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Continuing south into the Windy Straights of PATAGONIA!

Written on: Monday January 14th, 2008

Hi,

This is the third of 3 new blog entries updated all at once, if you want to please leave a comment,

its Easy... Click on the ADD A COMMENT below between the text and the Photos..

In Rosario we had gathered email address's of Antarctic cruise companies and sent them off an email saying we were writing for blah blah and we would love to go on a trip and is there anything you can do for us in return for publicity, blah blah etc... it was worded well and we got one response. It looked good but when we decided to call from a petrol station on the way south there was mention of some sort of 10 percent discount, the trips cost about 5000 dollars so that was not gonna do it for us. We drove a few hours from Rosario from semi urban areas to rather boring agricultural area, fields and fields of crops. It was starting to get late and we found a place to camp in the town we had stopped at. The next morning we left early and once we got outside town the wind hit us hard and kept up all day long. The first stretch of road was 240ks towards to the west and the constant wind was hitting us from the left all the way (we drive on the right here). The only break from the constant leaning into the wind was the Juggernauts flying by in the opposite direction. So 240ks into our day we took the left to head due south and with our change in direction came the corresponding change in the wind, now coming straight in from our right. This pattern would repeat itself as we would change direction west or east or south onto different Rutas.

We crossed into the La Pampa province, the first one to occupy the region known as Patagonia. It is a place that has held a great deal of interest for me. I have always wanted to visit the giant glaciers in the south, as well as all the national parks with great forests in the Andean mountains but I never realised how barren the land to the north of this natural paradise would be. I mean Id been told but I never though it would be so magically desolate. I love it. Such a great feeling of space, of freedom, of nothing. The straight roads that in other parts of the country bore me here have a dramatic feeling about them and as they carve their way through the endless brush they suggest that this road through nothing is leading somewhere great.

That night we stopped at camping municipal, free camping beside the Rio Negro and the next morning we went to get petrol in town and were told no super, not again. We had done 100 miles since our last fill up Our reach normally was about 150miles (240ks) Without using the reserve which is another 20miles approx We had 60 miles to the next town and petrol, so we would probably be OK. I was anxious as yesterday I had had to use the reserve at 123miles just a mile or so before the petrol station...I think due to the strong relentless winds, although Peadar didn't have to use his. If this happened again then I wouldn't have enough to get there. But we had no other option (apart from staying to wait for the petrol to come to town) Soon we were back on the road heading south. Thank God the wind was not half as bad today but as I watched the tripometer get to 123 and beyond I was imagining running out here on the long road of nothingness (I'm sure someone would stop...and rob us, Naaa I mean sell us petrol, but it'd be hassle if it happened). I kept waiting for the CHUG, CHUG, CHUG of the normal tank running out but it didn't, not at 123, not at 130, not at 140, not at 150.. but at 153, with only 3ks to town. Peadar's had even had to go to reserve before me, though he had been into town last night and I hadn't. A few hours of straight nothingness and we arrived at Puerto Madryn and set up at the campsite.

The next morning we changed the oil and rear tyres (which is a pretty tough job but we will improve with time and practice). Other checks done on the bike, top up battery acid, clean air filter and clean and lube chain. We both got sheepskins for our seats and Peadar got an metal plate on to the back of his bike to better support luggage, which looks good but cost 30 bills, Still though I'm sure the BMW version costs an arm and a leg. Yesterday we went to Peninsula Valdes to see the Sea lions (Man are they noisy, aggressive and lazy all at once) and Penguins and other wildlife, although we are too late for the whale season. Here at the right time of year you can see Orca whales coming onto the beach to try and kill the seals, but you have a very low chance of actually seeing that.

We have to wait another day or so for Peadar's front tyre and then we continue south toward the Island of Tierra del Fuego and Ushuaia, the most southerly town in the world... but first I will leave this Internet cafe in which I have been a self admitted prisoner for the last god knows how many hours, thanks god I have my Ipod...

Adios Stephen.

 

From flood on Jan 15th, 2008

great stuff man. cant get over the power of that waterfall!! Looks brillaint over there. As Im typing this hailstones are peppering off my bedroom window!!!! Will drop you an email. I think you should take up smoking by the way. Great habit!!

From Aine on Jan 16th, 2008

Wow-some amazing pics there-n Im lovin the descriptions-so funny!How random were the balls of wool in the middle of nowhere-tumbleweed!! Cant believe u got so close 2 an aligator, n hey that pic of the sky looks like the 1 I have of the Ocean Road-so colourful.Great animal pics-that funny lookin rodent.K hope ur bum is nice n cosy now-I'd say that wz a gud investment.Il mail ya, enjoy, luv ur jealous sis xxx

From Mam & Dad on Jan 16th, 2008

Bet you notice some difference with the new tyres and furry seat. Pics are great especially some of the birds. Mam says stay away from those alligators they don't taste that good and are very tough. Stay safe and enjoy. Peadar you must be a saint stopping for all those photos, cheers

From flor on Jan 17th, 2008

it´s me agian!! great helmet hair picture!!! hilarious!!

From Jane-Ann on Jan 18th, 2008

glad ye are still alive and well. here's the pudding proof that am reading your updates. apologies for the pawltry amount of email correspondence i've sent you, but how could i expect you to waste valuable travel time (and money) in an internet cafe reading about daily drear (;)) all good though, not much to report. phoebe off on tuesday, so another one bites the dust. promise you will eventually get a decent detail-filled email, but in the meantime, in the words of the great j.springer 'look after yourselves and eachother' (such a wise thoughtful man). Miss you both. Much love, JA xx

From Marian on Jan 19th, 2008

Hola stephen! Looks like your havin a ball, I'm so frickin jealous! The sheepskin seat looks like a good un anyway and I see you've taken to chasing deer like creatures around south america..fun times! Anywho, look forward to readin your next blog and seeing more pics! Have fun, careful now! x

From ciar on Jan 19th, 2008

hey boys!! been reading the updates but only saw the add your comment box now!! loving the stories and brilliant picts. god i'd love to be there!! well take it easy! xx

From Linden on Jan 21st, 2008

Thanks for the text. Delighted and very impressed that you have finally reached Ushuaia. Well done to you guys (and the bikes !!)