Ruta 40 is one of two major highways that run the entire length of Argentina. But for us, Ruta 40 was the road where we spent most nights just in our sleeping bags under the stars, frequently ditched the pavement for more exciting closed dirt roads, and met several people who would form our little biker gang
With our spirit of adventure still alive and strong, and our intelligence little improved, we headed off on a closed road through deserts and over mountains for the second time in two weeks. Only this time we sought some local advice first – “Don't do it. It's very difficult. It's very dangerous. There are lots of somethings.” Well, it was very difficult. And dangerous. We found out what the somethings were. It ended with Lachie in hospital.
With 8 litres of water, half a kilo of rice and three carrots, we weren't exactly prepared for two days riding across a desert. But in our defence, we had no idea that's what we were getting ourselves into.
After being stuck in a cold rinse cycle for three days at Pichilemu it was time to put ourselves out to dry in the Argentinian desert. The only catch was that we had no guarantee Scott and Pat would be able to leave the country with their motorbikes.
Just when we thought we’d seen all that Patagonia could throw at us, this incredible hike came our way. Spending 8 incredible days hiking through this remote and isolated wilderness was an incredible experience and a great note to leave Patagonia on.
The last two times that Scott had briefly disappeared, he had returned with an immediate call to action, hiking. So when we awoke to find him missing the morning after our five glorious days on the Huemel Circuit we knew something was coming. With our Dutch friends working away on an incredible stack of post-hike pancakes, Scott returned to Mariano’s house with the news that not only had he found three motorbikes online, but they were as good as sold….. to us.
With three Dutchies we'd met 12 hours previously we set off on what was to be five days of ‘the unprepared in the unknown’. We took on 100+ km/h winds over mountain passes, zip lined over rapids, took shelter for 36 hours in a little mountain Refugio and had our minds blown by the indescribable beauty and solitude of the Patagonian Icefield
After getting another glimpse of Southern Patagonia on the Cabo Froward trek, it was time to start the jaunt up North in search of higher peaks and wider valleys. What we got was desert roads, a lost passport and three days of hiking bliss.
The excitement in our bellies roared as we watched an epic sunrise over the Andes from our plane to Punta Arenas in southern Patagonia. Our excitement was dampened only slightly as the wheels of the plane screeched on the runaway when we realised we had no place to stay, not a single Chilean peso and Spanish literacy comparable to a goat.