Ushuaia (Argentina) – Puerto Montt (Chile)
It was a strange feeling. After Ushuaia we would go north. Of course, there is no road going south from there…
We had arranged to bring the pick-up back to Puerto Montt. From there the roads to Buenos Aires are all paved and we hopefully wouldn’t hit strong winds. With Christy still hobbling around with here crutches we didn’t want to risk her not feeling safe on the motorbike.
We had to cover 2300km. It was mainly flat and vast country we drove through. Unusual for this area we had very little wind. And so it was a very relaxing driving. Little traffic, straight roads, no wind, nothing to destract you from driving. For some time even Christy took over, driving with cruise control. For me it was a nice break and I enjoyed not having to concentrate on the boring road.
But the landscape had its elements. The incredible vastness is something that just makes you dream and take it easy. It is like a visual relaxation program.
The last few hundred kilometers became actually really nice. The area gets hillier, and finally the hills become mountains. We didn’t stop in Bariloche but continued to a hotel next to one of the lakes in the Argentinian Lake District. A very beautiful area with dark forests and lots of lakes.
Finally we arrived in Puerto Montt where we dropped the car. For the next day we planned to visit a doctor another time to see what he says. He instructed us to wait another week and then we would have green light. Soon we would be back on the bikes again…
The ferry to leave Tierra del Fuego.
There were curves….eventually
but mainly it was straights.
Christy is taking over…
It was nice to relax a bit myself…
Not that the driver was overly busy…
Christy spotted this little guy on the side of the road…
The armadillo was not shy at all. Nice little chap…
Clouds… a dome of clouds…
Beautiful colours from the setting sun.
Long roads. This is close to where Christy had her accident. We bypassed Rio Mayo this time though.
Along the roads there are always these little temples, where people donate their best (cokes, booze, cigarettes) in change for a safe travel.
Short dusty parts.. somehow I will miss this.
The Ruta 40 is still very straight, but the upcoming mountains on the horizon promise some curves.
A little break. South of Bariloche the hills slowly became mountains.
Shortly before Bariloche.
Sunset in the Argentinian Lake District
The birds here are fantastic to watch. How they sail in the wind….
This little fellow is not only an artist in the air, he is proudly demonstrating his military marching style.
Even though penguins are are to be found many thousands kilometers north as well, the proximity to Antarctica is making Ushuaia one of the best places to see penguins.
So we book a tour on a boat to see these wonderful animals.
It was a fantastic day. Lots of animals, not just penguins on a relaxing boat trip.
We were really enjoying this a lot.
There are many little islands on the Beagle Channel.
Many sea lions “hang around” here as well…
They make everything looking cozy…
This one is having a little swim.
What a male…
Food on its way….
aaand here they are! There is a king penguin as well… go find him…!
super cute no?
They tried not to get any wet feet…
The colony is huge…
A little road leads all the way from Arequipa through the Salinas national park to Ouno at the Titicaca lake. It would be a pretty long way though and so we thought of instead take a daytrip with no luggage to a laguna in the Salinas NP. It turned out to be a great idea. First because the lake was really nice, and more importantly, we didn’t have any luggage with us: the road was a killer for being on the bikes.
In endless curves it ran up a mountain. The road was one of the dustiest roads I have ever been on. In the curves the dust was 20cm deep with loose rocks underneath. So if you didn’t have enough speed your front wheel would slide and bounce from one side to the other. The only safe way beside speed was foot peddling through (Christies “powerwalk”).
We were covered in dust. But it was also a road of fantastic views.
The next day we packed our bikes and took the main road to Puno. It was a great ride: good tarmac, a lot of Vacunas, Lamas and Alpacas, a wonderful landscape.
We enjoyed it a lot. It was very relaxing.
ON the way into Salani NP
Some nice view points
Road was pretty dusty
The Laguna Salinas and some smokey Volcanoe
I decided that one selfi would be enough. The running back and forth was just too much…
Everything around the road was covered in thick dust.
Christy is fighting her way through the soft dust.
It is a combination of 20cm of powder and rolling rocks underneath. Very mean to motorbikers.
On the main road to Puna
Many animals on the way
Proofed by this sign.
Somebody is selling some really warm clothing…
The road crosses through wonderful rock formations.
Family transport andean style
Now thats a cute road sign…
We’ve been in South America for only a month and we’ve already seen so many fantastic places. We constantly get recommendations from locals which would probably all be worth an additional three week holiday.
We took one advice of Daniel, a Frenchman who retired and is on a two year trip together with his wife in the Americas. (Check out their blog here.) They told us of the “Swiss Wassi” a little camping place and home of a Swiss-Peruvian couple directly over the boarder in Peru. We’ve decided to spend a couple days here in this wonderful family atmosphere with the sound of the South Pacific waves constantly present. It’s a wonderful place to reflect on the amazing month we’ve had.
Ecuador is overwhelming and I can’t imagine how this trip could have possibly be better so far. The proximity of coast, volcanoes, Andes, Amazonia together with an abundance of friendly people and many new streets tempting us to stay longer and longer. However after three weeks of incredible roads and sites, we took a look at our 1:4 000 000 map and realized this is only the first inch and we have so much ground left to cover.
Omaere, in Puyo was a highlight:
it’s pretty everywhere
could watch leaf cutter ants all day
so much information is hiding in these plants
everything’s bigger and prettier here.
the walking tree moves to get the light it needs to grow and survive in the dense forest
gigantic philodendron cousin of the familiar houseplants
“Number 80” stretching its wings.
Shuar is sturdy, alloes shelter and provides security with a chance to peak out.
True craftsmanship of the Shuar.
Even foul leaves and fruits are fascinating here.
Blood red healing serum from a furry green leaf. Amazing Amazon.
Reduce, reuse, recycle.
Chris Canaday shows us his waterless toilet. Surprisingly not quite as gross as it sounds.
As were wonderful rides
another amazing sunset.
always possible to meet some animals on the road
what a lake! this is in Sangay National Park.
Peaks of Sangay
photographed by a nice lady standing on top of their car
great roads and usually not too much traffic.
have to keep your eyes open for waterfalls, or you might ride right past them
how do they get those greenhouses to stay like that? this wasn’t even the steepest one we saw.
rainy days are also great days
imagine riding around the corner and finding a canyon
And getting to know about local life
Owner and friendly staff of Café Cultura in Quito
time to check the air
cat looking over his rooftop kingdom in Latacunga
sweet puppy who helped us pack in Quilatoa
St. Bernards near Cotopaxi
Hotelier and puppies near Cotopaxi
“Animal Prison” near Baños.
Forget this guy’s name
very friendly ladies at the market.
colorful yummy markets
Nice guy prepping for tha nationals at the Honda cross park near Cuenca