From Chile Chico we ride just a few miles to the border with Argentina to cross back in and start our journey through the windswept southern Patagonia to Tierra del Fuego. The Chileno offices are pretty simple to navigate with numbers located at each workstation so you can find your way through Migracion, Aduana, Ag Inspection, etc. We’ve made a point (I think) to use up our fruit and veggies before this crossing so we don’t lose anything to an inspector.
Then we ride on ahead a couple more miles to the actual border at a river just south east of Chile Chico and cross over into Argentina.
I look back toward Chile when I stop.
Then it’s another mile or two up the road to the Argentina offices. I watch a pink-ish beige Armadillo run along the edge of the road and disappear into the brush.
I get caught with some veggies, having forgotten some in a shopping bag so I give them to an officer and ask her if anyone wants them. Hate to see them go to waste and in this part of Argentina they are hard to come by.
The land in Argentina is noticeably more open and flat. And you can see the road laid out in front of you for miles ahead.
We ride to Perito Moreno (the town) today making it a short day on the bikes and then have an afternoon off for some “admin” which means laundry, bike maintenance and supply restocking. Riding further south the next day we enjoy more of the big skies of Patagonia.
We have seen only a few Nandu (small ostriches) so far but along Ruta 40 for the next few days we see hundreds of them. They graze in the roadside ditches and on the plains and scatter and panic and run for the fences as we pass.
The Andes to the west are covered in snow in many places….and are beautiful to look at.
We see signs warning of guanacos in the area and although I didn’t get a decent photo of one, over the next few days we see hundreds of them as well. They spook and run when we approach too, but are much less predictable and much bigger, so I’m riding on high alert.
We see signs warning of high winds too. Patagonia is one of the windiest places on Earth.
We keep moving south and get lucky that the wind isn’t bad.
Fuel is becoming a little more scarce and we have to be more conscious of fueling up. We stop in Bajo Caracoles, since we had read on a bike blog that is was a good place to get gas along this stretch of the highway. And we watch a few other riders pass it by. Later we find out a friend missed this stop and ran out of fuel before the next town. But as per usual with the wonderful people in this part of the world, locals came to the rescue and drove more than 20 miles into town for her and then back to her with a small can of fuel to get her moving again.
Everything that stands still gets covered in stickers in this part of the world – windows, walls, doors, filing cabinets, and even gas pumps. Seems most world travelers carry their own stickers to put a “I was here” message out to the rest of the world.
Serendipity works her magic when we arrive in Gobernador Gregores in the afternoon. We haven’t seen our friend, Juan from Mexico, whom we met on the Stahlratte since Colombia. He has already been to Ushuaia and is heading north and is at the only gas station around for miles (there’s a perk to having so few fuel spots) and we get to say hello and congratulate him on completing his big ride.
We sit and reminisce and chat for a bit and then look out and see two overlanding rigs we know from the road too – Song of the Road (Sam and Erica) and a Swiss couple (Micheal and Simone). We all head for the local municipal campground (which is free!) and grill and drink wine and have a fantastic night catching up.
After wishing each other well the next morning, we all go different directions. Many more miles to go before Ushuaia.
This morning i get to watch flamingoes linger in the water along the road.