Xplore2Gether - California to Ushuaia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by JimsBeemer, Mar 6, 2019.

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  1. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    Thanks George - we had considered that at one point, and your comment is causing us to reconsider it. I found the web site for Navimag, the ferry operator, and you can make reservations online, but only for passengers, not for vehicles. I sent them an inquiry to find out about cost for motos and how to reserve. We'll give it consideration. Web site says 4 days 3 nights. If we did that we might cross over to Bariloche, which we missed on the way down, and go up 40 from there. And/or go to Chiloé.

    As I recall, you had a very wet ride once you got north, getting across Argentina to BA!
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  2. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    Getting back to the chronological sequence of things, here are some pictures on our ride from El Calafate, Argentina to Villa Cerro Castillo, Chile, on our way to Torres del Paine.

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    On Rt 40 headed south, Carol in the lead.

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    We stopped for a break and I got this picture - I am pretty sure this is a "Blue Eagle", another of the iconic Patagonian birds.

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    If, like us, you are going to cross over from Rt 40 into Villa Cerro Castillo, YOU MUST stop and get gas here at the junction of Old 40 and New-40/Rt7, at Tapi Aike. We also filled up our Giant Loop gas bags. Once you leave here and cross into Chile, the next gas is in Puerto Natales (there is no gas in Cerro Castillo - there is no almost anything in Cerro Castillo!). Having the extra gas in the gas bags allowed us to explore Torres del Paine without worrying about having to save gas to get to Puerto Natales.
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    Argentinian border station. The road from Rt 40 to the boarder is unpaved but not long and is a pretty good road. After you pass through here, you go all the way to Villa Cerro Castillo for the Chilean formalities.

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    Although the border control isn't until you get to Cerro Castillo, the road turns to asphalt on the Chilean side right at the border.
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    Chilean border station just as you come into town.

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    And here is Cerro Castillo - one could say it is a one horse town, lol! Do not plan on getting gas or supplies here. The town is basically a bedroom for the government staff that man the border. There are a few cafeteria and trinket shops right at the border, but nothing you would call a restaurant.
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    The bar in our hotel (Hotel Estancia El Ovejero Patagónico). The saddle seats were clever, but not really that comfortable. The hotel offered a buffet dinner for $20. We thought we'd find something in town instead, but after walking through the town to check it out, we realized there really weren't any other options, and were happy to pay for the buffet. It was pretty good!
  3. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    And the next day we rode into Torres del Paine. We spent four nights at the Hotel Lago Pehoe, which was expensive, but not so expensive. It was expensive, but in relative terms, it was a bargain. If you are not camping, Torres del Paine is not a cheap place to stay. But the hotel was very nice - it is situated on a small island on Lake Pehoe, about 75m off shore, with a footbridge connecting it to a parking lot on the shore. And it has (weather permitting) an unobstructed view of the Paine mastiff (as they call it - the "towers" that give the park it's name), a view that is just stunning.

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    Route Y-200, headed into the park from Cerro Castillo. We've stopped for a break - and Carol likes to lay down, as I've mentioned before. The views just kept getting more spectacular as we rode.
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    Y-200 was, as best I recall, a dirt road the entire way, but then we headed north on Y-290, and it is mixed - sections of pavement and ripio.
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    I also posted this picture in the "Your Favorite GS Photos" thread on advrider. Note the Giant Loop gas bag on top of my pannier. DSC08083.JPG
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    Carol and I keep trying to find ways to "record the wind" I thought this photo did a pretty good job.
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    That is the Hosteria Pehoe, on it's little island, with the footbridge in the foreground.
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    This is pretty typical of the roads inside the park. And the view is also pretty typical!
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    A picture of the Hosteria Pehoe taken from a vista point on the island.
  4. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    I hope to catch up with the photos and day by day dialog soon - but this needs to be posted in real time :-)

    Then and now w text.jpeg
  5. danisOTR

    danisOTR GO BIG OR GO HOME Supporter

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    Congratulations to both of you. It’s been great following along. My wife has had a few “drops” and was sideswiped by a bus.
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  6. knight

    knight Long timer

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    Congratulations for riding all the way to Ushuaia

    When I rode #3 north to BA , it became so windy I began to regret starting my trip, and then when it got windier
    I was ruing the day that I first strattled a motorcycle . When the wind finally disapated the temp climbed to 47° C

    However ,ItchyBoots made her way down the Alantic coast from BA and had a great adventure
    I rode it in 3 1/2 days , she took about 3 1/2 weeks
    Check out her videos on youtube for some awesome places to explore along the way
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  7. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    We have a plan for our next move after Ushuaia! We are going to go north! Sounds like a good plan, since there aren't many other options :-)

    But details on how we will do that have firmed up, and changed. Thanks to 95Monster's recent post on this thread, we re-examined the ferry option, and I also communicated with another pair of riders (2 Wheel Vagabond - no advrider report but have a FB page) who just completed Rt 3 from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires. Putting that all in the balance - we are taking the ferry!

    We secured a berth for us and our bikes on a Feb 12 departure from Puerto Natales, Chile. The ferry takes four days to arrive in Puerto Montt, Chile. After arriving in Puerto Montt we may take some time to visit Chiloe island, but for sure we will head from that vicinity over the Andes to Bariloche, Argentina. Both of those (Chiloe and Bariloche) are places we wanted to see but skipped on our way south. From Bariloche we will make a run across the continent to the Atlantic coast, picking up Rt 3 and continuing north to BA. This route will allow us to skip a big section of the windy and not so interesting Rt 3, and see some new sights. If we are lucky and the weather is good, the ferry ride itself is reported to offer incredible views of the mountains and sea life as it wonders up through the fjords of the inland passage.

    So that is the general plan - details, beyond the ferry, are TBD, but it is an outline, and that's generally all we need or want. We figure the rest out as we go :-)

    I made this image for our FB page - I really like the perspective you get when you see our location on a spherical projection of the planet. Wow - we are way down there!
    We are here.jpg
  8. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    Look forward to hearing about your experience on the ferry. When I read 95monster's post on the ferry option, I also said, Hmmmm. Sounded very intriguing.

    Keep on keeping on!
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  9. 95Monster

    95Monster Long timer

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    Bring books for the boat. There is a library but the English selection is limited... unless you like romance novels.
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  10. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    Here some pictures from our day trips withing Torres del Paine

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    An Upland Goose
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    A white-capped sparrow (my description, not an official name) - they are very prevalent.
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    We rode to Laguna Azul, and that route gave us a different perspective (vs. view we had from hotel) of the Paine Mastiff. That is Lago Nordernskjold in the foreground.

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    We ran into graders maintaining the park roads several times. They are dirt roads, but well maintained dirt roads.
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    On the way to Laguna Azul, we stopped to check out Cascada Rio Paine

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    We rode one day to Laguna Azul. At the parking lot, there were a couple of Southern Crested Caracara. Though a raptor, they seem to be an opportunistic feeders and well adapted to human presence - they show up at picnic grounds and parking spots. This is an adult.

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    And this is a juvenile Caracara. As far as I can tell, there is no sexual dimorphism in this speciies - male and female look alike.
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    People are always interested in us, our motorcycles and our trip, and often want a photo taken with us. We met this gentleman from Los Angeles in the parking loot for the Cascada Rio Paine, where his tour bus had stopped.
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    Starting out on the trail along Laguna Azul.
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    Laguna Azul
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    Guanaco on the road (coming back from Laguna Azul) - you have to keep your eyes open for them. They are everywhere!
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    This was the view from our hotel about half the time - the Torres del Paine covered in clouds. But still an inspiring view.
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    The day after Laguna Azul, we rode to a trail head that starts at this waterfall, Salto Grarnde. Our hotel was on Lago Pehoe, Lago Nordenskjold is situated just north of Lago Pehoe, and that entire lake empties into Lago Pehoe through a short river, where there is this impressive waterfall. We did the hike from here to the vista point in a cold rain, with strong wind.
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    Vista at the end of hike that started at the Salto Grande waterfall. Despite the rain, cold and wind, the vista was still pretty impressive!

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    Last full day in the park, we had tickets to take a boat on Lago Grey to see the Grey glacier. Ran into some road construction. Grader was at work spreading fresh gravel.
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    You have to hike a mile to get to the loading point for the boat - and it was WINDY! But we got there and took off for the glacier.
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    One of the many icebergs floating around in Lago Grey
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    And this is as close as we got to the glacier. After an hour of very rough going, the ship turned around and the Captain announced that it was to dangerous to proceed, and we were going back. They were recording 70mph winds. No one complained. It was a very rough ride - and I was struggling to keep things down (successfully!). But we were served the pisco sour that was part of the ticket. That was one expensive pisco sour.
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    This is the boat we were on - this is at the beginning of the trip, everyone is waiting to board. The boat loads in the lee behind a small island, so the wind is not so bad here.
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    In the parking lot for the Grey Glacier trip - we met this little guy and his Dad as we were loading up. He REALLY liked my motorcycle - I was happy to let him sit on it. But he didn't want to get off :-) A future rider for sure.
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    Lobby/lounge area of the Hosteria Pehoe. Note the fire in the wood stove - it may be summer, but summer here means no snow, just barely.
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    View on the way out of the park, headed to Puerto Natales. So long Torres del Paine - it was truly nice to have met you.
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    Road and view heading out of the park to Puerto Natales.
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    Rear view mirror shot leaving the park - Carol bringing up the rear.
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  11. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    We got an early start from the Hosteria Pehoe/Torres del Paine for our ride to Puerto Natales (Date stamp: Saturday 01/25/2020), because the wind forecast for the park was pretty bad starting around 11:00AM, and we wanted to avoid that as much as possible. I am not a morning person - anyone who knows me well can attest. Carrying luggage out to my motorcycle at 6:30AM, half awake and wearing flip-flops, I tripped on the ramp leading up to the footbridge that connects the hotel (it is on an island) to the parking lot. I went down hard - a face plant - with a heavy duffel-bag in one hand, my tank bag strapped to my back, and a brain way to groggy to react quickly. It knocked the wind out of me and I bruised some ribs pretty bad; two weeks later my ribs are still sore. But thankfully it wasn't worse than that!

    Despite that, we did get an early (for us) start, and I estimated we were going to arrive at our hotel about two hours before check-in. About 40 minutes away from Puerto Natales, we came across the Cuevas de Milodon National Monument. Cuevas = Cave, Milodon = Prehistoric giant sloth, remains of which were discovered in this huge cave, along with many other interesting finds. We stopped just to take advantage of the good parking and baños, but after checking out the visitor center, we decided to pay the entrance fee and do the walk into the cave and then up to a vista point above. This would kill some time so we wouldn't get in to the hotel too early. It was pretty interesting - and not even on our radar. Downside was that after an hour or two spent walking around, it started to rain and we had to finish our ride into Puerto Natales in a cold rain.

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    Entrance to the cave. A german settler found the remains of the giant sloth, with hair still attached. Archeologist have since uncovered evidence of human use, contemporary with the sloth, dating back over 8,000 years ago.

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    There is a statue of a giant sloth at the entrance to the cave. Giant sloth's extended all up through the America's - they are found in the tar pits in California. They were giant herbivores and had no natural predators.
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    After viewing the cave we made the hike to the vista on top of the mountain. That is the parking lot and visitor center in the foreground, right, and the "lake"in the background is NOT a lake. That is a fjord, and is part of the Pacific Ocean. Puerto Natales is to the left horizon, but is just out of the frame.
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  12. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    Thank you!

    We heard so many stories about Rt 3 like yours - we were just going to "go for it" and we would definitely have taken more time than you. But then we decided on the ferry, which is going to cut much (not all) of Rt 3 out on our route to BA. We still have to make the dash east across the pamapa to get over to Rt 3 from Bariloche, but we hope it turns out to be a better all around route than just slogging it up Rt 3 from Ushuaia!

    We are also looking forward to warmer temps - but at the same time .. 47°C !! We may be wishing for Patagonia temperatures once we get there, lol!
  13. PapaDontPreach

    PapaDontPreach Been here awhile

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    Your white capped sparrow appears to be a Chilean Elaenia.
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  14. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    We spent two nights in Puerto Natales, taking the down day to catch up with family and take care of some business, since it was the first time we'd had a truly functional internet connection in weeks. Then we rode to Punta Arenas where we intended to stay three nights, giving us a day to do an excursion to see the penguins on Magdalena Island, and also time to arrange for the ferry crossing to Porvenir. But it turned into four nights due to the Patagonian wind.

    We had great weather for our trip to Magdalena Island (and saw a LOT of penguins) and getting our ferry tickets purchased at the ferry office was easy. But the day before we were supposed to go on the ferry, I woke up and looked at the wind forecast on my Windy App, and it was projecting 40mph sustained winds in Porvenir the next day, with gust to 60mph. I really wanted to leave that day (it would have been Thursday, Jan 30, 2020) because that would have put us in Ushuaia on Feb 1, one year to the day from when we crossed the border into Mexico at the beginning of our trip, which sounded sort of poetic. But I listened to the voice of reason, and at breakfast I told Carol there was no way we were going to ride in that kind of wind! I asked the hotel if we could stay another day - they were booked, but gave a recommendation for a hotel just around the corner, and I got a reservation there. Then I rode to the ferry office, and easily exchanged our tickets for ones the next day. We took the extra down day to visit a museum and tour the local cemetery, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful in South America. All the while experiencing this incredible wind, in awe and thanks that we were not riding in it!

    Days later, in Ushuaia, we met up with Mike an Mike, our Stahlratte alumni friends, riders from Canada. They showed us pictures they had taken that same windy day in Torres del Paine, of campers blown over onto adjacent parked cars, and a parking lot filled with cars with their windows broken because the wind picked rocks up off the ground and hurled them into the windows. They said when they stopped to look at a vista, they kept their helmets on with face shields down due to all of the sand and even pebbles being hurled at them. And we learned that the ferry was grounded that day due to the wind, so we would not have made it in any case! When we did venture out the next day, people would see us and ask, with concern, "where you riding your motorcycles yesterday?!" We heard a 2nd hand story (unconfirmed) of a rider killed on Rt 40 due to a wind-instigated crash. Staying put was the right call! Another win for the Windy app.

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    When we first saw these statues in Puerto Natales, we were really dumbfounded, because we hadn't caught up on local history. Turns out these are representations of one of the Selk'nam in ritual head dress. They are one of the four indigenous people groups that inhabited the island of Tierra del Fuego before Europeans arrived. You see these same images all over once you get onto the island - they are sort of a mascot. The short version of their history ends sadly - they were eventually entirely wiped out due to European settlements, due to displacement, active killing in retribution for poaching, and mostly due to diseases imported by the European's, for which they had no inherited immunities.
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    This is Patagonia - and there are sheep! I don't think I've posted many photos of the sheep - but they are almost as ubiquitous as the Guanaco, but the sheep stay behind their fences! This was on the ride form Puerto Natales to Punta Arenas.
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    Sheep .. and Flamingos.
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    In Punta Arenas we went to a motorcycle shop to get a latch repaired on Carol's boots - they had this Royal Enfield Himalayan. I love it. From what I know they are not that reliable, and I'm riding a bike that is years ahead in technology, but something about it just calls to me, lol.
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    We saw more signs of the protest in Punta Arenas than we had seen since we entered the Patagonian region of Chile. Graffiti was everywhere.
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    Punta Arenas - more graffiti
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    And not just graffiti - lots of windows broken or boarded up.


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    There is this cheese we keep seeing in the store - it sounds like Provolone, but when I've asked about it, they say it is cheese for grilling (?!) Finally saw it on a menu - it was baked in this cast iron skillet, with some bacon bits. It was tasty.

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    Pulpo! The sea food is pretty good down here.
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    Carol made friends with the young woman working the desk at our first hotel in Punta Arenas. Her name is Natalia, and she said that her favorite season is summer, because she loves the wind (!!). And she likes to travel - like most of the young people we've met.
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    The cemetery - it was extremely well manicured, and had some very elaborate mausoleums.

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    Some social commentary has been made on this particular mausoleum. The family name was one we have seen in other protest signs and graffiti.
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    And this restaurant had some humorous commentary on US political figures.

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    Carol found this place. This young fellow, from Australia, up and moved to Punta Arenas to start a business. An artisanal gin distillery!? Every town needs one. The name is “Last Hope Distillery”. In his bar he sells gin, whisky, and cocktails made from those ingredients, along with standard bar foods. He is only distilling gin at the moment, but hopes to expand to whisky eventually.
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  15. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    Isla Magdalena Penguine Expedition - out of Punta Arenas. No commentary - penguins speak for themselves. The other birds are Kelp Gulls, and the one flying next to the boat, over the water, is a Giant Petral. The penguins here are magellanic penguins.
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  16. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    Here is our route from the town of Perito Moreno, Argentina (the town, not the glacier or national park!), to Punta Arenas, Chile. I was surprised when I made this to see how much we have moved around! This map represents just over 3 weeks of travel.

    Perito Moreno to Punta Arenas.jpg
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  17. jowul

    jowul Been here awhile

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    That baked cheese with bacon made me hungry. Cheese is used in many countries in Latin America. In Mexico I was always lusting for Queso Fundido. In Colombia its Pan de Queso which activates my appetite. I am sure Argentina and Paraguay have their special cheeses for baking and grilling. I am still enjoying your RR very much. Looking forward to all the great photos when you are heading through the fjords on the ferry.
  18. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

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    We've been on the ferry form Puerto Natales to Puerto Montt the last four days, with no internet connection. I loaded up a bunch of pictures while we were on the ferry, hoping to do a marathon session to catch up. But we got off the ferry around noon and now are on Chiloé Island, and the internet at our hostel is horrible! I'll do what I can :-) Continuing where I left of ...

    The day after the big wind, the forecast was for more normal 15-20 mph "breeze", and we boarded the ferry at 9:00 AM for the roughly 2 hour trip across the Straight of Magellan to the town of Porvenir. We wanted to see the King Penguins at the Parque Pinguino Rey, east of Porvenir. I thought (!) that it would be more direct to go there via Porvenir, rather than take take Rt 255 to Rt 257 and the shorter ferry at Punta Delgada - by miles that is clearly the long way round. But .. what I did not realize is that from Porenir to the Parque Penguino Rey is, except for the first few km, entirely unpaved, where as the longer route was entirely paved except for the last few km to the penguin park. So in my job (minimize the miles of dirt road Carol has to ride); I totally failed, lol. We road over 100km of dirt road that we did not have to ride. You can bet which route we took on our way back from Ushuaia! That said - it was really a good road, but the wind was pretty strong and made it a bit of a challenge. Very little traffic that way! Views were uninspiring - pampa as far as the eye could see.

    We stayed at the Estancia (ranch) Caleta Josefina which is on the way to the penguin park. It was a working, and very historical, sheep ranch. The real deal - the rooms all had fireplaces, all hardwood floors, tall ceilings - was like stepping back in time. Unfortunately, we did not take many pictures at the ranch - wish we had.

    The route from the Estancia to Ushuaia was significantly over our 4 hour in-the-saddle guideline, so we broke the ride into two days, the first day crossing into Argentina and stopping in Rio Grande (Links Apart Hotel - great place to stay), and we continued to Ushuaia from there the next day. It made an easy couple of days ridding. No tenemos prisa (we are not in a hurry!). We love the "Apart Hotel" concept - having a kitchen is really nice. And it was not that expensive.


    Route to Parque Penguino Rey.jpg
    Turns out Google did know best! I ignored it's recommendation, and we took the penciled in route, taking the longer (and more expensive) ferry from Punta Arenas to Porvenir. The road from there to the penguin park is all dirt except for a few km right in Porvenir. It is a shorter route! But if we had skipped Punta Arenas and taken the 255/257 route directly from Puerto Natales (north, off of the top of this map), we would have taken the same amount of time overall, and missed the long ride on the dirt road.
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    Waiting for the ferry to Porvenir - the other motorcycles were part of a tour group (we have seen so many motorcycle tour groups in the last six weeks or so), and they were very much wanting to know if we had ridden in that wind the day before. They were glad we had not - they are on a tight schedule, so they did not have the luxury to stay put a day, and so they rode. It clearly left an impression on them - they were still a bit "dazed" by the ordeal.

    DSC08506.JPG They put all of the motorcycles off to the one side - as you can see we weren't the only motorcyclist that day! So many riders head for Patagonia and the season is short, so it bunches them up into a small space, geographically, in a small window, calendar-wise. And they are mostly older men, 50-60, riding mostly BMW's. Until we entered Argentina from Bolivia, my R1200GSA was such a spectacle, where ever we stopped, people wanted to know about this huge motorcycle. But down here, they are everywhere! But there are very few women, especially women over 60, riding their own motorcycles! So still, even here, Carol is the center attraction. No one wants to talk to me - I'm just another old guy on his BMW riding to Ushuaia. But Carol is special. I love watching the attention she gets.

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    This was along the dirt road out from Porvenir headed to the penguins. Chile has put up these "refugios" along the roads in Patagonia. They are basic shelters that are open to anyone, for free, on a first come first served basis. They have a table, and a bunk up above that, and a bathroom (usually not so nice). They also make nice places to stop and get out of the wind for a few minutes, or to eat lunch.

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    This is the inside of the Refugio. You can see the stairs leading to the bunk loft, to the right.
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    A couple pulled up in this rented van while we were there. I loved the art work on the van!
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    Fuzzy picture of the outside of the Estancia Caleta Josefina.

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    This gives you a feel for the inside of the Estancia - this is the lobby/common-room. I borrowed this image from Bookings.com (since we failed to take any!)

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    Talk about the real deal. This is the cook at the Estancia Caleta Josefina, cooking some lamb. He was a really nice guy - I wish I had his name. There was no WiFi at the Estancia, and the only cell reception was NOT a Claro network (our SIM cards are Claro). I really needed to check for a confirmation for our hotel in Rio Grande - and he tethered his phone so I could connect to the internet through it. And .. I meant to give him a tip before we left, but forgot! I really feel bad about that.

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    At the border entering Argentina, we met this guy. He is from Northern Spain, and he bought this contraption in Columbia. Our friends "the Mikes", riders from Canada, said they saw him on the road, going about 40 mph, which we all think is probably maximum speed for this rig.
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    We got into Rio Grande early enough to do some grocery shopping and then take a ride to a park along the ocean - the Atlantic ocean! We ferried in to Porvenir across the Pacific, and now a few hundred km later we are at the Atlantic Not far from where they meet!
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    From the beach front in Rio Grande. There were lots of sea birds along the shore line. I thought this was some type of Cormorant, but I'm not so sure now. Need a better internet connection to figure it out!
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    And some really cool looking ducks - and again, I don't know the name.
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    Ok - this one I do know! This is a Giant Petrel. They are very common down here. There was a flock of maybe 50 or more just off shore.
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    On the beach at Rio Grande. They way this guy is bundled up, you get some idea of the temperature! It is summer, basically the equivalent of a North American July, and we have every piece of winter gear we brought with us dragged out and put into service. Stuff that has sat untouched in the bottom of our panniers or dry bags for many many months, is now front and center. I have been riding with a wool base layer over a t-shirt, then my down sweater-jacket, my motorcycle jacket quilted liner, a water/wind-proof layer and then my motorcycle jacket on the top. I look like the Pillsbury dough boy, or the Michelin man. And the winter gloves and glove liners have come out - only other time I've used them the entire trip was in the Andes in Peru.
  19. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    643
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Before I move this dialog on to Ushuaia - the penguins! As I said, we went a ways out of our way to see them, so here are some pictures. We went there the same day we took the ferry across to Porvenir, after we checked into the Estancia. The penguin park is just 10km down the road from Estancia Caleta Josefna.

    These are King Penguins, and this is the only colony of this type of penguin currently in South America, though there are remains of them found in archeological digs on Tierra del Fuego, so they have been here in the past. They showed up at this site about 10 years ago, just a few birds, and have grown into a colony of well over 100. King Penguins are the second tallest penguin species (after the Emperor Penguin), and they are a sub-antartic penguin; they are not found on Antartica, but rather on the many islands surrounding and north of Antartica. And like other penguins, they spend most of their life in the ocean, only coming on shore for any significant time to mate and molt, and annual ordeal.
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    This is the viewing station to the left, some penguins to the right. That is as close as you can get to them, not quite the same as the immersive experience we had with the Magellanic Penguins on Isla Magdalena. But it was still close enough. Bring your binoculars and zoom lens.
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    The colors of these birds! Much more interesting, visually, than the Magellanic Penguins, imo.
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    Molting is awkward.
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    During the briefing at the park headquarters, they told us that the chicks were sort of ugly ...
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  20. JimsBeemer

    JimsBeemer 2017 R1200GSA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Oddometer:
    643
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    Enough penguins - on to Ushaia. As we left Rio Grande, I recalled reading another riders trip report, where he talked about the transition in the scenery as you approach Ushuaia. It truly is amazing - at this point we have been ridding through pampa for over a week - it is all the same; flat and although interesting in it's own way, not breathtaking by any means. And a bit monotonous. But as you approach Ushuaia, it suddently becomes like British Colombia! It is beautiful. Here are a few pictures from the ride into Ushuaia, after leaving Rio Grande.

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