Day 215 – Rio Grande to Ushuaia, Argentina

Day 215 – Rio Grande to Ushuaia, Argentina     03/24/11     Mileage: 171

It was raining when I got up this morning, but I only had a little over 2 hours worth of riding to get down to Ushuaia…so I waited for a break in the rain and then got on the road. The scenery was nice for the first hour but was really good the last 40 or so miles up and over a small mountain pass.

They even have this sign that tells you where to take the picture…though…that is one funny looking camera!

I would have stopped for more pictures, but I had this need to just get there! Once over the pass, it was a nice roll down a picturesque valley until the sign for Ushuaia came into view.

And that was it…7 months and 3 days after setting out from New Jersey, I was finally here in Ushuaia, the self proclaimed “Southernmost City in the World.” I’ve seen many pictures of it before, but the town is in a spectacular setting on the Beagle Channel surrounded by mountains…and is much nicer in person than in pictures….not at all what I expected.

And while Ushuaia might be the last town on the road south, the road itself, Ruta 3, continues another 20 kilometers into the Parque Nacional del Tierra del Fuego to the very end of the road….and after dropping my bag at the hotel,  that was my next stop. Just on the other side of town the road turned to dirt before arriving at the entrance to park.

The scenery was again much better than I expected and remember from the pictures. The trees were turning in the autumn weather and there was snow on the high peaks…it was spectacular.

Then, around a bend in the road the famous sign that I have seen in so many other pictures came into view…the literal end of the road south.

In English: 
Land of Fire National Park
Lapataia Bay
Republic of Argentina
Here is the end of National Route No. 3
Buenos Aires: 1,913 miles
Alaska: 11, 090 miles

If my eyesight was as good as Sarah Palin I might be able to see Antarctica.  😉  I took the requisite pictures, smoked a big cigar that Johnny O gave me before the trip and lingered for a bit to reflect and take it all in. Well, that was it…nothing left to do but point my trusty KLR north and head for home…