26. Jan, 2017

26.01.17 Puerto San Julian, Argentina to Rio Gallegos, Argentina

So, closer and closer we get to our destination, Ushuaia. It’s name is on the signpost now, the last signpost of the day red 578 km (350 miles) to go.  Our minds are truly focused on that now, as we head on down Ruta 3, battling the winds. Tomorrow we shall cross out of Argentina, briefly into Chile, take a short ferry crossing, before returning to Argentina again.

 

All throughout Argentina, each town has a sign either noting ‘Las Malvinas son Argentinas’ (The Falklands are Argentinian), or an outline of the map of the Falklands with ‘Argentinian forever’.  We have seen several war memorials, although no-one has actually mentioned it to us at all.  We have told everyone that asks that we are English, and no-one has taken against us.  There is clearly a wealth of emotion still surrounding the islands, and the relations were obviously not helped by the silly Top Gear debacle where Jeremy Clarkson drove a Porsche in Argentina with the the registration plate H982 FKL (1982 Falklands).  Those guys were hounded out of town, thankfully we have not been, but will continue to be low key and respectful, if asked.

 

We stayed 3 nights in Puerto San Julian.  This end of the country has a bleakness, and wild feel, similar to that of Dungeness in Kent. It is, however, vast, and that’s just the part we pass through on the road.  San Julian was an old port town, no longer used in that way.  It had a nice sea front and walkway along the front, which we enjoyed using, and the hotel was obviously used to receiving tourists.  People seem to travel extensively in the summer around Patagonia, and it is not just the travellers, including us making their way to the end of the world.

 

We saw French Pat again on Tuesday night, and have made plans to see him tonight, and to meet in Ushuaia.  He’s great company, and it’s nice to have someone to share the excitement of the pinnacle of both our trips.  As Pat was treated for lung cancer last year, the destination of Ushuaia has been a goal that has been a huge motivation to him. For us, it raises a rollercoaster of feelings, and we’ve been having some periods of reflection, whilst also allowing our minds to think of home again (although we shall have at least another couple of weeks riding before boarding any planes).