Brian the Rapid Rider - Not on the Ripio
Disembarking the ferry on Tierra del Fuego (the Land of Fire) the weather was cold and wet, we had 116kms of ripio (dirt) to traverse before entering Argentina and her paved roads. Following Brian for a few kilometers it was not long before Piggy wanted to go faster and we wanted to wear out the rear tyre.
Lupins at Lunch Stop
The muddy road took us over wind swept plains and skirted the coastline. This, the Chilean, part of Tierra del Fuego seems uninhabited apart from disgruntled newly shorn sheep, guanacos (animal related to the llama) and a plethora of birds and water fowl.
Arriving at the Paso de Grimaldi the weather grew colder, the sky darker and rain began to fall as we climbed higher into this the southern end of a great mountain chain we had been following since Alaska, this is the last part of the Andes before it dips into the sea and dissapears.
End of the World
To be finally reaching 'The End of the World' was quite emotional, especialy for Jules who experienced being snowed on for the first time in here life. The road was icey and the worn rear tyre only just hung on. (Yes we were still carrying those tyres from Mendoza!)
Parque National Ushaia
Looking forward to Christmas with other viajeros we descended into the pretty bay overlooking the Beagle Chanel and headed out towards the National Park.
A big red BMW appeared around the corner of the ripio road and immediately we recognised Emma and Hamish on Bertha. The four of us went out to the National Park camping ground where Hydaki, Jason and Peter had already settled in and had a roaring fire going. Not long after that Holgar, Martina, Mary and Mathias appeared and Christmas lunch preparations were underway.
Is it cold at night here?
Mary, Martina, Emma
The chicas took charge of organising the food preparation while the chicos took charge of it's cooking. It was decided that four chooks should be cooked on a spit over hot coals with the vegies spread about below roasting on a rack.
We had the rack.... we needed a spit!
After many hours of scrounging we had the materials and tools to put in place what seemed to be a workable rotating spit. Fire is roaring, chooks stuffed with an onion and not so delicatly speared with the spit, and over the fire it all went.
Hydaki - Smoke gets in your eyes
The solution - Grant
It looked good, in fact it looked fantastic.... one slight problem, as soon as you tried to turn the spit the chooks... they no turn!!!
Christmas, Champagne, Tables and Abba - Bad Combination
Jules and Emma
One hour of experimentation passed where the spit was removed and fine techinial adjustments were made such as trussing the chickens, wiring the spit, securing jubilee clamps, multi grips etc.
Brian, Jules and the formidible Yamaha Fazer
In fact the combined efforts and knowledge of two engineers, one builder, one metal fabricator and a computer technician were unable to overcome the inherent problems of keeping a chook from moving on a rotating spit. Oh well, we did try!
Eventually after much champagne we borrowed some roasting forks and the chickens roasted merrily along side the vegies! The outcome was delicious!
Bidding our mates farewell on a clear and almost warm day the scenery we missed on arrival revealed itself in all its splendid glory.
Parque National Ushaia
Tierra del Fuego
Stopping in Rio Grande it was time to change the tyres. After carrying the spares for 7,500kms (DON'T ASK WHY.... WE JUST DID.... OK!), finding a gomeria, half an hour later we had new tyres and ground clearance.
Enthusiastic Weight Reduction??
Stopping at Gracielas 'Hostal Hotel Argentino' (www.hostelargentino.com.ar) we were greeted with home made cherry brandy and steaming hot tea. Graciela's warmth and generosity made our five night stay very enjoyable. Being able to use her kitchen to cook up big pots of lamb stew for ourselves and our friends made it memorable.
Irish Stew - Patagonia Style
L-R Mary, Mathias (behind Mary's head), Holgar, Martina, Virginia, Pee Wee, Jules
However difficult to leave this haven from the elements the north beckoned.
With 3000 kilometers between Buenas Aires and Ushaia, 4 border posts, 116 kilometres of ripio, a ferry crossing, gusting side winds and unpredictable weather we questioned our motives for this part of our journey. Had we become obsessed with 'Check Point Tourism', did we want to boast about travelling from Alaska to Usuaia, was it for the adventure or did we just want to spend Christmas with other travellers. Maybe it was a combination of all of the above but one thing was for sure, this is not the way we liked to travel.
Posted by Julie Rose at January 07, 2007 09:30 PM GMT
Parque National Ushaia
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!
"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 Events
- UK Haggs Bank: Sep 19-21
- USA California: Sep 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Germany Autumn: Oct 23-26
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
- NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12, 2015
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16, 2015
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).
"Inspiring and hilarious!"
"I loved watching this DVD!"
"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."
Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'HEROES' on your order when you checkout.
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
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!
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 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.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
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.
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 © 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!