Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina to a windy sheep station in Chile.
We set Jayne out front to lead the pack. She had come up to Porno Pedro’s Place from down the coast a little, so she knew we were about to encounter a police check stop heading south. Jayne was also the only one with insurance out of all of us. While technically required, insurance is tough to purchase in Argentina, and Jayne was the only one who had done so. Fortunately putting the pretty girl up front to talk to the Latino police did the trick, and we were easily on our way with a smile and a wave.
Putting Jayne up front didn’t always work wonders though. Didn’t take long before reuniting had resulted in yet another crash.
Met a couple other travelers, Elisa and Tom, at the gas station riding on Honda 125cc’s. She was heading right up to Seattle. Tom not as far. Tough battling the winds on anything it turns out. More hours per day of battle at the slower speeds of the 125’s.
Speaking of wind, a few days back I had given Joe his first EVER pair of earplugs to try out. Joe hadn’t tried them since he started his trip up in California. He was well impressed:
Elisa had recommended we stop at a campground on the beach near San Julian, but we missed the turn-off as it was getting dark. We asked at the YPF gas station, and while he was recommending somewhere, we realized the station itself held promise. Free wifi, bathrooms, a restaurant and a large vacant lot out back with some trees and trailers to block the wind. We were set!
We had beers in the restaurant while we warmed up and chatted. Our server sensed out reluctance to buy anything from the moderately priced menu, so brought us over some free snacks! While munching, Jayne used the wifi to find out that our dad already had figured out our sleeping arrangements for the night. Incredulous at how he could possibly know this, Joe and Ian had Jayne ask dad what kind of beer we were drinking…
In the morning we set our goal as “however far past the ferry we could get”. We got as far as Mario’s farm house.
Along the way we stopped in Rio Gallegos for late lunch, knowing we likely wouldn’t have a big dinner when camping that night. After eating we ran into AJ and his BMW in the street. Jayne and AJ chatted for a bit while Ian and I quickly tightened some hose clamps to fix a coolant leak on Maria. AJ gave us a rundown on the colder weather and wind we would encounter on the other side of the ferry. I was already wearing almost all my clothes to insulate from the cold. He also mentioned a couple times that it was a little “late in the season” for a push to Ushuaia, the city from which he himself had just travelled. We chuckled at this, took down his advice on a good hostel in Ushuaia called Momo’s or something and set off. “Late in the season” as it was, we were just a two day ride from the bottom.
The border crossing was standard and easy. One small hiccup when it was noted Jayne’s moto had been listed as a “station wagon” on her paperwork. While Jayne has enough gear to qualify, I reckon just not quite enough wheels. No trouble, through quickly, in an organize fashion, and onwards to the ferry. We love smooth borders.
The ferry was just sitting there waiting for us as we rolled up. We didn’t even have to put our feet down before rolling aboard. So kind of them to wait! And then they didn’t even ask us to pay! Still not sure if this is standard policy or not.
Penguins frolicked and seals swam over towards where we had seen the penguins frolicking. A nice ferry ride by all accounts.
The winds weren’t bad considering the horror stories we had read about on the forums. We were able to ride about an hour after disembarking the ferry before we started hunting for a place to camp with some wind shelter. Not many trees in these parts, in fact not much in the way of wind protection at all for camping. Eventually we saw a farm house with some large looking trees beside it. We stopped and Jayne and I walked up to ask if we could camp in the protection of their yard. Jayne decided to accompany me as she felt my bearded homeless look might be intimidating. Always looking out for me…
Mario answered the door. “might we set up camp in your yard please?”. “POR FAVOR!!” Mario beamed back at us with a big smile. Next thing you know we’re all inside drinking Mate from a cow’s hoof. We’d found our place to stay the night: a sheep farm run by Mario and his family. It would prove to be the wisest stop we could have ever made. In the morning… in the morning we headed for the ultimate end of the Ultimate Ride: Ushuaia!