10-15-2010, 10:12 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Location: The Badlands (of NJ)
On the road, at last.
Getting to Patagonia is a haul, if I say so myself - especially if one needs to squeeze an adventure trip into a very limited, American-style time off. I had about 10 days to my disposal.
The flight alone requires some 18 hours in the air, excluding the stop-overs. A distant land, indeed.
The night before, I successfully met up with Lewis in Punta Arenas.
We also met our guide, Roberto, and picked up the bikes. Since the trip was to be relatively short (5-6 days of riding) with an ambitious itinerary, getting someone with local knowledge and speaking the language to accompany us makes most sense.
After an overnight stay in Hostel de la Avenida we are getting into the gear - ready for the first day of riding in Chile.
Lewis trying to squeeze his stuff into the side cases of the rental KLR's.
Last preparations in town. Everything a GO?
On the way out of Punta Arenas, we pass city harbor, where the ferry from Porvenir is docking. We will arrive back here in a few days, returning from Tierra del Fuego.
Heading north along the Straits of Magellan. A reminder of how treacherous and deadly these waters are: near San Gregorio, we pass a place where two wrecks from different centuries are almost on top of each other.
The boiler of a steamship wrecked here in 1932.
Just next to it, an elegant skeleton of a sailing ship that met its end here in 1893.
Stopping for lunch at Hosteria El Faro in Punta Delgada. We will take a ferry here to cross from the South American mainland to Puerto Espora on the Big Island of Tierra del Fuego.
The ferry is arriving. The water flow of the Straits is so strong that the ship is "crabbing": even though it is positioned sideways, it actually moves directly toward us.
Crossing the Magellan Straits. In all comforts of home?
Land Ahoy! Tierra del Fuego - straight ahead.
The Tierra region is actually an archipelago of many islands; from now on, we will be traveling on Isla Grande (the Big Island).
Out of the ferry, we still travel a while on paved roadways...
... to reach Hosteria Tunkelen in Cerro Sombrero.
The place is operated by European expats and seems to cater to motorcycling travelers. Soon after our arrival, the lot was full of bikes - a group with Motoaventura, a big-name tour operator in Chile, showed up just before sundown. Notice the ratio of bikes to cars!
rdwalker screwed with this post 10-20-2010 at 12:37 AM