The challenge
 South America

December 1st
Temperature +22 till + 27 degrees Celsius 693 km

This morning we took it easy, went into town for shopping and it was planned to leave at around 02.00 pm. Kokki had changed tyres in the morning and it looked that beautiful that the others wanted to have those too. So we first left for the tyre shop. Santiago has it! A large center with only car dealers and suppliers of all automotive equipment you can think of. This all meant that we only left Santiago at around 05.00 pm. We drove very fast and managed to reach Temuco within 6 hours. We found a nice Holiday Inn Express hotel and after plundering the bar and the kitchen we went to bed for a nice rest.

December 2nd
Temperature + 12 till + 26 degrees Celsius 720 km

Today we wanted to drive as much as possible, but remember Murphy!!! This little bastard is always there!!! The roads were excellent, so by now you all know what this means……right, full speed…….and that means 200 and more of course. We were just in time to catch the ferry to Chiloe a large island. From the south of this island we wanted to take the ferry to Chaiten, on the main land of Chili again. At 05.30 pm. we arrived in Quelon and we were told that the ferry would leave at 06.00 pm. Just in time we were at the port and there it was confirmed that the ferry would leave at 06.00 pm……. only at next Saturday, the 6th!!! Thank you Murphy !!! We decided to rent the complete Ferry-boat exclusively for ourselves and we managed to make a deal with the shipping company. For 2.000.000,00 pesos (equals $ 3.400,00) we had rented the complete boat for a trip of 5 hours. We didn't want to sleep in Quelon, because most of the fishermen were drunk and we were warned for these men and their violence. We drove one hour back to Castro, the capital of the island and found accommodation for the night.

December 3rd
Temperature + 8 till +22 degrees Celsius

Still suspicious we called the shipping company at 07.00 am. From Castro and it was confirmed that our private boat would arrive at around 10.30 am. So we left Castro heading for Quelon again. We arrived just in time to see our boat arriving. And at 12.15 pm. we were really sailing on our own ferry-boat. The whole ship was ours and we could go where-ever we wanted. The sea was calm and the sun and the clouds were fightning for their positions.At 05.30 pm.we arrived at our destination. Now it was necessary to "do" some km's in order to reach our final destination Ushuaia at the end olf this week. The fastest route down to the south-east was the "Carretera Austral" a non paved road, accross an unbelievable beautiful scenery, sometimes rough and threatening, sometimes romantic Maxi didn't agree about this romantic part, since he scored his second flat tyre. One of his brand new Mastercraft tyres was completely gone and Jent had to cut the tyre from the wheel. We had to do at least 300 more km on these unpaved roads. Being afraid to run out of spare tyres, we decided to drive 50 km back and to take another road that within 100 km would put us on the paved roads again. At 09.00 pm. we reached the border with Argentina but this border was already closed for the night. We found a very nice accommodation for the night at the border village Futaleufu. The owner of this place had driven the Panamericana Highway from Alaska already 20 years ago. So at least we had found someone who understood our passion.

December 4th
Temperature +8 till + 23 degrees Celsius 1240 km

Before reaching Ushuaia we had to travel through Chili agian. So two more bordercrossings were necessary: Argentina-Chili and then finally Chili-Argentina. A great part of the road was unpaved again, but we got used to this and really did high speeds. 150 km/h on gravel roads feels as slippery as driving on snow. Sometimes the roads were wet and we didn't get bothered by the dust, but when the roads were dry, the dust was a real problem and forced us to keep enolrmous distances in order to see anything. Suddenly Einstein felt his car sliding away and the noise he heart didn't predict good things!! Should we loose one of our cars that close to our destination? Coming to a complete stop, we saw a flat tyre, Einstein's third and the sixth in total. Lifting the car for a tyre change we discovered that the flat tyre was caused by the complete wheel being broken!!! What a luck this didn't happen with 200 km/h on the motorway. The parts of the broken wheel didn,t cause any damage to vital parts of brakes and suspension, so just changing it was enough.

December 5th
Temperature +4 till + 18 degrees Celsius .... km

Reaching Ushuaia today was an opotion, but then we would arrive very late in the evening, so we decided to spend the night with still 300 km to go for Ushuaia. The roads varied from very good paved till bad unpaved with a lot of mud. Various road works caused their delays, but further it was a smooth and easy day.

December 6th
Temperature + 7 till + 20 degrees Celsius 300 km

Leaving around 10.00 am. we had to do our last 250 km. The road was unpaved again and slowly we drove towards our final destination. Realising that we almost had made it, our wet eyes caused more problems then the road conditions. Strange to realise that soon it would be all over, mission completed. We were all left alone with our own thoughts about this adventure with all its narrow escapes, the beautiful and constantly changing scenery, the friendly people we had met and last but not least about our flight back home and the reunion with our beloved ones back in our little Holland.


At the city border we made our victory pictures and then we headed for our hotel Las Hayas Resorts. A beautiful place in the mountains overlooking our goal Ushuaia.

At Saturday night the 6th we celebrated "Sinterklaas" with poems we had made for each other and it was a fantastic closing of our adventure.

The next day we decided to do some sight-seeing and we took "El tren del fin du mondo" (The train to the end of the world) across a national park. This decision almost became the end of our group as well. After a stop and having completed half of this train-ride our first class wagon, third in the row of four wagons got from the rail track!!! The wagon was shaking and jumping and some fellow passengers from Suisse really got into panic. We opened the door and hanging out of the wagon we waved and shouted towards the train-driver who noticed just in time our signals and stopped the train. The swiss people jumped in panic out of the train, followed by us. We decided not to wait for the rescue train and so we continued our train-ride by foot, following the railway. It took us almost one hour to reach the station again. We saw the funny side - having driven 25.000 km from north to south and getting injured or killed in an innocent looking train-ride - and could laugh about this experience.

Since it was Saturday when we arrived and Monday was a local holiday we could only ship our cars on Tuesday December 9th. At 06.00 pm. the last container with our cars was closed and sealed.


Wednesday morning we flew to Buenos Aires, scheduled to leave for Holland next day at 02.45 pm. Wednesday night we enjoyed a typical Argentinian night with of course a lot of Tango dancers. Murphy had followed us to Buenos Aires, because Thursday morning we got the message that our flight to Madrid had been delayed with 4 hours till 06.45 pm. As a result we were not able to catch our connecting flight Madrid-Amsterdam and had to face another delay in Madrid of 2 hours. But don,t you worry, we will arrive on Friday, December 12th but only at 06.45 pm. with flight number IB 3250 instead of 11.15 am.

Dearest supporters, we all thank you for being such loyal visitors to our website and we want you to know that we appreciated this very much. But stay tuned, because it is our plan to modify this website when being back home again, so that we will end up with a true well-organized document on our Panamerican adventure.

Which document is meant to be our tour guide for the next Panamericana trip!!!

Having gained experience from this trip some of us are willing to do it again, but via another route. We will not drive through the Rocky Mountains, but follow the Pacific coast in Canada and North America as close as possible. In Central America we will visit El Salvador and we will drive across Colombia as well. In South America we will leave the Pacific coast as soon as possible and enter into Argentina in the North. Thus we will cross the Andes on the East-side.

Having two spare months available and willing to invest this time and the money in the exciting Panamericana experience? Leave your E-mail address in the Guest Book and we will send you the terms and conditions for your participation.

Bye for now and who knows: See you some time somewhere!

Best regards from the Ushuaia part of the team
Max Bertrams
Jan de Boer
Joost van Eeuwijk
Wil Koks
Rachel Nieborg
Sonja Vishnudatt
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