Mar. 24 – Rio Gallegos,AR to Punta Arenas,CI

2009 April 23
tags: ,
by joe

We did the hotel breakfast, and had an easy way out of town.  It was an easy, though monotonous 50 kilometers from town to the border, which was in the middle of nowhere.    The border routine into Chile was the easiest yet, and the road after the border was a perfectly smooth concrete highway along the Straight of Magellan.  The land continued flat;  sand and desert scrub-land.  Lots more camelids and Rhea birds.  It was windy and cold, but it was an exciting ride, looking over the straight and knowing that the shadowy hills in the distance across the water were Tierra del Fuego itself.

It was still early when we got to the city of Punta Arenas.  It seemed like a nice small city – not too much traffic, but it had a lot to offer;  I liked the feel of the place.  We settled on staying at the Hostel Bulnes,  a small hotel run out of an oversized home,  as our home base.  We arrange to have the motorcycle titles sent from Michigan to here.  We go off tire shopping, and find a used rear tire, a Pirelli like we had been using, and buy it for Levi’s bike.  Getting it mounted was a small nightmare, as the shop that sold us the tire did the mounting,  and they were not set up for motorcycles at all.   Levi’s rear axle is a bit ‘non-standard’ by this time, also.

We have to decide where to go tomorrow – Parque National Torres del Paine or Tierra del Fuego.  We learned that the ferry across the Straight makes one run a day, on a somewhat varying schedule.  The run tomorrow over to Porvenir on the island leaves the dock in Punta Arenas at 9:00 AM, so we would need to get an early start.  We do finally decide to go on to Ushuaia next, so we make arrangements for a wake up call and an early breakfast.  Our landlady makes a big deal out of offering us eggs for breakfast tomorrow.

We decide to go out for an expensive seafood dinner, but it turns out to be fancy and not all that good.  The wine was good, and not too expensive.  Hostel Bulnes is funky, but warm and quiet.

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