From Buenos Aires to Santiago via Ushuaia and Antarctica
by motorcycle and Cruise Ship
On our way south, we met a guy on a motocross motorcycle. We asked him
for a good spot to camp. Before taking us to a beautiful lagoon with a
wide beach, grass and trees, he invited us to his ice cream shop, where
we had delicious Dulce de leche granizado and Banana Split ice cream.
Argentina must have more ice cream shops than Italy. And the ice cream
That night, a big thunderstorm moved in and before the
downpour started, the low hanging, almost black clouds produced one of
the most spectacular sunsets I have ever seen. The light was just magic.
Burning Sky at Pedro Luro, Argentina
South of Viedma, we took the first of many gravel roads along the coast
with great views of high cliffs and the South Atlantic ocean. A large
sealion colony at La Loberia added some more attraction to the already
For most of our way south, we took the only fully paved road in Patagonia,
Ruta 3. It parallels the Atlantic ocean, usually in a great distance.
At the Valdez Peninsula, we wanted to do some whale watching. But the
season was already over, the whales had left for the cooler waters of
Antarctica. The peninsula offers some of the most stunning wildlife areas
in Argentina. Several Sealion and Penguin colonies skirt the coast, and
the dry inland of this waterless place is full of Guanacos, a close relative
to the lama, Nandus that resemble an ostrich and other animals. The gravelroads
are in a good condition, fun riding.
Two hundred kilometers further south, at Punta Tombo, we had to drive
right through the penguin colony. Half a million Magellan Penguins live
on the rocky shores. Some of them are very curious, they even came sniffing
at the motorcycles and at our boots.
South of Punta Tombo I had my first crash. On an otherwise very smooth
gravel road I hit several deep holes at about 80km/h, came into the loose
gravel and lost control. After that, my right foot hurt and one Aluminum
box was dented. Luckily, neither the motorcycle nor me was severely damaged.
The following days, I drove more careful than before. On these backroads
along the coast, we did not see a car or a person for hours. The long,
deserted beaches were great for beach-motorcycling.
Via the uninspiring cities of Comodoro Rivadavia and Caleta Olivia we
entered the plains of the Patagonian desert. We had not seen a tree outside
of towns and estancias for 1000km and it would go on like this for another
1500km. No trees, no houses, just dry grass for hundreds of kilometers.
The westerly winds increased as we went south, becoming an incessant storm
in southern Patagonia and on Fireland. There seems to be only the road,
an occasional truck, the wind that wants to push you into the oncoming
traffic and yourself, for hours and days.