It’s difficult to regroup and move forward after being laser focused on a specific goal for five months. In Ushuaia, I had time to weigh the pros and cons of several options. In the end, I decided to continue my ride up the Atlantic coast of Argentina on Route 3 (Ruta 3). This decision was made primarily because of weather and economical reasons more than anything.
The distances are long, cold, and desolate in this part of Patagonia. I decided to hitch on and off to move faster up the coast to warmer weather. Hitching with a bike loaded with gear can be tricky, but this route is full of truckers heading to and from Buenos Aires so I “usually” have pretty good luck.
In Pierdas Buenas I got stuck for several days. There were simply no trucks passing by. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, a woman who had seen me standing by myself on the side of the road in the rain, wind and cold insisted that I come to their house and stay the night and try again the next morning. An hour later, I was getting out of a hot shower with a delicious meal waiting for me while my clothes were being washed!
The next morning, I tried again. This time a young French man from Paris who had been riding around the world for two years rolled up and asked if he could hitch with me. Miraculously, within an hour we had a ride to Cómodora Rivadavia about 340 miles away.
In Comodora Rivadavia, we stayed with my friend Beto who I met near Bariloche. Beto’s house was the perfect place to relax, eat good food, sight see in a Chevy truck and contemplate the next move.
From here, Matteo continued a three day ride to Trelew (a Welsh immigrant community) while I decided to hitch another ride.
From Trelew, I rode to Puerto Madryn, a modern mid-sized town strung out along the shores of the Nuevo Gulf. Nothing to do here but walk along the sandy beach, ride my bike along the coast to watch the sea lions and penguins in their natural habitat, and drink mate with my new friend Graciela who is my Couchsurfing host. It’s obvious that this is my natural habitat as well; those sea lions got nothing over me!
Ran into Matteo again. So far he is the only other biker that I’ve met on this route. We decided to ride to the even more remote and inhospitable Peninsula Valdés together (UNESCO site). We rode out to Punta Norte to see the Orcas. We were lucky that they finally made an appearance at the end of the day.
Once again Matteo and I parted ways. New adventures lie ahead for both of us. You just never know who or what awaits you with each coming day. The adventure lies in not knowing!
Animals I’ve seen on my ride so far: llamas, alpacas, guanacos, maras, foxes, armadillos, rheas, woodpeckers, seals, sea lions, penguins and orcas!