I'm Andreas, 24, from Germany. Just finished studying. With my bike - R1100GS - I'm travelling in South-, Central-, and maybe also in North America (if enough time is left). Currently I'm in Argentina, heading South for Ushuaia.
Since I'm writing this lines a long time after travelling in this part of Chile I mention only a few things.
Travelling in this part of Chile is no problem. Hostels or campgrounds can be found everywhere. The nice thing in Chile is that there are mountains as well as the Pacific Ocean. And it's only a few hundred kilometers from the PAcific to the Andes. So one day you can spent at the beach an the other day you can go hiking in the mountains.
On our way down south we visited Los Angeles, Chillan, Temuco. Spent several days as well at the Pacific Ocean as in the national parks in the mountains. We visitied to botega Miguel Torres and Rafael climbed the Vulcano Villarica.
One of the highlights of this part of the journey was our stay in the Hostel LA TORRE SUIZA in Villarica, where we spent several days and met nice people.
Cerro Sombrero and Rio Grande
As Tierra del Fuego is an island, you have to use a ferry to go there. On our way to the south we took the ferry that sails from Punta Delgada to Fireland.
The first night we spent at the Camping Municipal in Cerro Sombrero. C.Sembroro is a tiny village, but at least it had a gas station and a small mercado. Also the camping wasn't to bad, because they had small cabanas, which meant we didn't have to build up our tents.
Melanie and Christian during the ferry crossing.
The next day we had to pass the border to Argentina again, which was no problem. In Rio Grande we found a great hostel (Hotel Argentina). It's owned by Graciela and it was a very familiar atmosphere there. In the evening we first had a BBQ and then went to a pub. As we arrived there, at 20 past midnight, there were only a few people in. But when we went back to the hostel, at 3 clock, the pub was full. So next we will go out even later.
The argentinian way to start the charcoal for a BBQ.
As everybody was very tired the next day, we decided to stay one more day. In the afternoon another german guy - Rainer - arrived with his motorcycle.
Rainer joined us, as we left Rio Grande the next day - not without having taken a photo for Graciela's photo album.
Group photo in front of Hotel Argentina in Rio Grande.
From left to right: Christian, me, Melanie, Rainer.
Ushuaia - the southernmost city in the world
It's a two hours ride from Rio Grande to Ushuaia. I liked the landscape and scenery very much. The landscape chanches several times: first ther is still the plain grassland, then the first trees appear. Soon your driving through forests before the first snowcoverd mountains appear.
As we arrived Ushuaia, we went to the tourist information, and soon we found a nice place to stay: the hostel PATAGONIA PAIS, is 10 minutes walking time from the centre away, has a save parking for motorcycles and very friendly owners. Well on our way to the tourist information we met the two swiss girls from the Peninsula Valdez again and in the evening we had a BBQ together.
Heaven on Earth ;-)
We spent three days in Ushuaia. During this time we visited the national park, made a sightseeing tour in the city centre (actually there's only the main road SAN MARTIN, with its souvenier and outdoor shops) and went up to the Glacier Martial.
Then it was time to move on: an this time there was only one direction to go: NORTH.
Sign says: Aqui finaliza la Ruta Nac. No 3.
Buenos Aires 3.064 km
Alaska 17.848 km
On our way back we passed Rio Grande again, where we stayed another night in Hotel Argentina. To go back to Patagonia, this time we took the ferry from Porvenir to Punta Arenas. Unfortunately we didn't check the timetable of the ferry in advance. So we missed the last ferry and had to stay another night in Porvenir.
We had an relaxed evening - our last evening on Tierra del Fuego - watching TV and drinking a glass of wine or beer.
To prove it: I've really been there.
We left Tierra del Fuego, using the Ferry from Porvenir to Punta Arenas. The ferry needs 2.5 hours for sailing. As we left Porvenir, we met Sergio, a Spanish guy with his bicycle again (we already met him in Ushuaia).
On the ferry we had some time to talk and as we arrived in Punta Arenas we took the same hostel (Independencia Lodging). Well, we didn't take a room in the hostel, but camped in the garden which was also possible.
In Punta Arenas we spent two nights. We wanted to buy some more camping equipment, and so we drove to Zona Franca, a duty free zone. But on sunday most of the shops were closed. We though "no problem" and went there again on monday - but this was a holiday and Chile and the shops were still closed. So we packed our stuff together without having bought anything and moved on to Puerto Natales.
Melanie and Christian cooking.
(Hostel Independencia, Punta Arenas)
From Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales it's 250km to go on a paved road. We had the information, that there is a campground in the city centre, so we directly went there. In our guidbook we read "Puerto Natales is a quiet town, nice to relax a few days ....", but there were so many tourists, that i found it neither quiet nor nice to relax". At least we used the town - as all the other tourists too - to buy food for the hiking trip in the natinal park TORRES del PAINE. I also changed the tire of my bike. Melanie had brought it from Germany and Christian had transported in since then on his bike. Changing the tire was no problem and a new tire lets you feel much better, when driving with 100 km/h on a gravel road. On our second day in Purto Natales a swiss couple Jan and Salva arrived with their car and it nice talking with them.
10-12-2003 to be continued
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