Friday, February 26, 2010

San Sebastian to Ushuaia - February 17

We left San Sebastian at 8:30am and rode south to Rio Grande by 11:00am for our first fuel stop.  Following the fill-up, Petra's electrical system had quit again.  We assumed the temporary fix had come loose and began to disassemble the bike in an out of the way spot in the parking lot.

Not long into the exercise, two guys introduced themselves as Markus and Ingo from Germany.  Markus and his girlfriend Mireille had ridden from Alaska to Ushuaia, as had Ingo - they are well seasoned long-distance riders, and were in Rio Grande deciding how and when to end their journey, particularly given a broken frame on Ingo's bike.

When I explained Petra's battery terminal problem, Markus quickly offered a new post from his spare parts kit that fit the bill perfectly.
Petra and our new friends shared road stories and coffee while I finished the repair.

Markus recommended a good hotel in Ushuaia and said we would probably see them there the next day - and we were off on the road again.

South of Rio Grande, the landscape changed dramatically as we entered first the foothills and then the Andes for the first time.  Climbing through the Garibaldi Pass was cold, but spectacular.
 First view of the Andes.

Arriving in Ushuaia marks the end of our southbound journey - just over 3400km's, 3048 of which were on Ruta 3.  We made our way to the hotel with little trouble and were checked in by 4:00pm.  Markus had also recommended a local welder so I headed out to get my side stand lowered 3cm to adjust for the weight of my gear.  An hour later the job was done - the shop actually brought in a shipwright to do the job extremely well, and in about 3 minutes - and all for 50 pesos.
Rainbow over Ushuaia on our arrival!
 Cheese and cured meats for the road!

We wandered around town and found some dinner - the first properly prepared steak I had eaten in Argentina - and then made a to do list for a planned day off of the bikes tomorrow.

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