Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego on a motorcycle as a honeymoon trip? Yes, although it seems strange, that is the spirit of our Riders- and Andrea and Sara were not the only daring ones that decided to experience that type of adventure. Barbara, Gianluca, Luciano, Dario, Alberto, Dora and Juan also joined our most exclusive and requested tour: Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego for New Year’s Eve. An international mix: Italians, Colombians and Chileans, all ready to live and experience an incredible trip.
As always, Osorno was the meeting point where Gionata and Milena performed the motorcycle delivery and gave the initial debriefing. An exquisite welcome dinner, the first tasting of meats, wine, and local appetisers were the beginning of 16 days of pure excitement. Surely December 28 will be a day that our Riders will never forget. A warm morning, the hotel parking lot with three BMW R1200GS, three F800GS Adventure, a 650 Sertao and the support vehicle were ready to receive drivers and passengers to begin the first day of the trip expecting a border crossing through Paso Cardenal Samoré The route towards Bariloche is the gentle combination of asphalt, curves and Patagonian landscapes that prepare us for the gravel of the route towards Trevelín.
It is important to highlight the beautiful panoramic view of the Mirador circuit Llao Llao where the group stopped for the coffee break, the perfect framework of deep blue waters and the impressive mountain range in the background. During the day they crossed Los Alerces National Park, the extreme heat surprised our Riders who did not expect those temperatures in Patagonia. However, they managed to recover enjoying a delicious gourmet lunch along the way. The curves of the route and the beauty of the park were highly appreciated elements by all our Riders. That night during the dinner they reviewed the miles travelled. The Carretera Austral is undoubtedly one of the most coveted routes among motorcyclists because nature becomes alive, intense, the landscape full of waterfalls that look towards the distance, rivers, millenary trees, typical flowers of the area and winding roads to lake’s shorelines.
After refilling the tanks, our riders found themselves on a new stretch of paved road that gave them a share of fun and a good pace for at least 60 km. The deeper we got into Patagonia through Carretera Austral the weather becomes more changing and unstable: sun, rain, wind, and cold. When arriving at Puyuhuapi, the group enjoyed the typical dishes of the region such as Patagonian Salmon and the Southern Hake in front of a spectacular view of the fjord. And the surprises of nature did not end there. Despite the rain to Coyahique the group could enjoy the beautiful colours of the flora of the location and the extensive colourful landscapes that flooded Villa Manuales. They also visited the famous Cascada de la Virgen at lunchtime.
On December 31st in Coyahique, Exmo Tours organised the New Year’s Eve dinner with a delightful selection of local cuisine, always accompanied by prestigious Chilean wines. It was also Luciano’s birthday, which he celebrated by sharing Parmigiano Reggiano cheese that he brought directly from Italy. Our Riders brought in 2017 with an intense day of cold where the temperature reached 3° C. In Patagonia, motorcycles and pilots are exposed to the challenges of the terrain, so near Cerro Castillo an unforeseen event occurred with Gianluca’s F800 Adv roll bearing. However, thanks to the coordination provided by Exmo Tours he could continue enjoying the tour riding Gionata’s motorcycle, who took the driving of the support vehicle and along with Milena were in charge of managing the repair of the motorcycle in El Calafate, where the group would lodge for two nights. A new day began with a beautiful and long gravel road along the shore of General Carrera Lake that accompanied the landscape with its beautiful natural colours.
After a day of intense riding, the group recovered its strength in the comfort of an exclusive hotel on the banks of Rio Baker, an oasis of crystal clear waters in Campos de Hielo Sur where they organised a small surprise party to celebrate Dora’s birthday From that moment, towards Chile Chico the stories didn’t stop. The group made a lunch break in front of a mine in a beautiful viewpoint from where the lake can be appreciated, and even found a Chilean who was travelling by
truck to Alaska! Meanwhile, Juan and Alberto were dedicated to making a personal race to reach the group. Little by little the kilometres began to show us changes in the landscape, the sheer immensity of the green. The lakes and waterfalls of Carretera Austral gradually began to disappear to give way to the dryness of the Argentinian steppe and the famous Ruta 40. The group couldn’t help but stop to take photos of the guanacos that crossed the route as the motorcycles passed; the free and wild horses, foxes, and ferrets. A typical Argentinian residence receives the group with an exquisite lamb on a stick prepared according to tradition. The riders tried guanaco ham, local vegetables, country stew, homemade sweets and local wines. They also visited the hacienda shed where hunted puma skin is kept. The southern hospitality and the happiness of the group for having travelled so many miles of this adventure, caused Gianluca and Andrea to sing after dinner while Sara, Juan, and Barbara accompanied them, dancing to the sound of the guitar. It was a great celebration, but also preparation for future miles the most difficult of the trip as Gionata told them during the dinner briefing. “It will be the most challenging gravel part and in the presence of rain it will be very difficult to move forward.”
In fact, the next morning woke them up with hail and rain, but the group didn’t get discouraged and continued towards El Calafate. The next few miles were difficult, especially when they found themselves with huge lines to fill up with gasoline in Argentina as the largest gas station were not stocked. But the group got organised: some filled up their tanks that day and others early the next morning. Meanwhile, Gionata was in charge of repairing Gianluca’s bike, as Exmo Tours guarantees technical assistance throughout the tour. Quickly the part that had worn out was replaced and delivered in perfect condition so that the adventurous couple could continue enjoying with the great surprises of the Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego Tour.
The first was the visit to Perito Moreno Glacier, one of the richest sites, geologically and scenically, where our Riders met face to face with a large mass of ice between 50 and 70 meters above water level. They were able to appreciate the natural spectacle of the landslides of the ice, the deafening roar and the echo of nature during a boat ride, until arriving at a point where you can walk on the glacier. It was a magical moment for them all.
And it was not the only one, after being surprised again by a cold morning with strong wind and a long line at the border, the route led our Riders through the mountain and invited them to admire the imposing natural scenery that this part of Patagonia offers: the immense towers that exceed 2,000 meters above sea level, the eighth wonder of the world: Torres del Paine. The whole group dedicated themselves to admiring the beauty of the place and to tour every corner of the national park where the prairies mix with the immense peaks of the towers, the valleys, and the currents of water form rainbow coloured waterfalls with the lakes and glaciers. The group was surprised when guanacos and indigenous animals were seen during the tour.
Unfortunately, one of Juan’s suitcases was left at the hotel where they lodged the night before, so Gionata decided to make a quick trip back to El Calafate to retrieve it while Milena continued with Dario as leader of the group.
Exmo Tours is dedicated to offering the best itinerary to its Riders even for rest breaks because the Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego Tour is a total experience. One of the favourite places to go is the San Gregorio Beach where the old ship Amadeo has been stranded for years. It was there that Dario wanted to experience a little rally with his bike, however, he needed the help of Andrea and Luciano to get it out of the sand. This was the day they crossed the Strait of Magellan to reach Tierra del Fuego.
Finally, they arrived without delay to take the ferry in Punta Delgada, where they were reunited again with Gionata arriving from the border!
Once under the sign that announces the arrival in Tierra del Fuego, everyone danced to celebrate- as it is a tradition. The night in Cerro Sombrero everyone celebrated the crossing and Exmo Tours offered pisco sour and wine to congratulate the group on the ability on their ability to reach their destination despite the challenges encountered.
There was still road to travel before reaching the end of the world and the surprises of the trip didn’t end. The group especially remembers the moment during the tour when a flock of sheep was caught in the middle of the road and surprised them. They had to get off the bikes and wait until they passed to continue.
Upon arriving at a service station to fill up with gas, they realised that the support vehicle had a flat tire, so Gionata with the help of Gianluca and Milena replaced it while the rest of the group enjoyed coffee and snacks at the service station.
Our Riders were ecstatic when they arrived in Ushuaia. The air was full of satisfaction of having fulfilled the dream of arriving at the End of the World and obviously they didn’t forget the photo in front of the sign that announces “Ushuaia.” Everyone was smiling- especially Alberto who shouted “! Let’s go to Lapataia! Let’s go to Lapataia !!. They arrived, They succeeded- despite the unforeseen difficulties and climatic challenges. There they were, in the Lapataia National Park where nature prevails uncontaminated and full of wild landscapes along the Beagle Channel. Gianluca and Barbara left the group in Ushuaia, one day before the end of the trip. They all hugged, said goodbye to each other, and promised to see each other again.
Meanwhile, the rest of the group could enjoy more kilometres through Tierra del Fuego and more adventure. Patagonia is an adventure and offers us the possibility of facing adverse and unpredictable climatic factors. The wind surprised the group when they arrived at the ferry, forcing them to wait hours and hours before boarding on the ferry that would take them to the other side to continue the trip to Punta Arenas. There, they witnessed fights and nervousness in the line that they will surely remember with a smile. And just as it started, the Tour ended. Once in Punta Arenas, they spent the last night in a group and rested in the main plaza hotel satisfied to have reached the end- having lived a once in a lifetime adventure. Without a doubt, we are happy to have shared the extreme magic of the Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego Tour along with Andrea, Sara, Gianluca, Barbara, Juan, Dora, Giancarla, Luciano, Dario and Alberto.