Going north

Ushuaia (Argentina) – Puerto Montt (Chile)

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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…

 

 

Penguins

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.

A dusty road and up the mountains

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.

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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.

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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.

 

The first inch

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:

As were wonderful rides

 

And getting to know about local life