From El Calafate I headed south on Ruta 40 toward Puerto Natales, Chile. The temperature was getting colder and the winds were strong. From this point I was approximately 700 miles from Terra del Fuego. After riding approximately 100 miles I stopped to dig out my fleece clothing for the first time. The temperature was dropping and other riders traveling in the opposite direction informed me that it was snowing pretty heavily a few miles ahead in the direction I was traveling.
Looking at a map it does not seem to be that far of a distance; however, this is a big continent and the road zig zags through both Chile and Argentina. Because the road zig zagged between two countries I had to deal with the issues of entering and exiting countries several times.
I made it to Puerto Natales, Chile. The village is the staging area for those persons visiting Torres de Paine, a National Park. This park has a spectacular mountain range. If you speak to an experienced mountain climber about the Torres de Paine they will know what you are talking about. I arrived in the afternoon, and since it was Sunday, not too many places were open for business. I did not get to see much of the village.
On Monday, I rode to Punta Arenas, Chile it was a rather easy ride. On my way I saw a sign indicating a natural habitat for penguins. I decided to go explore the penguin habitat. It was about a 40 kilometer ride on a gravel and sand road that led to a very lonely and remote beach that the penguins use for nesting.
On this trip one of the most rewarding things for me was to see the many changes in landscapes and variety of wildlife. I started out with rattlesnakes in the south of Texas and now penguins in Chile.
Near Punta Arenas, Chile
Once I reached Punta Arenas I made my reservations for a ferry ride the next morning and found a good place to eat and a place to sleep.