Sunday, April 3, 2011

9,000 year old Cave of Hands, Sleeping next to 60 dead sheep, Patagonia Odyssey continues - Chile Austral Highway- The most amazing trek in South America, Red Moon Night Ride, Super Dog, Gorgeous Scenery!!

Patagonia, what else can I say....the beauty continues

I finally arrived at the last ferry I would take 

There was a police transfer going on at the ferry.

A visual of the awesome road

View South America Part 3 in a larger map

I even got a chance to meet Super Dog! who was taking a ride on the front of the ferry, looking for any signs of trouble I assume.

Packed like sardines

I can not describe in words the amazing adventure it was to just sit there and watch the beauty of the world unfold before my eyes.

I felt at peace, a sort of spiritual enlightenment.

I have spend years searching for the best road in the world. So far of what I have seen and for my own taste I had found it. But finding it, gave me sense of emptiness as now I lost a drive and motivation to continue the journey. But the search truly never ends and I will continue to search and look to make sure of my findings.

I felt a sense of accomplishment and I knew I could finally mark off one of my things to do in life.

I of course couldn't leave the Patagonia without a good crash.

Once on the road I got a chance to touch the freezing cold glacier water I’ve been looking at for the past few days. Freezing cold is an understatement.

Also saw a ferry transfer that was going sideways the entire way because of the strong current.

The roads through Patagonia continued to be ridiculously awesome.

Random truck used to power this thing used for mining I assume

The amazing Patagonia landscape continued.

And got a nice sunset.

Even go a crazy red moon as I was driving through the valley. I later found out his was the closest the moon has been to earth for the past 16 years.

I eventually ran out of light and found a place to camp.

It was pretty dark and couldn’t see much so I picked random spot. I picked the worst random spot ever.

Throughout the entire night there were wind gusts of over 50 mph that broke and snapped my tent in half. It even flew away a few times and had to chase after it. You would think putting 30 rocks all around it would keep it grounded, wrong again.

As was in my camping spot, I kept getting a horrible smell coming from somewhere and the wind was blowing it straight into my face the entire night.

It was an awful night, the wind was so strong and loud, not to mention the tent flapping in the wind that I got a total of 1 hour of sleep throughout the night.

As I emerged out of my collapsed tent that I rolled into a burrito of cover, I looked over my shoulder to find this beautiful sight.

So that awful smell the entire night was actually the  rotting carcass and flesh of over 60 dead and decomposing sheep just feet away from my tent. Yup, I picked the worst camping spot possible.

Way to pick a spot Alex
So finally after sleeping in the pit of hell, I continued on ward.

Many hours of driving I arrived at the Cave of Hands.

Some of these hand portraits are 9,000 years old!

They are so well preserved its unreal. Apparently its the type of rock that absorbs the "paint" so well and the valley that protects it.

The indigenous used a mixture of urine, blood, fat, oil and some other ingratiates to mix, put in their mouth and spit over there hand to make the portraits, interesting I know.

The famous picture

So a big advantage of arriving at the end of the busy tourist season is the lack of tourists, I was the only one for the tour, so I got all the attention and was told there was a few hours waiting for a tour a few weeks ago.

Funky formation

Can you see the six fingered hand

There was some other neat drawings as well.

Can you see the ostrich?

Valley over looking the caves, apparently theres over 90 other caves like this.

The sand you see in the picture below is ash from a volcanic eruption in CHile 4 years ago and it made it 1000 miles to here!

Finally left and headed south through the Ruta 40 of Argentina.

Passed by a popular gasoline station full of motorcycle stickers on the pump.

I then drove the rest of the day until nightfall.

One of my extra gas containers acquired a hole so I drove into the camp ground smelling beautiful and spreading the joy of combustible fuel all over the place.

I managed to duct tape my broken tent together for the night.

The next day I headed to the town of El Calafate and the Perrito Moreno glacier.

Got some nice scenery, like if I was in need of some right?

All throughout this journey I've run into countless cyclists doing the  same trip as myself, well perhaps different routes and such but some idea. I saw over 15 on the Austral Highway in Chile. And finally I decided to take a picture here in Argentina

When I got into town I visited the grocery store. It seems I picked the most tourist infested grocery store ever as out of the 100 people saw there, not a single one was a local. I heard nothing but French, Hebrew, English, and Portuguese coming from everyone.

I then went on the search for a cheap hostel. I found a fellow KLR rider by the name of Calvin.
We rode together and found a cheap hostel.

Calvin is from Kentucky, and bought his motorcycle in Buenos Aires and drove to Ushuaia and is now on his way up to Colombia.

He was quite the swell guy and we got along great.

We even shared a hostel room together to lighten the cost.

The next day we would visit the Perrito Moreno glacier.

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