Sunday, December 28, 2008

GOING NORTH!


the night view in Ushuaia, with the antatica on the backdrop.

when we were entering Bolivia in August this year, we are so far from Ushuaia.


Finally, the end of the world. end of Ruta 3.



here we are.




Riding on sunset to the end of the world with friends.





Our Christmas Party!






check this out! the report on the Viedma meeting.

http://www.tauradan.de/on-tour/argentina/hu2008en







video







video

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ushuaia. End of the world







the ferry to Tierra de Fuego, land of fire.




what animal is that?





At El Calafate, the success of entering the Glacier park, free by passing thro the guard office before 730am, we had a saving of 40pesos per person. there were not much tourist around so we were free to roam around and take good pictures and had a picnic while listening and watching to the falling of ice bergs. as usual, we met some Chinese nationality and were very amused about our trip. we were just like celebrities to them. I over heard someone asked them if we are celebrities or someone famous because they were flashing their camera at us and Hope Too, surrounding us and questioning us. we were so shy.
after the horizonsunlimited meeting at Viedma earlier this month, we split our ways but everyone was going to the south. we met almost everyone on the next town or two then we were on our own. we met Sunny, the biker from Turkey at Los Antigous. we met Miriam at Rio Gallegos. the most intresting one was Daniele, the Italian. Daniele and I had never met before. He had been following our blog in Italy since july this year. he was working then and at the same time preparing for his bike trip. I had cleared his few queries that he gave me. Daniele knew everything about us from the blog. so at the argentina border, he came to me, shake hands and introduce himself as Daniele, the one that was following our blog. its kind of weird but happy to meet someone, like a penpal.
at Rio grande, we met up again with Thomas, Andrea, Oliver and Silkia. we were so happy to be together and hugged each other tight.

I made a promise to Paul and Sylvia, the german couple traveling with us on Grimaldi, to meet them in Ushuaia on Xmas. yes, they gave us their GPS position and we had to find them. my GPS map doesn’t work in this most southern part of the world, luckily, I had some basic navigation sense.
Paul and Sylvia had their big truck. the place they stationed was cool! windless and quiet. by the lake, in the woods with a proper parking space. we saw gray fox, some weird birds and lots of big trees fallen. I wondered why. as an Arborist, I could not figure out until I saw beaver marks. these beavers looked cute in picture but they are affecting our nature. in Singapore, we spent so much money in protecting a tree but these beaver just bite here a little bit, bite there a litter bit. this a litter bit cause much damage to the tree and cause the tree to fall. we shall put up an anti-beaver campaign to protect the ozone. some beaver art works.



grey fox?



21st December was the longest day the southern part of this planet had. less then 6 hours of night only. I think in Europe or the northern side, people traditionally celebrate this day. for the Chinese, we celebrate this day by eating rice dumpling.

its Xmas. I spent every Xmas in my life with the Lee family of Queenstown. My sister and I were being brought up by them, considering them as our nanny. the Lee family is more than being our nanny. In my point of view, though we had no blood relationship, I would consider them as my close relative. they had given me so much love that is so hard to explain by words. I only had emotional tears when I think of them being so good to me.

Here in Ushuaia, all the travelers came here to celebrate Xmas, mostly Caucasians. Xmas is so important to them. For some people back at home, it’s a reason to party whole night and get themselves drunk and sleep until 2pm the next day. For Sam and I, we had a German and Swiss Xmas with Thomas, Andrea, Oliver, Silker, Mathias, Andreas and Saskia. Its summer here at this end of the world and it is almost 5 degrees Celsius in the night. We had a warm Xmas with friends around. Our heart is still back at Queenstown, Singapore, missing the Lee family.
Hope Too had clocked 44000km at the most southern city in the world, Ushuaia, which is almost 6000km away from the equator.

From Singaporedream, to all our readers that had been clicking on our blog religiously for the past 14 months, wishing you have a peace, meaningful and lively 2008 Christmas.

S 54° 49.664’
W068° 21.665’

Saturday, December 20, 2008

first singaporean on the moon






we parted with Thomas and friends. they taugh us to bush camp alot! thanks alot!
we were on our way to Ushuaia for Xmas. tough road. some days we travel 400km for 10hours on soft gravel and had to fight with the strong side wind. whats the wind speed??

well... if u are riding at 100km/hr and you put your hand out, you will feel the push of the wind. this push is NOT stronger than the Patagonia wind we suffer.



we are riding on straight roads with the bike tilted 30 degress. then our neck had to push against the wind. its so tired! further more, its dirt and gravel road. thanks to the Enduro 3, 50/50 tires we installed on Hope Too, the gravel travel is so fun!




the stretch of ruta 40 is gravel! it connects argentina from the north to the south. this road is not a planned road. it is a road where people walked, traveled and form traces and it expended into a road. it is more than 5000km.

we detoured into ruta 41. a recommanded route by Miguel. it was dirt road but paradise! i guess not much biker take this route.


shall we go or u-turn??


having much fun on the gravel road and the Euduro 3 tires gave me much confident, we could get Hope Too to fly on the Ruta 40. we were saved from falling on ruta 40 when we hit sand and lose gravels. thanks to the new tires.

till we reached asphalted road in a town, we saw a petrol kiosk. i made a left turn in and we hit big stones laid on... the stones are too big for the Enduro 3 to grip on and we fell on the right side, again. nothing much damaged except the rice packet on the front was broken.

Riding the Ruta is empty. lifeless. gravels and strong wind. there is no trees.

i say again THERE IS NO TREES! i guess no trees can survive this strong wind 365.25day a year.
it feels like we are on the moon. no life... until we saw rabbits, wild horses, a tall bird that run very fast and some other vehicles.

Amstrong would understand what i say. this long part of Patagonia is like moon except there is light and we can breath.





we caught some crabs on the beach. this was our lunch. 1st time we had crabs after we left singapore and it was free!



this penguin and his home reminded me of the game at the Arcade center were we put in a token, the plastic penguin would jump out of the hole and we had to hit it with a mallet.


so.. were do we put the batteries in?

one of our best camp site!








this couple from south africa had this bike. it looked 80% similar to my lost Hope.

our lunch... along the way! best view.

check this out! we are on horizonsunlimited! we had planted a flag again for Singapore!

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/meetings/Argentina2008

Saturday, December 13, 2008

more pictures on the horizons unlimited meeting

nice road
Andrea on her KLR!

Mapuche




Patagonia....

our Swiss friend.




the paticipants of the meeting





check them out. they joined our meeting by chance. David and Joan from England.





members.tripod.co.uk/daveandjoan







our host: Oscar. spend time and $ in organizing the meeting.






the beautiful campsite with our lovely friend from Germany.








nice sunset. its about 830pm









the bikers from the meeting












Hope Too got the 3rd pair of tires. Sahara 3 from Metzela. 50/50 tires. getting ready for some off road action on Ruta 40. i gota bite the tires first before they bite us. like wearing a new pair of shoes.











the Sealions colony near Viedma.













bikes again.














we camped 2 days free at this beach. waiting to see some Orca Whales but we enjoy the landscape more.















Wednesday, December 10, 2008

horizonsunlimited.com








from Chile Pucon after the climb, we went to a small village for a night stay, following an exciting day to Argentina. it was only 50km of dirt, gravel, tight windy road to the loading area. loading area? we need to wait for a RORO boat to take us to complete the road across this beautiful road. it is supposed to be a very nice scenic road if there isn`t much rain since we were in the boat.

when we reached the deserted custom and immigration on chile side, we were soak wet.

on the argentina side, deserted also. we had to teach the immigration officer what to do. he didnt want to give me the entry form that we had filed in, saying that it was not neccessery. fishy...
we filled the forms again and made him stamped on it and we kept it. SAFE!

a night at neuquen was unforgettable. Neuquen was a busy city. the cheapest hotel there had exceeded our budget. we ride along the highway and saw a CAMPING signboard and followed. very nice campsite. there were about 6 adults working and 5 childrens playing. as usual, we could not speak good spanish so we used hands and legs to talk. the usual question came: where were u from. where u going? how long has the journey been? we had a great time talking with them and asked about the camping price. 2 of them said its free. we do not need to pay anything. one of them even showed me where could i pitch up my tent and show me around.

so we start pitching up our tent at 7pm and i cooked dinner (rice and soya sauce).

as we were eating comfortably, one man showed up and told me that i cant camp here. this is a private camping site. we had to wash, pack up and leave the place at 830pm.

dark

what i saw:

the workers that allow us to camp were common people or the very pure locals.

the man that ask me to leave spoke perfect english and well dress.

well... we have to go to another place 1 hour away to search for another camping ground in the dark.

finally we arrived at Viedma.

we met other bike travelers from germany, switzerland, italy, argentina and estonia. about less than 30 people but we had fun.

we exchanged information and now im traveling with 2 couples from germany to the south. i must thank the www.horizonsunlimited.com for organizing this meeting. i had got alot of bike traveling information from this website. well, who can i ask in Singapore?

road to the south would be tough. today we traveled for 250km and suffered strong Patagonia wind.

lets see tomorrow...