Stage one on the way to Ushuaia

Date: 24/04 – 26/04
City: Esquel, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 41000
Street: N/A
Weather: sunny, warm


Today we went back to the hospital to see the doc and get the stiches removed. After a cleaning the wound and having a look at it, Juan said the he would like to give it another couple of days, so we agreed to Monday. But Sigrid got her new fashion item fitted –  the ultra-modern super-cool air boot lite.

In the afternoon we got a mail from Hua – a friend we meet on the Stahlratte – and he might be interested in riding our ‘spare’ bike from Esquel to Buenos Aires. Suma and he had an accident and their bike was damaged as was as Sumas Thumb – more on that in their blog:
They decided to stay in Buenos Aires until Suma’s hand healed but the bike will be fixed in the US where the BMW spare parts are more reasonable priced. So Hua was looking for an oportunity to ride a motorcycle again and was thinking of coming to Esquel and bringing Sigrid’s bike to Buenos Aires.

The next evening Negro picked us up for a farewell Asado, which is what the Argentinans call their BBQ. Negro’s house has two open fireplaces, one inside the kitchen and one outside in the garden, so he can have an Asdao in summer or winter. We prefered to use the inside one, since it got realy cold in the evening. Negros son, Jenaro, was there as well and he once more had the terrible task of translating between Negro and us.

The Asado was fantastic, the meat was very tender and the sausages tasted great. Negro was frying a particular type of sausages (Black pudding) which we know from Germany. We usually only boil these sausages, so putting them onto a BBQ was a new idea to us. Maybe we ‘ll try that at home as well 😀
We really enjoyed the farewell dinner and the amzing hospitality that Negro showed us again. We are really lucky to meet people like him.
Before leaving for Rio Gallego I still had to figure out how to fit Sigrid’s crutches to the bike. When I was playing with it, Pedro came outside and we had a look together. In the end we found two possible places where to fit the crutches. And to hold the crutches in place I used cable ties. Cable ties are your friend 😀

Date: 27/04
City: Caleta Olivia, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 635
Cumulative kilometre: 41635
Street: one lane highway
Weather: sunny, warm/freezing

After saying good bye to our hosts and to Sigrid, I climbed on my noble steed and rode away – you know, the man has to go into the dangerous world type of thing 😀.

The weather was ok, but a bit crisp for my taste. After a while I got used to it …to be honest I turned the heat on the Gerbings jacket up and forgot that it was cold 😛
I enjoyed riding so much that I arrived at my destination after 450km without a stop. It was too early to stop for the day, so I decided to continue for a bit and see how far I can get today. Not long after I was at the Atlantic Ocean, the first time since we arrived in South America.

It was a bit ‘fresh’ for swimming, and I wasn’t about to take my vest off. So I continued for another 150km and arrived in Caleta Olivia. The whole area benefits from the oil fields around, so they put a big monument of a petroleum industry worker in the middle of the town.

I got some accommodation there and had an early evening.















Date: 28/04
City: Rio Gallegos, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 707
Cumulative kilometre: 42342
Street: one lane highway
Weather: sunny, windy, freezing

Got a nice breakfast, and particularly good coffee. I packed the bike just after sunrise as I wanted to make it to Rio Gallegos, just over 700km from here. The weather was a bit overcast but it was not as freezing as yesterday. The landscape started to get really flat and I started to see more and more Llamas on the side of the road. When I didn’t stop they ignored me, but as soon I started to slow down they jumped over the fence and disappeared.  As I was having a look around, I spotted some emus like birds, but much smaller. Later I found out that they are called Rhea, but they were even more nervous than the Llamas and I couldn’t get a good picture of them – the one on the right will have to do – in the middle of the picture are two of Rheas.

The landscape was really flat by now but I still enjoyed it.

When I arrived in Rio Gallegos, I started to search for accommodation. All of the places I found initially were quiet pricey, so it took some driving around before I found one reasonable one. As I was riding around a car bumped into me -actually the bike- while I stopped to do a left turn. Luckily not much happened except some yelling, them in Spanish and me in English. The guy expected me to move when I turned, but I stopped for some pedestrians. Anyway, only my secret stash compartment that holds the number plate was broken. To be honest, I was quite happy when the guy took off. I don’t believe he saw his car from the front – didn’t look cheap to fix -and I don’t have too much knowledge about the Argentinean justice system.

I refitted the number plate with cable ties…. did I mention that cable ties are my friends?
When I settled into the accommodation and after organising something to eat I noticed that the internet was not working. Darn…after some back and forward, the guy on the front desk admitted that a technician tried to fix it a couple days before and left frustrated without coming back. Great, I did ask if WiFi is available in the room, and the previous guy said yes. So tomorrow I will have to find other accommodation. When Sigrid arrives we would like to have a look at the latest weather forecast and potentially storm warnings in Terra del Fuego.


Date: 29/04
City: Rio Gallegos, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 41000
Street: N/A
Weather: sunny, warm/freezing

Today was more interesting for Sigrid. She had to go to the hospital to get the stiches removed and 30 minutes later to catch the bus from Esquel to there. We were not sure if the tight planning would work, but in the end it did. Sigrid reached the bus 15 minutes before it was leaving and, to her relief, there were still places available!  I went to all hotels/hostels in town mentioned in Lonely Planet. Eventually I found one just around the corner which was really nice and affordable with functional WIFI. That was my task for the day done  😀

If everything goes well Sigrid will arrive in Rio Gallegos tomorrow morning at 9AM.

Date: 30/04
City: Rio Gallegos, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 42342
Street: N/A
Weather: sunny, warm/freezing

When I left the hotel to pick Sigrid up from the bus, I noticed a BMW 1200GS with an overlander setup and with a Spanish numberplate parked in front of our hotel. Hmm, maybe we can have a chat to the rider later in the day. So I went to the bus terminal and picked Sigrid up from the bus. Everything went well and the bus arrived in time.

When we arrived at the hotel, we meet Jorge again; he was the rider of the BMW. We know him as the spaniard from our Panama crossing on the Stahlratte. What a surprise!
So we exchanged stories and had some welcome beverages in the morning, live can be hard 😛

His BMW had clutch problems and had to be shipped back to Buenos Aires, not a cheap exercise. In the afternoon we went to a travel agent to book the bus trip for Sigrid and also got an address for a hotel in Rio Grande. That should make it easier for us, since we will meet there regardless of who arrived first in town. So tomorrow will be interesting for me, 350km riding or which 150km is dirt road, one ferry crossing and two border crossings. With previous information from other riders and talking to Jorge, we’re assuming the border crossings are optimised and the gravel is all right. So I should be able to get there before it gets dark. Sigrids bus will arrive in Rio Grande at 6PM and the plan for the day after is with her  riding pillion on my bike for the last 200km to Ushuaia.



1 comment

  1. Much time with no notice from you!
    Happy to know both are right.
    Now we are “bike brothers”.Couple of weeks ago,i change my bike,so i bought a 2009 DR-650.Good bike for my travel plan.(i have to modifed the seat)i am lucky the bike has a 20L gas tank.
    Well,I hope you Bjoernm have good weather conditions to ride.

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