Leaving our workshop home Mucho Gracias Daniel!
waiting for A & A
Up early as we did not wish to be an intrusion to Daniel and his team when they came to work on Monday morning and we did not want to be in there way.
Daniel had brought us breakfast so media lunas (Croissants) and other nice stuff from the bakery and teas so how thoughtful is that.
We finally managed to leave so Daniel thanks mate you are a star a scholar and a gentleman and we thank you for your generosity.
We are trying to get as far South as possible today but first Alex wants to spend some time on the Internet getting his blog up dated so at the first petrol station with Wi-Fi he starts working on this. We are heading to a nice campsite we had heard about on an Island in the middle of a river in Cmde. Luis Piedra Buana and as I did not fancy working for hours on my blog with a dodgy Internet I decided to press-on on my own as I fancied chilling out in an idyllic campsite rather than at a petrol station so said I would meet the guys later in the day. So I headed to Puerto San Julian for a late lunch I managed to find me a roast chicken dinner as most of the town was shut. Lots of memorials around for the Falklands/ Las Malvinas war and while I had been in Argentina I have seen a lot of references to Las Malvinas being Argentinean so when I am asked where I am from sometimes I am reluctant to tell folks that I am British and if I do I always qualify it by saying that I have lived in the Netherlands for the last 30 years I am not sure if it is a problem me being British but I certainly do not what any hassle due to my nationality so I am bit cautious with the English bit. Whilst I was in a petrol station signing the credit card in the office there was a telly on and it said Maxima Queen of the Netherlands. This is what I read in the subtitles seemingly Queen Beatrix has abdicated or will abdicate and the Argentinians have a Queen in Maxima and its on all the news now and papers here so I am using this a deflection from my Englishness telling folk that I live next door to the Queen, well sort of next door to her horses (My flat is next to the Royal Stables) as it is very topical here at the moment. I will not get started on my views on Royalty and Kings and Queens here only to say up the republic 🙂
Lots of Malvinas/Falklands signs around.
I head to the campsite rendezvous spot and it is quite nice and is out of the wind being on a river which tend to be lower than the surrounding land around it so this gets you out the wind which is nice as its has been consistent blowing for the last couple of days it is not that strong but I am expecting it to get worse as I go further south.
So go in and ask about the camping the first bombshell is that it is very expensive for camping considering we paid very little on the Municipal sites so go and sit on a nice lawn in the sun and wait for A & A to turn up and working on my blog off line this time.
Stop running away Phillys needs a photo for his blog!
They turn up an hour or so later and I have been enjoying relaxing in the sun but its getting late and we have no where to stay yet so it is on to plan B 30km to Puerto Santa Cruz as there is a Municipal site there which we find and its excellent clean loos hot water a great location also out of the wind and to top it all off its free!
We set up camp head down to the seafront as Alex has a craving for some fish and we find a nice little restaurant on the seafront which has Wi-Fi so we take over all the available plugs as our computers need charging and we enjoy a good meal and then it is back to the tent for another good night sleep. Believe it or not I am actually enjoying the camping, which surprises me as usually I normally find it a pain in the arse but so far I am enjoying it and preferring it to hostels and hotels. Could it be the location, could it be the fact that its warm and dry so no packing up wet tents could it be the company I do not know but I am liking and enjoying it and getting some good nights of sleep in as well which is an added bonus.
Full Moon 🙂
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.
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 !!
Leaving Tierra del Fuego heading North
First thing I did was fettle with Daisy chain as it was seriously slack except for that tight spot so I am not sure what to do run it tight or slack as its well buggered either way but do not want to loose a chain for doing the wrong thing so I sort of adjusted and it was still making horrible noises that I will have to live with till I can source a new chain probably in Buenos Aires so that’s about 2,500km away so I will have to keep an eye on this. Tyres a pretty finished as well so Daisy is dirty and in desperate need of some TLC which may be a long time coming.
I had breakfast and then hit the road tarmac oh what bliss 40km to the ferry and road straight to the front of the queue again where there was 4 Germans on BMW rentals so I chatted with them while waiting for the ferry. Not long wait and we where soon boarded. This time found out you had to pay in a little office, which I had missed last time, as I had to stay with Daisy and I could have done the same this time as no one was checking whether or not you paid but my conscience got the better of me and I did get a free trip on the way out here. Another short run wind getting up but on my back and side so not much bother to the border which was a combined one this time so exit Chile enter Argentina exit Daisy Aduana Chile enter Argentina Daisy Aduana not much queues in the way of queues so I was through quite quick Phillip spelt with 1 l should be 2 ll they claim it is not important lets see when I try and ship the bike out of here but I cannot be bothered to make to much of a fuss as I have pointed it out they say its fine so done deal.
Put my head down and headed for Puerto Santa Cruz and the free camping. Wind was strong but in the right direction so not to much bother with it today.
What do you mean you cannot read my numberplate its as clear as mud 🙂
Got to the campsite and it was rather busy this time and bugger it was no longer free blokes at the gate collecting money. Oh well it is a holiday weekend I guess we where lucky last time. Same spot and then I head to the beachfront with the plan of using the Wi-Fi and eating as the same restaurant as we ate at last time. There was a mini festival going on so I decided to wander around that first and when I eventually tried the restaurant but it was closed so plan B BBQ sausage sandwich at one of the stalls and an ice cream so that is dinner sorted walked around the few stalls at the festival and watch a few turns on the stage and did the tour of the town (2 streets) and then headed back to the tent to work on this.
Twirly dresses again 🙂 Bloke at the front likes it to.
Always someone who wants to spoil the fun evening officer 🙂
Oh give us a bit of room here trying to have a kip!
Up pack up tent fettle with chain which had not some how fixed it self during the night it is not getting any better if anything worse. Mission today was to try and get some pictures of flamingos and Ostriches succeeded on one account. Wind stronger today making stopping and taking pictures a tad difficult and I only saw one set of flamingos and not in an easy place to pull up and take a picture.
gotcha not easy taking photos of these elusive little buggers:-)
On the way into Puerto San Julian I saw a motorcycle club so pulled over for a look and a chat. Got chatting to a large Harley Rider called Arturo I think and he says I am welcome to stay at the club overnight and have dinner but its only 1pm and I want to be a lot further north, he says he is leaving in 2 hours and there is another club in Comodoro Rivadavia and that I can stay there it is a bit further than I had planned but doable he asked if I wanted to ride with him but I did not want to wait as the wind was still strong and getting stronger and I reckoned he would be faster than me so he would eventually catch me and pass me and I also had the address so was sorted. I hung around for Mate Mate as they call it here and then hit the road trying to look cool whilst pulling away in front of a large group of bikers problem was it was through deep gravel so I wobbled my way to the main road tried to wave and toot me horn not the graceful exit that I had planned. Thanks for the Mate and offers of food and accommodation it is much appreciated.
Long day in the saddle high mileage day and when I went to plug the address of the motorcycle club into the GPS it does the usual no matches found bugger its late I am tired so plan B GPS does have a municipal campsite in a place called Rada Tilly so lets head there as the wind is getting stronger and more difficult to manage it could also be that I am tired as well. I saw a lot of cars parked on the side of the road and until now it had been folks stopped for fishing this time there was huge colony of seals and sea lions so pulled over and watched these huge things lolling on the beach for a while.
Seal and Sea Lion Colony Nice!
Back on the road again blown into Rada Tilly I found campsite not bad a bit dusty but the site is sheltered so this will be home for the night. Go for a walk along a huge and gorgeous beach looking for food I find a pizza place and its empty and they charge extra for eating in so I get it to go and go and sit on the beach where I am treated to a gorgeous light show as the sun goes down so thats a pizza, a diet coke, gorgeous view and wonderful light after a long hard day in the saddle not bad me thinks 🙂
Gorgeous sunset again and interesting stone sculpture.
Back to the campsite, which has Wi-Fi so I am sitting the campsite office trying to get photos uploaded and chatting to the bloke from the local council on how they can get more folks to come to Rada Tilly and about building websites. It’s a nice place lovely beach but the bloody wind never stops blowing but it is great for kite surfing and cart surfing I think that’s what you call it. We talked about a USP for the place on how to differentiate from other towns along the coast which there are many. So another pleasant evening and then back on my hands and knees crawling into the tent 🙂
Pizza, Diet Coke and this whats not to like 🙂