Blogs from Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz, Argentina, South America


South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » Río Gallegos February 8th 2018

I am lucky enough to have family at the southernmost point of the continent. After saying goodbye to Marty (who would continue his ride up the Argentine coast, back to Santiago to see his son) and Rob (who was flying back to Calgary) I took the bus to Rio Gallegos. My uncle John Blake and aunt Monica have lived in the Falkland Islands and Patagonia for over 50 years, running sheep farms. They eventually bought their own, across the river from Rio Gallegos, and retired there. My cousin Steve now runs the farm after his father passed away in 2014. It covers some 33,000 ha ( 82,000 acres ) with some 12,500 sheep, more or less. The visit was educational, as well as a lot of fun. Steve is coming off a career with the West ... read more
The main house at Killik Aike farm.
Houses and offices at the farm, behind a creek.
Valley with sheep grazing

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » Río Gallegos December 5th 2013

Frueh weg, diesmal war es ein laaaaaaaaaaaaaanger Tag mit etwa 800 km, verschoenert durch Regen bei der Abfahrt. Der Regen hielt 2/5 des Weges an, ich nehme an, dass die meisten bis dahin recht feucht waren. Dazu kam der Wind (heute kein Sturm) - wegen dieses Windes war ich den 2. Tag im Van. Und ich war ganz froh, denn der Tag war schrecklich lang. 99 % der Strecke sassen wir im Van und maulten ueber die langweilige Landschaft: brettel-eben, kerzengerade Strasse, leicht wellig, ganz leichte Kurven, Guanakos, Schafe, sonst garnix. Erst die letzten 1 % hatten wir einen anderen Grund, um zu maulen: Valdivia ist eine extrem scheusliche Stadt, auch wenn sie direkt am Meer liegt. Hotel modern und schoen. Zudem hatte sich die Temperatur im Laufe des Tages von 5 Grad bei der Abfahrt ... read more

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » Río Gallegos April 2nd 2011

I'm in rio gallegos waiting for my bus to puerto madryn. The bus trip from punta arenas to rio gaallegos wasn't that exciting. When I came to Chile it was snowing on the Argentinian side and sunny in Chile; now again, sun in Chile and rain in Argentina...but the weather changes quite quickly here in the south. At least it's getting warmer and puerto madryn should be quite nice. How do you know you're in Chile (or at least in Punta Arenas)? 1) nobody drinks mate 2) traffic light and police everywhere 3) you don't understand the people :) 4) salsa, bachata, merengue everywhere :) and rafaga! Chile usually switches to winter time on the 2nd of April, but this year they decided to do it on the 7th of may. Apparently, not all Chileans know ... read more

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » Río Gallegos November 9th 2010

Hello everyone We have made it quite far south, to the city of Rio Gallegos. What an amazing journey we have had getting here. We left Rosario for Bahia Blance and then took a little bus to a small town called Monte Hermoso and there Thor got to swim in the Atlantic for the first time. There was not too much happening in that town but we got to set up our tent and have the beach all to ourselves and watch bunny rabbits in the sand dunes. Then we headed further South to Puerto Madryn, a gateway city to the Peninsula Valdes which is a huge wildlife attraction. We set up camp in a campsite on a cliff overlooking the ocean and just about everytime you looked to the water you could see right whales ... read more
sea lions

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » Río Gallegos March 29th 2010

On the road early we stopped to watch the sun rise over the Atlantic, realising that we have never actually watched the sun rise before. Not intently like this, seeing the colours change every few seconds. We stopped at lunchtime at a petrified forest. Volcanic activity 150 million years ago covered fallen trees in ash, starving them of oxygen and prolonging the decomposition process. When rain fell, it filtered through the ash into the trees, replacing organic matter with minerals. This process took 8-10,000 years and today the fallen trunks look exactly like natural wooden tree trunks in their colours and shapes. It is only when you touch them that you realise they are solid rock. Crazy! Back on the bus we finished our second book in a week and have many more hours to stare ... read more
Petrified Forest
Petrified Forest
Petrified Forest

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » Río Gallegos February 24th 2010

Sometimes buses are late in South America. In fact, most of the time they arrive at the desired destination with a delay between 1 and 3 hours. ;o) My delay of 3 hours was too much - too much to reach the connection from Patagonia down to Tierra del Fuego. Unfortunately, there are only two bus companies that offer a service down to Ushuaia and one of them is booked out permanently. So I was stuck in a city called Río Gallegos for a day, as the next bus would only leave at 8am the next morning. And I have to be thankful that I got a bus ticket to Ushuaia for the next day - as also the second bus company is usually fully booked. ;) Río Gallegos was by far the dodgiest town I ... read more
Home Sweet Home part 2 - old style Thonet chairs in the Pioneers' Museum
and there is the proof! ;)

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » Río Gallegos February 23rd 2010

So after the long road south, it was time to head north again and hopefully to the warmer weather! There is nowhere to go from Ushuaia but north. Our plan from here is to head north through Argentina up the coast to Puerto Madryn and then crossing the country to Bariloche and the lakes region, heading north again, up to Mendoza and finally crossing back into Chile around 14th or 15th March. Only 4 weeks of our big road trip left! We expected to see Liz and Phil somewhere along the road on our way north through Tierra del Fuego, and sure enough, about 40kms north of a small town called Tolhuin, we saw them and their bikes stopped at the roadside having lunch. We pulled over and made them a cup of tea and offered ... read more
Crossing Rio Santa Cruz - it's a glacial river coming straight from Lago Argentino in PN Los Glaciares
Guanaco by the roadside
The dot on the road is an armadillo!

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » Río Gallegos February 5th 2010

Travelling is harder than it looks, folks. We arrived in the Buenos Aires domestic arport at 9 pm on Feb. 3rd for our 11 pm flight to Rio Gallegos. There was no need to show up so early as the airport was practically empty. They had to turn on the X-ray machine at security just for us. In fact, there was less than no need to show up early - thunderstorms had delayed our flight until a miserable 1:40 am. We arrived at the Rio Gallgeos airport around 5 am. A pretty awkward time since we were catching a bus mid-afternoon to Punta Arenas, and it was too late to bother checking in a hotel anywhere. Soon, we discovered our situation was even worse - Eva's backpack did not arrive! They told us to expect it ... read more
Sleeping in the airport
A soft hotel bed to ease our troubles...
Rio Gallegos waterfront

After my first visit about 6 weeks ago, Rio Gallegos had made it onto the list of places that I didn't want to spend time in again. I should really dispense with this list ASAP because, like with eating calafate berries in El Calafate or rubbing the toe of the Ona Indian on the monument to Magellan in Punta Arenas, once a place ends up on the list I invariably end up visiting it again. In the case of Rio Gallegos, it was entirely my own fault. I have a routine when flying in which, soon after take-off, I change my clock-containing gadgets such that they are all set to the destination time. Despite the travelling I've done over the last couple of years, I unfortunately haven't internalised that same routine for land-based border crossings. Thus ... read more
Building detail
Train graveyard

South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz » Río Gallegos April 27th 2008

Day 206 - Sunday 13 April Having only had 4 hours sleep I had to get up as it was time to check out. I then proceeded to the bus station where I had a bus taking me to Rio Gallegos. I'm travelling to Ushuai the most southern city in the world but the bus leaves El Chalten at 4 in the morning. Rather than have a night of interupted sleep i'm going to spend the night in Rio Gallegos 4 hours away, then get the morning bus there to Ushuai. Not much happened on the bus journey and I arrived in Rio Gallegos just before 5pm. As im only passing through I went to the tourist information office all bus stations in Argentina have and found the location of the nearest hostel to the bus ... read more

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