that there is fuel at Cerro Sombrero not far after the ferry. This turned out to be correct and we bought 5000 pesos of fuel each. This being Chile, the price was almost $2 per liter so we added about 5 liters per bike.
Next we followed the advice of wise people we met way back in Susques Argentina.
They said do not take the road that shows on maps as the major road. Go south directly from Cerro Sombrero on highway 79. It was really good gravel for the most part and they are paving a section of it.

A little muddy in places today. By the way my visor did not break or fall off. I removed it because of the wind. My neck is thanking me for that decision.



There is a crossroads about 80km south of Cerro Sombrerro where we turned east and headed for the border. This border had separate facilities so we checked out of Chile and 14km later checked back into Argentina. We discovered there is fuel at the border on the Argentina side so we filled up there and were swarmed by the occupants of a tour bus.





They were thrilled to find out how long we had travelled to get here and were full of questions.

This is oil country



Can you see it? It's the Atlantic Ocean!





80km later we were in Rio Grande.
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:58 PM   #677
kalahari-k
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Congratulations and Gracias

People are saying you've made it. Congratulations! It's been amazing seeing the beauty of the areas you traveled - really eye opening.

You should start a beer fund! You'd have beer for life! More seriously, I'll definitely contribute to your primary cause, which is for spinal cord injury rehab as far as I remember. Is it a sort of exo-skeleton providing mobility to paraplegics? And what was your blog site again where one can find out about contributions?

I know your inspiration was a relative, and Ozymandias. The latter was so completely heart breaking. In a way you've partly finished the trip for him as he was one of your inspirations, which is really wonderful.

Well done to Skelly as well! Continue to ride safe. Thanks again for putting the time into your very entertaining and enjoyable RR - it's helped get us through the worst of the west coast winter!
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:05 PM   #678
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Thanks for the congrats everyone. I'd like to respond to each of you but right now internet is only working on my phone and I hate the little keyboard. The Ushuaia update is coming...I promise

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Old 02-09-2014, 03:34 AM   #679
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Ushuaia!!

Day 156 Rio Grande to Ushuaia and Fin del Mundo February 7


View Larger Map

Next to departure day this was the biggest day of the entire trip. The completion of the dream. Two days ago I was actually feeling somewhat emotional about this day coming. But I quickly got over it and today was fantastic.

We only had 210km to ride so we were slow to get moving. The hostal lady shooed us out the door at 10:30 and we gassed up before starting south again. The road is all paved from Rio Grande to Ushuaia so all we had to contend with was the cold and a little rain today.





Crossing the mountain pass it got down to 5 degrees but in the excitement we didn't care.

Exactly half way to Ushuaia we stopped at the wonderful bakery in Tolhuin for some fresh empanadas.




We arrived at the Ushuaia welcome sign and shot some customary photos.





The city coming into view



Once in the city we were pleased to find the sun was shining and decided that today would be a great day to ride to the end of the world.



West of the city we rode to the national park and to the famous road sign. At the park gate it's a 110 peso fee but well worth it.







Video



It was a great moment to actually be at the place I have been dreaming about for 4 years. To top it all off today is my wife's Birthday. Happy Birthday Wanitta!
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:37 AM   #680
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegastele View Post
Congratulations on making your destination and thanks for sharing this epic adventure.
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Originally Posted by steal6 View Post
Fabulous trip. Fantastic ride report. What a lifetimes worth of memories you have amassed. Have a safe home. Steal6

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Thank you for following along all these months. It's been great to have all your feedback and support

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjt1577 View Post
Congratulations, Dave!!!So glad you and Eran made it safe and sound...how does it feel? You've worked hard for this, and have paid for it in time away from your family...I'm sure they are very proud of you. Enjoy the moment and have a safe return trip north...see you on the Island!...cheers, mike
It feels like I could go on touring like this for a very long time. I miss my family and friends so I'm glad to be getting back home real soon
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:39 AM   #681
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Congratulations on making it safe. All for a great cause. Good job mate.
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Congratulations on making your destination and thanks for sharing this epic adventure.
Thanks guys, it's been wonderful to have you along on the journey
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Old 02-09-2014, 09:14 AM   #682
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Great job Dave. It's been a long trip but we all thank you for the great updates you have provided. Will you two be traveling back together for awhile?
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:10 AM   #683
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Great job finishing your goal, Dave!

It was a pleasure to follow along. Interesting to hear your last comments about continuing. It appears to me at least that after the Christmas break you have started to look at thngs differently.

Either way, enjoy your remaining time down there.
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:28 AM   #684
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Absolutely great ride report Dave! Have you thought about giving some sort of ride report/slide presentation to promote your purpose in doing this? I for one would pay to sit and hear about your experiences in person and view a bunch of your pictures. Also, I think many of us would be interested in what you'd do differently to the bike and your gear for the trip. You may want to talk with Happy Trails in Boise, ID., Touratech in Seattle, or even Klim in Rigby, ID., Procycle in Oregon, or even Wolfman in Colorado to see if they would set up a meet/greet/report night…I'm sure you'd have a packed house and it could only help their business! Again, way to go…love to see the old DR doing what many others think only the high dollar bikes can do!
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:52 AM   #685
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Thanks

Hats off to you guys! Thanks for the inspiring ride report...may have to read it again just to be sure I didn't miss anything! Was really impressed with the way you handled adversity. Safe journey home.
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Old 02-09-2014, 10:59 AM   #686
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Good job on making it.

It's no easy task.

One has to be committed to accomplish that goal.

Check out the ECO house in Ushuaia...it's a little building half in the earth at the first roundabout after town.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:05 AM   #687
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adventurebound9517 View Post
Great job Dave. It's been a long trip but we all thank you for the great updates you have provided. Will you two be traveling back together for awhile?
We spent the day in Ushuaia yesterday on a boat checking out some penguins and today we rode together to Rio Grande. About 150km from here the road splits and we go our separate ways. I'll have an update about the penguins soon.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:09 AM   #688
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHC-2 View Post
Hats off to you guys! Thanks for the inspiring ride report...may have to read it again just to be sure I didn't miss anything! Was really impressed with the way you handled adversity. Safe journey home.
Thanks for the kind words. It's hard to believe it's all but over. In hind sight the adversity is what makes the trip an adventure, if it was easy it would be much less fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TUCKERS View Post
Good job on making it.

It's no easy task.

One has to be committed to accomplish that goal.

Check out the ECO house in Ushuaia...it's a little building half in the earth at the first roundabout after town.
Thanks Tuckers! It was a blast. I really enjoyed your RR too.
I missed the ECO House, we are already in Rio Grande...sunshine all the way today in about 13 degrees.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:16 AM   #689
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shibby! View Post
Great job finishing your goal, Dave!

It was a pleasure to follow along. Interesting to hear your last comments about continuing. It appears to me at least that after the Christmas break you have started to look at thngs differently.

Either way, enjoy your remaining time down there.
There has been a change in my thinking. But it's about more than the second leg of the trip. I'll be doing a recap of the trip a little later and I'll include some thoughts about how this trip has changed me. I still need to get to Buenos Aires and decompress a bit.
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Old 02-09-2014, 11:20 AM   #690
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Absolutely great ride report Dave! Have you thought about giving some sort of ride report/slide presentation to promote your purpose in doing this? I for one would pay to sit and hear about your experiences in person and view a bunch of your pictures. Also, I think many of us would be interested in what you'd do differently to the bike and your gear for the trip. You may want to talk with Happy Trails in Boise, ID., Touratech in Seattle, or even Klim in Rigby, ID., Procycle in Oregon, or even Wolfman in Colorado to see if they would set up a meet/greet/report night…I'm sure you'd have a packed house and it could only help their business! Again, way to go…love to see the old DR doing what many others think only the high dollar bikes can do!

I certainly hope I can put together something that would be of interest to like minded folks who want to do a trip like this someday. It's going to be some bit of work to put it all together in a nice little presentation but I'll do it. I'll try and make it to a HUBB meeting and present it but your suggestions are excellent!
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