382 Miles to Ushuaia

Simon wanted to do some fishing, so we split up for the day. We followed Paul and Camille (on their motorcycles) to Puerto Natales to find some shelter and we were out of food.

The road was rough, but indescribably beautiful. I think I saw four different rainbows that day. There was some road work along the way and the usual guy that controls the 1 way traffic. But, in 1 particular area, on a blinded down hill, there was noone there stopping us. We noticed that there was some seriously torn up road, but we didn’t have time to stop. So we plowed on, and passed up a steamroller coming the other way (followed by some cars moving very slowly). The driver looked a bit surprised to see us driving on the other side, but we didn’t really have a choice. Paul and Camille were way ahead, but we noticed that they were able to get off the road and into the grass.  We finally got through, and hit pavement about 1 km later. Then onto Puerto Natales, first stop the gas station.

That’s where Camille mentioned we had a low tire. WHAT?  That’s pretty bad news, as we’d had a blow out last week and we had no spare. We’d had a chance to buy tires back in El Calafate, but since we were with Simon and MC, we weighed the chances of having another. In 2 1/2 years, that was our 1 and only blow out (we had 1 slow leak which we repaired in Peru). The reason we were waiting, was that the next town, Punta Arenas, is a tax-free zone and we could get tires cheaper there. And tires are really expensive here in Chile. Well, that was a bad choice.

The tire was ruined– a hole form a rock and a ruined sidewall, but it would hold air for 5 minutes. We sent Paul and Camille to find us cabanas close by while we filled up the tire.

More bad news. They returned to tell us that Camille had blown her engine. A pack of dogs started chasing her and she revved up, heard a pop and oil was everywhere. Her bike, Shooting Star, was an awesome Kawasaki (250!) that drove from Idaho, to Puerto Natales, Chile….La Ultima Esparanza. Only 382 miles to Ushuaia.

RIP Shooting Star.



8 thoughts on “382 Miles to Ushuaia

  • March 27, 2012 at 9:57 AM

    What kind of camera did you use to take these photos?

  • March 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    my father in law told me before we start driving south… take 2 spare tires, one with the rim set, and the other one just the rubber

  • March 27, 2012 at 12:07 PM

    Mark – that one was Goodyear G32. A damn good tire IMHO. Just got unlucky…

  • March 27, 2012 at 12:58 PM

    I too have been wondering what kind of camera you have. I have been enjoying your blog and photos from day one, and have often been curious about what camera you use…………so what are you using?

  • March 27, 2012 at 1:43 PM

    Nikon D40 for most everything. Easy to use, too – we still haven’t read the manual. We also have two point-and-shoot cameras that we would never recommend.

  • March 27, 2012 at 1:52 PM

    Also, I highly recommend using Picasa for organizing, cropping, editing, etc.

  • March 28, 2012 at 4:12 AM

    Glad you solved the malware issue so quickly (dare2go’s issue was a lot more complicated), not so glad about the double bad luck in this report. I guess you’ve been clever enough to combine all good tires onto one van, head to Punta Arenas and back to get new tires (they are seriously cheap there compared with elsewhere!). I even bought 2 new ones, although we wanted to sell our truck soon after — just wasn’t worth any more headaches, and these “ripio” roads are hard on tires…
    What will your friends with the bikes do? That looks like it’ll be not worth fixing…

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