January 06, 2009 GMT
I Won't Pay Your Price.

30/12/08. Porvenir, TDF, Chile.

TolhuinTrees.JPG


The smell of freedom, on the glorious morning I finally get out of Rio Grande, is the smell of somebody else's B.O., thanks to the rarely-laundered towel I'm provided with at the hotel. It's not until I've showered and dried off with this hellish cloth that I notice a foreign pungency rising directly from my beard into my nose. I sniff the towel: regret is immediate and lasting.

UshWelcome.JPG

Luckily there's the customary stiff breeze at play, and by the time Ruta 3 suddenly gets exciting (around Kilometre 3000) the wickedness of earlier is but a sour-gutted memory. Freezing and laughing, I squirt into Ushuaia, and the warmest hotel in the world, in the early afternoon. I suppose if you'd arrived here from the Andes rather than the east coast, the snowy, pointy mountains that surround End-Of-The-World-Town might not cause you to drool in wonder, but to me, they're - oh - like, rilly, rilly amaaaazing.

UshTown1.JPG

UshTown2.JPG

So it's Xmas Eve, I'm in The Galway and I'm literally starving. I ask about the menu and it turns out it's fleecin' time. 150 pesos (30 GBP) for a set menu featuring an assortment of things you don't want, and it's the same in every other restaurant in town. Price-fixing cartel ahoy! I ain't paying, so - weak with hunger - I chance upon a newsagent with foot-long hot dogs at a pound a pop. I swallow two of them whole.

UshWater.JPG

UshBoat.JPG

Christmas Day! The sun's out, a bit, and that ever-faithful standby, the YPF petrol station has hot pies for breakfast. Full of cheer and pie, I scoot down to the TDF National Park. It's merry, joyous and wild. As I park up to take the traditional pic of the end of the road sign, a whole bunch of USA-ers gaggle up. Oh-ho-ho! The broads wanna sit on the motorsickle! Can do, gals!

UshGals1.JPG

UshGals2.JPG

UshGals3.JPG

UshSignMe.JPG

Faint with Christmas glee, I trickle back to the hotel for a garage ham-n-cheese and a lie-down. Christmas night, and, having decided the Galway is A Bastard, I'm thrilled to find The Dublin open.

UshDublin.JPG

It's a proper pub, and draught Beagle - blond, red or black - is Argentina's finest. Two pints in, I overhear Jeff from Cheshunt, Herts - home of the biggest Tesco in the world - order a Beagle in an English accent. Hours later, we're still yammering on about how "Xanadu" is Rush's best song (or is it "Red Barchetta"?), and, in a joint act of seasonal goodwill exceeding the Anglo-German WW1 footer-in-the-trenches match, still ignoring the fact that one of us supports Arsenal and the other is A Bastard.

UshDubParty.JPG

Events unfold in a similar manner for the next few days and shortly it's time to get the fook outta town. The Galway has decided to charge - for a cold buffet! - One Hundred United States Greenbacks on New Year's Eve. Exit me, laughing.

UshShips.JPG

A spirited, gusty ride back to San Sebastian on the Chilean side of TDF, and I'm back at Hotel De La Frontera, the island's cosiest joint, and halfway to Porvenir and the ferry back to Mainland America. It's really fantastically breezy today. I meet several motorcycle people and we're all soiling ourselves over the wind and the gravel roads. Lamb chops and brilliant, brilliant Chilean red wine soothe the worries, and today, one day before New Year's Eve, I make the 90 gusty gravel miles to Porvenir, hopefully enabling my plan to be among the bright lights of Punta Arenas for the 31st. So! Those are the bald facts leading up to my current ensconcement in Club Croatia. If I can think of any lavatory jokes to ease the mood, you'll be top of my call-back list.

UshMural.JPG

Posted by Simon Fitzpatrick at January 06, 2009 07:58 PM GMT
 


HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

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


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!