T- Well nothing for it but to try and get out of Chile. We were packed up and ready to go by 10 and the owners of the hotel came out to say goodbye. They weren’t too sure that we would be able to cross and told us to come back if we couldn’t.
C – It was worth a go, and if we could not cross, then we knew there was a hotel, only 30km back from the border, where we could stay. But we were really hopeful that we could just skip Chilean customs if Argentina would process our documents without proof of the Chilean export.
T – The sky was gorgeous blue and totally devoid of clouds and there was a lovely crispness in the air. My perfect kind of morning! We rode along heading out of town and as I braked for a traffic light Mabel fell away from under me and in less than a nano second I was down on the ground. Bloody hell the road was slick as snot. My front wheel had locked up and just threw the bike straight over.
Luckily there wasn’t too much damage, only Mabels nice crash guard covers which were shredded on the road. Bugger.
C – Poor Todd and Mabel. It was less than 2 minutes into the ride and not a great way to start the day. The road was so very, very slippery from all the snow and ice melting after a slightly warmer day yesterday.
Today though, the weather felt so different. It felt like a spring morning, rather than a winter morning and we were both excited to slog out the 200km to the border.
T – The road from Punta Arenas out to the border was a very long one. The kilometers seemingly ticked away so slow. But we pressed on and 200kms later we were being waved into a parking spot by a military guy. We had passed a ton of trucks all headed away from the border and all with Argentinian plates so I was ever hopeful that we would be processed through. There was not a soul in the immigration and customs building when we entered so we went straight to the Argentinian Customs and asked if it was possible to import our bikes into Argentina. He said yes, no problems.
We gave him our import permit from Chile, not sure of what to do with it. He gave it to a very unhappy looking Customs official from Chile and proceeded to get us into Argentina. 40 minutes later and we had passed muster with Customs, immigration, and the military checkpoint outside.
I was shocked. We were in Argentina legally. The man who dealt with our Chilean import permit was very unhappy though. Oh well. Tough luck pumpkin.
C – Oh the relief! We are now both so excited to travel north and into weather that means that we can feel our fingers and toes all day long – imagine how blissful this is going to be!
T – We cruised directly north from there, straight towards the warm sun until we hit the town of Rio Gallegos where we stopped for the night.
We both feel so relieved to have been able to cross as we kept being told that only foot traffic and dangerous goods were being allowed to pass. This is our final South American country and we are now on the count down to Buenos Aires, just 2600kms away!