Torres del Paine


"This park changed my life and it can change yours if you let it. Remember, don't be bitter. Smile… Welcome to Torres del Paine National Park" - Park Ranger I had never been welcomed to a national park with an inspiring talk but it filled me with adrenaline to get out there and experience it for myself. I wanted to know more about this park rangers story but the busses were leaving to take me to the trailhead where I would unload my rented backpack from the bus and begin my 7 day adventure. … [Read more...]

All in the Family


Ian, Jayne, Phil, and I finally arrived in Punta Arenas late at night after the adventure of running out of gas and then riding in the dark while it started to snow. Needless to say, we were cold and tired. A man that they met a week earlier in Tierra del Fuego had invited them (and now me) to stay with his family when we arrived in Punta Arenas. Mario was expecting us 4 hours earlier but showed up at the gas station a minute after we called and greeted us. He led us to his house and welcomed us … [Read more...]

A New Direction


Ushuaia to Punta Arenas After my few days in Ushuaia and more snow expected I packed up the bike and for the first time in a long time, I'm heading north. Jayne, Phil, and Ian were ready to get out of Ushuaia as well so the four of us hit the road together. Under cloudy skies we rode the winding mountain roads until the mountains were behind us and all that was ahead was the flat rolling landscape that makes up so much of Tierra del Fuego. By sunset we rolled into Rio Grande where an … [Read more...]

The End of the Road


Ushuaia, Argentina Ushuaia, Argentina, the southern-most city in the world. It's a claim that's debated as there is a small village on an island further south but most people recognize this as the end of the world. The small city of 60,000 people sits along the shore of the Beagle Chanel and below the snowcapped Martial Mountains. With it's close proximity to Antarctica it's the launching point for cruises and expeditions. Originally the area was home to the indigenous tribe of the Yaghan … [Read more...]

Al Fin del Mundo


Rio Grande to Ushuaia It didn't matter that the sky was sunny and clear when I left Rio Grande, with the wind almost 30 miles per hour, it was chilly. After an hour of riding through the plains along the Atlantic coast, Ruta 3 begins ascending into the mountains. The wind was consistent with only a few occasional gusts that would push my bike a few feet over in the lane. There weren't any hair raising gusts but a couple moments where myself and the bike were leaning at a 45 degree angle trying … [Read more...]

To Tierra del Fuego


El Calafate to Tierra del Fuego I checked the forecast and heavy rains were moving into the area so I decided it was time for me to make the final charge to Ushuaia. I still had 550 miles before reaching the end of the world so I broke it up into a few days. Before I started I made a slight modification to my bike to help shield me from the wind, rain, hail, snow, or whatever else might come my way down here. To keep my hands shielded from Tierra del Fuego's notoriously harsh weather I made … [Read more...]

Chunks of Ice


Perito Moreno Glacier Along the disputed borderlines of Argentina and Chile's Patagonia region is the Perito Moreno Glacier. I had seen glaciers before but when I rode my motorcycle out to see this one up close I was stopped in my tracks surprised by the size of it. From miles away I could see the massive glacier coming down from the Andes. Little did I know that what I could see from the road wasn't even the whole thing. I'd have to ride further to get an up-close view. Perito Moreno … [Read more...]

Fitz Roy


I had ridden over 400 miles down Ruta 40 through a region that was nothing but open plains of large estancias. Way off in the distance I could make out the snow covered mountains but they looked so far away. Eventually when I turned right and started heading West the view changed dramatically. Directly in front of me were the famous granite towers of Fitz Roy. El Chaltén is village in Argentina at the base of two of Patagonia's most famous mountains, Cerro Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre. Chaltén … [Read more...]

The Carretera Austral


"You're going down the Austral right?" "Don't miss the Austral" I kept hearing about this road from other motorcyclists so when it came time to decide what route to take to get to Ushuaia it was an easy choice. Besides if I didn't want to ride the Austral the other option was the bland pampa of Argentina on Ruta 40. The Carretera Austral, which means southern highway, is a road through Chile's remote Patagonia region. I didn't have a set itinerary or plan and decided I would just ride until I … [Read more...]

Entering Patagonia


When I left Gaston's farm in Loncoche I rode south on Ruta 5 until Osorno where I turned east on highway 215 to cross the Andes and into Argentina. The road got higher and went deeper into the forest as I got closer to the board. Tall pines covered the land right up to the edge of the road. There was one small set of waterfalls that I saw out of the corner of my eye as I passed them. A quick u turn in the road and I stood by the edge of the river and took in the view. I didn't know what to … [Read more...]

From the City to the Farm

Their grandson holding one of the chicks. A few tears in his eyes as just a minute earlier the chick pecked at his finger.

I said goodbye to the kind folks at Hostel Caracol and started riding. It had been a week of walking around by foot and time to pick up the pace. Ruta 5 south out of Santiago is a nice four lane toll road. That's about it. It's almost entirely straight for the first few hundred miles. I was just cruising and nothing really piqued my interest enough to take the camera out. Just imagine it. I'm sure the side roads are nice but I wanted to get to Patagonia. Other than stopping for gas and to pay a … [Read more...]

Santiago de Chile


Santiago de Chile, the official name of the capital city, is home to 6 million Chileans. On a smog free day the nearby Andes mountains are visible from the busy city streets. The city's different barrios have their own vibes but just about everywhere I went it was lively. Except on Sundays when most stores outside of the city center are closed. I stayed in Barrio Bella Vista, a neighborhood where just about every wall along the sidewalks is covered in beautiful street art. Bars and restaurants … [Read more...]

Wines of Mendoza


The uncommon rainstorms in Mendoza weren't enough to keep me from enjoying what myself and every other traveler visits Mendoza for, the wine. I read a great blog about doing wine tasting in Mendoza on a budget which meant taking a bus to the Maipu district south of the city. Paul, Ian, and I were meant to rent bicycles to get around but we missed the bus stop for the rental shop. Not wanting to wait in the rain for the bus to return we decided we'd do our wine tour on foot, in the rain. Welcome … [Read more...]

Salta to Mendoza on Ruta 40


On a beautiful morning in Salta I loaded up the bike to continue south. Paul and Ian joined me and once again the three of us set off to discover what else Argentina had to offer. Not long after leaving Salta we started riding on one of the most well known roads for motorcycle travelers, Ruta 40. Ruta 40 in Argentina is one the longest highways in the world. It runs almost the entire length of the country covering over 3,000 miles. Until recent years most of the highway was still dirt but now … [Read more...]