We work one year, travel one year. Motorcycle traveling provides us with
the 2 things that are the most important in our lives: freedom and
adventure. We live each day like it is our last and make the most of every opportunity.
After one glorious week in BA- Big Apple, we are
pushing on!! We really enjoyed staying with Brigette and
discovering Buenos Aires. Pat did some maintenance stuff
to the bike and Bin watched Evita video 3 times and is now
singing `Dont cry for me Argentina` all the time.
BA is the second biggest town in South America with an
incredibly good highway system. BA has the widest street
in the world which carries 30 lanes of traffic!! The
people are really friendly and in reasonably good spirits
considering the economic conditions of the country.We will now head south towards Ushuia- the most
southern point in South America for Xmas.
We have been overwhelmed by Argentinian generosity and hospitality.
What a great country with great people. After leaving Buenos Aires we
followed the coast towards Mar del Plata checking out the beaches, of
course, the lovely little seaside villages and the houses!
At Mar del Plata we met Monno and family, thanks to Nevione and Don
Crawford, and were treated to two magnificent Argentinian Asados- BBQs-
Mumma mia, these BBQs put Aussie BBQs to shame!! We also finally got the
shock fixed by Andy Garcia PH (156 820 045) in Mar del Plata and he
really knew what he was doing!!
We then drove into the welcoming arms of Oscar and his wonderful
family in Viedma. Oscar has been following the Horizons Unlimited
website and spotted that we were heading in his general direction. He
then emailed us and invited us to his home. On our way we stopped at the
side of the road to talk to 2 German bicyclists. A fellow (Luis) stopped
behind us and asked if we were on our way to the BBQ at Oscars. With
shock on our face we said "How did you know?" He then said that Oscar
had invited him as well to meet us- what a small, crazy world!
I now have many photos of Pat kissing other men as is the usual
greeting in Argentina- thanks for the idea Bernie (Pats brother)!! Oscar
and family and friends treated us to two magnificent BBQs and many
"magic moments" and kept us up til 3am for 2 nights in a row!! Pat and
Luis got talking and Pat talked Luis into joining us on the trip down to
Ushuaia. Luis is a 26 year old Argentinian and is great fun to travel
with, plus he speaks fluent Spanish of course!!
We then continued south along the coast to Puerto Madryn area and saw
many whales, seals, penguins, lamas, foxes, rabbits- animals
everywhere!! We caught up with John and Annette again and celebrated in
the usual style!!
We are now in Comodoro Rivadavia with long 450km/day days ahead of
us. Patagonia area is very dry and desert like and really flat and
boring to drive through. We are beginning to experience the famous
Patagonia strong winds up to 150km/hr!!
We are on target for Ushuaia for Xmas Day and have met many other
bikers who are heading that way as well, should be a great party!! Merry Xmas to you all and hopefully all your dreams come true!
On our way to Ushuaia we diverted off highway 3 for a bit of a gravel
run to El Calefate to see the famous Perito Moreno Glacier (well, famous
in these parts anyway!!). It was amazing, one of the most spectacular
sites we have seen, rivaling Iguassu Falls!! The Glacier moves 2 metres
per day and calves off every 10 minutes into a large glacial lake. It
sounds like a huge roaring animal and is mesmerising- Pat watched it for
4 whole hours and saw some amazingly large slabs fall off into the lake
creating enormous waves!! We were lucky that day in that it was warm and
sunny, with very little wind.
We then continued on good roads to Ushuaia- the most southern town in
the world- or end of the World as they call it here!! It is in a
spectacular setting with snow capped peaks behind, a sheltered strait in
front and more snow capped peaks across the strait. We stayed in a great
place on top of the hill called Apart Alem overlooking the city and the
water and we watched the cruise ships arriving daily from Antarctica and
the sun setting at 11pm and rising at 3am (we didnt see to many
sunrises!!) There was no TOTAL darkness in between- amazing.
Xmas Eve we had a party in our apartment and invited everyone from
the top floor to attend, it was an international party with guests from
around the world. Xmas Day turned out to be sunny and beautiful. We met
a group of 12 motorcyclists at the end of the world sign at the end of
the route 3 in the National Park. We saw 12 other motorcyclists in
Ushuaia that had no meeting place or time for the annual traditional
motorcycle rondevou in Ushuaia.
We stayed in Ushuaia for 6 wonderful days partying with motorcyclists
from around the world. We met lots more in the next few days on the road
north to Puerto Natales.
In this portion of the trip we were rather lucky not to experience
the hazardous 150 Km winds known to frequent the Patagonian region in
We arrived in a lovely little village called Puerto Natales, got a
group of 11 together and had a fantastic New Years Eve dinner and party.
We all said our New Years Resolutions. Ours was that year 2002 has been
the best year in our lives and we want them to keep getting better every
Tonight, we are getting on the ferry for 4 days heading north towards
Puerto Montte through the fiords and beneath the glaciers, heading
towards some warmth!!
When we wrote last we were just about to board the Ferry in Puerto
Natales, Chile. Wow, what a trip, it was definitely the way to go as
there are no roads in Southern Chile and the only other option was the
notorious Route 40- a rough gravel road in Argentina running along the
top of the Andes.
Pat and Luis enjoyed the break from driving and Belinda enjoyed the
break on her bum! We sat back like a couple of oldies on a cruise ship
and read, ate, slept, OK- we did party a bit too and Belinda even
excelled at Bingo, though always yelling "Bingo" too late!!! The cruise
was expensive at $250 each, but we probably saved that much on
maintenance on the bike, tires etc!!
We arrived 3 days later at Puerto Montte, Chile and went straight to
the seafood market and had the best feed of mixed seafood soup and
Chillean Salmon- Yummo!! The scenery around the Chillean Lake District
was awesome with gorgeous, quaint, German-style lakeside villages
everywhere. Currently Chile is way more expensive than Argentina, so we
splurged for our last night in Chile and had a lovely lakeside cabin
with cable TV!!
Next morning we drove through wonderful scenery, crossed the Andes
and back into wonderful Argentina. January is a terrible time to travel
in Argentina as everyone else is travelling and the Cheilleans are over
here too, cause its so cheap! We had a lot of trouble finding
accommodation and ended up in a backpackers on the top of a hill in
Bariloche. It was 11pm when we finally arrived there after checking
heaps of places to stay- all completo- (full). We were following a guy
on a motorcycle up a dark, sandy road climbing the hill to the
backpackers, when the inevitable happened- we fell- first fall in the
trip! Luis came around the corner behind us and thought we were getting
robbed! He jumped off his bike in pursuit of the robbers, only to find
that there weren't any!! Pat, with a little help from Belinda, picked
the fully loaded bike up, swore a bit and we continued unhurt to the
"bloody backpackers" as Pat called it. cont...
PUBLISH TRAVEL STORY