Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Southernmost CITY IN THE WORLD, Ushuaia.

Ship wreck on the beach on the way to Terra del Fuego

Apparenly not a good place to pitch my tent...a legacy of the fight for the oil and gas rich land

Sunrise at 7:00 am in the blustery wind.

Terra del Fuego.....The damn bike made it....will it make it home?

I filled up with gas at a dinky little kiosk just out side of the Parque Nacional Torres Del Paine. I had to summon a woman from a near by house to come and unlock the pumps just to get fuel. All was well and I headed toward the park. The road was paved for the first 3 km then turned to dirt for the remaining 90 km. Along the way I encountered a dude that was crashed on the side of the dirt road riding his Honda Nite Hawk 250. I stopped, concerned if he was ok or not and he said that he was fine, and that the probelm was only with his bike. He was with 2 other guys, one on a honda 250 cruizer and the other on a 250 xr honda. They had limited tools and basic know how about what to do so I decided to lend a hand help a brother out in need. We straightened his fender and I pulled out my JB Weld to fix the hole in his crank case. Just as we had everything together he realized that there was no conductivity and thus we had to pull the luggage, tank, and seat off to look for a bad connection. I searched through my tools and pulled out my multi-meter and began testing. I eventually found a connection that had a fuze and pulled the 20 amp fuse and saw that it was blown. We replaced the fuze and turned the key. To our delight the bike was up and running.
I left the fellows to their own devices and headed into the Parque Nacional Torres del Paine. I followed the meandering road along epic views of the mountains. I eventually found myself at a camp ground along side of a lake and settled in for the night. A couple from New Zeland riding a KTM 950 showed up as I was setting up my tent. We got chatting and they invited me to accompany them on a hike to the Torres Del Paine. I could'nt resist and agreed to meet them at 8:00am.
The next morning we headed up the hike and spent the better part of 8 hours hiking up to the Towers. The hike was moderately easy but the fact that I've spent the past 3 months sitting on my ass ( which has attributed to my new budy "Herman the hemmaroid") I found it quite taxing and tireing on my skinny pathetic legs.
My friends, Ben and Karla rode their KTM with me back to our camp site and we called it a day agreeing that we'd talk more in the morning before we both would depart for Ushuaia.
Morning rolled around and I got chatting to a guy from Wisconsin named Eric. He was traveling around on a BMW 1200 gathering information on towns, camping, sites...etc for development of a tour package for motorcycling in South America. After a while I rolled out of the campground toward Ushuaia along the windy and relatively straight road.
I rode 650 km to the border of Chile and Argentina after about 9 hours. All was well until I was heading to the Argentina border office arcoss no mans land when I guy felt that it was imperative that he pass me at about 130km/hr on a dirt road consisting of pebbles the size of marbles. I waived my hand not to pass since I was riding 100km/hr myself. He simply gave me the finger and floored his volkswagon golf and passed me showering me with rocks and gravel.

The moon was full and the light was shining into the tent. I fell asleep at 9:30Pm and I was awoken at 12:30 Am by two men stuck in the sand as they were trying to get around my bike that was blocking the way. I had no idea that a car would be navigating the small road that I parked my bike on. The full moon had attracted two fellows that were trying to get to a great fishing spot along the beach road and I had parked right on the path that would be considered a 4 wheeler path in New Brunswick.
I helped the guys get un-stuck and used the method that I used to get the guys un-stuck in Northern Argentina. It worked well and they were on their way in 15 minutes after I moved the bike out of their way.
I woke up this morning before the sun rose on the ocean. It was a beautiful sight and I struggled to pack the tent into its stuff sac and avoid loosing it in the wind. I headed down Ruta 3 with only 250 km to go before the end of the World. I pulled into a barn like lodge and had coffee and ham & Cheese sandwiches. It was good to eat since yesterday I only ate an empanada, coffee, and a hotdog on the ferry to Terra del Fuego. The lodge was home to a 1988 Biathalon skier who competed in Canmore during the Calgary 1988 Olympics. His skiing facility...(backyard) was amazing! The mountains were huge and epic in proportion and, although in the middle of the austral summer the mountains had enough snow on them to down hill ski. I looked at pictures of the palce in winter and it looked awesome, and a fun place to ski. Ushuaia was only 30 km in the distance and I headed out with the middle of the trip in sight.
Ushuaia is a great little city that has a mountain backdrop and is the main hold over for persons who have booked trips to Antarctica. It is a tempting trip to do however the $4000 US price tag is a bit of a deterrant to me. I walked around town for the better part of the day after I arrived at noon. I went for a seafood soup containing "Octopus & King Crab". It was a great soup and fulfilled I headed back to the hostal. Tomorrow is up in the air about what I will do next. There are several tours and boat rides to see sea life but the time is running out before I should head home...................I'll see what I get up to tomorrow.

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