Punta Arenas to Ushuaia

No dramas getting away and down to the ferry terminal for the trip across the Magellan Strait and back into Argentina.  Way too cold to brave the deck so we cram into the cabin area alongside three young guys who are travelling from Atacama in the north of Chile to Porvenir for a soccer tournament.  These guys had serious attitude but with a great sense of humour and one spoke reasonable English.  They were playing Chilean music and Lorraine started to groove along so the youngest one, Diego asked her to dance with him which she did with style.  Another example of the spontaneous affection we are enjoying.

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It would be interesting to learn how Chile managed to secure a large lump of the southern part of Patagonia and effectively cut off any possibility of a direct land route to the other piece of Argentina where Ushuaia is located.  A least it keeps the immigration and customs people at San Sebastian pretty busy.

The road is called ‘Ruta Fin del Mundo’ or Route to the End of the World.  It seems very appropriate for the treeless windswept plain skirting the Atlantic Coast for the first couple of hundred kms but then we were back into mountain ranges and vast forests of Antarctic Beech for the final 100 km heading west into Ushuaia along the 55 deg parallel.

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Somehow the mayor had heard about our visit so he sent along his deputy and the tourism officer to greet us in the plaza.  Lots of interest from all the bystanders, many of who were also travellers from other parts of South America.  A few nice speeches and we were off to our quaint hotel located at the end of a long dusty track about 5 km out of town.  Quaint in appearance and that wasn’t the only thing………..

I had hoped to get good news about a package of car parts which Simon had shipped a couple of weeks ago but are now stuck in Buenos Aires customs.  A job for tomorrow!


3 thoughts on “Punta Arenas to Ushuaia

  1. Car parts? Maybe I missed something but I don’t recall you mentioning any car problems apart from flickering lights?
    I can’t help thinking this trip reads much more like a smooth cruise through South America than the raw, will-they-make-it suspense with cars breaking down, roads impassable, etc.
    Maybe it is the new slick format?
    I did not think it was worth republishing your blog on the web site, as you had already done a nice job on the blog. So, I have just put a paragraph that you were off again,, with a link to the blog.
    Good luck with the rest of the trip. I hope I have not put the mockers on you!


    • Hi Neil. It has been an easier trip in many ways because all the cars were better prepared based on the Cape to Cairo experience. On the other hand we have driven over more gravel roads often pretty rough and dusty so the cars have taken a bit of a beating. We’ve had very few problems – a sticky throttle due to wear on the shafts from all the dust which hopefully is now fixed (desperate times call for desperate measures so in the absence of the new parts I hoped to pick up here in Ushuaia I spent the afternoon building up the worn sections with epoxy resin. Peter Carthy tells me he used to rebuild McCulloch go kart cylinder bores with epoxy and they ran well!).


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