Best Wishes From Afar

Wow I can’t believe another year is coming to a close. It’s all going faster & faster I think. We crossed some places off our list but then we’ve added more places we want to visit so I guess we’re at a tie.

The truck seems to be moving OK. We will change the differential oil soon and see for sure but we’re hoping the time we spent in Punta Arenas at the mechanics did the trick.

We enjoyed exploring the Chilean side of Tierra Del Fuego Island, heading out a long 200km ripio road to the furthest point you can drive on Route Y85. The Chile government (I think a comparable branch to our Army Corps of Engineers in the US) is building a road out into the wilderness. As the crow flies, it heads very close to Ushuaia on the Argentina side but you can’t get through and probably never will. The road isn’t completed and you arrive to a blockade where they’re using explosives to blast through the rock.

Apparently, there is a national park that they want to provide access to. Virtually no one lives out there. The road they are building is very wild & beautiful and covers a lot of challenging terrain (for the builders) including two passes. It felt good to be practically totally alone. We hiked, biked and walked the road over a few days. It was impressive and I loved that place. But we needed to keep moving.

On top of Cerro Guanaco, Tierra Del Fuego NP

We crossed from Chile back to Argentina and made our way the rest of the distance to Ushuaia. Because of the roundabout way you have to go (because there is no road), it took all day to get there. I feel like the scenery has finally become the more dramatic sort that we most love. In retrospect, we liked the Bariloche vicinity, but it wasn’t exactly “it” yet. Much like the “route to the end of the world” south of Punta Arenas. And now, we’ve pretty much been just hiking all over like crazy all day each day. It is so cool to finally be in Tierra Del Fuego NP, a place we’ve dreamed about for a long time now, feels more like the end of the world! Ushuaia is a pretty nice town, in a touristy kind of way but I like it so far. The mountains in the near distance are really impressive. They even have an “end of the world” post office!

Ushuaia from the Beagle Channel

Yesterday was a little bit of a let down because we planned to take our packrafts out on a pretty stretch of water in the park to do something different. But when we got them all pumped up and ready, a park ranger came and said we couldn’t. Rules! Its good to have them and at the same time they are a royal pain. So we put them all back away again and went for a walk! Not a bad alternative.

Anyway, think I will let some pictures explain the rest while I pack. Tomorrow we board a ship to Antarctica! It will never get any easier than this and for overlanders, it seems to be the thing to do! This is the only continent we’ve never been to. We hope we will literally be sleeping on the ice Christmas night because we signed up for that! We’ll be back on the 28th.

We wish our family & friends a very happy holiday and a great year to come. We’re glad you’re a part of our lives. Love, Heather & Jon

3 Replies to “Best Wishes From Afar”

  1. What a beautiful gift to have these words and thoughts and pictures to entertain and inspire us as you trek across this amazing Earth. Love, Mom and Dad

  2. What a journey! Enjoy Antarctica! Wishing you a merry Christmas and more happy and safe traveling in the new year.
    Annette

  3. You give such beautiful descriptions of the scenery. When we took our cruise to the South Pole? A few people paid extra to take a boat to the actual South Pole.
    It was quite a bit extra. But we were lucky because a few of the scientists came on our boat to answer questions. And another one stayed on the ship for several days as she was going home. It was so beautiful.

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