Monday, December 29, 2014

We arrived in Buenos Aires at 8:0 pm. Dec.23. That day we did 800 km. 
the east coast of Argentina is quite boring, no wonder most Overlanders  race to the south to Ushuaia and then north along the Andes or Carretera Astral in Chile. Ruta 3 is flat, lots of bad pavement and very few interesting points. We finally cougth up with Andy and Ellen  who are on a motorbike tour which started from Alaska two and a half years ago and are on the way to Ushuaia with some more detours. 
We left Brenda and Rick in Isla Valdez, as thy are taking their time to get to Colonia in Uruguay.
I am happy that we could spend Christmas with Family, but it was in no way the traditional Christmas, here thy celebrate with fireworks and lots of noise plus 33 degrees.
It was nice to meet Ellen and Andi who spent 4 days with us, also gave us many tips and suggestions for Brazil and Ellen made delicious dumplings for us.
Norbert has an appointment Jan. 5th. To get the rear axle checked, so we will have time to see the start of the Dakar Race on Jan 3rd.
At the moment it is 39 degrees here so we will stay close to the air conditioner.
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti
With Captain Magallanes

Penguins at Cabo Dos Bahias

Little Penguins, strong smell
Museo Paleontologico Egidio Feruglio

Trying to catch the Bus?

Very interesting Murals
The stickers are adding up

Andi the Kiwi

Ellen the Kiwi
Norbert longing for a ride

Christmas dinner at Chola's
then in the pool

A stroll in the Capital Buenos Aires

Post Christmas shopping

Preparations for the Dakar Race in front of Casa Rosada

Here we met Marcela who showed us around Buenos Aires

Train Cementary

Monday, December 22, 2014

Back to Punta Arenas.
We left Ushuaia at 1pm. And drove to Rio Grande, there we went to see a mechanic about the right tie rod for the Blue Wonder and were told that we will not find parts in Argentina but the parts we needed are available in Punta  Arenas in Chile. So we decided to go back there. There are two routs we could take, the ferry we came over with or a short ferry ride in Bahia Azul. As it was very windy there was a chance that the ferry from Porvenir would not sail. And Bahia Azul was 300 km. out of our way. So we flipped a coin and it was the long route. We left Rick and Brenda at the intersection 40 km. from the Argentinian border and thy will wait there for our return.  Arrived in Punta Arenas at 4:30 and after some running around found all the parts we needed and an appointment tomorrow at 9:30 am. to get the work done. This gave us a second chance to visit the town and we discovered how beautiful it is. We are now parked at the same spot as one week ago.
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti
Dec. 18, 2014
Went early this morning and bought 2 front tiers at the duty free zone and at 8:30 were lined up at the door of the mechanical shop to get the work done. Finished at 11 and went to get the tiers installed. But it was noon and so siesta time, come back at 3pm. We did and were on our way back to the meeting point with Rick and Brenda. We feel very lucky and thankful that everything fell in to place so nicely.
Again extreme wind from the side most of the way which makes tense driving.
We are now in Rio Gallegos with a Courfur store across the street so shopping for groceries tomorrow morning, as my larder is empty for all the border crossings we did. Looking forward to no wind and a little higher temperatures.
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti

Blue Wonder getting some loving care

The perfect camping spot

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Temporary repair on the control arm

tight squeeze on the ferry of Bahia Azul

Finally some knitting time

Monday, December 15, 2014

We made it.

Today we arrived in Ushuaia around noon, with sunny sky's and no wind.
Our arrival here has been delayed by 43 years. Let me explain.
  When we immigrated to Canada in 1968 our plan twas to work hard and save as much as possible for 3 years then buy  an VW camper and drive all the way down to Ushuaia.
Then life got away with us, kids, business a home and then the grandkids but 
December 14, 2014 we fulfilled our dream. To Top it off, with todays technology we  can share this moment with friends and Family. The little bear Isy had given us to leave at the entrance of Ushuaia is coming back with us, we could not bring ourself to leave him here as he has been on our dashboard for 33,000 km. and is part of our journey and will come back to Vancouver with us.
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti
Ferry from Puerto Arenas to Porvenir

Gilles Robert from Quebec did the trip on his Motorbike and the wind is his nemesis.

There are some desolate stretches

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Our little Mascot will continue with us 

We made it.

Jumping for joy.

El Calafate

In El Calafate we were parked at a technical school and this morning were allowed to use their WiFi. In these remote towns it is often hard to find WiFi, and I do not like sitting in an internet place.
We are now in Chile and border crossing was quick as we now know what not to bring.
The drive to Torres del Paine was all on Rippo "gravel" road and hard on the car but the scenery is spectacular. Wherever we stop we hurry back in the camper as the wind is so fierce that   It could blow one over. At the park office we met Chantal and Deni, from Gatineau Quebec.
Thy are traveling south america by Bus. It is always nice to meet fellow Canadians.
We are parked by a lake but can not go outside for the wind. Hope tomorrow it will be better.
The park warden told us that this is exceptional. Went for a hike to the waterfall and then drove to Punta Arenas to wait for the ferry to Porvenir. We could sleep right in the lineup lane. Had a nice and quiet nite.
Got on the ferry at 9 am. And it is a 2.5 hour sailing. Met Jilles Robert from quebec. He is on a motorcycle and has to fight the wind constantly.  

December 10, 2014
Here we are still inEl Chalten waiting for the gas station to open as there is no gas until El Calafate 230 km. we have a yerrycan   Of 10 liters and that could get us there but we do not want to take a chance. There are already 4 cars lined up and it is possible that there will be no gas until this afternoon, .fingers crossed. 
We did get gas and by the time we filled up there were a dozed cars behind us. How spoilt we are at home, just go and fill up. Never a worry that the station will run dry.
We drove to Parqie National los Glacially sur. To glacier Moreno.  What a spectacular sight. The park is well maintained as it is a Unesco Heritage site. Never have I been so close to a glacier and the sound of the ice breaking and witnessing the calving is unforgettable. I was lucky to get a picture of a big chunk breaking and to see the resulting wave.
 I know how fortunate I am to be able to make this journey and see all the things I had wished or dreamt to see. 
Hugs to all.
Nirbert and Greti
There he goes

do we look cold?

Another chunk falling

Finally less wind

Tres Lagos

Left Tres Lagos and arrived in El Chalten by 10 am. Finally finished with gravel roads, nice new pavement but the wind was fierce again. So now we are in Paque National Los Glaciares Zona 
Note. Before you get in to town you get a fantastic view of Mount Fitz Roy. The top was in the clouds so we waited in the hope that it would clear and 30 minutes later it did. What an impressive mountain range. At the park ranger office we met Alejandro, turns out he is the head ranger and has lived in Montreal for 3 years and driven the same route from Canada to Argentina in the nineties. He has also worked in Yellowstone  and Kr├╝ger park in Africa.
Talk about a person who loves his job.
There is free camping at the entrance of the hiking trails, so all the trekkers go past our camper and it is funny to see the surprised look when thy see the B.C. license plate.
 This afternoon we went for a short hike 8 km. up to a mountain lake. I had packed sandwiches but when we got to the lake the wind was so strong and cold that it was impossible to picnic there. The town is teeming with mountain and rock climbers of all nationalities. 
Tomorrow we will go to El Calafate and Torres del Paine and Lake Argentina.
Hugs to all
Norbert and Greti

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Alejandro the Ranger
Hike to the Lake

That is strong wind
Note the new pavement and the Ripo on the left.