The ride from Ushuaia through Terra Del Fuego towards Buenos Aires was a mix of emotions for me. I was glad to be heading north towards sunshine once again but sad that this was going to be the last part of this ride. I just want to keep riding, I don’t care where, I could ride all the ways back to Alaska no worries, then just keep circling the earth for ever until I have ridden every road in each direction.
It was only a short 3040km from Ushuaia to Buenos Aires. We rode the 500km to Rio Gallegos in one day, most of it on dirt and gravel roads which were great fun to ride on through the howling winds of Patagonia. The wind has been kind to me all along, just the odd gust here and there but now they were making up for it by blowing me all over the roads. It reminded me of riding through the deserts of Iran but in Iran the roads are good. Here it’s downright dangerous especially when you try to overtake trucks and almost get blown underneath the wheels. Exciting all the same.
From Rio Gallegos the road was all paved, mostly flat and really boring. We averaged 500km a day sleeping most of the way to Buenos Aires and camped most nights. Thankfully the winds died down as the km fell. On route we diverted to see penguins and Orca whales in the national park on peninsular Valdiles. These whales snatch meals in the form of seal pups from the beach. Sadly though, we were a week or so early to see the Orca’s in action. There were plenty of pups playing in the surf but the whales hadn’t shown up yet. I have included a picture of a picture showing the whales in action in the slide show at the bottom. Nat Geo made a great documentary at this beach which is well worth a look.
The ride to the peninsular was interesting given all the rain in the area before we arrived. Parts of the dirt road to the coast had turned to mud so it was nice and slippery and great fun to ride on. My back wheel decided to pass my front out again in a particular bad section. Luckily for me I managed to stay on my feet as my bike took a mud bath. After this spill unbeknown to me my spare tires began to rub on my rear tire which resulted in me ripping some knobs off the rear tire and burning a hole right through my spare front tire. It was lucky I didn’t go too far before noticing. I was given full run of a tire repair place to change out my now destroyed rear, the shop was closed but the guy didn’t mind as long as I done all the work. From here we rode to a place called Azul and spent the night with a fellow biker named Jorge who left us camp in his garden, cooked up a massive BBQ and stuffed us all with meat. Thanks Jorge.
I’m now sitting in a hotel in Buenos Aires in the nice 30 degree heat. I’m going to be here for a while so I can arrange shipping for my bike and get to know the city and it’s people. So far it’s been fantastic and I’m actually learning to sit still again. Waking up in the same bed four mornings in a row is somehow strange to me. Every morning I feel the urge to ride, the urge to explore, the urge to get lost, to go some place new. On the other hand it’s been nice to have somewhere to lay my hat, maybe I’ll be able to assimilate after all.
Given all that’s happened in the last seven months I’ve decided to return to Australia for a while before tackling the African part of this trip. It will be good to spend some time with my family and friends and to have some time with my girlfriend Trish who has been very supportive of my trip. I know she’s only ready and willing to help me plan the logistics for the next leg of this journey. Your ground support has been great baby, thanks for everything.
This ride has been a wonderful experience for me, a wonderful experience in simple, natural living. What I’m going to miss most is the freedom, the freedom to get up each morning, jump on my bike and ride off in any direction. The freedom to ride all day set up camp and sleep under the stars. The freedom to go wherever, whenever I chose. The freedom from unnecessary possessions and unnecessary burdens. The freedom to get lost and the freedom not to care. You quickly realize what the essentials of life are when your on the road, such as warmth when you are cold, shelter on a rainy day, food when you are hungry and beer when you are thirsty. You soon put material things in their proper place, realizing that they are there for use, but relinquishing them when they have served their purpose. You soon experience and learn to appreciate the great freedom of simplicity. Over all I’ll miss the adventures and the adventurers I have met along the way.
I hope you readers have enjoyed the journey as I have enjoyed writing about it. A big thank you to everyone for your support and encouragement along the way. There were two times that without it I might have thrown in the towel. Thanks to all the riders I’ve met and ridden with along the way, you know who you are. Hopefully it wont be too long before I ride again. I’m looking forward to sharing the journey already.