So it’s time to leave Ushuaia. I am not going to get a boat to Punta Arenas but neither I’m going to pedal over my steps all the way so I’m on a bus. Luck wants that I am joined by a very nice companion in my travels and then eventually by a second, but more on this to follow.
The first part of the trip is rather sweet with me and Andrea (first companion), a Swiss girl from San Galen, chit chatting on how we got where we are and what we’re doing next. By the time we get to Tolhuin, remember the place with the bakery, the bus is making rather strange noises and we pull over into a filling station.
We were there for quite some time, not really sure how long, but no less than a couple of hours I’d say.
Luckily they fix it which mean than then are on the move. Had we known we could have taken a little wonder to the panaderia, at the very least to say hola to Sebastian.
The scenery has not improved since the lat time I was around these parts, the bus does not stop in Rio Grande so the following stop is the border with Chile. As usual the Argentinian one is fast and the Chilean is excruciatingly slow, I recon we lost another hour here.
The route now is “ripio” i.e. no tarmac. Andrea manages to sleep but I kept getting waken up by the bouncing of the bus. By now we have made acquaintance with Patrick an Australian with Chilean ascendency who is part over to visit family part to tour. Sadly he’s sleeping too.
In another couple of hours of pain we get to the boat and from there things are quite simple.
After the boat it’s tarmac and, fortunately no borders, I’ll be in Chile for a while now. The final straw in the set of misadventures is that the top hatch of the bus had, against the advice of the conductor, been opened and it does not close anymore now. It’s getting late and, well, colder.
Some people have left and the three of us are now together chatting away the reminder of the time. We get into Punta Arenas at 10:30 PM having left at 8:00 AM, not the best of passages.
I’m staying in an hostel at the border of town, a rather cool one. The feel is very international and it’s easy to chat up people and I eventually do so with Clelia a cool ex CNR biology researcher from Como now turned cook and traveler. We had a great chat about our life experience and in particular how it is difficult to communicate to the generation above, in Italy, a choice of life that goes against the grain. Turns out I’m very much not alone in my predicament.
I’m going to be in town for two days before heading out with the bike and I make the most of it by going first exploring with the bicycle and then on foot.
After I manage to spend some money in comms (Chilean SIM) and a pair of hiking shoes, just in case I decide to go walking between here and Buenos Aires, I get back to the hostel and get down to the task of catching up with the blog. I’ve been not as good as last year with it, I think all these people I meet are definitely a distraction from the writing. I think things will get better from tomorrow.
The last stop on the way is the Monumental cemetery of Punta Arena. Very interesting especially the noticing how many different ethnic groups are represented in it.
I’m leaving on the bike tomorrow morning and I recon it should take me three days to get to Puerto Nadales. I still have not received any response from possible WorkAway hosts there so it sounds like i’ll be holidaying again rather than working, never mind, I can do with the riding.