Don't lose your dreams to protect your days

Tierra Del Fuego and finally Ushuaia

Ferry from Punta Arenas to Porvenir

Ferry from Punta Arenas to Porvenir

Cypresses in Cementerio Municipal

Cypresses in Cementerio Municipal

Fancy tombs in Cementerio Municipal

Fancy tombs in Cementerio Municipal

Wool Baron House in Punta Arenas

Wool Baron House in Punta Arenas

Memorial to Maggelan in Punta Arenas

Memorial to Maggelan in Punta Arenas

The wild Atlantic Ocean in Patagonia

The wild Atlantic Ocean in Patagonia

Trying to warm up with a coffee

Trying to warm up with a coffee

Ushuaia

Ushuaia

We finally made it - Yippee

We finally made it – Yippee

Old vessel stranded in Ushuaia

Old vessel stranded in Ushuaia

Argentina has not giving up on the Falklands

Argentina has not given up on the Falklands

Grassland near the Atlantic coast where wind is at its best

Grassland near the Atlantic coast where wind is at its best

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Tierra Del Fuego

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Dense moss covered forests in Tierra Del Fuego

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Nice view over Lago Fagnano

Had to stand in line to take that one

Had to stand in line to take that one

After we said good bye to Michael and Anja we returned to Puerto Natales to stay again at Loreto Belen Hostal to enjoy another night in a nice place with a good breakfast.

Sunday Febr. 5th we rode to Punta Arenas, the biggest town in Southern Patagonia and found a nice not too expensive  Hostal Independencia with a super breakfast. At check in the owner told us that there is no ferry service to Porvenir on Mondays – what a bummer, so we stayed for two nights.

Which gave us time to explore Punta Arenas a bit. Today Punta Arenas is a confluence of the ruddy and the grand, witnessed in the elaborate wool-boom mansions, the thriving petroleum industry and its port status. Punta Arenas is also well visited by cruise ships. The economy took off in the last quarter of the 19th century after the purchase of 300 sheep from the Falkland Islands. It caused the proliferation of sheep farming and created some of the biggest sheep farms or Estancias in the world.

We visited the  Cementerio Municipal which contains a mix of humble immigrants graves and extravagant tombs under topiary cypresses. Fancy tombs from wool barons and graves from Anglo, German, Scandinavian and Yugoslav immigrants telling the stories for the region.

The Museo Regional Salesiano has a nice collection of ethnographic artifacts, materials on the indigenous groups that used to live in the area and information of flora and fauna of the area.

Next morning we left early to get a spot on the ferry to Porvenir with a sail time of two and a half hours to cross the Maggelan straits. Again we met travelers on motorcycles that we met before. Alex and Isi (from Gemany on an African Twin) and Thomas from Munich on a BMW. We stayed together on the ferry and rode together all day till we arrived at Hospedaje Argentina in Rio Grande.

As soon as we left the ferry in Porvenir the wind got up and reached a ferocious speed. We always expected that kind of wind, but up to this point we got lucky, well not on that day. We really had to fight hard to avoid getting pushed into oncoming traffic. The wind from the side was really bad. At times we had the wind on the back and since it was gravel road you get hit by the gravel you stir up, coming from behind and hitting the helmet – what force of wind – hey it is Patagonia after all.

We took a break a little south of the highway near Onaisin to visit a small colony of King Penguins, the only one outside the Antarctica. They used to breed at that spot but then disappeared. Only six years ago they returned and are now gaining in strength. There were about 80 Penguins and some of them had little chicks. To see them at the research station was really cool. But the wind, man oh man, I don’t know how the penguins can stand in that kind of wind all day – amazing.

After 100 km of gravel road we reached the Argentinian Border again at San Sebastian. Feli was struggling with the wind and felt like crap, but we had to reach Rio Grande to find accommodation. After we reached the Hospedaje Feli went straight to bed with a bad cold and maybe some fever. Needless to say that our goal of reaching Ushuaia the next day was out of reach. We stayed another night while Alex, Isi and Thomas rode on to the south.

While Feli stayed in bed all day, it gave me time to do some work on the bikes. Another sub-frame bolt was broken on Feli’s bike and I had to find a place to get the stuck part of the bolt drilled out. After a short search I found an auto mechanic. In an attempt to drill it out his drill went bust but luckily he found another drill and he finished the job. I must say I have better tools at home but they work with what they got here and in the end it all worked out. The guy was so nice and he absolutely refused to get paid – that is amazing. People who don’t have a lot always give the most. That act of kindness really made my day.

Hopefully tomorrow we can reach our main goal for the trip – from Ontario to Inuvik (the most northern Town in Canada to reach by motorcycle) to the most southern town of Ushuaia in Tierra Del Fuego. This town is the fulfilling of our long held yearning. Everything from then on is extra. It has been an amazing trip and we have no regrets what so ever. We rode 46 000 km and saw amazing countries and received nothing but kindness and the trip gave us new perspectives in life. I am so proud of Feli. For just making the license five years ago that is very special.

Our relation ship is still strong and believe me it was tested at time. It was the ultimate relation ship test – still going strong, and I love my wife, the same time longing to see our kids again in the not so distant future.

Well today we finally made it on February 12th. We reached Ushuaia after we spend three days sick and in bed in Rio Grande, which is just 220 km from Ushuaia. It was almost like there was a force that tried us not to reach Ushuaia. We rode through flat grassland with nothing but sheep, cattle and guanacos. And then the landscape changed again to dense forests covered in moss and finally you could see snow covered mountains again. But we were in no mood to enjoy the surroundings – we just felt like crap.

After the obligatory picture taking we walked a little bit through the city. But we are both so exhausted and are hacking and coughing all the time. It is time to go to bed again and hopefully we can celebrate a little tomorrow. Right now none of us feel like eating or drinking anything.

Cheers, Heinz

7 thoughts on “Tierra Del Fuego and finally Ushuaia

  1. Curlie and Jan

    Congratulations on an amazing trip . You did an amazing job in preparation . Sounds like you continue to have awesome experiences and meet wonderful people . I am sure that a big part of this can be attributed to your welcoming and open personalities .

    Hope ” the icing on the cake ” portion is also great .

    Safe travels and all the best , love Curlie and Jan

    1. winterscheidth Post author

      Thank You Curlie and Jan, we hope you have a wonderful vacation in Mexico, sounds like you picked the right time, cold in Canada, eh!!
      Can’t wait to see you again and then we can share stories. Hug and Kiss
      Heinz

  2. Birgit

    Hallo ihr beiden. Wisst ihr, was echt verrückt ist? Dass wir uns nicht in Ushuaia gesehen haben. Ich musste an euch denken als ich in Tierra del Fuego war und dachte, dass ihr eure Reise wahrscheinlich geschafft habt. Nachdem wir uns vergangenes Jahr auf dem Dempster und in Inuvik getroffen hatten, fragte ich mich, wie es euch wohl so ergangen ist. Jetzt lese ich euren Blog und stelle fest, wir waren zur gleichen Zeit dort. Ich bin ab da mit der MS Fram in die Antarktis…..

    1. winterscheidth Post author

      Hallo Birgit,
      ich muss gestehen, dass wir einen Augenblick ueberlegen mussten, wer denn wohl Birgit ist, aber nun erinnern wir uns wieder. bei so viel”Reizueberflutung” vom letzten Jahr haben wir schon Probleme uns zu erinnern, wo wir letzte Woche waren, ha,ha! Waere doch der Renner gewesen, wenn wir uns in Ushuaia getroffen haetten. Wir waren sicherlich nicht in der besten Verfassung!! Unsere Reise naehert sich dem Ende. Am 29.Maerz fliegen wir (mit Motorraedern) von Santiago,Chile nach Miami und fahren von dort nach Hause. Wir hatten auch mit dem gedanken gespielt, in die Antarktis zu fahren, aber…uebersteigt vom Preis her unser Budget!!! Liebe Gruesse derzeit aus Puerto Iguazu, Argentinien

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