Tuesday, February 11, 2020 | Domenico Schiano Moriello / Marc Adamiak | North and South America
Follow the blog of our trip to the "Fin del Mundo"!
Our last riding day! For the sixth and last time we crossed the border, and for the second time the Strait of Magellan. Mostly straight and "boring" roads today, so after crossing the border we went for a little detour on gravel to see the penguins at the "Pinguino Rey" colony. After that, straight to the ferry, lunch on the continent and then again stright into Punta Arenas, where we had to turn-in the bikes (goodbye beauties!). Around 5000 km of an unforgettable trip, sometimes though but always worth it! Goodbye to everybody! Ride safe!!!
After having reached World's end, it's time to start backtracking to backtrack the way we came and start going to our final destination. The direct route to Rio Grande is only around 200 km, so there was time enough for a side trip on a curvy and narrow gravel road to Puerto Harberton. After that, back on main road, we passed again by Tolhuin where we stopped for a coffee and light lunch before finally reaching Rio Grande.
Only a short ride today, to the end of the "Ruta 3", and to the southernmost post office in the world... and at lunch time we were already back in Ushuaia. Afternoon free (after all, it's a rest day!), some walking, shopping and a good dinner!
A long day, including border crossing from Chile to Argentina, and fortunately the weather was good, without much side wind (this would have made the ride quite though!). We stopped in Rio Grande for gasoline and then reached Tolhuin for a good piece of pastry. Finally some curves again after that, as we hit Paso Garibaldi before finally descending to Ushuaia. Fin del Mundo, we have made it!!!
Today we went for a loop in the Torres del Paine National Park, definitely one of the highlights of this tour... and the reason why we are spending two nights in Puerto Natales! The weather didn't look so good in the morning and the sky was always cloudy, but luckily there was no wind and it didn't rain, so we enjoied a great ride through the park and had lunch just undet the famous towers (torres) del Paine! Enjoy the pictures!
Let's go back to Chile, where the magnificent Torres del Paine National Park is awaiting us. Back on the Ruta 40, we left El Calafate on a cloudy morning and the clouds became more and more threatehing, so we did not use the unpaved road to reach Tapi Aike, where we had a quick break and refilled our bikes. Border crossing in Cancha Carrera did not take long time and we had a good rest and a light lunch in Cierro Castillo. A light lunch because in Puerto Natales there is the southernmost original Neapolitan Pizzeria in the world... and that's where we went for dinner!
We are spending two nights in El Calafate, and not without a reason! One of the most spectacular places on Earth is just a few kilometres away, the magnificent glacier Perito Moreno! So after a short ride we entered the park and reached the glacier viewpoint, and after that we also went on a short cruise to admire the impressive ice wall from the lake and from a shorter distance. Back on land, some decided to go for another ride (never tired!) and some back to El Calafate, where there was also the chance to visit the Glaciarum Museum. A good day!
Finally a more relaxing day, completely on pavement and with less wind! So, after a break at "La Leona" we reached El Calafate quite early, went to buy the boat tickets for tomorrow (stay tuned!) and had a light lunch before going to the hotel. Afternoon free and night out today!
Back on the gravel road, for a shorter stretch today... but the road was in bad conditions and we also had to fight the famous patagonian wind! We also struggled a bit with the gasoline because in Tres Lagos the gas station was empty... but we made it!Tonight we sleep in El Chalten, at the feet of the imposing and magnificent mount Fitz Roy, what a view from our rooms when the sky clears up!
This was one of the most beautiful and scenic days, but also one of the toughest! After breakfast we rode through Parque Patagonia over Paso Roballos, where many Guanacos were welcoming us, and then crossed the border again into Argentina. After around 220 km of gravel (sometimes quite deep!) we reached the Ruta 40 and stopped for a break in Bajo Caracoles. But the day had not ended, still 150 km on asphalt and another 40 on gravel to reach the Estancia La Angostura, a farm in the middle of nowhere where we will spend the night!
A few options for today: sleep in and relax at the lodge, go for a ride to Chile Chico, horseback riding... and so on... and everybody did something different and had a good day. And in the evening a typical patagonian dinner with lamb. Enjoy the pictures!
Definitely a day to remember! We left coyhaique on a chilly morning and rode straight to Villa Cierro Castillo where we took our first break and said goodbye to.the pavement! We reached then Puerto Tranquilo on the General Carrera lake where, after lunch, we went to visit the Marble Cathedral, an amazing rock formation. From there on, a fantastic ride along the lake took us to the lodge where we are spending the next two nights.
The weather did not look very good when whe left Puyuhuapi in the morning. Back on the Carretera Austral, we had to face the tricky but spectacular "Costa Queulat", a mountain pass completely unpaved... and with a lot of hairpins surrounded by lush vegetation! But, once we completed it, the weather suddenly changed and we could enjoy a great ride in the afternoon, after lunch, until we reached Coyahique, where we are spending the night.
Back on the Chilean side of the Andes, the scenery changed again: rock walls, waterfalls and rainforest-like vegetation. Amazing how quickly everything can change! After we came down from Futalefu to Villa Santa Lucia, we entered the famous "Carretera Austral", that parellels the border to Argentina for around 1200 km. Some kilometres on asphalt, good for a little rest before taking a loop to Valle Mirta (gravel again!) and having lunch in La Junta. Futalefu was not too far from there and we reached it in time for a good rest!
Not a very long ride today, but simply beautiful (also the weather helped us!) and with a lot of gravel roads first through the famous !Los Alerces" National Park in Argentina and then reaching the Futalefu Pass to enter Chile again. Enjoy the pictures.
Today we spent the whole day on the famous Ruta 40, that runs along the eastern side of the Andes for more than 5000 km. This section of the Ruta 40 is also known as the "Camino de los Siete Lagos" (Road of the seven lakes), and is passing by countless lakes and rivers. After a long stop in Villa La Angostura, we were ready to head to El Bolson, but before we had to face some traffic around Bariloche (t's high season!).
Leaving Pucon, we rode through the Villarica National Park until we approached the Argentinean border
on the pass road of Mamuil Malal. The imposive Lanin Volcano is the landmark of this area. Once across the border, the landscape changed, became more dry and we started descending to the pampas. Welcome to Argentina! After lunch in Junin the los Andes, we decided to go for an extra loop (unpaved, of course!) to the lake Lolog before finally reaching San Martin de los Andes.
The first ride of the tour started a little bit late, many bikes to hand over! Once we were ready, we used the highway to go northward to Tres Lagos. After a good lunch (with a view!) in Panguipulli, we were ready to reach Pucon in time, but there was some protest going on and the road was blocked, so we had to turn around and find an alternative route. Well, that's part of the adventure!