two days to Ushuaia

An hour from now it’s going to start blowing a gale. And it’s a hardish dirt ride southwest to the Argentinian border
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The day’s track. To the end of the world, the furthest south
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For the first hour, nothing except this
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We’ve been riding away from the coast for a while, then we turn back through some hills. Plenty of Guanaco around. Every few days you see the dried remains of one that didn’t complete the jump over the endless fence and got hung up
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Down to the sea
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A lot of road shots recently. I think because it’s been pretty barren since the Carretera and the surface has been more of the adventure. Anyway, here we have a good track to follow despite the wind.

(on that subject I just read that Jeff crashed in the wind approaching Tres Lagos (see the post to Chalten) and came across two Brazilians whose bikes were knocked down simultaneously. So it looks like me and Jerzy were the only people we know who didn’t crash somewhere on Ruta 40. Heroes in our minds, both. Jeff said the wind which Lucinda thought was about 50 mph was more like 70 to 80 for him)
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Past a fishing shanty
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Blowing but beautiful. Just the road and the sea
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Then inland
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We have to cross into Argentina yet again. I’ve counted all these crossings in my passport-stamp-space issue. More on that to follow. Anyway, here we are, some outpost in the middle of nowhere. Very quiet, no breeze
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But because they’re rich, the Chileans make a show of their border post. It’s efficient, no more than 20 minutes and we’re through. I’m bored by the lack of border buzz in South America and have a hankering for the chaos and corruption of say, El Salvador. No kidding, the worse it is, the more addictive
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And so don’t bother with the Argentine crossing photos today. More straight, cold distance killing
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Then we start gaining elevation slowly
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Through a 100 mile forest of tough low confers
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I saw another of the many small foxes here
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Then our first view of the southern mountains. I had no idea if the pass was going to be snowed over or not as the only person I know in the area is Jerzy and I’m not sure if he’s on the same stretch. We both decided to do the full 450K to Ushuaia today and not stop at Rio Grande I was to learn later.
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I don’t stop for many photos. We’re headed through Paso Garibaldi (really) somewhere ahead
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Past a lake. Christ it was cold
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A moment of sunshine however
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Another lake
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The trees
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The final climb up to the pass
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Nice
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A gigantic peak
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It had been snowing in the pass. We’d been fighting a big headwind for the last few hours and it was near here that we got hit with a directionless (maybe straight down) gust that was so strong I was momentarily confused and nearly lost Lucinda. I had no idea what direction it came from but it was like we’d had a collision with something
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The last hour was a frozen struggle against the breeze. Of the nearly 4000km’s on the Carretera Austral and Ruta 40 since Puerto Montt, already pretty far south, about 2500 has been dirt and 1000 in strong wind. This isn’t much short of the drive from Vancouver to Toronto Google Maps tells me.

We’re here. Ushuaia
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