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Saturday, January 10, 2015

Day 626 Saturday January 10, 2015

Since my last report I have completed my mission by reaching Ushuaia, Argentina on December 23, 2014. During the riding south through the Argentinian Patagonia the wind was relentless, often blowing at 100 k/h (60-70 mph) all day. When I reached Ushuaia I made one loop through the city and found the streets clogged with tourist for the Christmas Holiday. I took a photo of the bike at the city entrance and returned to Rio Grande before heading north the next morning...I was ready to get out of Patagonia and the relentless wind.

July 2, 2012.

December 23, 2014.

Guanacos in the wild.

Wild camping on a lake in Argentina.

Flamingos is too windy to fly today.

After leaving Rio Grande and getting back on the mainland, Christmas was spent in the city of Rio Gallegos. There was pretty much nothing going on there. I was back on the road on the 26th and determined to get north of this wind. On December 29th I left Puerto Madryn and was headed to Santa Rosa where I was going to meet up with two guys from there I had met in Bolivia several months back. After making a bad route choice with lots of sand and gravel roads that day at 7:00pm I was hours short of Santa Rosa. I consulted the GPS and the nearest hotel was in Lamarque, so I headed for there. While stopped at a store to buy some supplies in Lamarque a pickup truck pulls up to the bike and starts taking pictures. This is where I get to meet Rosa and Juan Pierroni. They had seen the bike when it passed their home and followed to get a better look. We talked for about five minutes, Juan in Spanish and me in English. I ended up following Rosa and Juan back to their home where I stayed for two nights. There has not been a dull moment since arriving in here.

Canal swimming.

Juan and Tony.

Rosa and Juan's home is undergoing remodeling.

Touring an export fruit plant.

One of many New Years Eve BBQs I attended.

Spent New Years Eve at the home of Rosa's parents along with brothers, sisters and cousins and their families. Feliz Año Amigos!

Juan and Rosa.

Toured a family run winery in Villa Regina.

 Alfalfa is a major crop here.

All this agriculture is due to the irrigation canals with water from the Rio Negro.

Evening spent headlighting rabbits.

I attended an hombre BBQ a couple of nights ago.

I have been Lamarque for nearly two weeks and will ride to Santa Rosa on Monday or Tuesday to meet up with friends I met in Bolivia a couple of months ago. This afternoon we will go on a guanaco hunt. More will be revealed...

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Day 596, Thursday December 11, 2014

 After leaving the Elqui Valley I rode south to Santiago through the center of the country on mostly dirt and gravel roads with many tunnels.

This was an interesting tunnel...lots of sand and mud.

Mainly I came to Santiago for new tires for the bike. I stayed two nights and left for Valparaiso.

When I arrived and was checking in a hotel in Valparaiso I was approached by an American woman who saw the bike with an Alabama plate and low and behold it was Michelle Lamphere (South Dakota) and her travelmate Brian Clarke (England). I had been following their ADVenture for over a year. What a pleasure to finally meet them.

Two photos from my hotel.

That evening I met Michelle and Brian for dinner and we were joined by Simone and Michael Poysden, two overlanders from Switzerland. Great meal and time I really enjoyed the evening. That is Michelle and Brian on the right.

My next stop was the Lakes Region of southern Chile. Many volcanoes and thermal spas. It is quite beautiful and the roads were paved...always a plus.

After moving south through the lakes region I arrived in Puerto Montt which is the end of the Pan American Highway in Chile. I stayed one night in Puerto Montt and went south to the island of Chiloé. On the ferry crossing to the island I reunited with a German couple that I had met in Santiago. They are spending six months touring South America by motorbike. Last year they spent six months in North America on their bikes.

Photos on Chiloé.


On Chiloé I had ridden south to Castro, about midway of the island and was stopped at a restaurant for a bite. While in the restaurant a man came in looking for the rider of the moto. His name
is Quentin Silvand. Quentin is from France and has lived in London for 14 years. He is also traveling
solo on a moto. We decided to ride together and see if our styles were compatible. It has been eight months since riding with someone else and heading into the frontier of South America it would be better to have a mate and Quentin was of the same mind. We departed Castro the next morning and returned to Puerto Montt and headed south on an inland route.

Here we are stopped visiting with a French couple touring Chile on bicycles.

Here we are with two Chileno Cyclist. We met these guys three times. They are really cool.

Our first night we did a bit of couch surfing and stayed with these guys in Haluaihué. We had a traditional Chilean BBQ.

 One of five ferry crossings I have made in the past few days.

A couple of Californians we met on the road to Futeleufú. They began in Ushuaia over a month ago.

This days ride was like riding through a postcard all day.

We have arrived in Futeleufú.

At the moment Quentin and I plan to leave Futeleufú day after tomorrow and enter Argentina and proceed south. We are only about 10 miles from the border. All of our plans are subject to change. More will be revealed...