The cold must end!

 

Because we don’t want to take the same way up like wie took down, we decide to pass Chile on the way north. The tricky GPS directs us through all kind of roads - the shortest way is the Ruta 40 with all its gravel„desvio“s (detours). We almost can’t believe it, while we’re gravelin, it starts to drizzle and suddenly there is SNOW. Because of the road being more bad gravel than good one, we arrive late at night one town before Los Antiguos. Too cold to sleep in the car, but there was just a two bedded room: Better than sleeping an freezing degrees.

On the following day we see the results of the dirt-track. If you’d check the cars papers under „color“ you wouldn’t believe its green. A mixture of grey mud and ice is covering the whole vehicle. In Los Antiguos, at the Lago Buenos Aires (at the border to Chile), I’m getting another opinion on the loss of oil and the dirt off the car.

We’re sleeping at a hostal just at the end of the town. Two travelers, David, an American traveling with his Dutch fiancee in a stock Landcruiser, giving us helpful tips. He’s a traveler for many years now. His traveling speed is „accurate“ compared to ours. This means he travels slow with with focus on any detail. We take as much information as possible. but have to admit „you can’t do everything in that short amount of time. So we’re going on as usual, keeping the tips in mind. One of his tips was to take it easy on the pass from Chile Chico, it would be a panoramic drive. True, after some corners we’re passing a little hill: You’re getting a view over Lago Buenos Aires with mountains topped with snow in the background. That all combined with a sun shiny day. I Like! What’s not to be „liked“ is the cold and wet of south Chile at this time of the year. We really tried hard but got to the same conclusion as before „You can’t do EVERYTHING“

So let’s go north, taking the most direct way possible! Maybe run some aeons on the way. Since I’m traveling with more spare fluids and other spares, we’re running out of space in the car. We need a solution! A Box on the top would be nice! A Box on the side for storing the oil and landys every-day-gearbox-check-tools even nicer. Nobody could help, neither South Chile nor Argentina. Sometime I’m dropping lines like: They don’t have boxes, they don’t have markets for construction, no 4x4-shop, they just have „Assado“ on their mind! Well they’re god at it!“ After we checked every possible shopping location on the way up north, we finally gave up in Mendoza. Here we focus on the essencial things on the easter sunday. In Argentina that means: A day of barbecue in the middle of local barbecue maniacs. The next day the weather is bad, it’s raining - it would go on raining. Instead of visiting a wine yard we’re heading north towards the warmth. Like in a snap after a fulfilled mix of asphalt-detour-gravel-road, we’re reaching Iguazu. Just on the last day we drove 1000km! On the campsite of Costa Ramon we relax and enjoy the riverside view of the Rio Uruguay for a few days until my birthday steak. The last day of Iguazu we do the typical touristic program including waterfall watching ans driving with a speedboat into the falls. Super wet, super fun.

Now, after 11000km on the South American continent, we’re really looking forward to Brasil

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’re heading towards Rio Grande, to get the Landy fixed. Straight by the words of the GPS, there is the Chilean border, then a ferry ride, after that a border again which leads us back to Argentina again. By the way, since the ferry ride we’re officially on Terra del Fuego. First thing in Rio Grande is finding the Land Rover Partner, who gives us a calculation of 9000 pesos.

After two nights and 9900 pesos, the Landy was finaly fixed. The service guys in must have filled a liter too much of oil into the transfer gearbox. The seal on the shaft was done. Stupid thing.

Now down to Ushuaia. Pretty quickly the flat ode land, with cows and sheep, changes in a kind of panoramic alpine landscape. We pass by idyllic lakes on a pass road to a spot on the end of the „Ruta 3“. The next day we visit the Nationalpark to get to the „End of the Road sign“. With the entrance fee you’re allowed to stay in the parc for 48 hours, so we stayed that long. You get rewarded with an incredible landscape! Like many others we take the mandatory picture at the sign, at the „fin del mundo“ - at the end of the world.

After two nights of camping in the untouched nature, we tend to go on with route. Not without doing an Asado. Argentinian barbecue = the best

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our way to Ushuaia, we’re leaving the district Buenos Aires. After an unwanted night-drive with at least 10 felt roadblocks, which were about „carne y fruta“, we arrive at the Rio Negro. Campsite is closed; Kathrin and me are ok with the motel nearby, shower and toilette is ok for once and a while. Departing very early keeping on heading south. In the evening we meet Bea and Dirk, who are just at the end of their journey. Compared to us, they are traveling in a comfortable Mercedes Truck, with all the bits and pieces that belong to a Camper. We may not have the comfort, but we might have the better tires, four-wheel-drive and might handle gravel roads a little bit better than them. The two give us helpful tips for anything like the contact to someone,… who knows someone, …with a workshop, who could (yes, the Landy gives me shit again, leaking gearbox)

 

The next day we head up to Valdes, watching  penguins, whales, see-lions. No whales in sight, not the season. It was one of those spontaneous decisions, leaving relatively late, arrived at 12a.m. at the park entrance. We were able to catch up the delay on the gravel-road. This day we, for minimum, were riding the gravel-road for not less than 180 km. After a short night in the park, staying at a gas-station we carry on. We take the advice with Punta Ninfas, to get closer to the animals. Now it really matters having a 4x4 vehicle with much clearance. Where others sneak around with 20km/h, the defender just fly over the dirt track as it would be a asphalt road. 200km dirt sticks and stones later, we climb down a cliff and experience the Sea-Elephants from the nearest possible position.

That lonely coast is perfect for wild camping. An incredible sunrise is the reward for a long hard and bumpy trip.

The whole car is covered in dust, but one part,… the transfer gearbox is oily, it marks its ground like a dog, so let’s go to a garage. The mechanic with Land Rover knowhow in Trelew was not presence, ok let’s carry on to Comodoro Rivadavia. The argentinian Land Rover forum said, there should be someone else with Land Rover knowledge. Also this guy was not at presence. In the mean time the transfer gearbox was dry, could be that magically everything was sealed again, or empty, what would fit better in this case study. After a brief advice of any garage around and 2 liters   of gearbox oil, I made my decision: repair will be done in Rio Grande at a Land Rover certified garage… until then I just refill once in a while the transfer gearbox. DAMN IT

 

Fist of all, organizing, washing, camping, asado (barbecue) In the end, the self prepared „Bife de Lomo“ barbecue style is the best. And then carry on on the dirt-tracks of Patagonia, heading south.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

New Hotel, New Luck. This hotel was better for shure, 9th floor, nice view over the Obelisk. The release of the car however was developing as usual, Tuesday just looking at the car, showing it the customs, but not getting it. Just paying for extra services like 40ft Highcube 125% on top of everything, and Custom verification. After a brief check of the car’s ID number and the standard questions: „Do you have drugs, medicine or electronical devices with you?“ the containers doors were closed and sealed again. The pickup/delivery of the car would be at another place. La Boca.

 

The next Day: Wednesday. The Landy finally gets out of the container! For real! Unloading the Car, brief check on everything and haste to the hotel in rush hour to check-out. After everything was loaded into the car in a „no parking“ area, lets fuel up. The guy at the gas station asked „ciento quarenta litro? I would have told him that there’s fitting more, but ma spanish wasn’t that powerfull to do so.. He didn’t fuel up completely, might have been afraid of the fuel tank is leaking and is going somewhere.

To relax an reorganize the car we are heading south to a campsite with beach.

 

After a month in the container, I recognized some extra patina on the car. One month of rusting in the container. I’m relaxed switching on the cruise control on the Auto Pista, just when I hit the break, it won’t switch of. Break switch is broken. Due to this, the breaking light should be faulty too.. While we were verifying that damage on a roadside parking, it starts to poor. Right away jumping in the car, hitting the road again to go on with the journey in that rain,… the front wipers fail. The wipers motor must be faulty. After knowing that, I swiched on the radio with full velocity, amplifier does not work, but on that one I think it’s just a fuse. 

The next day in Pinamar, the car get’s its partial repairs: right diagnosis of the break switch, a fuse for the amplifier , one hard forced turn on the wipers motor and it worked again. Turning the roofrack from front to back, to fix the spare tires on the roof. The view has to be freed on the bonnet to see big holes on the road.

Because it’s not highseason anymore we decide to leave the ghost citys at the tourist beaches, and head directly to terra fuego.

By accident we stopped at a funny place, were everybody goes offroad with dune-buggies. Nobody lies at the beach, here the beach is a track. You see Jimmy Jeeps, Dune-Buggies, Quads, Motocross. You don’t walk on the beach, you drive. I like.

On the local campsite we got a warm welcome, finally some time to reorganize everything.

 

Throw out all the trash and packing material, wow there’s room in the car. The only thing that grinds my gears now, is the highlift, it needs to be placed somewere else then in the car, but it’s too long to be mounted at the rearbumper or on the bonnet. With a little help from the camp site owner and some bits and peaces of spanish, the highlift get’s shortened/cut and mounted on the bonnet. A collegue of his would also brings the mounting material. I trustfully hand  the way too long highlift over to that guy (asking my self, why didn’t I buy the short version)

 

 

After a brief tour through the landy, the guy from „torneria customs“ arrived with the highölift and tools. In just a few moments the two holes were drilled and everything was mounted. Cheers! Let’s go to the beach by car like the locals do it. You could travel from town to town by using the beach. I wasn’t going faster than 80 km/h, we shouldn’t overegg the pudding.