After leaving Torres del Paine we turn back to Puerto Natales, only about 35 miles in the wrong direction, to rest and get some supplies. We pick up parts for a friend of a friend whose bike is broken down somewhere near El Calafate, Argentina where we are headed next.
After a couple of nights in town we hit the road again and ride back to Cerro Castillo, where we had come out after Torres del Paine, and then ride east to the Argentina border. We stop at a coffee house/gift shop that reminds me happily of Wall Drug back home. Two flags fly overhead, the national flag of Chile and the provincial flag of the Magellenes.
We stop in at the Migracion and Aduana offices just behind the coffee shop and check out of Chile.
The offices for Argentina are a few miles up the road.
And Argentina lies before us in all her golden, sun-baked, wind-swept pampas beauty.
A wind from my left pushes my helmet into my temple and against my glasses giving me a headache and a sore on the side of my nose where my glasses pressed into my skin. It’s a relief to get to La Esperanza and fuel up and take a different tack to the wind.
We have another 100 miles to ride to El Calafate, and just before town we stop at a mirador on a high hill overlooking the plains and Lago Argentina below us. Mountains lurk in the distance, the birthplace of glaciers and home to Parque Nacional Los Glaciares. Sounds like a good place for a next stop.