Ushuaia - Tierra Del Fuego


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On reaching the Argentinian border-post in Tierra Del Fuego, however Bob spotted that my exhaust had practically fallen off and that my pannier frame was cracked. This highlighted the shortcoming of the G.S. as an all terrain bike. Any difficulty we have had with them has been as a direct result of taking them on poorly surfaced roads.They have proved to date wonderfully reliable bikes and have never let us down but essentially they are the same as my 1971 bike and suspension development in off road bikes leaves them floundering. In Africa, John's footrest fell off from the vibration over the corrugation on the off road out to Cape McClear it also vibrated loose the headlight housing. All of these are minor annoyances that are readily rectified but collectively they point to the fact that 20 years ago the airhead G.S.might have been the definitive all round bike but suspension development in the interim has left it as no longer the best choice. For all that though the romantic in me would still take it, for me it still represents the classic mount for this type of journey and for all its antiquatedness it is still a very capable bike especially in the hands of someone more capable than me. The upshot of all this shaking our bikes were taking, however, was that I began to go too slow in order not to shake it apart and that I feel was my downfall as the slower I went the worse the bike handled, especially with the load we had on and the worse it handled the more apprehensive II became to the point that I did not like the notion of unpaved roads at all. For all that, however, we reached Ushuaia safely on Christmas Eve without the camels gauled barefoot and refractory lying down in the melting snow.

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Nor indeed can it be said that a cold coming we had of it. By the time we reached Rio Gallegos the temperature had certainly gone down to the teens but it still was not necessary to plug in the electric jacket I took with me. Ushuaia is a sort of Mecca for world travelers at Christmas and the New Year and we had hoped that there would be some kind of get together. As it happened we saw quite a number of world bikers but there was no focal point to share our experiences. Twenty kilometers or so south of Ushuaia, the dirt road comes to a stop at what is the furthest southern point you can go by road in the world. On a bright sunny Christmas morning the three of us headed down there from the hotel and took the obligitary pictures.

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