The Chileans are pretty upset their government is raising the price of natural gas by a few cents a liter and have decided to complain about it by rioting in the streets. They’ve blockaded all the ferries to Tierra Del Fuego, closed roads, are burning tires in the street and are generally causing trouble and unrest. Nobody knows how long this might last and I have to wonder if I’ll be able to drive the last 500km after coming more than 50,000kms. Huh.
For a diversion I checkout Bosque Petrificado, a national monument of petrified trees and quickly befriend the park rangers who invite me to stick around for a few days, talking, laughing, cooking great food and generally hanging out.
When word comes through the ferries to Tierra Del Fuego are operating as normal, I’m eager and ready to move on.
Over the course of a very long day I drive south from Rio Gallegos to the Chilean border where I line up for a couple of hours to check myself and the Jeep out of Argentina, then into Chile. A short drive further finds me at the ferry terminal where I chat to a couple of bikers before the 30min, $USD30 ferry ride across to the island of Tierra Del Fuego. The 135km of mediocre gravel road to the border of San Sabastián is a slush-fest thanks to the constant rain and driving wind. Again, some lining up and waiting sees me exit Chile, then 10km further I’m stamped back into Argentina. Each border is painless and free, requiring only my passport and the original registration for the Jeep.
After a re-supply stop in the big city of Rio Grande I make my way down to Tolhuin, a beautiful little town renowned for it’s excellent bakery and beautiful, lake-side “Hain” campground.
Only 100km to Ushuaia, the end of the line.