Sat 29/10-2011 Day 61

...yes, he could use a THULE roof rack as well! 🙂

Pos: here
Loc: Club Nautico Comodoro Rivadavia and Rada Tilly
Acc: hostel in Rada Tilly
Dist: 0 km


When I took my earplugs out at 6 am in the morning, the sound of the dumper told me nothing had really changed…it was again highest tide, and it looked even more scary now…

I took a few pics, and talked to Martin about the options. He said let’s wait until 9 am, and then move to the spot further down south if nothing has changed much…

Ok…let’s wait a bit…

I heard the guys breaking camp already, as they were keen to move to a better fishing possibility. Though they fished almost all night and just slept briefly in between under the tarp in their bags, the catch seemed to be not as good here as it may be further south.

At 7.30 am Martin came already up to my tent and told me they’d like to leave…ok…nothing had marginally changed with the dumpers so early, and I shut down my laptop in the middle of my update writing and quickly packed as well.

Yesterday, when I cleared my kayak for the night of water and cobbles inside my cockpit, I turned it over as well, checking for damages…fortunately I didn’t see any! I assumed me and my baby got out of the trashing dumper landing unscathed…

We were loading my bags on top of the jeep, and then it was my kayak’s turn to be lifted on top…and then Martin said: “Look, it’s damaged!” FUCK! FUCK! AND FUCK AGAIN! Why did’t I see it yesterday? It had a crack on the side looking not too bad from inside, as right there was my patch from the cockpit bag glued safely to the kayak. But still it was a 15 cm long crack… Plus another smaller looking crack, but this one had soaked some water, as inside the last layer it had a few bubbles…

I was going through my options: A rough repair by myself on the beach wherever the guys would drop me 20 km further south, needing at least two days of first drying the spot for repair, then drying the repair itself next day…

Or I could ask them to drive me 20 km more in a direct line, 30 km along the coastline, to the Club Nautico in Comodoro Rivadavia, where Alejandro organized a contact and host for me…

I could wait there the necessary repair time while being civilized and doing some other useful work like updating my blog and editing pictures and shopping…and so on…

BUT – I was not sure at that point if I’d find some one to drive me back to Rocas Colorades where I kind of now accepted to continue the trip…and skipping possibly another 30 km – this was a hard decision to make….

But I went for the last option – getting driven directly to the Club Nautico by my friendly helpers…and had a VERY, VERY bad conscience about doing so. The driving was not too bad for the guys, as they planned to drop their gear and the quad bike at the new fishing spot, and then one guy would take me and my kayak and gear to the Club. Thanks for the offer and eventually doing so!!!

But the other thing was me possibly skipping 50 km or more of the coastline on my circumnavigation…I was not in the best mood for having chosen that option! But maybe I’d find a person happy to drive me back after everything is done…

But first the ride back, which eventually proved to be very enjoyable and a very different experience, at least until the new fishermen’s camp! We were five people now, they had a two-seated old jeep and a quad bike for two adult people (it was not Ariel who was fitting himself plus three kids on such a thing…)

The beautiful, but sad ride out of the camp on the quad bike

I was asked to take the back seat on the quad bike – jippeh! and Martin went on top of the load on the jeep, watching my baby and the whole gear load piled up high on the jeep.

The jeep had a hard time on the soft wet gravel

My driver on the quad bike took the lead, and the first maybe 5 km we drove along the half tide beach on wet gravel, passing a few small very wet areas as well. No problem for the quad bike and a fun pleasure, but the jeep with it’s heavy high load was struggling a few times. Wet small gravel is worse to handle than sand!

This corner off the beach up to the piste was tricky!

When it came to turning up the beach onto a dirt road track, the jeep got finally stuck, and we all had to jump off and out to push hard! With mutual exhausting effort, the jeep eventually got onto the dry, reasonable dirt track leading through the desert.


...and we all needed to push hard! Don't mind the dumper in the background...this was just a small one...

Until we pulled off the beach, the dumper situation was the same everywhere…no changes…and I felt allright to play it safe to get away from here.


Desert ralley with kayak...

The next section through the desert mountains on the rough, but drivable track, was as beautiful for me as it could be! I enjoyed being on the bike, and wouldn’t have minded to a go myself 🙂


My ride on the quad bike on the desert piste
The jeep with Martin on the back, watching my baby and the guys and my gear

I took plenty of pics and videos, as the ride was quite exciting! We had to wait again and again for the jeep to follow safely, as my driver liked speed…


Sometimes both co-drivers had to hang to one side as a long as the jeep doesn't fall to either side...

The track was tilting a few times quite high on one side, going deep through a dry river canyon, and to prevent the high loaded jeep falling over, the two co drivers hung to one side as a counter weight to my kayak on the other side…thank goodness it fell on neither side!


Jeep straight again, counter weights can relax!

The landscape was looking as picturesque and colorful as I ever can imagine a desert to be, the bare rocks changing colours everywhere, and dry river canyons cutting through. No trees, not much vegetation…and then the view to the new stretch of coast line opened up! It was the rocky reef spot “Rocas Colorades”, now on low tide visible everywhere. And it showed up lots of calm gulleys for easy launching as well…


And we kept on riding through the desert!

My heart was hurting I’d not paddle along there (now), and excited at the same time to be able to enjoy the view from a very different perspective! It was really something I’d not have missed out on for a second!


The new beach had lots of rocks displayed on low tide, and plenty of easy launching areas...but...
...downhill to the first shed!

We had to climb downhill with the vehicles a bit to get back on the beach, and this was quite exciting as well! Eventually, at the bottom of the beach, there was a first fishermen’s tin shelter, but the guys kept on driving along the beach for a while. We were passing another shelter, this time occupied by a few guys, and another one in quite a bad state.

But the first shed wasn't the guy's goal for the day
PA290337.JPG some more beach driving to do...
...along impressive canyon gaps
on gravel beach on low tide.
Sometimes the gravel changed to solid rock on the beach
This shed wasn't the goal either and in a doubtful state...but it had a sign! Probably saying: "Keep off! This is mine...!"
PA290348.JPG I'd loved to have paddled here...

The next one was the destination – just three tin walls open to the roof and to one side, located in a river mouth which made for a dent in the high cliffs. It was enough to set up the new camp for the guys! A tarp over the walls, lighting a new fire, and that was it. And – for sure – getting the fishing gear ready!

This spot was not a good place for launching with some lines of surf rolling over the reef, but this was not the option now any way…if I’d was to be launching somewhere, it would have been at the first hundreds of meters on the new beach with lots of calm areas. But I had to let them pass by on my quad bike back seat…

We unloaded both vehicles, and re-loaded my bags on the back of the jeep. I hugged the two remaining guys, and thanked them very much for their help and company!

This part of the trip into civilisation was more sad for me, when the beach driving turned into a gravel road to town...

The quad bike followed us for a while, I think for the safety of the jeep driving on the beach again for a few km until it led to a solid dirt track higher up leading eventually to town.

My jeep driver didn’t speak any English, so the final drive to town was quiet and a very sad ride for me, not knowing if I’d be able to paddle most of the missing distance…

The line of smaller villages and cities around Comodoro Rivavdavia was living all off oil and mining in the desert, it was quite a different area! High petroleum tanks every where…


This desert area lives off oil and mining

The quad bike eventually turned off some where, after we secured my kayak again on the bow, as it started hopping up and down on the rough track.

One of a kind way of doing religious shrines here, with donating empty bottles, as he shouldn't die of thirst in the desert...

And then we were soon in the buzz of the Saturday afternoon in town…not my place to be. Should I rather have stayed on the beach trying a rough repair? I felt as guilty and a sad as I could…not arriving at the Club like a “hero”, but to admit defeat arriving with a broken boat…

But the guys at the Club, especially Maxi who was very helpful and speaking very good English, welcomed me warmly and were proud of having me there!

I got the offer to stay at the small TV room, and moved my bags in there. My kayak got inspected by the local handyman expert in boat repairs, working on other floating objects at that time, and he offered to repair the boat with two patches from the outside himself. Well…he’d probably do a much better job than I’d be ever able to do! And I could do something else in between…

While I had my well deserved shower, the guys were deciding due to Saturday nights’ party in the club it would be better I went to another club in Rada Tilly, 30 km down the coast…but my kayak would be repaired here at this club! I at least washed my baby clean of all salt and grime, and let it dry in the warm after noon sun. I was hoping to check on my rudder as well, but Maxi wanted to leave for Rada Tilly now. We loaded my bags again, and drove to the club first where we met Solange, the president, and a few other people having lunch. I got a sandwich, and then we went to Maxi’s house to do my laundry. Thanks!

While I was already jumping online as the washing machine was working, we moved later to a small pension hotel for my first night, paid for by the club. Many thanks!!!

I had internet there, sitting outside on the patio, and was up until midnight typing, until it became too chilly and I became too tired to carry on working… .

19 comments on “Sat 29/10-2011 Day 61

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Great pictures, well worth waiting for. Glad your computer is ok again. Sure you’ll find a way back to your take out spot. Enjoy the break!

Meike Michalik

Freya, du erlebst Schönes.Toll zu wissen, dass es noch hilfsbereite Menschen gibt. Deine Bilder sind toll, was für eine Natur 🙂 !!!!
Weiterhin das Beste für dich, grüsse aus Dk

Don S

Everything about this expedition of yours is EPIC, from the kayak you paddle to the water conditions to the scenery, wildlife, weather, tides, currents, breakers, reefs, and the kind and generous people you have met. You are such an inspiration! Hopefully you’ll get your boat repaired and be able to get back on your route soon, being fully rested. Your pictures are incredible! Your journalling is excellent!
Be safe!
An addicted follower,
Don (from the Pacific Northwest, the Columbia Plateau)

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