Argentina and Uruguay
Motorcycle trip in Argentina and Uruguay
We arrive in Argentina by the Cochrane border. The first 70kms are very tough. we ride on a dirt track in very bad conditions. But after this one and the previous 1500kms of tracks rode over Chilean Patagonia, we admit that we are very happy to see asphalt. And our sidecars too… indeed, we need some welding repairs (one of the seat holder started to crack and the last fixation of our mudguards didn’t last!).
The Argentinian roads are mostly in very good conditions with some nice curves. However, the wind is very strong! This means a big impact on our petrol consumption: almost 10L for 100kms which is twice than our usual consumption, no need to say that before noticing it we almost run out before to reach the next petrol station. We have been surprised the first time but then we have been very careful as sometimes there are 100kms separating two petrol stations.
After crossing the border, we are going to El Chaltén, a touristic city where it’s possible to see the famous Fitz Roy. We enjoy hiking around the Lagoon Torre with a view over a glacier. Then we carry on towards South and enjoy visiting the Perito Moreno glacier in El Calafate, one of the unique glaciers in the world keeping growing. The view was breathtaking with its 70m of height submerged. After this we keep going towards South to reach Ushuaia.For this, we need to cross the Chilean border before to go back in Argentina. Only about 100 kms of land to cross in Chile. The good point is the number of refuges on the Chilean land. They are all free of charge with a little fireplace and 2 bunk beds, great for sleeping sheltered from the wind.
The scenery around is not very exciting but 100 kms before reaching Ushuaia, this is changing. We are surrounded by mountains, forests and lagoons. At some point, we can finally see the famous sign “El fin del Mundo”! Happy to have reached this famous point, we are enjoying a break for a few days in a comfy hut.After this break, we are going back on the road but towards North this time. We need to go back on our tracks, to cross the Chilean border and again the Argentinian one.
We have a container to ship our sidecars in Latvia from Uruguay. Therefore, we do not have much time left in our hands. We choose to use the Ruta 3, this is the quickest way to reach Uruguay. This road is going alongside the Eastern coast. But we must admit, this road is not the funniest one… in great conditions, the road is however very straight, mostly flat with nothing exciting to see around (just a few bushes and guanacos). Plus, the weather changed a lot. The temperature increased from 15 degrees to 40 degrees just in a couple of days. So we change our daily routine and try to do short journeys and stop riding during the afternoon.In Comodoro Rivadavia, we take the opportunity to fix again our mudguards. We previously did a second repair but this one didn’t support the road vibrations either. So we stop a couple of days to find a good welder.
Repair done, we continue on the Ruta 3. We visit the Valdès Peninsula, a protected reserve with Magellanic penguins, sea elephants and sea lions. It’s 37 degrees outside and we are amazed to see so many penguins living by this sea with turquoise nuances.
Then, we stop a few days in San Antonio de Oeste where we meet very generous Argentinian fishermen… we share our cultures and travelling stories.
Before Buenos Aires, we leave the Ruta 3 and are going towards the Ventana valley. Suddenly, the scenery changes. We are between mountains and the villages look like the ones we could see in the French Alps. We can find many local products such as cheese and saucisson – We are happy frenchies!
We continue our road to reach Buenos Aires. There, we stay at Ricardo’s place; an Argentinian that we met in Chile with his 2 sons and their BMW, they were crossing Patagonia. We stay a few days to visit this capital and the surroundings before to reach the Uruguayan border.
Before crossing, we wanted to attend the carnival in Gualeguaychú, the largest of the country. After 2 rainy and stormy days flooding the campsite, we attend an amazing parade with beautiful costumes and floats.
The next day, we head to the border. But we didn’t know about the toll before the border and we do not have a coin left… Thanks to a generous Argentinian who gave us a few coins, we manage to cross the border. No troubles for the paperwork for our Uruguayan visa and sidecar importation.
We first head to Colonia del Sacramento, a nice paved and fortified city where we meet Jorge, a friend of Ricardo. Despite the area being great, we need to go to Montevideo the next day. We spend a few days to prepare the sidecars to ship them in a container to Riga in Latvia.
We do many checks (tightening, greasing, valves…) and sadly we break a part… the thread of the cylinder head. Hopefully, we manage to do a last minute repair thanks to a mechanic and a HeliCoil insert. Just on time to drop the sidecars at the Montevideo port. They are now in a container for 40 days to reach Riga in Latvia.
A chapter is closing… this is the end of our adventure in South of America. We enjoyed a lot discovering this continent with unexpected encounters and beautiful places. For sure, we will remember the amazing generosity of the people we met and offered their help.
Now, we will visit Asia including Laos and Vietnam with our backpacks. Once our container will reach Latvia, we will fly to Riga to collect them.