Patagonia: All The Way To Ushuaia

Halfway through my route from Puerto Montt to the southest city in the world Ushuaia I needed a break for some days, I found a good campsite that I totally did not expect. The campsites in Chile are not perfect, if you find one that has hot water then you can be happy and if you don’t have hot water then you need to be happy if you have power. But this campsite in Puerto Gaudal was perfect, so I stayed for four days to recover from the driving and charge all my equipment and update them. After making the website up-to-date and saying Hi to my family and friends, I was ready to continue the trip. It will be a long second part but really beautiful, that is what I expect.

I left the campsite and rode my car the last 50 kilometers in Chile on bad road, to reach the city Chico (in Chile) which is famous for the border cross to Argentina. I was a little bit excited for the border cross because it was my first one with my own car. When I arrived to the police check, I got a problem with my car, the man needed a document that I didn’t have. At the border you need two documents, a passport and a document for the car but I didn’t have the last one with me. I tried to find some connection with my phone to figure out what happened, and I found contact with the Notary in Santiago. They put the car on my name and should have sent me the document, but they forgot, after waiting for two hours and calling them, I received finally an email with the document. I ran to a hotel and asked them to print my mail in a polite way, as friendly as they are, they helped me and after two and half hour I could give the police check officer what he wanted and with a smile on his face and on mine I could cross the border which I passed already in some of my dreams.

The south of Argentina is not full of people, there are towns hundred kilometers apart and if you get stuck between them, then you have a problem. I arrived to the first city 'Perito Moreno' after 50km from the border around 19h. I enjoyed the good roads and didn’t want to stop so I decided to move on and drive more to the south, but after two hours it became dark and the campsite I had in mind was closed. I was in the middle of nowhere. I parked my car because I couldn’t see the street anymore and didn’t want to make mistakes. The wind was not really heavy, so I made everything ready for the night on the side of the street.

The more time I spent laying in my tent the windier it became. And after 30 minutes I couldn’t hold myself anymore and decided to sleep in my car, what felt really bad.

That night I was happy that I was able to close my eyes for 2hours and the day after I needed to drive a lot more to the south. My trip in Argentina to Ushuaia is around 2000 km, and the day after Idecided to drive 800km to the mountains called 'El Chalten'. It was a rainy day and on my way to the mountains the roads, it became worse. At 200km from the mountains the road was only gravel and that in combination with rain resulted in no control over my car. It was the first moment that I became afraid in my car and it really didn’t matter if I break or accelerate, turn left or right, it was the road that decided where I go. Because next to the road is sometimes a huge height difference, I decided to stop after 15km of the 40km. I needed to make a decision, either I continue driving with unknown road in front of me or I turn my car and skip the mountains and go directly using a good way to Ushuaia. I gave myself some minutes and tried to gather some information online, but I was miles away from the connection world and the last car I saw was 15minutes ago, someone who struggled as well with the gravel. I decided to turn the car, skip the mountains for now and go to Ushuaia. On my way back I really wished to get back to the human cities and to normal roads, because the longer I stayed there the longer I was going to be in trouble. After reaching the normal human cities I needed some fuel and at the gas station I saw the car that I passed who couldn’t drive anymore, they reached the tank station, but their car broke.

I was happy to get back on the road and after driving more than 1100 km that day I reached Chile and got data connection again to tell my girlfriend what a day I had and send my location to her. That evening, I took the boat and stopped around 400km from Ushuaia. I couldn’t find a campsite, so I slept at the side of the road in a city called 'Cerro Sombrero' next to a couple from Venezuela who traveled as well and made good tea for me ;-).

The day after started was earlier than expected, the day to reach the southest city on Earth called 'Ushuaia'. During my trip I saw some good views and tried to capture them with my drone to make it possible for my family to see them as well. After the most wonderful last 100km kilometers between beautiful mountains, I arrived to the door of Ushuaia. A port city built on a mountain and believe it or not but one huge cruise-ship was in the port and the name was 'Haarlem' a ship from 'Holland America Line'. I parked my car took a walk and watched the ship, I got a feeling of pride about my country, a feeling that I don’t have a lot of times. In Holland I was born with the idea that everything can be better, and we see can find the negative even in the best things. But this made me proud, being at really the end of the world totally away from my small country Holland and even when you don’t expect it Holland is everywhere. It made me proud and happy, proud of my country and after that feeling I became proud of myself. Proud about what I did and the things I made possible for myself and about what I have, the support of my family, the friends who miss me and the love I feel every day for and from my girlfriend. I love to fight for my dreams and I will always do that even when it is not easy, I am happy that I am be able to create all by myself the circumstances to follow my dreams and look where I am now, sitting at the end of the world with a Spanish book in my hand still trying to read and learn the language.

That evening I thought as well that during my trip (63 days in total until now) a lot of people said to me, Mike you can never go with that car on your own to Ushuaia, you need better equipment or that is not safe. But please, if someone is reading this, never believe someone saying negative things or pulling you down, if he or she doesn’t support you, take your power and energy from people who believe in you and follow your heart. Helen Keller (American author died in 1968) who became after 19 months of her life blind and deaf said ‘The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart’ and that is totally right.