Sunday (Domingo) 14th February, 2010
Day 338

Rio Gallegos, Argentina
Rio Gallegos, Argentina
Miles: 36,492
S 51.62821°
W 69.61866°

We could not resist a stop at the panaderia in Tolhuin for a little indulgence on our way out of town this morning.

Traveling north from Tolhuin the sun was shining and one got the impression that a warmer summers day might be afoot - that is until we looked at the outside temperature reading on the vehicle computer 40°F !!

At San Sebastian we had the first of the days two border crossings. This one was the scene of the chaotic crossing a week earlier on our way to Ushuaia. Today traffic was light and the crossing was quick. From that crossing we retraced our earlier route over the 100km of bad dirt road to Cerro Sombrero and then good sealed road to the ferry crossing at Punta Azul. The wind in the Straits of Magellan was again fierce and the crossing rough - providing a good epilogue to our cold and windy time on the island of Tierra Del Fuego.

North from the ferry the road was good, travel fast and relaxed, and the country side was the flat wind swept grass lands that is the Patagonian steppes. At a lonely outpost building about 40km north from the ferry we had our second border crossing. This was a note worthy crossing because of the sensible but unusual level of co-operation between Chile and Argentina. Both posts were in the same building so that all formalities for both countries could be completed in a single process. This was also the first time the Argentine officials have wanted to see our vehicle insurance. We were sure glad we had it as we had no idea where to go from here to get one.

As it was Sunday most shops were closed in Rio Gallegos when we arrived. But we got enough for breakfast the following morning and managed a quick stop at a good internet cafe.


We camped in the parking lot of a large religious shrine at the junction of Highways 3 and 5. We certainly would not have found this place, nor particularly the entrance, without the information provided by the - thanks guys. It's an amazing place. There were parking lots on both sides of the river and each had a large building in which people have left flowers and all kinds of religious articles. On the northern side of the river was a very elaborate staircase to another complex of shrines on top of the hill. At the base of the hill were a set of picnic tables, each with a large sheltered fire place and concrete pad on which to park. BUT - there were no toilets !!

Close by on the northern side is a camping area called Club Pescazaike for anyone that needs services.