December 31, 2007 GMT
WALK LIKE A PENGUIN

We have seen so many videos, documentaries and photos on Antarctica we were wondering if it would switch to overload once we got there. It didn’t … In fact mere words cannot describe the magnificence of this place. Putting the journey into perspective I will tell you that I, and I believe Carol as well, do not deal with cold weather. To say the least we are tropical types and the extremes we experienced here (in summer) was hitting our limits.


1MvDiscovery.jpg
Our ship MV Discovery


2LifeBoatDrill.jpg
Life boat drill, lets hope we don't need to use them


3LeavingUshuaiaBeagleChannel.jpg
Leaving Ushuaia along the Beagle Channel

We arrived in Ushuaia with colds/flues. This problem was caused by the extreme weather experienced between Cerro Sombrero and Rio Grande. Wind, rain and cold. Nothing serious but due to the upcoming venture we took our antibiotics and plenty of vitamin C to ensure the next ten days were taken in with clear heads and clear noses.


4SthShetlandIs.jpg
South Shetland Islands


5Penguins.jpg
Penguins South Shetland Islands


6ZodiacCruise.jpg
Zodiac Cruise



7ZodiacCruise.jpg
Zodiac Cruise


8CarolAndKenOnZodiac.jpg
Zodiac cruising, do we look cold

Boarding, after dropping the bike off at the shipping agents bus shed, was a tough ask as we had to walk the length of the wharf with all our gear into a wind that would blow the kangaroo decal off a Qantas jumbo. On board, all was cosy, and our typical ship cabin catered for every need. The vessel we were sailing with is the sister ship of the famous ‘Love Boat’ and previously called ‘Island Princess’.


9ArctoskiStationKingGeorgeIs.jpg
Arctoski Station King George Island


10BlackPenguin.jpg
Black Penguin


11Seals.jpg
Sleeping Seals


12AdelieChinstrapGentooPenguins.jpg
Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adelie Penguins


13PenguinsHitchingRideOnIceBerg.jpg
Penguins hitching a ride on an Ice Berg


14IceBerg.jpg
Ice Berg


15IceBerg.jpg
Ice Berg

Drake Passage was a ‘smooth crossing’ relayed to us by our Captain who happened to reside at Mapleton just north of Brisbane. Just like travelling with a neighbour.
Carol did not hear this declaration however and promptly got seasick. It was too late for the tablets so it was the needle in the backside…. Magic… She was back. Nothing worse than standing on an open deck in a freezing wind looking at spectacular icebergs and wildlife…alone. !!! The Drake Passage crossing took one and a half days.


16IceBergs.jpg
More Ice Bergs


17Penguins.jpg
Penguins


18ContinentalAntarcticPeninsularDuthiersPt.jpg
Landing on Continental Antarctic Peninsular at Duthiers Point


19KenAtDuthiersPt.jpg
Ken at Duthiers Point

Photos!!!! We have far too many photos of icebergs and penguins!!!! You had to be there to understand.


20LemaireChannel.jpg
Lemaire Channel


21CarolAtHalfMoonBay.jpg
Snowing on Half Moon Island


22Penguins.jpg
More Penguins

The experience of a lifetime. If you can do it ……do it, ‘itsonlymoney’!!!

Posted by Ken Duval at 02:31 AM GMT
December 13, 2007 GMT
WINDY WELCOME TO THE END OF THE WORLD....USHUAIA

Sarmiento looked a long way with little in between so we departed Esquel around 9.00am hoping to get to there in time for lunch. Road signs in Argentina are very inconsistent. You may pass a sign saying 160kms to the next town. Travel a further 10kms + on your trip meter than come across another sign saying 161kms to the same town??? We gave up trying to work out which was correct but always kept plenty of fuel on board in case it went a little pear shaped in the distance calculation. I might add that our maps were way out in comparison to the road signs as well.


1Ruta40And20SthOfEsquel.jpg
Ruta 40/20 South of Esquel

The road was paved other than for a few kms of road works with the wind varying from a tail wind on Ruta 40 and part of Ruta 20 to a cross wind when Ruta 20 hooked east . Nothing too unpleasant but the lack of sunshine made it quite cool. Wild life was scarce as was the number of trees. The landscape was arid to say the least although we did see a large fox scurrying across the road disappearing into the low bushes covering the stony plains. The roaring wind blowing us sideways as we arrived in Sarmiento was wild with the local dogs struggling to stand up in the gale. We rode through town looking for suitable accommodation but feeling decidedly uncomfortable retired to the roadhouse on the highway for lunch to discuss our next move away from the bellowing roar coming through our intercom.


2Ruta26NearSarmiento.jpg
Ruta 26 Near Sarmiento

Comodoro Rivadavia was only another 150 kms further, according to the map, so we decided to escape the winds that blew so hard in this little lakeside village hoping to get some respite on the eastern seaboard of Argentina.


3MechanicalChickens.jpg
Mechanical Chickens

The last fifty odd kms of this ride would have been the most difficult wind riding we have ever experienced. Gusts that would push the bike so hard sideways across the road caused great concern to both us and the other traffic sharing the road. The roar in our helmets was deafening but I could still hear Carol’s muffled scream as the bike was stood bolt upright while trying to angle through a bend. The countryside was dotted with those ‘mechanical chickens’ perpetually dipping their steel beaks into the earth sucking up the crude oil that is buried beneath. Comodoro Rivadavia is an oil town and on Saturday night any accommodation is premium. We arrived too late for the Tourist Office so we rode the city looking for a suitable room. Camping was out of the question as the wind had chased us into town and conditions here were as bad as they were in Sarmiento. Suffice to say after two hours of looking we ended up north of the city at a beach hotel charging a premium price. Secure parking for the bike consisted of being outside our bedroom window in a public car park. That night the wind blew so hard that our light nylon bike cover was shredded. Next day we moved to a hostel not listed in the guide book or sign posted. The Tourist Office had it on their books though and what a great little place. Secure under cover parking for the bike plus a kitchen. We enjoyed three almost windless days in C R doing touristy stuff and a lot of walking. Our main point for the stay was to meet up with our friend from Aus, Ron Markiewicz who was doing the final leg of an Alaska to Ushuaia tour. See his story on the HU site also. We enjoyed a great night with part of his group at a lamb asado. A night to remember shared with other motorcyclists riding this fantastic country.


4RonMarkiewiczBike.jpg
Ron's Black Mamba


5ComodoroRivadavia.jpg
Comodoro Rivadavia


6RheaAndChicks.jpg
Sheep, Rhea and Chicks

Wednesday the fifth of December we departed C R knowing we had plenty of time to make Ushuaia for our Antarctic voyage departure on the 14th. The road south was windy and the surface ranged between good pavement to rubble. Guanaco and rhea were plentiful along most of the windswept countryside and we watched guanaco jump the boundary fences with ease on our approach. Rhea hens usually surrounded by 6-8 chicks darted away in fear also. Rabbits were sighted frequently, and the odd fox seen slinking away looking quite well fed, probably due to the abundance of these introduced species. Along this road we crossed paths with two motorcyclists from Sao Paulo. Arriving at Puerto San Julian we shared lunch with the two Brazilians who were heading in the same direction but at a much quicker pace.


7Ruta3BetweenPuertoSanJulianAndCmteLuisPiedraBuena.jpg
Ruta 3 Between Puerto San Julian and Cmte. Luis Piedra Buena


8CampingAtCmteLuisPiedraBuena.jpg
Camping at Cmte. Luis Pietra Buena

Cmte. Luis Piedra Buena provided a great little camp ground on an island (Isla Pavon) in the middle of Rio Santa Cruz. A light shower christened us as we erected the tent but that was it. A pleasant night, meeting a German couple traveling South America in a small camper. Reveling youngsters in the camp ground disturbed their sleep that night so they decided to move the next day to a nearby National Park


9FoxSign.jpg
Fox Sign

The weather was beginning to deteriorate as we rode south and by the time we had reached Rio Gallegos the wind was howling under a very dark grey sky. We had lunch at a large YPF garage on the outskirts of town and reluctantly left its warmth to head into a major head wind. The clouds dropped lower and the wind became very bitter. I felt we were heading for a snow fall but it was just a light shower of rain that chased us to the ferry crossing over Estrecho de Magallanes (Magellan Strait) at Punta Delgada and onto Bahia Azul, Tierra del Fuego. We raced towards Cerro Sombrero on the new concrete highway arriving late in the afternoon. The wind once again blew across our path with nothing to stop its cutting blasts. The area was void of trees and this little township was a welcome sight.


10RoadFromCerroSombreroToSanSebastianChile.jpg
Road from Cerro Sombrero to San Sebastian Chile

Hosteria Tunken provided a room with shared bathroom facilities. The two story building was all but deserted when we arrived, but that changed very quickly. An influx of workmen arrived just as we were relaxing. I had made the shower commenting to Carol how great it was. Sadly Carol missed out as the workers took over both bathrooms and devoured all the hot water. The problem occurred the next morning as well much to Carols’ displeasure. The rain and wind combination joined us as we departed for the Chilean border. We endured this for the whole journey (155kms) and the ripio road (gravel) added to our discomfort. The border crossings were painless and we sucked in the warmth inside the buildings. We did however; express more concern at the wild conditions as we watched three bicycle riders approach the Chilean border post, the last rider was blown off the road and into a ditch.


11SanSebastianBorderArgentina.jpg
San Sebastian Border Argentina


12CarolAndGraciela.jpg
Carol and the "Famous" Graciela


13InsideHostelArgentinoRioGrande.jpg
Memorabilia Hostel Argentino Rio Grande

The paved road rejoined us at San Sebastian Argentina, a welcome relief after the extremely difficult conditions of the past few hours. Rio Grande was cold and our quick ride through town failed to find the popular Hostel Argentino so we headed to the Tourist Information Office to find its whereabouts. Funny.. we had already ridden past it a couple of times. Meeting Graciela for the first time we could see why this haven for travelers was so popular. We stayed in Rio Grande for three nights and during our regular walks around town we discovered a machinist who could repair our shredded bike cover.


14LagoFagnanoOutsideOfTolhuin.jpg
Lago Fagnano Outside of Tolhuin


15UshuaiaCentro.jpg
Ushuaia Centro


16TheSign.jpg
"The Sign"

Reluctantly we left Rio Grande and headed south to Ushuaia telling our host that we would be back to stay on our return journey north. The road to Ushuaia was fantastic. Trees turned into forests, lakes and snow covered mountains pressed into view as we rolled along the winding road. The sun shone and the wind blew more than we would like but the sky remained blue as we dropped down into Ushuaia. A spectacular setting to say the least. A small coastal city surrounded by snow covered peaks, ships in the harbor and planes landing at the distant airport. The routine of heading to the Tourist Office netted a fantastic near new cabana for 100 pesos a night. Our hosts spoke English and were very helpful; however the cosy room was only available for three nights. Of the three days we were there only one was fine so we dashed out to the National Park at the end of Ruta 3 for the mandatory photograph. For the remaining night before our departure we moved to a little Hostel in town which was also closer to the port.


17ParqueNatTierraDelFuego.jpg
Parque National Tierra del Fuego


18EndOfRuta3WeMadeIt.jpg
End of Ruta 3 in the Parque National


19ParqueNatTierraDelFuego.jpg
Parque National Tierra del Fuego


20Ushuaia.jpg
Ushuaia the most Southern City in the World

Antarctica awaits….

Posted by Ken Duval at 10:50 PM GMT
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"The calendar is magnificent!"

"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"

We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!

Next HU Eventscalendar

See all events

 

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

What others say about HU...

"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada

"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia

"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders

contest pic

10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!

NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!


What turns you on to motorcycle travel?


Global Rescue, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!


New to Horizons Unlimited?

New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!

Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.

Susan and Grant Johnson Read more about Grant & Susan's story

Membership - help keep us going!

Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.

You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.


Books & DVDs

amazon

All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.


Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

All Rights Reserved.

Contact the author:

Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.

Hosted by: Horizons Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!