The finish of the most southern road on the South American continent..and catching up with Irish Jo.
Our wind/weather website was predicting 80km/hr, gusting to 108km/hr westerlies on thursday and a perfect day on Friday – so thursday we headed south on a tip from some 4WD travellers. The website is pretty accurate and we got 15km before deciding to sit it out for a while – it was a trifle scary when the gusts hit. After lunch the winds dropped slightly so we carried on and by the time we got to the bay of San Juan it was all but gone. We found a great camp on the beach and revelled in the view out to the Magellan Straight and across to the island of Tierra del Fuego. We were adopted by a couple of dogs who hung out till after dinner when a shower of rain passed thru and we disappeared into our tent.
Friday was perfect – no wind for starters so we carried on to the end of the road – not realising that it is the southern most road on the South American continent. It deteriorated into a walk and we got 2km short of the most southern lighthouse on this piece of land. We had hoped we might see a whale or two but had to be content with dolphins. The scenery was well worth the excursion from Punta Arenas.
Couldn’t believe our luck when the light southerly sprung up for the return trip to P. Arenas. We visited Fuerte Bulnes – a significant Chilean Fort built in the 1800’s and restored in the end of last century and then we decided a free camp by the now perfectly flat southern ocean was preferable to a $100 hotel room without a window in town.
The million dollar sunrise was incredible and got us up early for the 25km back into town. Our first stop was to call in on Jo Williams who has just arrived for a 7-10 day Patagonian extreme adventure race (http://www.patagonianexpeditionrace.com/)with 3 blokes she has just met for the first time! We were mutually pleased to see each other. Jo is nervous about the race but I think if you are from NZ you have an advantage in the Patagonian wildlands. Good luck to the Pata-Gonna-Get-Ya team.
Tomorrow we leave the continent and sail to the island of Tiera del Fuego for the last 500km to Ushuiai. We have westerly winds and easterly roads so looking forward to the riding.