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  • Writer's pictureseimaistato

Hitch-hiking in Patagonia

Updated: Jan 17, 2023

Chile, December 2017

An Italian, a Chilean, a Portuguese, a Romanian and a Spanish had decided to rent a car and drive around the land that, between Chile and Argentina, is called 'Tierra del Fuego'.

Having landed at Punta Arenas airport, in the Chilean part of Patagonia, the man of the company from which we were supposed to rent the car decided that if our intention was to cross the border and go to the Argentinean part, the cost of the car would triple. That was the moment we decided to hitchhike.

The mochileros are those who travel with backpacks. It is very common to hitchhike in Patagonia, it is one of the safest areas in South America. Our problem was that, being five of us, no car could take us all together, and so, somewhat for fun, the hunt for trucks going south was born. Our first destination was Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world, 700 km from our starting point. It took us four trucks and 24 hours to get there, but it was an extraordinary experience. The longest route, between the Strait of Magellan and San Sebastian, a city that was not on our schedule, was with an Argentinean gentleman, super nice and friendly, who allowed us to stay on his bed 'to be a bit more comfortable'. He was coming from Buenos Aires, he was travelling all the way along route 3, that road that crosses the whole of Argentina. We sang, danced, drank a good mate and shared stories. He was the one who, one kilometre from the Argentine border, told us 'I'll wait for you one kilometre later because in theory you should not come with me'. It was 11pm and it was still light. We passed the various controls and after a twenty-minute walk, he was there waiting for us.

The following day two Argentinean guys travelled with us, in the back of another truck, who were travelling through Patagonia and were heading south like us.

We played cards together, jumping here and there between one hole and another.

In total, we hitchhiked almost 1,200 km.

On the road to Patagonia

In the back of a truck - direction Ushuaia

First stop

Waiting for someone

The border at 11pm

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