Tag Archives: Perito Moreno

Gobernator Costa to Pico Truncado, Sunday, 27 January 2013, Day 208

Dammed wind on Ruta 40!

Today both Alex and me are feeling very brave and we have decided rather then head over to Route 3, which is a Tarmac to the bottom of Argentina we are going off road on the infamous Route 40. I am not sure why we are feeling so brave and as you know my off road abilities are crap and Alex has Andrea on the back of his bike making off roading a tad more difficult but yet we had persuaded each other that we should not be wuzzes and had to the hit the dirt. We packed up breakfast at the petrol station and then to Rio Mayo where Route 40 turns from tarmac to dirt and is dirt for 30km and then new tarmac till Perito Moreno then loads more dirt to Tres Lagos but we still had an opt out clause at Perito Moreno to still head across to Route 3 if we did not like our little off road dirt experience.

  

      

We filled up both the bikes and ourselves in Rio Mayo huge piece’s of breaded meat with cheese ham and eggs on it for a late lunch as again we are planning on doing some wild camping tonight.

 

So we are stuffed to the gills as we gingerly make our way onto the dirt road and to help us with this endeavour the wind is really strong and gusting pushing us all over the place which is all you do not need when you trying to find the smoothest part of the dirt road so progress is slow. There is a choice between a dirt track and another dirt track that sort of being prepared for tarmacking and we swopped between the two finding out that the grass was always greener on the one that we were not on.

Choice crap dirt road on the right or crap dirt road on the left Alex takes this seriously so he and Andrea took a closer look no photos of this!

I was already regretting my decision and my rush of bravado to do off road stint as we crawled through the dust counting the kilometres off one by one until we reached tarmac again. On one of the cross overs from one dirt track to another there was the dreaded soft sand on hill which I skirted around but in my mirrors I watched Alex and Andrea hit the dirt and they where down. I pull up park the bike so that it will not get blown over by the wind and run back to help the guys up to there feet. Everyone is ok bike is ok adrenalin is pumping but all is well. The first thing Alex asks me if is did I take any pictures and to be honest as I was running to help them I did think about this being the  perfect photo opportunity but my caring Phill kicked in first and I helped them first and made sure all was alright before pulling the camera out after knowing that they where fine and it was only a low speed off I now wish that I had pulled the camera out earlier 🙂

  

So I was not happy on the dirt and I am guessing that A & A where not that thrilled with miles and miles of dirt so when we hit tarmac the decision was relatively easy to make we are hitting Route 3 down to Fitzroy as it has already taken us nearly 2 hours to do 33km so at that speed we would be in Ushuaia in 2014 so its longer distance by tarmac but this is definitely quicker for us.

Happy to be back on Tarmac

We stop on the Tarmac part of Route 40 to take some fun pictures with the wind and the signs. I had been teasing A & A when they where looking to buy a Route 40 sticker for there bike that they do not deserve it until they had completed the full length of it including the dirt parts as well however after today and as they had seen Route 40 from extremely close up I said that they had earned it 🙂 and they could buy and add the sticker to there collection.

Windy!

So the original plan was to head to Perito Moreno and camp there but as we were now heading to Route 3, which was about 200km we decided as we were back on our beloved tarmac that we would try and take a large chunk out of this bit tonight and we headed of for Las Heras where my GPS was telling there was a municipal camp site and fuel.

We got there at about 8.30pm and filled up and we then went to find the campsite which compared with last nights it was a hole and there were gangs of youths that had been drinking all day hanging around which was most off putting so we soon decided that we were heading to the next town even though it was getting late and the next place was nearly 80km away.

So off we headed on the right looking back there was one of the most glorious sunsets I had seen for while the light was amazing and in front of us was the moon a new full moon coming up over the horizon so I did not know whether to look forward or backwards as we where passing through an oil field with nodding donkeys all over the place and it was beautiful and I really did not care on reaching the next place by nightfall as I was enjoying the light so much. I was trying to take photos whilst driving which was not working for me as I kept getting my gloves in the way I eventually decided to pull over to get a shot of the moon over one of the nodding donkeys from a stationery position which sort of worked then in hot pursuit of A & A which involved over taking a police car we had stopped earlier to ask about camping possibilities and they had said there was a Municipal campsite in Pico Truncado. They where doing 90km and they had a sticker on the back saying 110km so a sailed past at 109km waving politely and when they where out of sight I nailed it to catch up with A&A.

Got to Pico Truncado just as the Sun had gone down still a gorgeous pink light show and there was an interesting sculpture of a dinosaur made of old oil drilling equipment that was dying to be photographed.

Interesting Sculpture but better still the light

Whilst we discussing what to do next another a biker pulled up and walked over to chat with us his front tyre had just blown and he was busy calling folks. Alex had an electrical pump so we tried that but his blown front tyre was not staying up. It turned out the chap name was Daniel and he had a car repair shop a couple of km away and if we liked we could sleep there the night. Wow cheers mate so we follow his mechanic who had turned up to help with the puncture and find ourselves in a huge hanger / workshop in the middle of no where and this is going to be home for the night. The office for A & A and the supply room for Philly and it even had a hot shower on the premises. So after chatting to Daniel and looking at his bike we found the reason for the puncture was that he had hit something really hard and dented and broken his wheel explaining why it was no longer holding air so he was lucky to stay upright but it shows how fragile perhaps V-strom rims are on Argentinean roads that both me and Alex had a quick look and check of ours after seeing the damage on Daniels. After offering us dinner we politely declined we where left on our own in this huge workshop talk about trusting and generous spirit this bloke has for letting total strangers sleep in his workshop.

Home for the night

It was quite late by now but I was buzzing at it had been a long eventual day so we had a cup of tea and sat in the office just chilling for while before pulling out the sleeping bags and mats. Earlier Alex was trying to figure out where he was going to put his tent up and I explained that there was no need as we sleeping in the office and store room I blame this brain freeze on the fall and the long day we had had today but it made me giggle.

Chilling after a long day in an office in a workshop in the middle of nowhere.

We finally hit the sack amongst the car spare parts and oil cans what a strange but great day.

Strange dreams about Police cars or was it a dream!

      

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Puerto Santa Cruz to El Calafate, Tuesday, 29 January 2013, Day 210

Daisy 🙂

We are supposed to be heading South but today we are going to do a U turn and head North West why the diversion well there is a must see glacier called Perito Moreno that is on my shiny object distraction list so hence the change in direction. As we want to stick to tarmac this is a bit of a detour to Rio Gallegos and there we do a quick calculation and decide we can make it to the next petrol station so we do not go the 20km into town to fill up. When we get to the next gas station at Las Horquetas we are running on fumes and you guessed it there is no fuel available fortunately I have about 7 litres in 2 old plastic oil cans strapped to the back of Daisy (you where wondering what those where were you not) and Alex has 4 litres strapped to his so finally time to bring out the reserves its 60km to the next station so no reason yet for concern even with the horrendous fuel consumption I am getting at the moment due to the strong winds it can make a difference of about 7km to the litre when you are riding into the wind so that gives you some idea of the strength of the wind and this has been  constant all day.

They do have food so we fill up on empanadas and hit the road again it’s a lot cooler and the wind is up so warm weather gear has been pulled out wearing the lining in my jacket for the first time since Canada and the warm winter gloves are on.

Wind warning signs slight tilt to the right it will get stronger!

Next station has fuel so next stop El Calafate we are debating on staying in town or pushing on 80km as we had heard there was a campsite near the glacier.

Poser!

We pull into El Calafate at about 5pm and fill up again there and there is bit of a queue so while I was signing the credit card slip Andrea thought she would be helpful and move Daisy away from the pumps so that the next car could start filling up but I am guessing Daisy is heavier than she looks and before you knew it Daisy was on her side with a very embarrassed Andrea struggling to pick her up oops a daisy. I had to laugh as I ran across to help her to get Daisy up right good entertainment for everyone at the pump Andrea was mortified at what she had just done. After a quick inspection of Daisy it looked like the radiator cover had a crack in it. Oh well you do not travel over 50,000km without picking up some battle scars no one was hurt and Andrea was shocked and embarrassed so I can milk this one for a while 🙂

Alex was also having bike trouble for some reason his chain was suddenly slack even though he had adjusted the chain this morning and it was making an awful crunching sound when pulling away so after checking the obvious which was fine we decided to hole up in town so first some food and then to find a campsite and set up camp and then we looked at Alex Bike. We had checked the obvious and where now working on the not so obvious so I said perhaps he had lost a couple of teeth of the front sprocket and that could explain the sudden slack as the back end so when he took the side cover off I was right the front sprocket was starting to disintegrate a couple of teeth very worn down and others hooked it looked completely knackered not at all like a sprocket that only had 18,000km on it should be able to do double that and the fact that this happened all in one day this is normally a slow process not a one day process so I think he had a duff sprocket but the problem now was how to get another one In Argentina not so easy so he hit the internet to contact our new friend Daniel to see if he had any ideas.

Pleasant evening as the campsite it had a kitchen where everyone congregated working on this and my photos and chatting to the folks there.

Late night and back in my tent for a good night sleep.

Camping and liking it at the moment !!

El Calafate, Wednesday, 30 January 2013, Day 211

Perito Moreno Glacier Cool 🙂

Alex had sent out a couple of E-mails last night about the sprocket issue but as yet had no responses Andrea made us breakfast and we decided we would go and visit the Glacier me and Andrea on Daisy and Alex would hitch hike the 80km and we would figure out what to do when we got back based on any responses on the leads that Alex had posted. First we check out the buses to the glacier but far to expensive and there is not one for a couple of hours so we walk to the road to see how the hitch hiking will work and within about 10 minutes he has lift and is gone so me and Andrea head back to the campsite via the supermarket as I needed my daily fix of Gatorade (my latest addiction) and we both needed our biscuit supply’s topping up.

Full bike kit today as it was cold and I expect to be colder still at the glacier I am not sure if Daisy will mind having someone on the back especially when that somebody ceremoniously dropped her in the middle of a busy petrol station scaring her radiator cover yesterday. Its has been a while since I had someone on the back as well and it was going to be interesting factoring in the wind as well. Turned out okay Andrea is an excellent passenger she should be considering the number of miles she done on her trip and we were soon whizzing our way to the Glacier. Nice ride and we met Alex at the entrance to the car park and he had been waiting there for a while so I blamed Andrea she blamed me and we offered him biscuits and all was well.

John R another one for you what is it ?

Got to love nature!

      

      

      

We walked to the glacier from the car park and this was a great way to be slowly introduced to the glacier we had already seen it from a distance on the way in and it was great but as we got closer it got better and every now and again you would hear a huge crashing noise as bits broke of and fell into the lake cool. There is about 4km of viewing platforms around the glacier and we probably covered most of it just walking and enjoying the sights, which was gorgeous. A very nice day well worth the big detour from our main goal of Ushuaia we were tired so got Alex a lift back and me and Andrea then walked all the way back to the Car park and I was well knackered when we got back to the bike and the biscuit supply.

Panorama Wow!

      

It was a nice ride back trying to stay awake was difficult at one point I turned around to say something to Andrea and she was sound asleep 🙂 so either she has total trust in my riding abilities or like me she is totally cream crackered.

Back to the campsite Andrea cooked for us again pasta this time which was nice I am tired of eating out all of the time no news on the sprocket front but we figured that they could still ride with the current one even though it’s a mess so they where heading back Rio Gallegos and as I had done that route before and I will be coming back through there so I am heading for Puerto Natales I will ride with them for the first 100km to La Esperanza and make sure they are all right and I will meet up with the later  in Ushuaia. Alex is pretty sure that I am not needed as we did think about shuffling with the luggage me taking Andrea him taking my tent bag to reduce the load but we decided to go for it as its only 360km to Rio Gallegos and he thinks he can get it fixed there. I have driven for miles with knackered old chains and sprockets on old bikes in the past as I was never one for good chain maintenance so I was not to concerned about this one it may sound awful but they could keep on moving for a while.

Another pleasant evening in the kitchen and later by the tents and then to bed another late night under canvas, which I am still enjoying!