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Cape Town, South Africa
November 27, 2021, 9:58 am
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November 27, 2021, 9:58 am
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November 27, 2021, 10:58 am
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Day60-The Adventure Continues, Fri, Feb 25, 2011

The TransAmericas Leg is over, but the Adventure Continues.  Our last motocicleta frontera crossing: Argentina/Chile

Start & Stop: Ushuaia, Argentina to Punta Arenas, Chile

Mileage:  395 miles

Hotel: Hostal Terrasur, O’Higgins 723, Punta Arenas

Fuel: $697 Chilean Peso /l liter ($1.46 USD/1 liter) or $5.51 USD per gal!

Currency Exchange: $1 USD = $476.51 Chilean Peso

Weather:  Overcast, cloudy light and heavy showers, and in Chile, windy!

Dean: Our concern for yesterday’s gusting wind was for naught.  We woke up to light morning mist.  Not real rain but enough wet to get you damp if you stood outside for more than a couple minutes.

We had originally planned to ride north to San Sebastien (Argentina/Chile border crossing), then ride due west on dirt/gravel through Onaisin and Y-79 CH on to the little town of Porvenir.  Here we take a 3-hour ferry across the Strait of Magellan to Punta Arenas.  This is a 275 mile day.  BUT, we learn that there is only one ferry a day!  Friday’s ferry departs Porvenir at 2 PM.  If we miss Friday’s ferry, that the next ferry to Punta Arenas is Saturday at 7PM!  Our decision is made, we return to the Bahia Azul (Puerto Espora) ferry and ride the extra 125 miles on 255 and 9 to Punta Arenas.

It was goodbye to Herbert and we were not on the road until 8:00 AM after gassing up.  The little pass 30 miles out of Ushuaia was socked in with fog and a light rain.  We are retracing our incoming Ruta 3 route now riding north.  We ride through Rio Grande (top off fuel), the San Martin (Argentina/Chile border crossing), then the 90 miles of unpaved gravel/dirt to Cerro Sombrero and finally the Bahia Azul ferry crossing.

At the border I lower our tire pressure to a little over 20 PSI front and back to help us on the unpaved gravel/dirt.  Of course is now raining pretty good.  On the return leg we stay on 257 CH which is a little shorter than the “locals” Onaisin road (Y-79 CH) we came south on.  We were surprised that it was in as good or better shape than the “locals” road.  And the rain? … at least there was no dust!

Lisa: Under the category of Be Careful What you Wish For: there was no dust. But water and dirt = mud and we had that in spades.  So of course the graders felt the need to be out there spreading joy (and gravel and sand).  I mean really, people, stop already with all that.  Nothing I like better than dodging graders and the piles of misery they deposit everywhere.

We rode up to the ferry loading dock, down the ramp and up into the bowels of the vessel. This ferry was half full!

Dean: The 90-miles of dirt road ends near Cerro Sombrero and it’s 25 miles of paved road to the ferry.  I decided to not bring our tire pressure back to 40′s until we get to the ferry.  It took us 3 hours to do the dirt thing and rolled up to the Bahia Azul ferry with it sitting there just waiting for us.  No line, all the trucks and cars were already loaded, we rode up the ramp and they closed it after us.  This ferry load was half empty.  Perfect timing in the slow lane!

Today’s average speed is 35-40 MPH.  The little hills and wind pretty much kills the 50 MPH at 3K we once were able to maintain.  My best RPM into the wind is 2-2.5K at 40 MPH.

We roll into Punta Arenas near 7:30PM.  Lisa does her hotel search and she finds an area where there are dozens of Hostels in a 3-4 block area within walking good dinning.  Our first choice is full but they refer us across the street to the Hostel Terrasur.

Lisa: Cute place and very friendly manager.  He referred us down the street to a highly recommended restaurant so we left here about 9:45.  Really good dinner at a local place – we were the only non-locals from what we could tell.  Wandered back to the hostel and logged on to the computer just after midnight.  Alan sent me a note asking why I was so late.  When I told him we had just finished dinner, he wrote back explaining his concern for what exactly had happened to his wife while on this trip. First, I drink beer and now I think it’s normal to eat dinner at 10PM. This is soooo ‘not me’. Oh well, when in Rome…or South America.

Dean: After a day on dirt, its a full chain cleaning with WD-40 (twice) and a healthy coating of chain wax/lube.  Lisa’s chain was very loose.  I tightened/aligned/adjusted everything up and coated it with chain lube.  We have 150 miles tomorrow to Puerto Natales and 800 miles later from Puerto Montt to Vina del Mar.  And these bikes are done!!  :)

Lisa: The way Dean’s bike is running I will be very surprised if it actually makes it to Vina Del Mar within our time limit. The thing is going so slow we are seriously going to start running with flashers – it’s that bad.  At one point leaving Ushuaia, we were going 28.8 mph.  I feel like I have to put my feet down and paddle sometimes.  And every time the wind shifts to the front, he loses 7 mph minimum.  So we’ll see how the run up to Natales goes tomorrow and then make plans to truck it north after the ferry if that’s the safest thing.  Oh well, at this point we have good options so it’s just all part of the gig.

5 comments to Day60-The Adventure Continues, Fri, Feb 25, 2011

  • John Langan

    It’s too bad you were not able to take the road to Porvenir. It follows along a large bay, climbing bluffs and passing through fields of grazing animals. Very remote and was in better shape than the road north to Bahia Azul, since there is very little traffic. No big trucks or busses.

    Glad you guys made it. I was really worried about Dean’s bike making it after you left Osorno. Now you get to relax a little bit on the ferry. You both deserve the break. Now repeat after me; take the credit card out of the ATM after you get money. LOL Wow, that could have been a real disaster.

    See you in JAX and congrats again on a great adventure.

  • Cydne Grimsby (Sidney Barrett)

    Dean and Lisa,
    I have so enjoyed vicariously traveling with you these past few months!! Thank you TONS for taking the time to put this on line and making it available to your family and friends, and “friends” you hardly know! All your ventures bring back so many memories of my traveling with Cal after he picked me up in Nicaragua during Peace Corps days. A most special time in my life. I admire your grit, your sense of humor, your wonderful adventuresome spirits! The photos were fun too. You two are quite wonderful in my estimation. Thanks again for a truly awesome journey! Cydne

  • chuck hickey

    ok – add to my getting ever longer list:
    Beer – check
    Buffets – check
    Pisco – check
    McDonald’s – check
    now…..
    eating at 10PM – check
    hanging out in hostels – check
    chocolate bombs – check
    Husband out looking for you after midnight – check.

    I fully expect to see some sort of news about a Revolucion – and Viva Lisa in headlines
    Picture Lisa L in Fidel Castro camo gear and hat
    and Dean with the Che beret –
    standing in line with a sign…
    “Free Buffets for Everyone” while holding a boilermaker made with beer and Pisco !

    It isn’t just Egypt, and Libya and Bahrain – the revolucion is happening and you all are getting the first glimpses of history in the making – right here on this blog.

    Wait a minute… that means people will be reading this in textbooks in coming years.

    Can I go back and edit some of the stuff I wrote????

  • joe deryke

    When my frame broke coming out of Ushuaia in 2009 I rented a pickup in Puento Varas 700 for a one way rental. See the Yamaha dealer he can lead you to the pickup guy. I took my bike to Valpariso I am in Valpariso now and am heading south on Mon Feb 28th. Joe DeRyke

  • John Parker

    Good news. Deam and Lisa are in Puerto Natales. Pretty good time. Punta Arenas to Puerto Natales by 10 AM. Maybe they had a tail wind?

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