Land of Fire!

After battling the dangerous crosswinds on Ruta 3 for a few days (see previous blog entry), we departed Rio Gallegos on November 2 and crossed back into Chile after a short ride of 60 kms.  Another short ride to the Bahia Azul ferry;  timed it perfectly and rode straight onto the boat.  Short half hour crossing and then were on Isla Grande de Tierra del Fuego!  We planned this trip for a long time, and here we are.

Stepping foot onto Tierra del Fuego

Our jubilation didn’t last long as we headed down Hwy 257 which was dirt.  The weather changed and we got cold, wet and filthy.  The bikes rattled around a lot on the potholes and took a beating.  Had to deal with another border crossing back into Argentina and limped into Rio Grande late in the day.

Ah, but thanks for new days.  For me, November 3 was the most epic day of the adventure.  Not a long riding day – only 223kms – but just a beautiful road.  The weather was crisp and the heavy winds subsided as we rode in the morning down to Tolhuin, where we stopped at a funky restaurant for coffee and a bite.  Passed hundreds of beautiful guanacos along the way, who looked at us curiously with their dark grey faces and huge eyes.

Lots of guanacos along the road

The last 100 kms or so into Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, is amazing.  Beautiful mountains, lakes and fjords.  Quite similar to British Columbia actually!  We took our time and stopped for many photos along the way.


Pulled into Ushuaia (pop. 57,000)and really liked the vibe of the town.  Very tourist oriented and felt a little like early days Whistler or Banff.  Didn’t take long to find a good restaurant and celebrate with a bottle of champagne.  Went out for a few pints of Guiness after that!

Easy Riders

Sea to Sky Highway?


We made it! Pass the beer nuts.

Took a day off to relax and hit Tierra del Fuego National Park, then a long riding day back up to Rio Grande, border crossing at San Sebastian back into Chile, dirt road again, ferry and into Punta Arenas, where we are shipping our bikes home from.  If BMW Motorrad wants an endorsement for their Adventure motorcycles, give me a call.  18,871 kms from Vancouver, Canada to Punta Arenas, Chile and the bikes performed marvelously.

Parque Nacional. Not many inhabitants south of here.

Chilly here. Argentina (not Chile).

So the bikes are now gone.  We fly to Buenos Aires in the morning and home from there next week.  One would think we would be tired of riding by now but we aren’t.  Its always a thrill to get back on the bike.

La Poderosa getting a pedi for shipment home

Mantener el lado grasoso hacia abajo!  –  Bob (Che) Matheson.


7 comments on “Land of Fire!

  1. Suzy says:

    Hi Guys, I have enjoyed you sharing your journey immensely! I am a little sad your adventure is coming to an end, it has been such a pleasure to have your exotic experience in Toronto…………..
    need I say more. lol
    I am happy to hear it was a good experience for you all!
    Safe journey back!

  2. lflavelle says:

    Congratulations, boys! Loved the updates and loved the 10 grand you raised for Unicef. Will be happy to hear you are back on CDN soil. And may there be many more adventures for you all! Warmly, Lucinda

  3. can2chi says:

    Good to see you all enjoyed the ride through South America. For what I can see this part of the world is incomparable with any other in this beautiful planet.
    CONGRATULATIONS!! I’M Leaving in December , starting in San Diego, through Mexico, central and S.America hoping to be in Chile for the Dakar. If anybody wants to join us (2) we will be willing to take one more rider. Cheers Guys HUGE accomplishment!!!!!!

  4. Rose Sirois says:

    Enjoyed the travelogue. Where are we going to go next, you on your bikes and me in my armchair?

  5. sarahhambley says:

    The mountains are beautiful. Very majestic. Wow! And I liked the guanacos, I have never seen these fellows before, they look very much like Llamas. Lucky would like to chase them. Are you in Rio yet? Date: Thu, 8 Nov 2012 22:52:02 +0000 To:

  6. Hughes, Brian says:


    Brian Hughes Brian Hughes Vice President, RBC Dominion Securities Penticton, B.C. (250) 770-1200


  7. Esther says:

    Wow that went fast! I’ll guess we’ll see you back here soon! Glad it’s been a great trip.

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