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Old 05-27-2011, 10:06 PM   #151
GastonUSAChile
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Selk'nam (ONAS) Patagones

The real Patagonian men , 6 feet tall (1.80 mt) , 18th Century. On those times Europeans were 5'-2" (1.60 mt) tall average

Photos taken in the 1800, men from another world.
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Old 05-28-2011, 10:11 AM   #152
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Originally Posted by GastonUSAChile View Post

People came to Patagonia running away from justice, czars, and others sailed and rode a horse no this land in order to be rich, find gold and power. Romanians, Russians, some of them wanted to be king of the land, real kings governing a new empty empire called Patagonia. But, it was real empty, no gold , just wind and misery. Those made a war and fought their own demons, killing l the essence of Patagonia, a whole aboriginal race.

Pete, is a real adventurer, a Czar on his own on a mototaxi, ready to conquer Patagonia (in peace of course). Anyone could run crazy on this land, because it is so vast so flat, so windy and miserable. if you are running totally crazy easily you could be a king on this land or just inspire your own soul.

Good thread , it 's inspirational
Gaston, At the risk of hijacking Trackpete's blog, great post, nice piece of writing.

We all have a little "Trackpete" begging to come out.
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Old 05-28-2011, 01:53 PM   #153
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Originally Posted by tphilpin View Post
Gaston, At the risk of hijacking Trackpete's blog, great post, nice piece of writing.

We all have a little "Trackpete" begging to come out.
Tony, thanks for your kind words. I am trying not to highjacking Peter thread. I found this little historical trip genuine and unique mainly on the way of writing. I'am just giving a piece of gift, may be, to everybody, just to make justice of what Patagonia was all about, not just a flat isolated windy world.
I think every part of the world is unique and inspirational because of the latitude. As an architect, find this land a poetry for the soul and inspiration. In Patagonia just one bird in the sky could complement the whole picture. No words, no need for everything else.

This story and I think a great man, who anyone would like to do an expedition with him, it's a bird in the whole scenery. That simple.
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Old 05-29-2011, 03:51 AM   #154
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GastonUSAChile View Post
First the 'PATAGONES' indians, Fueguinos, Selk'nam Onas, Tehuelches, Alacalufes and Yaganes , and so on, actually these were people from another world, unique believes like nowhere in the planet-- The cosmos and the marine life was their gods and believes.
The Alacalufes was extinct in 2005 or so . The last woman, living in a remote Chilean island, living isolated from the rest of the world and assisted by the Chilean Navy with supplies and medical care (once a month), died at the age of 90 something. She was the end of a race and the real man of tierra del fuego. After centuries of killing and massacres by mad egos from what we called civilized world, it was the end of the end of the world.
Well, if she was the last one, you better contact wikipedia to make a correction...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alacaluf_people

Alacaluf people

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The Alacaluf (also called Halakwulup, Kawésqar, Kaweskar) are a South American people living in Chile on the Strait of Magellan (Brunswick Peninsula, and Wellington, Santa Inés, and Desolación islands), Chile. Their traditional language is known as Kawésqar.
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[hide]
[edit] Economy

They were a nomadic sea-faring people until the twentieth century. Because of their maritime culture, the Kawésqar have never farmed the land.
[edit] Population

They were never very numerous; the total population never exceeded five thousand. In the 1930s the Alacaluf settled on Wellington Island, in the town of Puerto Edén. Today, very few Kawésqar remain. The 2002 census found 2,622 people self-identifying as Kawésqar (those that still practiced their native culture or spoke their native language). In 2006, only 15 full-blooded members remained. Lessons in Kawésqar are part of the local curriculum but very few speakers of the language remain.
[edit] Tribes and languages

Adwipliin, Aksánas, Alacaluf, Cálen (Cálenches, Calenes,), Caucahue, Enoo, Lecheyel, Taíjataf (Tayataf), Yequinahuere (Yequinahue, Yekinauer).
[edit] Treatment of Kawéskar by Europeans

In 1881 eleven Kawéskar people were taken from Patagonia to be exhibited in the Bois de Boulogne in Paris, and in the Berlin Zoological Garden. Only four of them returned alive to Chile. The remains of five others were repatriated from the University of Zurich, Switzerland, early in 2010. Upon their return, the president of Chile apologized that the state allowed these indigenous people to be taken out of the country to be treated like animals.[1]
[edit] References
  1. ^ BBC.co.uk 130 años después regresan los kawésqar
[edit] See also
[edit] External links
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alacaluf_people"
Categories: Indigenous peoples of the Southern Cone | Ethnic groups in Chile | Indigenous peoples in Argentina | Tierra del Fuego | Indigenous peoples in Chile | Hunter-gatherers | Nomads



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Old 05-29-2011, 10:16 AM   #155
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I suppose it's a good thing I don't see fit to hijack the trip report
of everyone who travels through my country.
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:29 PM   #156
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Tierra del Fuego!

I am now in Tierra del Fuego - last night I stopped outside of San Sebastian and tonight I am stopping in Tushin (if I recall the names right). The day is getting very short now and well below freezing with windchill, so I decided to stop early instead of trying to push through near-certain death to get to Ushuaia tonight. ;o



Also, the other day I managed to upload a video to Facebook right before leaving Rio Gallegos, here is a short video about Perito Moreno:

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Old 05-29-2011, 05:16 PM   #157
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Days 40-42: El Calafate

I couldn't be motivated to write up a full report for these days, it just doesn't seem right.

Days 40-42

I feel broken. It’s as if some of the color has seeped out of the world, the sharpness faded. As if I’m behind my eyes, watching myself, performing on auto-pilot. Finding any sort of emotion is difficult, especially motivation. After the last week, it’s like everything is done. I am full.



It’s a strange feeling – similar to the occasional feeling of emptiness, but truly a polar opposite. I find it incredibly difficult to find motivation to write about the last few days simply because it seems impossible to convey what has been happening in my head. I can summarize it, I suppose, by saying this:

After conquering the rain, snow, wind, dirt, mud, sand, gravel, and vicious wind of the past few days, I feel as if there is no point to the trip any more. Everything I do from this point forward will be a useless attempt to re-capture that high, but I don’t believe it will be possible to find that degree of struggle again without taking deliberate, irresponsible measures.



I know it’s hard to understand, that if you haven’t been through a situation like that you can’t quite empathize, but these past few days will be with me for the rest of my life. Days like those are the reasons I go on adventures like these, and at this point I feel as if I’ve won.

The first day I spent in El Calafate it was hard to find any motivation at all, and I didn’t even bother to eat out. Instead I spent almost the entire day holed up in my cabin processing my emotions from the week, cooking myself simple meals and trying to unwind.



The second day, I went off to the Perito Moreno glacier and it was almost painful. For the first time ever on this trip, I was bored out of my mind within moments of hitting the road. The 80km ride out to the glacier, even stopping for video and some minor narration, felt endless, purposeless. The glacier itself was mind blowing, stunningly beautiful, and yet it felt dull. Were it not for a desire to capture it in photos, I’m not sure I would have even stayed as long as I did.



From here, if all goes well, I should be able to make it to Ushuaia in three days. Based on the weather reports for the areas I’ll be traveling through, there is a minor chance of snow but even through the mountain pass north of Ushuaia I expect pavement and tolerable weather – it does not appear to be likely that I will be struggling with anything to match last week.

And I’m full. I can’t really summon anything other than fleeting excitement at the idea. For the first time, I feel as if riding to Ushuaia will simply be checking a box, rather than accomplishing a goal. I just don’t imagine it will be a struggle.

I remember the way I felt as I rode the Dalton Highway in Alaska northward, through intense cold, rain, fog, and occasional vicious mud in what was an almost endless day: victory. It was a hard fought struggle, and pushing through the Arctic Circle was a slow build of emotional triumph. There’s no doubt in my mind that I set out on another insane trip to chase that dragon, and I feel somewhat cheated that I found that dragon only days away from my destination.



We’ll see how things go from here. I’m still going to head south, but I think from there it will be a leisurely trip back up the coast until I can chase the dragon again through the desert mountains of Bolivia… after which, perhaps, it will be time to go home and find another dragon to chase.

----------

Here are some more photos of Perito Moreno:



















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Old 05-29-2011, 06:09 PM   #158
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Buck up Man, we don't tolerate defeatism in our ride reports.

Why does the glacier ice look blue? Is it reflecting the sky or is it actually blue?
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:49 PM   #159
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Buck up Man, we don't tolerate defeatism in our ride reports.

Why does the glacier ice look blue? Is it reflecting the sky or is it actually blue?
Oh, I am not defeated - just... well, bored, I guess. Key difference. ;) It may take a bit before I recover from awesome brutality and get used to mind numbing normality, but tomorrow may turn out awesome.

The glacier ice is very blue - in fact, the pictures don't quite capture it. I've no idea why it is, but it must be a property of the water (the melt from the lake was very blue too).
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:51 PM   #160
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Day 43: El Calafate to Rio Gallegos

In which nothing much happens other than a scarcity of spares and repairs taking place.

Day 43
Begin: Ruta 40, El Calafate, Argentina @ 10:30AM
End: Rio Gallegos, Argentina @ 5:00PM
Distance: approx. 339km (~211mi) in ~7.5 hours (~45KMH / ~28MPH average)

Today felt strange. Still recovering from the strange emotions I’ve been dealing with since making it through a week of intensity, leaving El Calafate to head towards Rio Gallegos stirred little excitement in me.

The road itself failed to please as well, simply being a road. A strange experience after so much time on horrible Ruta 40 – even the wind cooperated, being at my back the entire time, and the temperature stayed in the upper 40’s. In a nutshell, I crossed 300km of desert almost completely checked out. I did not even stop for a single photo.

I arrived in Rio Gallegos in the later afternoon, knowing it was the last likely place for spares and some important maintenance before heading south towards Ushuaia. I found the major motorcycle place in town, but had a miserable experience there – first, they told me they were too busy to do any work on my bike today or tomorrow. Then, they quoted me outrageous prices for replacement tires and spokes, and told me they didn’t have any chains long enough for Red so I would have to buy two chains each for the front and back.

Throughout the entire conversation, the guy I talked to spoke incredibly fast and seemed completely unable to grasp the concept that I wasn’t fluent in Spanish, in spite of me continually asking him to explain words or talk slower. I felt very frustrated, for the first time in the entire trip – here was a guy that by dint of being a motorcycle guy, being a salesman, and me doing something a little abnormal should be pretty excited to help me out, in my opinion (everyone else has been). Instead, he acted as if I was a frustrating waste of his time because of my strange bike and lacking Spanish.

I felt so frustrated after the initial conversation that I actually just said screw it, told him thanks, and took off south. I told myself I would just head out without doing any work, find a camp site, and deal with the consequences. Thankfully, about 5km out of town I was noticing a lot of noise from the front wheel and stopped to check it and find two more spokes were broken off.

The reality was I would have to return and buy at least spokes – it would be crazy to continue on otherwise. I turned around, went back into the shop, gave him one of my spokes and asked to buy ten replacement spokes. After thirty minutes of searching they could only find five spokes that were slightly shorter but should sort of work, very frustrating. They also quoted me a much lower price for a tire, so I decided to buy a new pusher and put it on myself – except then they couldn’t find one that would fit.

After all this was done, it was pitch black outside and I wasn’t excited about heading off to camp, so I decided to find a hotel. The shop told me there was a hotel nearby and gave me directions which led me nowhere – when I asked a storekeeper next door to where their directions took me, she told me there were no hotels or anything like that in the area and that I’d have to go downtown.

Condensed: I went downtown, drove around for awhile, and eventually found what may be the only hotel in this town. Better, after unloading all my gear I went out and had an amazing steak dinner for $40USD, one that would easily have run me over a hundred back home. After this, I was happy.
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:54 PM   #161
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Day 44: Rio Gallegos to Tierra del Fuego!

In which Pete crosses the Straight of Magellan and begins a journey across the Land of Fire.

Day 44
Begin: Rio Gallegos, Argentina @ 10:00AM
End: San Sebastian, Chile, Tierra del Fuego @ 6:15PM
Distance: approx. 290km (~181mi) in N/A – Borders + Ferry

Some feeling finally started to seep back into me today, as I began to feel small spikes of excitement at the thought of approaching Tierra del Fuego. Just the words conjure this romantic idea of a place that must be visited, somewhere I’ve always wanted to go. Just south of Rio Gallegos I crossed into Chile with both a simple exit from Argentina and a simple entrance to Chile.

It was here that I saw my first sign with those glorious words:



*spike!* A glimmer of excitement stabs me. Tierra del Fuego!

In a blink, I pulled up to the Straight of Magellan. It felt strange that there was no fanfare, no band, no big shiny glowing light… just a road that drove directly into the water. There was a small line of three to four cars, where I asked around and found out a ferry would be coming soon and we’d pay on the ferry.





A ferry did arrive shortly, but once it had loaded up all the semi-trucks in line it was apparently full, and left without the cars. It was strange to watch it outside in the channel – the Pacific aggressively attacks the Atlantic here, as the Pacific Ocean is much higher. The result is a vicious current, so strong that that ferry actually crosses at a 45 degree angle just to make headway.

Soon enough another ferry arrived and again with clearly insufficient fanfare, I drove on and off we went. Everyone was enamored of my moto and I passed the time taking photos and talking with people about my trip, the result being that that thirty minute crossing was finished in the blink of an eye.





Then, we were across! Excitement bubbled up in me as I realized I had just crossed the Straight of Magellan – seriously, the STRAIGHT OF FREAKING MAGELLAN! And I was now in Tierra del Fuego, one of the southernmost islands in the world. In a typically understated Chilean way, there was only one piddly little sign to announce this amazing accomplishment, but it made me happy nonetheless.



The road on the Chilean side of Tierra del Fuego was paved for 50km, after which it turned into a nice, mostly predictable gravel road for another 130km or so. For the first half of the gravel section, I tore it up at full speed, actually driving faster than I typically drive on pavement. All was well with the world and I was destroying one of the final sections of road in the world with the hope of arriving at San Sebastian (the border to Argentina) before nightfall.

*CRONK!* And all power was lost. A quick investigation showed that my rear chain had not only come off, but had come off in a horrid fashion such that four or five links were now bent – badly. They would stay on, sort of, but looked all sorts of nasty… this chain is fried.

Unfortunately I was in the middle of a dirt road with very little traffic, but enough that I didn’t want to hang out in the middle of it messing with mounting my replacement chain. I decided to continue on with the hope of arriving at Ushuaia using this chain for the sake of the chain – how bad would it feel to be replaced so close to its goal?



The chain held, but at a slower pace it took me longer to get to San Sebastian, enough that the sun set as I was still 30km or so away. The cold turned hard edged without the sun, the temperature in the low 20’s, with my slower speed of 45kmh being the only thing keeping me from certain misery. San Sebastian turned out to not be a town at all, but rather simply a couple buildings (including a hosteria) and a border. After checking in I found that the Argentine side was even less (no hosteria) and decided to call it a night.

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Old 05-29-2011, 07:58 PM   #162
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Day 45: San Sebastian to Tilshun

In which Pete gets a taste of the adventure ahead - cold snow towards Ushuaia.

Day 45
Begin: San Sebastian, Chile, Tierra del Fuego @ 9:45AM
End: Tilshun, Argentina, Tierra del Fuego @ 5:00PM
Distance: approx. 215km (~134mi) in ~7 hours (~30KMH / ~20MPH average)

When I woke up this morning it was pitch black inside, apparently the hosteria had lost power during the night. It’s really a strange counter to my ride up to Alaska – on that ride, even as I got closer to winter, the days were very long and got longer as I rode north. Here it’s quite the opposite, with the days getting significantly shorter, obviously proof that I am coming in early winter.

I packed all my gear with my headlamp and began to load up and by the time I was done the pre-dawn light had begun to fill the land. It’s a strange feeling, this light before the sun, not something I am at all used to in my daily life (I am not an early riser) – but it’s neat to take a picture of the sunrise. Breakfast was the typical South American affair of bread and coffee, after which I hit the road for Argentina.



Exiting Chile was very simple and took less than ten minutes, though entering Argentina 10km down the road took a bit longer – mostly because it turned into a long conversation with some of the customs agents about my moto and my trip. I was told that having a gas can is illegal (huh?) but they wouldn’t do anything about it, just be careful… but I’m sure one of the many, many police that have stopped me would have said something by now if I had to worry about it.

Once I reached Argentina, the road turned to pavement and for quite awhile the trip was very uneventful. Only one strange thing occurred: I ran out of fuel… and yet I had filled my tank up from my gas can no less than 80km previously. I normally get 160-200+km out of a tank, so Something Is Wrong. I couldn’t find any evidence of a gas leak and the engine is running fine with no signs at all of being rich (and if it was that rich it would stall out like crazy), so I have no idea what is going on. I will need to keep an eye out on this.

As I continued to close on Ushuaia, I drove from the sun into a slight overcast and a definite cold front. The evidence of melting snow had been all around me for awhile, but now the snow was quite clear as I approached a line of snow-covered mountains in the distance. The land of fire was getting cold again.



Soon the snow became very prevalent, and I arrived in Tilshun barely an hour before expected sundown – all of the roads in town were covered in a thick layer of snow and ice, boding ill for the road ahead. I drove around town for a bit looking for a place to stay, then asked at a gas station and was told there wasn’t anywhere to stay nearby.

Frustrated, I decided to continue along Ruta 3 for a bit until sunset and hope I could find a place to camp for a cold, boring night. With the sun going down at 5PM and not rising until 10AM, there’d be a lot of time spent doing nothing huddled inside a sleeping bag for warmth in camp… thankfully, just outside of town I saw a hosteria and drove up to see if they were open.

Obviously, this is the wrong time of year for travelers. The last few nights I have stayed in places I have been pretty much the only person around, often having to track people down in order to actually stay there. This place was no different, the doors were open but it was completely empty inside. After ten minutes of walking around and yelling “hola?” I was about to give up when I heard the faint clink of dishes from downstairs. Closer investigation revealed a beautiful young lady downstairs in the kitchen eating her dinner.

I interrupted her and she confirmed they were open and got me a room, though she was just leaving and wasn’t sure on the price. They aren’t open for dinner tonight so I decided to make some dinner in my room and boy was it a nice change to have my stove boil water quite rapidly without wind – my pasta was ready in fifteen minutes instead of the usual hour or longer.

Tomorrow I have a leisurely 104km ride to Ushuaia. Over some mountains. In below freezing weather. With the weather report indicating snow and rain all day. The last day to the end of the world might turn out to be a bit more difficult than a mindless easy button road after all.

Finally, something interesting again!
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:03 PM   #163
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Pete & Red Season 2 Episode 4: Land of Cold Part 1

Finally, here is a new episode of Pete & Red - this time I wanted to do more of a video diary style, showing a bit of what goes on in my head and the world around me as I travel Tierra del Fuego. Original is on Facebook in HD here.



I'm really curious if you enjoy this - Part 2 from today is already cut and I'll do Part 3 on the way to Ushuaia, but if they are fun I may do more on the way north.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:47 PM   #164
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I love the videos especially the last one. I don't always watch them on ride reports but there is so much on your trip that I am not familiar with or don't understand that I can't help it.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:24 AM   #165
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Others have done the video documentary style and its a great way to see and hear who is making the report, get a sense of them and their style. One downside is that you spend a lot of time in making, processing and uploading the video and the other is that text and pics can convey more information in a broader way, jumping ahead hours or into your thoughts, a good writer can pack so much into a couple of paragraphs. I would say do both, with the text and pics being your main method with the videos for the occasional times when you come across something unusual that needs a video to capture whatever it is, like the Perito Moreno glacier, I have heard that it groans and cracks fairly regularly, a video might be able to capture that instance of reality, but just my opinion, you are doing great, keep up the good work!
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