The end of the road
Getting to the southern tip of Argentina has been our end goal since we set out. We have been so fixated on it, that now that it was in sight, we were somewhat overwhelmed. I don’t think either one of us thought, setting out, that our rusty old 1700$ Trooper would perform so well, but now that we were within pushing distance there was no way we weren’t brining Phyllis to Ushuaia. Argentinian Patagonia is a pretty interesting place. There is a huge influx of teched-out mountain focused tourism (mom and dad, I see you here), but for good reason. The jagged peaks and glaciers are all time. There is a shit ton of hiking to check out, and the national parks are super well maintained and very accessible. The weather here can be pretty unpredictable, and because we were here in the fall we unfortunately had mostly rain. Even though it was cold, wet, and windy, we ignored the weather and managed to get some hiking in anyways. We visited the town of el Chalten where we did an overnight hike in the nearby national park. The hike was awesome. We climbed up to a glacial lake surrounded by jagged peaks, including the famous rock face of Mount Fitz Roy. Though the views were supposed to be legendary, unfortunately this is all we saw:
One of our most memorable sights was the breathtaking Perito Moreno Glacier. This glacier is advancing at a healthy rate and can be viewed fairly closely. In the heat of the day large chunks of the glacier break off into the water making loud cracking and thundering sounds. I had seen many photos of this glacier before, but to get its full effect it truly is something you have to experience. We hung out watching it for well over an hour just taking it all in.
Because Paul and I both got new jobs for the spring and summer season, we have been at bit pressed for time. Paul’s anticipated start date is now three weeks earlier than we had thought, so we didn’t have the time we wanted to really check out all of the hiking and enjoy all that we wanted in Patagonia. With Phyllis deteriorating (rust, and various mechanical problems) at a decent rate we thought it was best to make some time down to the tip. To get to Ushuaia we had to cross into Chile, take a boat to Tierra del Fuego, and then cross back to the Argentinian south. The island of Tierra del Fuego was quite different from the Chilean side, to the Argentinian side. Chile has very few towns, no paved roads, and very few services, while the Argentinian centres of Rio Grande, Tohluin, and Ushuaia are bustling resource-rich towns were young people from all over the country flock to look for higher paying jobs. It reminded me a bit of the Canadian north in that sense. Also, we finally got our truck stuck!
Making it to the end of the road was surreal. We didn’t quite know what to make of this monumental moment. We snapped some photos at the tip, and checked the pan-American off our list of life goals. I felt a mix of excited, relieved, and sad when we finally got to the end, but we still had 3000+ kilometers up the Atlantic coast to Buenos Aires to make before we flew back home. Phyllis, are you up for the job?