Zu alt zum Arbeiten, zu jung zum Sterben, gerade richtig zum Reisen. ...........................................................................Too old to work, too young to die, just right to travel.
April 30, 2019
Today we stayed in Trelew. Here in Trelw are three Carrefour stores. A small one is just next to our hotel. But today we went to one of the big ones. We found there some of the things we are searching for some time now. In the afternoon we went to the car workshop to bring and get some things from the RV. The work seems to progress as planned. They want to change the brake discs at the front wheels. They showed me that the old ones are worn out. I agreed with this. We could connect the RV to electricity. This saves some gas. Like this, the things in the fridge stay cold. The rest of the day I worked on my website and learned some Spanish. The picture was not made in France but today in Trelew in Argentina.
April 29, 2019
Today we stayed in Trelew. We went to some banks and tried to change the Chilean pesos we still have. We were not successful. No bank wanted to change them. The afternoon we stayed in the hotel room because a very heavy wind did blow through the town. At 5 pm we were at the car workshop to get our RV repaired back. But we got bad information. The clutches Fiat Ducatos have here in Argentina are different from the one we have in our RV. They tried to find some other clutches but couldn't find anything which fits in. But they told us they can repair the clutch. But since Wednesday is a holiday in Argentina the RV will be ready only on Thursday. What could we do other than agreeing with them and going back to the hotel and stay another three days here in Trelew! We just hope this repair will work and holds until we are back in Switzerland. The picture shows the building of the National Bank in Trelew.
April 28, 2019
Today we stayed in Trelew. We made two walks. One around the lake and one through the city. For the rest of the day, we relaxed in the hotel room and worked on our pictures and information. The picture shows a part of a very large mural on the walls of a bus company.
April 27, 2019
Today we spend the day in Trelew. We took our clothes to wash with us and brought them to a laundry in the morning and could them pick up at 1 pm again. All the shops closed at 1 pm and reopened at 4.30 pm again. In this time we walked through the town. There is even a little lake at the city limits. The attached picture is from there. At 4.30 pm we went shopping for some things. For dinner, we wanted to experience the famous Argentinian Asado. We got a big plate of meat. There were too many intestines on the plate. We didn't like this so much. I hope we will find sometimes a better grill place.
April 26, 2019
Today we drove to Punta Tombo (123 km). I read and heard that here is the biggest Penguin colony in the world. When we arrived there the door to drive to this place was closed and a sign said that there are no penguins at the moment. It seems they come back in September. Nobody told us and I nowhere read that these penguins are not here all year around. And just before this gate, our RV started to behave strangely. I couldn't change gears anymore. Our RV has a standard drive. Here we are 60 km from the next bigger road and nobody lives here. But with some trying and force, I could change the gears again. But we know we had to see a mechanic. Just some kilometers further was a man standing. His motorbike didn't run anymore. He asked us to take him to Trelew. We did it and brought him to the bus station in Trelew. Just there we saw a Fiat dealer. But the business was closed for another two hours. We found the address of an IVECO dealer and drove there. And this dealer had a Fiat business too. The business reopened in one hour. They immediately started to work on the car and found that the clutch is worn out. They have to mount a new clutch. They need time to Monday evening. Like this, we have a weekend in Trelew. We immediately searched for a hotel and the company brought us there. Now we hope that Monday evening everything works again. The picture shows the landscape in the direction of Punta Tombo. Behind these hills is the Atlantic Ocean.
April 25, 2019
Today we traveled from Fitz Roy to Trelew (529 km). This was a long trip. It was not planed like this. We wanted to stay overnight at a gas station 1.5 hours or some 150 km before Trelew. But this gas station was very remote and there was no internet connection. Since we need internet for everything we drove to the next city which is Trelew. Here we parked at a gas station too. About 70 km after Fitz Roy was the town Caleta Olivia. We drove through the city. There was some demonstrations. The whole town was busy. Therefore we didn't stop there. Not far after this town came Comodoro Rivadavia. Here we found an ATM which issued al least 3000 Pesos ($ 72.-). And there was a Walmart. We thought we will find here some American products. But this was not the case. There were the same products as we found in other supermarkets too. But we thought we are now back in the civilisation. But this was wrong too. After this town was the pampas again. Between the two towns the road led along the Atlantic Ocean for a while. Here I shot the attached picture.
April 24, 2019
Today we traveled from Piedra Buena to Fitz Roy (390 km). We drove into the town of Piedra Buena to shop and get some cash from an ATM. But they wanted to give us only 1000 Pesos which is about $ 24.-. That didn't serve us and we didn't took cash. We had to pay with credit card today. The drive had no extras views (see picture). The land was mostly flat and we saw a lot of Guanacos and Nandus. There was only one town on the way. Its name is Tres Cerros. There were really three hills to see. It seems that about every 200 km there is a settlement and nothing in-between. Here in Fitz Roy we parked at a gas station to stay over night. By the way this is the town of Fitz Roy and it has nothing to do with the mountain Fitz Roy.
April 23, 2019
Today we traveled from Cerro Sombrero in Chile to Piedra Buena in Argentina (396 km). We had a good night at Cerro Sombrero. When we got up we saw again a nice sunrise (see picture). I don't see a lot of sunrises since I don't like to get up early. But here the sun gets up with me. I like this! We didn't eat breakfast. We thought that it is better to cross the Strait of Magellan with empty stomach. But when we were at the ferry the water in the Strait of Magellan was very calm. The ferry cruise was no problem at all. Then we had to cross the border from Chile to Argentina. This went fast and without problems. In Rio Gallegos we wanted to change the Chilean Pesos. But the banks don't change currencies. We couldn't find a money changer. We will try again later. We drove as far as we could northwards. The land is very flat. We found a nice campground on the Isla Pavon in the Rio Santa Cruz at Piedra Buena.
April 22, 2019
Today we traveled from Ushuaia in Argentina to Cerro Sombrero in Chile (420 km). When we got up I took a picture of the sunrise out of the hotel room window. After breakfast, we wanted to drive to the end of the road which ends somewhere in the Tierra del Fuego National Park. But the road got a dirt road some kilometers before the National Park. We drove it until the entrance to the National Park. We didn't want to pay the entrance fee just to drive to the end of the road and therefore turned around. The weather forecast predicted rain for the afternoon. It was 5 ℃. We were afraid that on the Garibaldi Pass it could snow. Yesterday when we crossed the pass we saw already some snow there. With our summer tires, this could become a problem. Therefore we decided to leave Ushuaia and drive northwards to warmer regions. We drove for some kilometers through woods in autumn colors. After the Garibaldi Pass, we drove through the flatlands of Tierra del Fuego. We crossed the border to Chile again. To go to the northern parts of Argentina one has to cross Chile. And this time again they confiscated something. They took some eggs away which we bought some days ago in Chile. But because they were now three days in Argentina they are now «bad» eggs. For the night we stopped in Cerro Sombrero which is an oil town. It has quite new buildings even a cinema and a sports building. We parked outside of the cinema building and in front of the sports building (see picture) where we have good shelter against the wind.
April 21, 2019
Today we traveled from Rio Grande to Ushuaia (212 km). With this, we did complete the Panamericana. We started this road on 19. July 2017 80 km north of Fairbanks in Alaska. This was the northernmost point we could drive on paved streets. And today we reached the southernmost point which is possible to be attained on paved roads. We drove 90'000 km. The direct route is about 24'000 km. This means we did a lot of detours! This is true. We drove in the USA through 50 states. With this one of my dreams is fulfilled. We drive now northwards to Montevideo in Uruguay to ship our RV back to Europe. This is another 3600 km on the shortest way. But I think we will do again some detours. Since the only campground is far outside of the city we took an affordable hotel room to stay in the city and visit it a bit more. We did it this evening. The picture shows the Beagle Canal at sunset time.
April 20, 2019
Today we traveled from Morro Chico in Chile to Rio Grande in Argentina (463 km). We had a good night at Morro Chico. We had no internet connection and the wind did shake our RV the whole night. But we slept quite well. The drive was mostly through flat land. The wind did blow very hard. I had some problems to control the RV. We saw again a lot of Guanacos and some Rheas. At the Gregory bay we say two stared ships. They are stranded here already about 100 years ago. The ships are in the Strait of Magellan. Just behind these wrecks is the Estancia San Gregorio. It was the biggest sheep farm in Patagonia 100 years ago. But 1949 it was abandoned. The buildings stand still there and start to fall apart. Now it is a National Monument but nobody knows how to preserve it. Then we drove to Punta Delgado and took the ferry over the Strait of Magellan. The ferry need only about 20 minutes to reach Tierra del Fuego. The sea was very rough. I was in sorrow that we could sink. But everything went well. Then we drove to the border and crossed to Argentina. The border controls were short and without problems. We are now in Rio Grande at a gas station just next to the Atlantic Ocean. Wifi works here and our battery has still power to do this Facebook post.
April 19, 2019
Today we traveled from Puerto Natales to the Torres del Paine National Park and back and further east to Morres Chico (286 km). A German guy told me once that the Torres (Towers) are better seen from outside the National Park. Therefore we traveled only until the gate of the National Park. It is a very good park for hikers. One can hike for days. And sure then you see the Torres even better. But we were not in the mood to hike for days. Therefore we just wanted to see them and yes they look gorgeous. Unfortunately the sun was covered by clouds. Therefore the pictures are not as good as they could be. After the visit we drove back to Puerto Natales. Since we were there quite early we decided to drive another hour more east. This helps us to reach the destination we planed for tomorrow. We camp here at a river. I asked some police man if we can sleep here. They said it is not a problem. Here is an old house too in with bikers stay overnight.
April 18, 2019
Today we traveled from El Calafate in Argentina to Puerto Natales in Chile (355 km). The weather was very cloudy today. In the evening there was even a bit of rain. The temperature was between 9 and 12 ℃. It was quite a boring drive. The landscape was just flat and nothing nice to see. The best was as we saw two condors flying over our heads. The border crossing was quick and relaxed. The Chileans confiscated half of an onion and half of a cucumber. The goal for today was the Torres del Paine Nationalpark. But we couldn't find a campground there. Therefore we drove to Puerto Natales. But here the only good campground was closed. Therefore we park here at the main square and hope everything goes well. The picture shows the Perito Moreno Glacier, which we visited yesterday.
April 17, 2019
Today we traveled from El Chaltén to the Perito Moreno Glacier and back to El Calafate (356 km). The night in El Chaltén was very cold, windy and it rained. But when we got up the weather was very nice as it was the whole day. The temperature was between 10 and 12 ℃. First, we went to the place where the Fitz Roy and the neighbor mountains are seen well. And see the mountains when the sun shines in the right direction! (see picture) The drive to El Calafate was very nice and relaxing. On an overlook, we met a fox and later we saw two other foxes as well. We reached El Calafate around 3 pm. I thought that the light should be good on the Perito Moreno Glacier. Therefore we drove there. There is a paved road just to the glacier. And I was right, the illumination was quite good. We didn't see big junks of ice falling into the lake. After watching the glacier for about an hour we returned to El Calafate to overnight here on a campground.
April 16, 2019
Today we traveled from Gobernador Gregores to El Chaltén (298 km). Today we have to drive for 70 kilometers on a gravel road. We read from other travelers that this part of the road is very dangerous after rain. And it rained last night! Therefore we were in sorrow if we can go further on Ruta 40. We asked a policewoman. She rang up a number and told us that the road is in good condition. Therefore we took it. The gravel road was not a great problem. It was dry. We saw again a lot of Guanacos and some Nandus. We drove to El Chaltén to see the Fitz Roy mountain. And we saw it when we came closer to El Chaltén. Unfortunately, the sun was behind the mountain. Therefore the picture is not very clear. Maybe tomorrow morning I can do a better picture. There are hikes to go closer to the mountain. We decided that it is not worthwhile to do one of these hikes. The weather today was very nice and sunny. The temperature was 10 ℃.
April 15, 2019
Today we traveled from Chile Chico to Gobernador Gregores (428 km). We had a good silent night at the main square in Chile Chico. And it was secure. Nobody bothered us. We had a nice sunny autumn day today. The temperature went up to around 15 ℃. Just 15 minutes after Chile Chico is the border to Argentina. The crossing went very smooth. After about 80 kilometers in the next town Perito Moreno, we had to decide if we take Ruta 40 or go to the Atlantic and drive there southwards. The information we got was, that Ruta 40 is mostly asphalt covered. Therefore we took it. We are now really in Patagonia. It is a dry place. Not a dessert but a veldt. There are only grass and small bushes growing. And there are the Andes with some nice mountains (see picture). And there is a constant strong wind blowing. We drove far because there are almost no villages or towns. But we saw a lot of Guanacos. This is the wild lama in this part of South America. Here in Gobernador Gregores we parked in the Municipal Camping and went to eat a pizza for dinner.
April 14, 2019
Today we stayed at the campground in Puerto Ingeniero Ibañez. We slept in, had a long breakfast, did some things around the RV and worked on the mails. At 5.30 pm we started to make the RV ready to leave and drove to the ferry terminal. We were astonished that we were not the first. There were already some cars waiting and a lot of people who came by bus. At 6.15 pm the ferry arrived and at 7 pm the ferry left with us on board. The cruise was in darkness. We arrived in Chile Chico at 9.15 pm. We thought this is too late to go to a campground. We, therefore, searched for a place at the main square. There was a restaurant still open. We parked in front and went in for dinner. The dinner was already in Argentine style. We had a lot of meat on our plates. When we left I asked the people if it is allowed to park in front during the night and sleep in the RV. They said yes it is very safe here. Therefore we are sleeping this night at the main square in Chile Chico. The picture shows the arrival of the ferry at Puerto Ingeniero Ibañez
April 13, 2019
Today we traveled from Villa Mañihuales to Puerto Ingeniero Ibañez. It rained all night and it rained today until about 3pm. On the way, we visited Coyhaique and did some shopping there still in the rain. After Coyhaique the road went up a mountain. Here we had the first snow of this winter and the temperature dropped to 0℃. But after this mountain, the rain stopped and the clouds went away and we had wonderful views of some mountains (see picture). In Puerto Ingeniero Ibañez we wanted to take a ferry to Chile Chico. But the next ferry leaves tomorrow at 7 pm. Therefore we stay in Puerto Ingeniero Ibañez on a campground.
April 12, 2019
Today we traveled from Chaitén to Villa Mañihuales (335 km). It rained the whole day. The mountains were hidden behind thick clouds. Because of the rain and the bad vision we couldn’t visit the hanging glacier in the Queulat National Park. We had planned to do the 3-hour hike to see the glacier. Short after the place were we had to start hiking to the glacier the sun came out for about 15 minutes and formed a rainbow. Then it rained even harder. The only thing we could do today was driving. Mostly we had good asphalt covert roads but we had to drive on dirt roads for about 73 kilometers too. And even we drove over a pass on a dirt road. It is a pity to drive through a beautiful landscape and you can’t see anything. The temperature dropped today until 8 ℃. The picture shows the rainbow, an arm of the Puyuhuapi Canal, some mountains, rain, and the dirt road.
April 11, 2019
Today we traveled from Hornopierén to Chaitén (139 km). We had to be at 9.30 at the ferry terminal to Leptepú. The ferry left at 10.30 and needed 3 hours for the 62 km to reach Leptepú. From here all the cars drove in a convoy on a dirt road for 10 km to Fiordo Largo. Here we drove on to the next ferry which brought us in a half an hour (8 km) to Caleta Gonzalo. From here we drove another dirt road for 44 km. Then we reached the covered road to Chaitén (18 km). Here we arrived at about 5pm. Just right to go to a campground. We had time to organize the day of tomorrow. I wanted to go to Futaleufú. But it is a drive for 78 km on a dirt road. Since we don't like dirt roads we tried to find a way to go there by bus. But the bus leaves Chaitén at noon. This is too late. Therefore we can't go to Futaleufú which should be a nice village in the mountains. The weather today was much better as yesterday. The sun was shining but it was somewhat cold (12 ℃). But we were outside on the whole ferry rides. And it was not too cold for this. The picture shows the arrival of the convoy at Fiordo Largo.
April 10, 2019
Today we were at 8.15 at the car workshop of Mr. Fuchslocher. They immediately started to work on the RV. Mr. Fuchslocher told us that the car will be ready at noon. We went into town had breakfast there and visited the center of the town. Then we went shopping for some things. When we came back to the car workshop the car was ready. They had to rectify the brake disks of the front wheels and to change the brake pads. They didn’t have to do anything at the rear wheel brakes. It seems the workshop in Cuenca did a good job. The problem we have with the shock absorber which was mounted in Bogota, could not be repaired. It seems not to be a real problem even I hear a sound when I steer the car around a curve. Now we are ready to travel further on. We drove until Hornopirén (226 km). This means we are now on the Carretera Austral (South Road). This road starts in Puerto Montt and is 1350 kilometers long. The construction of this road was started under Pinochet in 1976. Since the terrain is very difficult to build a road it is still not finished. They say they will build for another 20 to 30 years on the road. And since they couldn’t build roads everywhere there are some ferries in-between. The first ferry ride we did already today. And the road is under reconstruction. This means we drove for kilometers through dirt and mud. But we came through without problems. The weather today was just gray the whole day. And the temperature was 13 ℃. The picture shows the main square in Osorno.
April 9, 2019
Today we went to Mr. Schneider's car workshop. They immediately started to work. First, they checked the front wheel brakes. They found a problem there. We need new brake pads and the disks should be rectified. But since Mr. Schneider's mechanic who does this work is sick he recommended going to another company to do this work. This other company is in Osorno, which is 250 km in the south. Since we anyway want to drive south we just drove there (250 km). When we arrived at the company, it has another German name namely Fuchslocher, they told us that they can't do the job today because they have a lot to do. But we got an appointment for tomorrow morning. Since they are specialists for brakes and steering, we went to another workshop to change all the filters. Now our RV has new filters and oil. The motor sound much better. The filters and the oil were very dirty. Then we went to the campground in Osorno, but it was closed. The next best place to stay overnight is at a gas station on the highway. We drove there and parked behind the building together with another RV and a car where people are sleeping. The gas station has electricity, Wifi, a restaurant, and hot showers. Everything we need to have a good night. The weather today started with nice sunshine. Then it became gray and it started to rain. But in the evening the sun came out again. And I saw these nice trees in autumn colors which the picture shows. Later on it rained again.
April 8, 2019
Today we traveled from Chillán to Temuco (294 km). Today the landscape was different to the last days. We drove mostly through woods. In the beginning, the woods were not very tight but became tighter the further we came. It reminded me of Canada. But we are not as far south as Canada is in the north. Our latitude is now 38°. This is in the northern hemisphere a bit north of San Francisco. There is still a long way to the extreme south! When we arrived at the car workshop it was not a Fiat but a Ford dealer. The French couple gave us the wrong address! But the Ford dealer told us where the Fiat dealer is. We went there. It is a very big company with many different car brands. I stood 15 minutes in the service office and nobody wanted to sell me anything. Therefore I left. I remembered having read about a German-speaking workshop owner. We went there. Mr. Schneider's grandparents came in 1895 from Switzerland to Chile. He went to a German school. Therefore he speaks German like a German. He gave us an appointment for tomorrow.
April 7, 2019
Today we stayed at the campground in Chillán. We want to see the car workshop for maintenance of our RV tomorrow in Temuco. Since we have here everything we need and the campground in Temuco seems not to be as good as this one, we decided to stay here. We are here in a big park the only guests. It is silent and secure. We have good WIFI, clean bathroom, and hot showers. We had a lazy day. I had to change a lamp at the headlights and planed our further trip through Chile. The picture shows the sunset behind the trees of the campground.
April 6, 2019
Today we traveled from outside of Santiago de Chile (El Melocotón) to outside of Chillán (439 km). Today we drove through the wine or at least through one of the wine regions of Chile. There are vineyards for kilometers. Different to Europe here the vineyards are on flat land. I think everyone knows Chilean wines. Here in Chile, the wines are quite affordable. Therefore we are back to drinking wine. We are now trying the different types of wine. I bought some good bottles for about 8 dollars each.
April 5, 2019
Today we took a bus from the campground to Santiago de Chile and there the Metro to the center of the town (60 km). This took us about two hours. Here we visited some of the important places like the Plaza de Armas, some government buildings, the Presidents Office and the Central Market. The picture shows the cathedral at the Plaza de Arma. Then we took a bus out to a very modern part of the town. Here are the big malls. We needed some coffee we could only get there. Then we were heading back to the campground which we reached just when the sun went down. Santiago is the most modern town we saw in South America until now. There are no traditional things to see. The town could be everywhere in Europe. The Metro system is the biggest in South America.
April 4, 2019
Today we stayed on the campground in El Melocoton. We wanted to do two things today. First, to find a laundry to wash our clothes. This task was easy because the campground took it over to wash our clothes. Second, I wanted to do maintenance to our RV. But I couldn't find a car workshop which I liked. But I had some addresses from a French couple we met in Mexiko. There is an address here in Chile too. It is in a town some 700 km in the south. Since we drive through there any way we will do the maintenance there. I had some time to walk up and down the only street which leads through this village. It is called the Road to the Volcano. There I made the attached picture. It shows Rio Maipo and the mountains here. Some kilometers further there is the volcano San José.
April 3, 2019
Today we traveled from Viña del Mar to Santiago (195 km). The day started gray as it was yesterday. It was very humid in order we had like raindrops on our windshield. Only when we arrived at our destination the sky got clear and the sun came out. I didn't take any pictures today. But since the way led through Valparaiso I attach here a picture I made there yesterday. We are about 60 km outside of Santiago on a campground. It is in a beautiful valley. It seems to be silent and secure. And the owner with which we only spoke on the phone until now speaks German.
April 2, 2019
Today we traveled by bus to Valparaiso and Viña del Mar to visit these two cities (28 km). We could take the bus just outside the campground. Unfortunately the weather today was very gray. Therefore the pictures are not colorful enough. The only picture with good color is the one from the flower clock in Viña del Mar which is attached here. Valparaiso is a vibrant city. It is a bit old and many buildings are run down. Viña del Mar is more modern and glamorous. In the end, we visited the fish market in Valparaiso and had a delicious fish meal there. Then we took the bus back to the campground. When we arrived there another Swiss couple just parked next to our RV. They travel from south to north. This led to a lot of exchange of experiences which took half the night.
April 1, 2019
Today we stayed at the campground and organized our further travels. And I had to count the money and pay bills. In the evening I made a little photo safari at the campground and shot the attached picture.