Made it to Ushuaia the southern most city in the world, or Fin Del Mundo as you say in Spanish.
The trip took about 2 weeks to get from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia and figure out the transport of the motorcycles back to the USA. Miles for this leg was about 2200mi or so. Most of southern Argentina is flat desert that is very windy with mountains in the south and western part of the country. Most of the area we were driving though was flat desert. We used our extra fuel tanks this trip the whole time as gas stations were regularly spaced 100mi or more apart.
This leg started out at Silva’s house and a great bed and breakfast near the Airport where Maria helped us get ahold of Silva and get our bike from where she graciously let us store them for about 2 months. The flight from Houston to BA is a night flight so we arrived around 5am and made it to the bikes at about 7am. We wanted to hit the road so after packing up our gear, doing some maintenance, having lunch at Marie’s bed and breakfast (Mama’s Bed and Breakfast…email@example.com…they are awesome and have a sweet pool!), and then a quick dip in her pool (it was really hot), we were on the road by noon or 1pm. We managed about 170mi the first day which is a lot after a night of little sleep and so much traveling. We stayed in a small town called Azul (blue in spanish). It was super hot all night with no ventilation whatsoever so neither of us slept very well. We were both amazed at how hot it was in the area south of BA, we had brought a TON of warm clothes because it is supposed to be very cold in the south…and it was.
Next day was 420mi to the town of El Condor on the coast to do some kiteboarding..it was a long day so we didn’t get into town until really late. It was like spring break or something there because the two hotels were totally full so we had two choices…either camp with no tent sleeping bags or anything…or drive back to the large town about 30mi away. We were over driving chicken bikes for the day and we were just going to get out kitesurfing in the morning anyway so we opted to camp with no equipment. This turned out to be a bad decision with the strong winds and 6 hours of thundering rain storms that flooded the camp and us in our makeshift tarp and motorcycle tent. We didn’t get too wet though and made it through the night. The kiteboarding in the morning was pretty good. We were the only ones out there and managed to bring a huge crowd to watch us ride…because we are total studs!
Because of the kiteboarding that morning day 3 was only 200mi to a town called Sierra Grande where we got a place to stay. Sierra Grande is the start of the desolate plain that is southern Argentina.
Next day we hit the road and about 20mi out of Sierra Grande Mitch suffered a major rear tire blowout. He had a piece of metal and two wooden spines in his tire. We’ll pulled them out and filled the tire back up with goop and started riding again. Unfortunately we kept having problems with it. We broke the pump and were still about 50miles or so from the next town, so were forced to drive on a flat to the next town. Empty on gas and limping in with a flat we made it to a gas station that had an awesome tire repair place. They fixed Mitch up and actually remounted my front tire which has had a wobble since my tire problems in Bolivia. We were back on the road with good tires and full tanks. Managed to get 370mi and ended in a town called Comodoro Rivadavia.
Day 5 was a short day of 160mi because we ran out of gas on the road…kind of. We were driving to the next town in the desolate plain of Argentina and going through full tanks and some times using our extra gas cans just to get to the next gas station. Well on one of these legs of 100mi or so we got to the gas station and they were out. Well we didn’t have enough juice to get to the next town so we were forced to stop for the night. The little town was called Tres Cerros (three hills in spanish). This town consists of a gas station, restaurant and small hotel in the back. They had WIFI so all was good for the night.
The gas station got gas that night so bright and early in the morning after some coffee and wifi we hit to road to do another 313mi to Rio Gallegos. This town is on a tidal river that had absolutely huge tides of 30-40ft, it was amazing to see. They also had some really old train engines from the coal days down by the river that were cool to see all lined up.
Day 7 was 100mi into Chile across the strait of Magellan..it was freezing and windy all day.
Day 8 was the final 270mi back into Argentina from Chile and through the mountains to Ushuaia. It was Freezing, windy and raining! Nobody said it was going to be easy and it wasn’t. The last 100mi had wind, rain, freezing temps, mountains, gravel roads, everything! But we finally made it!! The goal we set out to achieve back in August of 2010 had been accomplished with an official distance of just over 12,800mi from Houston, Texas to Ushuaia, Argentina over 1.5 years.
Once we got into town we got right after trying to find a method to ship or fly our motorcycles back to the USA. It seemed that flying them was going to be too expensive so we managed to find a customs broker named Osvaldo who had another 3-4 motorcycles in a 20ft shipping container going back to Miami. The bikes won’t ship till March or so and we’ll have to drive them back to H-town from Miami but it is close enough. In there is anyone out there looking to get their bikes back from Ushuaia email me and I’ll give you the info…Osvaldo will just store you bike until it ships. I climbed a mountain that was about 4000ft high, it was about 3000ft in elevation gain with no trail, which is quite a lot considering I was in cowboy boots and moto gear. The pics turned out pretty good.
The flights from Ushuaia to BA were all full for another 2 days or 3 days so we had to just hang out until we could get a flight out of there. Once we got on the plane all was good it was 4 hours to BA with one stop and then another 10 hours from BA to Houston. Finally home.
This will not be the last post we’ll keep everyone informed about when the bikes are shipping and the last ride from Miami to H-town. We’ll have a celebration in Houston when the bikes finally return from their half world adventure. Our little chicken bikes did pretty well.