We did it! We drove to the point where the road ends. No Mas. We left Puerto Natales for the last leg south. This last bit included a ferry and a border crossing back into Argentina, followed by a lovely night of sleeping in a YPF gas station in the town of Rio Grande. (Side note – virtually every car in Rio Grande needed air in their tires. We had to park next to the tire air machine. Usually with music. Pssssft….generator……Pssssft……generator……OMG! This went on All.Frickin.Night.Long!). Fortunately, after Rio Grande we had a short and relaxing drive to Ushuaia. We decided to stay at a cool/funky campground right on a lake in Tolhuin before finally arriving in Ushuaia. Here we could sleep and do a nice walk around the lake. We were happy to have this respite before another bigger city.
The windswept trees along the roads in Patagonia. The branches are bare but the roots are strong.
please have gas, please have gas...
Gas station night. Our third and by GOD, our last!
Long line of trucks waiting to get on the ferry to the island of Tierra del Fuego. Passenger vehicles go to the front. Whew!
LoJo's 10th boat ride. This one was a little choppy.
When we got to the border it was closed until 5 pm due to a strike in Chile, so we got in line with the truckers..and waited.
Finally. Arrival in Tierra del Fuego
Funky camping on a peaceful lake in the small town of Tolhuin, just north of Ushuaia.
Camp pooch. He loved hot dogs.
Ushuaia seemed so bloody far away for so long. In 2012 it was a notion. In 2013 it was a city on a map. In 2014, it became entwined into the fiber of our daily existence. We were traveling slowly through The Americas and experiencing all that was before us. But, the travel and the driving was also a tool for attaining a goal, to arrive in Ushuaia, the southern most point on the earth where one can drive. When we did finally arrive so did a profound sense of pride, confidence and gratitude. We planned this journey, we prepared, we executed and we accomplished the goal.
The sign at the very end of the actual road. "Here is the end of the Ruta Nac. No. 3".
At the end of the day, Ushuaia itself wasn’t the ultimate goal, it was the end of the road that we were seeking. And honestly, even that was somewhat arbitrary. We wanted to slowly roll through our life and the lives of those we met or encountered on the road. This was a time for reflection and introspection – and for transition. Ushuaia was more than a city to drive to for us, it was a symbol that we had transformed – layers shed, new perspective gleaned.
So we celebrated our newness and went to Antartica……