Last night

20 February, 2018 – Rio Gallegos to Rio Grande via motorcycle, 376 km / 234 miles, two border crossings and a ferry ride – 3-minute read

I can’t believe we’re in Tierra del Fuego. Some part of me felt like I’d never finish this crazy trip, like maybe it wasn’t worth it, or that something would come up to prevent it. Of course, I’m not in Ushuaia yet.

We made good time today, considering we crossed two borders, the Strait of Magellan (via Ferry), and about 30 miles of unpaved road. Our time was definitely helped by the fact that we didn’t stop for lunch, due solely to the fact that there was nowhere to stop for lunch.

At the first border we met a Brazilian woman traveling solo on a Yamaha Tenere, a bike just a little smaller than mine. Impressive. She and we met up a few other places throughout the day: at a fuel station, the ferry, and, through chance, at the diner where we had dinner. We could communicate little in the overlap of our Spanish, but it’s great to talk to someone on the same leg of a pilgrimage.

The newly-washed air filter is functioning beautifully, and I was back up to 13 miles per liter on today’s second tank of gas. (Miles per liter is an economy measurement specific to those traveling with American analog bikes in foreign countries, I suspect.) And I had some company installing the filter this morning; the owner of last night’s “apart-hotel” came out to chat.

Victor is a deeply genuine man, older, living in Rio Grande. The wifi password to our internet last night was his granddaughter’s name and birthday, and his eyes gleamed brightly as he told me. This morning, saying goodbye, was tearing, somehow, the way it is when you find someone who really cares about you, just because you’re human. He told us unequivocally to call him if we had any trouble here, and he would drive his pickup out to find us.

And that’s it for today. I’m in a comfortable hotel room this evening, looking forward to a short 160 miles tomorrow to arrive at Ushuaia, southernmost city in the world.

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