After amazing days spent on the glaciers and a visit to Puerto Natales we’re coming back to Argentina in order to start the last stage of our route. It makes us a little bit sad because we know that more than a month full of this beautiful landscapes and great people is coming to an end. Even though there’s still Terra del Fuego ahead of us before we head back. Now we have a few hundred kilometres before we get to Rio Gallegos.
We’re happy about one thing though – this part of the road is not completely asphalt-covered, some fragments are rocky. That reminds us of the best moments we had on Ruta 40. Slow fragments, where you could not speed because of the surface. No people around, with occasional animals crossing the road. We’re even getting a bit sentimental. When we left 8000 km ago we thought that there’s a whole world ahead of us and now it’s just 200 km more.
We’re passing through two cities located close to each other – Rio Turbio which is known for an old mine turned into a museum and 25 de Noviembre. We gas up on YPF, buy a few empanadas (how many times have I wrote that?) :) and start with the last stage of our trip.
I’m not sure what to write about it since the pictures below show exactly what we saw then – sand, rocks and an empty road – the same things we’ve seen in the beginning. But we’re a bit different now. We’re not waiting to see the glaciers anymore, there’s no Patagonian experience ahead of us, no northern Argentina. But the adrenaline rush we feel after this trip is so rapid that we still need time to digest it all. In this situation, driving through nowhere for 3 hours with no one passing us by is the best thing that could have happened to us. We can talk, w can reminisce. We’ll get to our goal tomorrow, but there’s just 100 km left.
It’s not the time for summaries yet but it would be great to try a different challenge than a trip connected to big cultural and historical research. Such a change opened us to new thoughts, taught us new things and helped us come up with what we want to do next.
We arrive in Rio Gallegos around 4 pm. Ruta 40 ends rapidly and we suddenly find ourselves on route no. 3 – on a highway part. Two lanes on each side, with a greenbelt between them with full lighting around. A total shock. We pass an airport and approach the city from the seaside road side. We didn’t book accommodation so we stop in several hotels and hostels – all are fully booked. Each of them tells us to check another one and after an hour we’re left with a super-expensive 4 star hotel option. We drive along since the price is outrageous. We finally find a room after checking out 15 places or so. It’s cheap but we never looked for a place to stay for so long. As far as we learn, it’s not a tourist city apart from being a checkpoint for organised groups heading from Tierra del Fuego towards El Calafate and the glaciers. Offshore industry seems to be a big thing here as well but for us it’s time to sleep before we start our journey to the end of Ruta 40 tomorrow.