|Latest technique to keep warm, wedge my hood under the helmet.|
|This here's Oiiil Country, not much else going on|
|Finally a bed in the road on Ruta 3|
|Santa Julian beach, sunscreen not necessary|
|Possibly the most exciting place to be in Santa Julian|
|My corregated iron guesthouse|
|Santa Julian is where the Argentine airforce was based during the Faulklands|
Puerto San Julián - such a strange place. If early reports on Patagonia are said to have inspired Shakespeare to write “The Tempest” or Swift to write “Gullivers Travels”, then its not too unbelievable to think Puerto San Julián inspired “The Wicker Man”. The atmosphere is bizarre, I took a walk along the shoreline path with deserted playgrounds, a replica galleon and a jet plane weirdly mounted on a pole. I could just sense the people in the houses staring at me. In the meantime teenagers in rusty, bonnet-less, patched up cars drove back and forth several times taking turns to actually try to run me over. Weird eerie place, I couldn't imagine spending a whole winter here, but this is what Magellen, Drake and Darwin did on their voyages. Unlike them I had a bike so not surprisingly I left Puerto San Julián very early the next morning.
I’ve noticed that there are more and more motorbike travellers on Ruta 3 down here. Unbeknown to me being new to this biking life, reaching Ushuaia is a popular thing for bikers at Christmas and places to stay enroute can book out, so I thought I would change tactics and leave early to get a head start. Unfortunately because of my ridiculously slow bike I spent the day being overtaken by every bike in South America so I guess that tactic is pointless.
|Loving the break in the storms|
Between Puerto San Julián and Rio Gallegos I pulled into a petrol station at the same time as 2 groups of Brazilian and German bikers all on KLR650s and BMW650s and 1200s. After I filled up I decided to ride over with my 200cc and join them too. I am, afterall a proper motorbike traveller taking on Patagonia now. Unfortunately as I pulled up to park amongst them one of my foot pegs fell off. They gave me a split second glance before actually taking their time to walk around me to continue to introduce theirselves and take pictures of each others bikes. To add insult to injury I had to borrow a tool to fix the peg back on hahaha. Oh well. I rode on only to be overtaken by every single bike 5 minutes later.
Strange things continued. I rode though 2 different plagues of dragonflies, which pelted me and my helmet (what the hell are dragon flies doing out here?) and have seen every possible kind of dead animal littering the empty landscape, dogs, cats, armadillos, skunk and even the huge guanacos pinned to barbed wire fences. Putting all this behind me I finally reached Rio Gallegos on the 19th which is where I am holed up in a nice hostel. I'm waiting until the winds die down a bit so that I can catch a ferry across the straights of Magallan and onto Tierra del Fuego. Finally I’m getting nearer to the end of the world.