Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Punta Arenas

We had been given the name of two hostels, the first one Backpackers Paradise, well it was anything but and a shithole, dirty, smelly and noisy bastids till 4 am, we were there with Noah and Lucy and none of us really got any sleep to speak of so we all agreed to bail and get something better.

Independencia was the next one so we moved there and yes it was a nice place and warm, we got the last two beds, Noah and Lucy luckily had sort-of decided to head north and this was the kick they needed to get going, much to see.

There were moto riders, cyclists and some backpackers, a pretty cool mob all round.

The following day was the big wind day, 130 km / hr …yes very strong, we rode into town to find oil for Maya and were blown all over the place …..unreal.

On the way to the cafe with Ellen, I was on a two lane one way street at the traffic lights, Police beside me on my left, the wind blew up and behind from the right hand side standing the bike upright and high and me on tip toes trying to foot/hop the bike and hold it up, I got closer and closer to the Police car, they are both looking at me and I am trying to avoid hitting them (all at less than walking pace ), I brush past their bumper with my left leg footing/hoping it across the RED light in front of the Police

They didn't know whether to hop out and help or watch so they watched with amusement, either way I went across the intersection and ended up pointing up the other one way the wrong way and finally met the kurb which allowed me better footing amidst some Bridget Jones maneuvers trying desperately to hold Maya upright with arms and legs in all directions

The Police giving me the “are you ok “ thumbs up and me breathing deeply ok’ed them back with the thumbs up, they carried and I rode the wrong way up the one way..…everyone was happy except my undies.

A moto rider arrived that night at the hostel, he biffed his bike after being pushed off the road by the wind hurting himself and his moto, also a road marking truck was blown over, the moto rider and 6 men huddled behind a small building for shelter for 5 hours waiting for the wind to subside.

We had contacted Salvador, a local ADVer to meet for a coffee in town which was cool, we got a lot of local information that you don’t get on maps, he is true moto head and has a KTM 990 Adventure fruited out too.… as well as a lineup of other lusties.

P1240231 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Having planned to go down to the end of road nine and there is a light house out there which would be a 5 km walk each way…perfect, thanks to Salva for good information.

Setting off on our merry way a concrete paved road, turning to gravel then narrowing to one lane, potholes, puddles, some smaller river crossings and so beach work.

P1240251 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

This one too deep and soft so we went around it on the beach

P1240250 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Making to the end of the road were the old road disappears onto the beach we left Maya and started our hike.

P1240254 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Observing the tide I had noted earlier the line of the leaves etc on the beach, some soft river crossings too deep for us (note 1 meter plus) meant going down on the beach below the leaf line and back up…..

Lunch call saw us stop in a nice and sheltered place so we set a marker in the sand to see which way the tide was going and yes as you guessed it the tide was coming in as our marker got washed away.

Our destination that we didn't make on the far left of the pic

IMG_6735 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_6729 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Deciding to turn at that point we hightailed it back on foot to Maya and get back past the last point of no return at which we had to cross the beach or we would be stuck there.

The last crossing proved interesting and Maya decided to check out China, 100hp, new Heidenaus, soft beach = dig fast, we made it ok with both of us pushing and we got to back up onto the track … sand was hurt, Maya didn’t explode into flames and kill everyone (despite being US plated) and we were at least free.


IMG_6741 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr


IMG_6744 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

China --> stop

IMG_6743 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Getting back to a Unimog we saw on the way in we went and said hello, they are Austrian (the home of Maya) and they had a seriously cool setup truck.

IMG_6745 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

IMG_6755 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

After a few minutes of chats he advised us of a nice campsite behind the road and river so we checked it out … ouwh perfect, flat, sheltered, grassy, water, a creek crossing to get there and no one else …a perfect adventurers 5 * hotel.

IMG_6753 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

There was some road works being done and a lot of trees over the road, 10 minutes of lifting and flinging saw the entrance almost clear, enough to sneak through.

The entry in the back ground

IMG_6764 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

That night the Unimog guys joined our camp fire giving us some home baking and fish which we duly swapped for fire grilled pork and 7 year Flore de Caña rum…fair trade and good times.

The head chef bar b qing the pork

IMG_6763 by twomotokiwis, on Flickr

Surviving the night we headed back to the hostel and after getting good information as to where to buy oil we managed to give Maya a blood transfusion of Motul in the hostel yard, everything accomplished in Punta Arenas now.

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