Chris' 1994  R100GS/PDChris' new bike, a 1996 F650ULTIMATE JOURNEY Erin's 1997  F650
Living a Dream . . . 2 Live-N-Ride

Dec 28th, 2001

Credit to Patagonia

-- Story by Erin --

Wednesday, Dec 26th: Back on the road. Miguel suggested we take the coastal route down to Camarone’s as it had good scenery and a good gravel road. The major attraction that day was a visit to the Magallenic Penguin Colony at Punta Tombo. It’s a fantastic, surreal place with penguins everywhere: at the park entrance, in front of the registration office, all along the road to the parking area, crossing the parking lot. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime kind of opportunity to get up close and personal with an exotic animal. You could still see the downy gray fur on the babies, who have not gone out to sea yet. They squeal loudly so their parents will know where they are when they come back to feed them. There are more than a half a million penguins here, the largest colony in the world. The park is a joint venture with the Argentine Department of Conservation and the New York Wildlife Society.

At the park we ran into Alex and Annette, the two German’s. They had left late the day before and slept overnight in some nearby ruins. After having lunch together, Alberto finally pulled up and met us in the parking area. We all bid goodbye to each other and that we’d see each other in Ushuaia. After that we really had to hoof-it since we still had 400 kilometers to go at 2pm in the afternoon. The road from the penguin colony to Camarones was fantastic. The road twisted and turned through different scenery, along the coast, inland through brown and green valleys, and past small pueblos that looked like veritable ghost towns. When we got on the road again, we found petrol very hard to find. It seemed like only every other station had gas. Chris got a puncture at about 6pm and luckily we saw it at the petrol station. Luckily also they had a tire repair room to make fixing it a whole lot easier!

Our final destination that day was supposed to be Caleta Olivia, 100 kilometers south of Comodoro Rivadavia. We only made it as far as Rada Tilly, 10 km’s south of CR and found a nice little municipal campground for the night.

Thursday, Dec 27th: This day we would really find out what all the talk was about with the wind! Almost 800 kms were spent leaning over fighting the strong winds. The first bit of the ride south in the morning was beautiful, winding along the rugged and desolate coast. It then turned inland to the flat plateau’s inhabited only by the guanacos and nandus that we saw all day. We finally arrived at Rio Gallegos at 6pm and went on the hunt for tourist information. A TV reporter and cameraman spotted us in the town center and asked us if they could interview us. It was a quick 2 minute interview which I said nothing and Chris did all the talking (what else is new!) I was slowly getting sick that day and was tired and exhausted at the end of the day. When we finally got a hotel room (for $38!) I collapsed.

Friday, Dec 28th: Frank and Rosa arrive (at 3 o'clock in the morning!)----hurrah!  After waking them at 10:00am, we chat all morning while they unpack their bags and heap presents on us-----chunky peanut butter, our new bike covers, etc.  Chris and Frank go to pick up the rental bike and change the tires on our bikes. Rosa and I take a slow afternoon walk around the town, relax over lunch and do the grocery shopping for the next few day’s meals.

At 8:20pm, Pedro, the hotel proprietor bangs on the door and pulls us into the lobby -- we're on TV!  Several other guests are there too, and we're instantly mini-celebraties in the hotel.  Pedro even gives us a discount on the room and let's me use his phone line to connect to the internet!

We meet three other guests (a Canadian guy, an American girl and a girl from Turkey) in our hotel that are all travelling together in a Land Rover. They’ve managed to travel through the whole of Africa to South America in 6 months time, without incident until now. They all have cuts and scratches about their heads and bodies. They tell us they just had a bad accident on a dirt road on the frontier between Chile and Argentina. Luckily they were not hurt worse but the Land Rover is a bit crushed and they have to get it back up to BA for repairs. We go to dinner with them at a tenedor livre that night.


Danger:  Penquin Crossing

Magallenic Penguin Colony -- some of the 500,000 residents

Alex & Erin have a chat while a penguin waddles by

Ņandu, a common site in Patagonia

Our first sighting of Frank and Rosa -- the wildlife from New York City!

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