Monday (Lunes) 15th February, 2010
Day 339

Parque Nacional Monte Leon, Argentina
Parque Nacional Monte Leon, Argentina
Miles: 36,698
S 50.35623°
W 68.88463°

We spent time in Rio Gallegos this morning on business.

  • trying unsuccessfully to buy an extra spare wheel (we found a wheel that was the right size but the tire would not mount correctly for some reason),

  • looking for an air filter for the Tiger (no luck), and

  • getting up to date on emails and website. For those that have commented about the map not working, I think it is fixed. If not can someone let me know!!

We noted with some bemusement that the Argentines have invented a new way to cause vehicle accidents. The main highway north from Rio Gallegos has been turned into a permanent obstacle course. To explain. This is a four lane highway, two lanes in each direction. Approximately every 400-800 meters there is a round-about so that traffic can return. But the round-about's are not circular, they are long rectangles of 400+ yards rounded at the ends - and, this is the tricky bit - these rectangles are much wider than the normal center strip. To accommodate these structures the highway lanes are moved farther out, but only where there is a round-about. As a consequence of this the highway lanes are a continuing series of rather tight s-curves; thereby turning what could have been a straight 4-lane highway into a slalom course.

From Rio Gallegos the road north traveled through more patagonia steppes for 140km to PN Monte Leon. The land was so flat that I am sure at times we could see the curve of the earth in every direction. I thought coming from Australia I knew something about vast wastelands, and while this place is not technically a desert it sure is a wilderness of sorts and vast is an understatement.

We arrived at PN Monte Leon late in the day with the bright afternoon sun casting long shadows and providing wonderful lighting for our drive to the coast and by which to photograph yet more guanaco and luck of luck our first South American or is it Argentine skunk. The skunk proved to be an elusive subject scuttling between and hiding under bushes, but we got a few decent shots.

We had a clear night and saw the southern cross for the first time in ages. There has been too much cloud for most of our southern travels to see any stars.


We are in the parking lot at the Lion's Head lookout in Parque Nacional Monte Leon about 30 kms south of the little town of Comte. Luis Piedra Buena, and a further 20 kms along a good gravel road into the park. A bit north of us is an official campground with toilets. Our spot is on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean and has no facilities.