The way the wind blows

So, as you might know, the winds in Argentina and Chile are terrible in the summer months. Countless people who ride to Ushuaia write about the winds blowing them off the road or riding on a tilt from the strong winds. Going to Ushuaia was not so bad in November as the winds are not at their strongest, and I had the wind to my back in many cases because I was traveling south and east. But going back north would be a bigger challenge. The wind in you chest would be agonizing, and destroy my fuel economy. Also being on a 250 make is more challenging, not that would trade it. Any bike in these winds is going to be a challenge. And, because I have a smaller silhouette, I actually do better than most of the bigger bikes.

Going north to Brazil, I didn’t want to deal with the winds, so I found a ferry that takes you from Punta Natales to Puerto Montt, where the Carretera Austral begins. This also puts me back on the west side of the continent, so I will have the winds to my back again going towards Brazil.

The ferry was a nice choice, because I get a few days off the bike and some time to relax and enjoy the scenic views of the fjords of Chile. I get to see the lands that most people don’t traveling by motorcycle. There is a road that runs along the east coast of Argentina to Uruguay and Brazil, but I’ve heard it’s windy and boring.

Riding up north to Punta Natales means taking a shorter ferry from a small town. The winds were atrochise and I was nearly pushed off the road.

After the first ferry, I stayed the night in Punta Arenas. A small touristic town. I was reminded that I was back in Chile when I looked for a hostel and the prices were $18. I did manage to find a lovely hostel for $8 and a good warm bed.

The next day I rode north towards Punta Natales. On my why I stopped at a small cafe. As I parked about 20 motorcycles from Edelweiss Tours came rolling in. Now, this is what I love about motorcycle travel. There in the middle of nowhere Chile, come a group of motos with a former student at my school PSSOR. Kelly had taken our BDR training tour back in 2015, and now here she is, living the dream, albeit a short vacation.

Making friends

I reached Punta Natales and waited all day for the ferry because the harbor was closed due to winds. Punta Natales is another town that has tourism. Mainly to take people to .. I decided not to ride there because I had already been to Fitz Roy, and was told that they are equally beautiful.

Finally the ferry was there, and waited a couple of hours for the passengers to disembark. They didn’t seem to happy about having to wait. But, hey, it’s an adventure!

After some paperwork that they fail to tell you about until you are ready to board, I was on the ship. Here they don’t let you ride your bike on the ferry. So the crew pushed it on. Nobody was tall enough for my moto!

Bike on board with some other bikes being transferred from touring companies.

The three nights and four days on the ferry was just what I needed. I enjoyed reading, and taking pictures. There’s no wifi or signal on the ship, so it was a nice break from being connected.

Although my bed was small, it was super cozy!

Sailing through the fjords was amazing. Pictures can really do justice.

The stars at night were some of the best I’ve seen. I thought about getting some night shots, but them I remembered I was on a boat. No can do!

Chow time!

The foods was actually quite good.

I made some friends on the ship, but mostly took the time to relax and reflect on my journey.

On the highlights of the trip was passing an old shipwreck. The story has it, that the captain was transporting sugar. He decided that if he could sell the sugar before reaching the port at another location and the sink the ship, he could collect the insurance money. Karma was waiting for this guy. He managed to sell the sugar at another port, but when he went to sink the ship, he pick the absolute wrong place. The channels are very deep in Chile except for on place, and that once place already had a sunken ship on it. So basically his ship sit on top of another ship!

Finally reaching Puerto Montt, I was head back into Argentina, to visit Bariloche and then head east to Buenos Aires and north to Brazil.

Soon I will be in the land of sun, sand, and topless beaches! Tata!


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