This morning it was time to say good bye to our friend Claudio who had to make it back to Santiago de Chile. We had a great time together and we for sure would be missing his pleasant personality.
On the other hand side we were planning a long drive down South to El Calafate, roughly 620 km and most likely an 8-9 hours ride. 70 % asphalt and 30 % gravel, not too bad.
The first couple of km on the famous routa 40 were great. No traffic, just a couple of motorbikers and some few trucks.
The landscape reminded me a bit of California in the US: huge wide views with mountains in the background. Beautiful… this is the stuff I was looking forward to do.
Even though I would have loved it to do alone, I appreciated to ride together with Alicia and Joao. Taking the lonely roads into account it is much safer and I did not want to end up with a puncture or any other problem and not be able to fix it myself.
We soon got to know the famous Patagonian wind which we had problems to fight against. Sometimes it was so strong that it pushed us on the completely other side of the road and we were lucky that no other vehicle was coming towards us.
It was a true adventure and I enjoyed the new experience.
However, after some time the combination of wind and 7 degrees Celsius were giving us frost bites and we enjoyed a tea at a lonely petrol station in the middle of nowhere.
We put some extra layers clothes on and Joao had the fabulous idea to wrap our feet into plastic bags which really helped to protect them from the icey wind.
When we made it half way we stopped at the pretty ugly town of gobernadores to fill up our bikes again with petrol. Joao realized that suddenly his bike lost quite a lot of motor oil which built a paddle under his bike.
We had to change plans and instead of El Calafate we were stuck in Gabarnador. I completely forgot about the siesta time in Argentina and basically every store was closed until the late afternoon. Great…
However, we found a garage which also provided luckily some accomodation where we decided to check in.
All of us were pretty tired from the last days and it was actually ok to make a short “break”. Tomorrow’s plan was to bridge the gap again and to leave as early as 6 o’clock in the morning. Let’s see ?