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Journey to the End of the World

Today’s story takes place a long time ago, on a continent far, far away. In 2005, a much younger version of myself took an epic journey to one of the most remote corners of the globe. After looking at this big map of South America, we decided we should try to go all the way to the bottom. This would be a journey to Tierra del Fuego (the land of fire) and one of the literal ends of the World. This was a real backpackers odyssey, a trip to the bottom of the continent. There would be many trials along the road, much like a Greek epic being told thousands of years after the events. The journey felt super natural at times.

The story of this adventure begins at at a big wooden table at a dimly lit hostel in Buenos Aires. This is where the 4 of us met. Our crew consisted of myself (Rob), Stewart, Shaun and Jeff. Two Canadians, an American and a South African. We had spent a few weeks at The Limehouse, a party hostel in the center of Buenos Aires. Despite being in our early 20s, our livers could only take so much fun. We had been here much longer than any of us had planned and needed to take a break. While planning our escape, we looked at the map of the continent, noticed it came to a point at the bottom and asked the question; how far could we actually go?

This is the fairly straight forward set up to this journey. We wanted to go to the end of the world. People travel to strange places and do strange things all the time; why should this story be any different?

Journey to the End of the World

Where is Ushuaia?

Ushuaia is closer to Antartica than it is to Buenos Aires, where we began our attempted journey. It is a small town located at the very bottom of Argentina, part of the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. It was given its name by Ferdinand Magellan, one of the early explores who noticed that the land appeared to be on fire as he sailed passed this desolate land. The name stuck.

We quickly surveyed over maps of South America, and researched the road ahead as much as we could. Ushuaia was located at the very end of this road so it became our goal. As we hastily made plans to travel to the bottom of the continent. After shaking hands or exchanged high-fives to confirm our intentions, we accepted the mission. Now we had to figure out how to get there.

There were a few different options for how to accomplish our goal. In the end, we decided to drive to the end of the world.

The quest to get “The Power”

We arrived at the car rental agency early in the morning a few days later only to find out that we would not be able to drive the car to the bottom of the world.

Before we had even signed any documents or been given the keys to our car, our entire plan was shut down. None of us spoke Spanish fluently, but we all knew bits and pieces, with varying degrees in abilities. The very nice woman at the front desk of the car rental agency was trying to tell us something about taking the car to Chile. The road across Tierra del Fuego – the large island at the south of the continent – cut into Chile for a few hundred kilometers before returning to Argentina.

This meant we needed to get an “international travel permit” to take it across the border. She referred to this document as “il poder”, which translates to “the power”. We literally needed to get the power to travel to the end of the world.

The problem was that it would take a few days to issue this document. It was a Saturday. After a long conversation, we arranged to pick it up on the way at another one of their rental offices in El Calafate a few days later. We now had an important side mission to accomplish before we would be able to make it to the end of the world.

The Suzuki Fun

We had to leave Buenos Aires without “the power”. Our plan was to drive south for a few days before traveling west to collect “the power” in El Calafate. If things went according to plan, we should be able to make it in two or three days.

No one is quite sure why we decided the get the smallest car possible, but it was probably to save a few bucks. It was a bad choice. We had rented a 2-door hatchback and space was limited. It was pretty tight. Inside of the comically small two-door hatchback we managed to fit four grown men and their backpacks. We were just exited to be on the road.

The Suzuki Fun at Torres del Paine. 2005.

The number one perk to having our own car was that could stop as much as we wanted along the way and not be tied down to anyone else’s schedule. We had already taken some really long 12-hour long bus rides in Brazil and other parts of Argentina. It was a really long way to the bottom. We gave ourselves two weeks; one week there and one week back.This was an ambitious timeline, but it looked very possible.

Leaving Buenos Aires

For some reason, we decided to let Shaun drive first. “Just to let you know, I’ve never driven standard on this side of the car before” he announced long after he had sat down in the driver’s seat and put the car into first gear. We all looked at him with disbelief.  “Don’t worry, I know how to drive standard, and I’ve driven on this side of the road before. Just never the two at the same time.” South Africans drive on the left side of the road, much like in England.

We had to find our way through the maze of traffic, along the many side streets in Buenos Aires trying to find the way out of town. To Shaun’s credit, he only stalled the car once. Things only got slightly worse once we pulled onto Avenida 18 de Julio – a 20 lane road that cuts across the city. This took place during the morning rush hour traffic. What Shaun was lacking in driving abilities he made up for in confidence. After some creative navigation, and lucky guesses, we eventually we found the main Autopista heading south.

Buenos Aires. 2005.

Traffic thinned out the further we drove from the city and the first 24 hours of driving was mostly uneventful.

The area immediately south of Buenos Aires is a large plain with fertile grass that feeds the livestock of the country. Argentina is famous for beef, and La Pampas is one of the reasons why. We passed by many herds of cattle tended by the local Gauchos. There wasn’t much to see along the way, and we skipped the beach towns along the coast of La Pampas region and cut straight across the region in order to save time.

Route 3 along the Atlantic Coast

Route 3 winds its way parallel to the Atlantic coast, and travels from the very top of Argentina to the bottom. Swapping drivers every few hours to keep the car moving, we made quick work of the first portion of the trip.

We took turns behind the wheel and only stopped a few times for food and gas. We drove all day and through the night. It was quiet, as we were traveling in the off-peak season. Seeing other travelers along the way was rare. Traffic on the roads was mostly large transport trucks, likely driving empty on the way back to the capital. The lack of other travelers didn’t deter us; we ignored all the signs that continued to tell us “turn back while you still can”.

NASA Satellite image of Tierra del Fuego, at the bottom of Patagonia.

There were a few places we did try to stop, but unfortunately we missed out on some of the top attractions due to the changing seasons.

The best example was near Puerto Madryn. We wanted to go to see a wildlife reserve on the coast near but we had missed the penguins and killer whales by a week. The attendant told us there was only a few elephant seals left on the peninsula, but they still wanted to charge us 30 pesos each to try and find them ourselves. We cut our losses, turned around, and kept driving south.


We left La Pampas and the terrain changed again. Soon we would be entering the desert.

We were traveling south along the major north-south Highway 3, a road which traveled over 2500-km from Buenos Aires to Rio Gallartos. The only thing that separated us from our far out destination at the bottom of the map was Patagonia, the 7th largest desert in the world. Apparently, Patagonia is really big. We quickly discovered that Ushuaia was a long way from where we were.

To get there we would have to travel thousands of kilometers south. Maps are deceiving when you try to estimate distances in southern Argentina. Had we been able to stick to our original plan, we would have been able to keep traveling south towards the Straight of Magellan. We now had to take a pretty major detour from Rio Gallartos to El Calafate. This town was located along the southern edge of the Andes mountains, which is where we would be picking up “the power”. We were still a full day or more from our first destination.

The strange gas station in the middle of nowhere

We drove through the night, and were 300 km from the nearest anything, surrounded by desert in all directions. The nights were much colder, even after only one day of driving. This meant we were getting close.

Late on our second night, we pulled into a gas station, in need of a refuel and a chance to stretch our legs. It was the first sign of life we had seen in hours. Here we were met there by a strung out teenager, some bored and lonely attendant who slowly came out to pump our gas. We were probably the first humans he had seen in hours. What made this stop interesting was the resident Llama, which wandered around the car while we waited to fill.

Stewart and the strange gas station Llama. 2005

Much like the kid pumping our gas, it acted as it was stoned. Both the teenager and the Llama looked at us, their curiosity piqued by these foreign looking strangers. We realized the Llama probably lived at the gas station, inhaling fumes and drinking oil off the pavement. We wondered what the teenager was getting high from and wondered if he had any extra?

After leaving the gas station and driving for about 20 minutes, Stewart commented: “I don’t really like this song, the music has this irritating noise.” Soon after this, we all noticed the same noise. It got louder and louder. We suffered through this horrible sound, trying to identify a cause. A few minutes after that the car came to a sputtering stop, the car lost it’s momentum and we pulled over to the side of the road.  

Something was wrong.

Stranded in the Middle of Nowhere

It had just past midnight and we were even more in the middle of nowhere than we were before when we were at the gas station. We had driven at least 3-4 kilometers since we had fueled up. The wind was blowing and the temperature was sitting below zero.

Under these circumstances, we decided against trying to walk back at night and wait until morning. We instead tried to fall asleep, shivering in the car, bundled ourselves up wearing as many articles of clothing as we could reach, wrapped in our sleeping bags and used our combined body warmth to keep us alive.

The next morning we drew straws, and the two losers had to walk back to the gas station to find someone to tow us for repairs. I was lucky enough to remain in the car, waiting until the truck arrived. The mechanic got out of the car, checked a few things under the hood and eventually came to the conclusion that there was diesel in the tank of our gasoline car. Since it was their fault, so we would not be charged. They towed us back to the gas station. We had lunch at the restaurant while they emptied and again filled our tank with actual gasoline. The Llama from the night before was still hanging around.

The morning after sleeping in the car, somewhere in the middle of nowhere. 2005.

We were back on the road just after lunch and headed back onto the road south, where we knocked off another 500 km of driving before the next crossroads.

The Long Road South

It was the end of fall in the Southern Hemisphere, and the winter weather was already taking over narrative over the land. The wind ripped across the plains sometimes shaking the car as we drove. It was still warm during the day, but extremely cold at night. We had driven about 1000 km south of Buenos Aires, and we hadn’t seen much so far. Despite how barren and flat it was, it had a strange and unexplainable beauty to it.

We stopped at a few different towns on our journey south. There were several Welsh and other European settlements along the way. We were all very childish and entertained by the big sign outside of the town of Gaiman.

We liked to pretend we were sponsored by Quilmes. 2005.

We even drove an hour out of our way to see what lonely planet described as the “world’s ugliest church”.We saw the occasional pack of wild Llamas on the side of the road. Mostly it was large stretches of empty space.

The Shortcut to El Calafate

While reading the map, we had discovered a short cut. We realized we could shave off over 300 km and several hours of driving if we took a smaller highway that cut east-west, being able to avoid driving all the way to Rio Gallegos and having to backtrack north-west.

We eventually arrived at this fork in the road and turned right, leaving behind the comforts of a freshly paved highway and onto a rarely used dirt road. The car shook as we drove. The road was wild and unpaved and we were stuck with a nearly constant sound of the underbelly of our car scraping along the gravel road below us. We saw the odd car pass us as the night went on, but we were traveling on this road practically by ourselves. We watched the sunset in the distance.

Big Empty Spaces. 2005.

As day turned to night, we could still make out the very faint lights of trucks from the highway we had just left. It was so flat we could see hundreds of kilometers in all directions. There was nothing. The road wasn’t great, but we got used to the bumps and covered some long distances.

The wrath of the gravel highway

Things were going great until about 2 in the morning, shortly after we had just switched drivers. Our car hit one of the many dips and bumps in the road and the bottom of the car once again crashed against the ground. We had gotten used to the sound of our car scraping against the rocks, but this time it was different. This was very distinct “thud”.

A few seconds after the loud crashing sound, our car sputtered and came to a dead stop for the second time on this road trip. This time we were really in the middle of nowhere. Having not seen any towns or gas stations in several hours, we assumed we were closer to something ahead of us than behind, but had no way of knowing.

With only one flashlight, we inspected the Suzuki Fun for damage. We could see liquid dripping from under the car. None of us were mechanics, but we figured that we had ruptured something in the fuel line. We tried a few things to try and seal the hole. First with electrical tape and a garbage bag, but the pressure of the fuel was too much no matter what we did. This was pretty serious.

Sunset somewhere in the middle of nowhere. 2005.

We hadn’t seen any cars or houses for hours. In the far distance, we could see the light of a single house on the horizon. Assuming the worst, we gave the owners of this house the nickname of “the hacksaws”; anyone who lives this far away from civilization was a murderer or members a strange Patagonian Cult. It was late, cold and not worth venturing out on a quest to find help until the morning.

Rescued by Poachers

We resigned ourselves to another night sleeping in the car, waiting out the intense cold and waiting for sunrise. Fortunately this time we had 2 bottles of Malbec from Mendoza and a small bag of weed we needed to finish before we crossed the border anyways. We passed the two bottles around the car and eventually fell asleep, with a fuzzy feeling that would keep us warm throughout the night. We all drifted off into sleep.

Less than an hour after we had all passed out, someone woke up and saw lights approaching from the road behind us. As the lights got brighter, we realized we had been discovered on the side of the road. The truck parked in front of us we sent our best two Spanish speakers – Jeff and Shaun – to got out to try and ask for help. Shaun returned to the car a few minutes later.

“We think these two guys are illegal poachers. One of them has a rifle on his lap and there are a bunch of dead animals in the back.”

Half asleep and still half drunk, the only response I could come up with was “Do you think they are going to kill us?” to which Shaun responded, “No I don’t think so”. At this point, stranded in the middle of nowhere, our options were pretty limited. We put our lives in the hands of these strangers.

Turn off your lights and put on your 4-way hazard lights

With our limited Spanish we tried to explain to them the problem. This was not a success. They didn’t understand. First, they tried to give us a jump start. This was followed by them playing with a few things under the hood. Since we had already gone through all this a few hours before, we knew their attempts were futile. We tried to show them the gaping hole in our fuel line.

Eventually, they decided just to tow us to the nearest town. Inside the back of the truck with all the dead animals, they pulled out a 4-meter long rope and tied the back of their truck to the front of our car. They told us to turn the headlights off, but leave the blinking hazard lights on so they could still see us.

From inside the car, all we could see was the back of the truck. The blinking red light from our hazard lights was mesmerizing as it reflected off the tailgate. The two people in the front seat were riding the breaks as we were dragged through Patagonia behind this pickup truck. Still drunk and stoned from the night before, and sitting in the back seat, I was in a trance. I assumed we were probably going to crash into the back of this pickup truck. They were driving faster than we had when we had control of the car. It was one of the most terrifying drives ever, skidding across the dirt road.

El Calafate

We were pleasantly surprised when less than 30 minutes into this terrifying drive, we once again found pavement. Another hour after this, while being towed behind the truck, we arrived at a gas station. The two hunters asked for us to fill their gas tank as a thank you for saving us from the Patagonian desert, which was an offer we could not refuse. We left our car outside of the Mechanic and found ourselves a hostel to crash for the night.

The next morning we discovered that we had destroyed our fuel pump, with a serious crack from the impact of the road. The mechanic had a replacement part at his junkyard, and by the time we finished breakfast, the car was ready to go. Despite all the bad things that had just happened to us, we finally found some luck; during our late night rescue, the poachers had taken us to the nearest town.

It turns our, we had arrived in El Calafate.

Just outside of El Calafate. 2005.

After picking up our newly repaired car, we were able to track down the location of “the power”. It was located in an nondescript residential house on the outskirts of town which acted as a local post office. Since I spoke the least Spanish, they sent me up to ask for the power.

I Need the Power

We knocked on the door and a grizzled old man with a moustache answered the door. It was my turn to shine.

“Yo necesito el Poder!!” I declared, using the line that i had been taught in the car over the past few days. My Spanish was terrible. I was proud of myself for remembering.


I decided to say it louder and with more confidence.

“YO necesito… el Poder”.

The man gave me a blank look and asked me again why I was standing at his front door. Not understanding enough Spanish to continue the conversation, I looked towards Jeff, who took over and explained our situation; we were sent here from Buenos Aires to retrieve the power so that we could go to Chile.

It took him a moment to figure out what “the power” was, but he eventually walked into his house and left us standing at the door for a minute or two. He soon returned with a very official-looking large sized envelope.

We finally had the missing piece to our journey and would now have the needed power to cross the border.

Perito Moreno Glacier and the world’s greatest sandwhich.

We decided that El Calafate was a town worth spending a little more time. The natural setting was spectacular, the air was fresh and smelled of trees; the were people friendly and welcoming.

We discovered a small restaurant that served the world’s greatest Steak Sandwich in the world, the Super Lomo. This isn’t hyperbole, this was actually one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. The sandwich was so good; the next morning before leaving town, we bought two more each for the long drive. El Calafate was a much needed rest for us. We hadn’t spent a night in a bed since we had left Buenos Aires, so we decided to spend a second night in town. Our bodies thanked us for the extra day of rest.  

Perito Moreno Glacier. 2005.

With our newly repaired car, we drove that afternoon to one of the most impressive sights we visited during our trip, the Perito Moreno Glacier. It was a full day’s worth of exploring here. The next morning, we set off once again on the next leg of our journey to the end of the world.

The Straight of Magellan

We had just seen our first glimpse of the Andes, but as we continued our drive south-east, we were soon back to the barren flatlands of Patagonia. Every so often we would descend into a massive valley. Patagonia is mesmerizingly flat and desolate, yet for some reason, it was one of the most impressive landscapes you could imagine. It’s hard to explain how so much nothing can be something. It had a charm. A nice personality.

Soon enough we were back on the coast, and heading south along route 3. Finally back on track and on the easy riding pavement. Soon after this, we reached the Straights of Magellan where we caught a ferry to Tierra del Fuego. During the short crossing, we watched as a pod of dolphins swam next to our boat. It was one of the most magical moments of the trip so far. It felt like a sign that we were on the right track once again. We knew we were almost there.

Tierra del Fuego

This mysterious land known as Tierra del Fuego is where the American continent reaches the bottom of the map.

The terrain remained flat for the first few hundred kilometers. There was still no sign of the mountains as we drove across the island of Tierra del Fuego – the Land of Fire. This landmass was given this ominous name by the sailor of which the straight was named after, Magellan. Apparently when he sailed passed this point, the locals on the island had set massive fires, and it was this image that stuck with him later when he told the story of this passage. The name stuck.

Tierra del Fuego. 2005.

The island is divided into two countries, and too drive to the bottom of the Island, we would have to cross the Chilean part before going back into Argentina to reach our final destination. It was getting late and we had traveled a long distance to get here.

No Man’s Land

Unfortunately the Argentina and Chile are in different time zones. While we were quickly able to cross the Argentinan customs post, when we arrived to the Chilean side, it had already closed for the day.

This of course meant we would have to spend yet another night sleeping in our car. This time it was in no man’s land. At one point a border patrol guard came up to the window of our car and tried to question us. We explained our situation to him, and after trying to explain to him in broken Spanish why were were sleeping in our car in between two countries. We were surprised that this hadn’t happened before. He left us alone to sleep in peace. We woke up with the sun the next morning and were able to continue our journey south. We were first in line when the border opened.

It took us over 7 hours to drive through Chile but by the next afternoon, we were back in Argentina on the road to Ushuaia.

Reaching the end of the World

We continued through the barren landscapes until slowly we could see the view of the southern mountains appearing in the distance. They grew larger and larger.

The road entered  into the mountains, and we made our way passed the final hurdle of our trip, winding through the mountain roads. Around midnight, after endless hours of driving, we rounded the last pass and we could see the lights of the town glowing in the distance. We had finally arrived in our destination – Ushuaia. This was it! We had made it to the bottom of the world.

This was the end of the road. The furthest south city in South America, and the world. While not the farthest inhabited place in the world – there was a few settlements to the south in Chile, which was separated from us by the Beagle Channel. These islands would dispute the claim that we had arrived at the bottom.

As a tourist, this was about as far as you could go. It felt like such a grand accomplishment, especially after everything we had been through to get here. We had driven over 3500km to get here. We had slept in the car. Driven day and night. And now we had arrived. We had competed the first stage of our journey. Now it was time to turn around and go back.

It was winter, so we did the most obvious thing; go swimming.

Going for a swim in the Beagle Channel. 2005.

Of course the journey was only half over. We spent a day exploring Ushuaia. We went for a swim in the Beagle Channel while a light snow fell.

Turing around and doing it all again

Our journey was only halfway done; we still had to take the car back to Buenos Aires. The route back north we would be driving along the edge of the Andes. In only a few short days back we would be back in mountains near El Calafate.

The bottom of the world is where we met several other travelers on journeys similar to ours. Our group befriended many other travelers here, and a group of Swedes who were about to drive a Volkswagen Van to Alaska (a few months later, they would succeed in this mission, and I would once again see the white Volkswagen in Canada). That’s a story for another time.

The next day, we packed up the car and continued the adventure.

Finished our swim in the Beagle Channel. 2005.

With the car pointed north gain, it was once again time to cross Tierra del Fuego. We left Ushuaia early, knowing that we would once again have to deal with the weird borders. We drove all day and arrived at the border crossing at 9:30 pm, shortly before they closed. The Chilean guards let us know that the last ferry to the mainland would be leaving soon, and if we wanted to make it we would have to drive fast.

The border guards told us that the only way we could make the ferry back was if we hurried. Determined to not sleep in the car, we put our foot to the floor and made up as much time as possible. The road was a gravel, and maintaining an average speed of 70 km/h was difficult, but we made it to the ferry with about 7 minutes to spare. Once we were back on the mainland, we traveled west through Chile towards Puerto Natales.

Torres del Paine

We drove through the night once again, stopping only for gas and some food. By mid morning we had arrived at one of the most impressive National Parks in all of South America, Torres del Paine.

Torres del Paine. 2005.

This was a bit of a detour from our trip back to Argentina, but the views of this mountain range were well worth the trip. This place is popular with outdoor enthusiasts, mountain lovers are trekkers. We saw herds of wild

An impressive grouping of mountains and glaciers, several lakes and waterfalls awaited us upon arrival. We managed to take some amazing photographs and explore the views, but by the time we made it to the front gates of the park, they were closed for the day. After taking some pictures and we turned around. We didn’t have time to explore this place fully, but it still stands out as one of the best places i have ever been.

Disappointed that we couldn’t see more, we decided to cut our losses and try to make it back to the Argentina border instead.

Torres del Paine. 2005.

Route 40

On the road again, we soon made it to the border crossing and were back in Argentina. Thanks to the border hopping, we now had 8 or 2 new stamps in our passports. We were soon back on our way to El Calafate. We decided to spend another night here before making the long journey north. This, of course, meant we got to enjoy another Super Lomo sandwich the next morning. It lived up to our memories of the week before. It was still the best sandwhich any of us had ever had.

Middle of nowhere gas station. 2005.

The highway that runs the length of the Argentinian Andes is Route 40, a long and mostly unpaved route that holds the same sort of lore that Route 66 does in the United States. The weather along the mountains was cloudy and stormy for the first day, which unfortunately meant that we had to skip the impressive town of El Chalten and some of the crystal blue glacial lakes.

We drove many uncountable hours north, taking turns driving and sleeping. For two days we continued like this, driving in and out of stormy blizzards which covered the road in snow. We had to drive most of the time along the shoulder of the road because the low clearance of our tiny hatchback couldn’t handle the endless km’s of the road underneath.

Somewhere in the Andes. 2005.

During this stretch, I personally drove for 19 hours straight, during a twisted test of my own endurance, which only included stops for gas and dinner. This is still a personal record which I don’t plan on ever trying to break.

El Bolson and Bariloche

Despite the endless hours of driving, the views were spectacular. We passed by mountains, lakes, and rivers. Snowy landscapes and small towns.

One of the highlights of this drive through the mountains was the small town of El Bolson. We were told this place was a lot like Berkley, California. We spent a few hours here admiring the amazing scenery – and local produce – before making the last leg of our journey along route 40, a final2-hour drive to Bariloche.

Bariloche is a beautiful city which sits on the shore of a massive lake in the mountains of the Andes. It would be our final stop along route 40. The town was full of young people, a thriving nightclub scene and had a ski-resort vibe. The largest ski resort in South America – Cerro Catedral – is only 30 minutes away.

It was the start of winter, and the resort had yet to open up for the season. We arrived on Thursday night and decided to spend the weekend here before heading back to Buenos Aires. We had to have the car back by Monday.

Sunset in Barlioche. 2005.

Shattered Glass

We partied here for two nights and were prepared to leave early on Sunday morning, only to find out our car had been broken into. Jeff had a camera stolen, and myself a sleeping bag, amongst a couple small items that had been in the car. Fortunately, the car rental agency had an office in town; they gave us a loaner car for 24 hours and a free day of rental while they fixed the smashed window.

It also meant we got to spend one last day in town, and of course meant going out for drinks one last time. Bariloche became one of our favorite places on the continent. It was the type of place you could see yourself spending an entire winter snowboard season.

Sadly, this would be the last stop on our two week trip. We left Route 40 behind us and began the journey east back to Buenos Aires. We once again planned to travel through the night and into the next day.

The road back to Buenos Aires

The way back to the city was a long drive, and we ended up driving for over 24 hours to make the journey in time. We took turns behind the wheel, making this long drive possible.

As the sun rose on our 15th day on the road, we had to make a direct shot back to Buenos Aires. There was a deadline; we needed to have the car back by 4pm, and my last turn behind the wheel was the final 100km before the city. The problem was, we had an hour and a half to make the drive, in the middle of rush hour traffic.

Patagonia. 2005.

Driving in South America can be difficult at times, the customs of the road are different than they are back home. Additionally, driving in one of the biggest cities in South America was not something to be taken lightly. Somehow I managed to weave my way through the bumper to bumper traffic, avoiding the other crazy drivers on the Autopista.

As we arrived on Avenida 18 de Julio, we knew we were getting close. But we were now on the world’s widest road with only a few minutes left to spare. We made it just in time and had the car back at the rental agency in time. Over the 15 days, we averaged almost 600 km a day, driving a grand total of just over 8700km. This included a few days where we were stopped, with no driving at all.

Back to Buenos Aires

The car was in much worse shape the day we returned it than the day we picked it up. It had a new front passenger side window, a replacement fuel pump underneath and a wobble in the steering. We were all a part of that car that drove nearly 9000 km across Patagonia.

With all the things that had happened to us, we were thankful to have included the insurance before we left the rental agency two weeks later.

Official “cover photo” for our made up band. 2005.

We spent another 2 weeks in Buenos Aires, waiting for a football match – a highly anticipated World Cup Qualifier between Argentina and Brazil. Our time in Argentina was nearing its end, and we only had another 5 weeks left before our flights back to Canada. We were still a long way from Peru.

We accomplished impressive distances we probably shouldn’t have in such a short time, driving to the end of the world and back again was no easy task. Nothing would compare to these 15 days spent on the road. We had forged friendships that we made would last a lifetime. It was an unforgettable adventure.

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Journey to the End of the World
Journey to the end of the world.

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