Argentina, Pico Truncado - Dirt Desert Road

Woke up to a dry tent, desite the downpour in the middle of the night.  We had a quick pack up and then attempted to make breakfast.  We have been saving this chocolate oatmeal and we decided to crack it open for our big day on the road.  It was very bitter.  After one taste we tossed it which was very hard for us since we almost never waste food.  We hightailed it to the next town to get some decent food into us. 

Pulling into San Julian we found the YPF, a gas station chain which we have also made a habbit of eating at.  Reading the history of the town we discovered this is where Magellan first landed to discover Patagonia.  When he landed, he noted the grand size of the people and named then patgons, which translates to big feet.  This then meant the land was Patagonia.  He held the first mass on the end of the main street where a cross now sits, right adjacent to a replica of Magellans ship which is also a sight to see.

From here we headed further north to our next destination of the day, the petrified forest.  Some 50 km off of Routa 3 the park is located.  In looking at the map, I can tell you there is nothing for a good 50 km in all directions. The park was quite interesting and these huge fossilized trees were scattered about which were up to 2 meters in diameter.  We did a little 2 km loop around the park in which we both sweat alot since we were both still dressed for the Tierra del Feugo weather. A quick stroll through the museo which gave many samples and a description of the process.

We decided to take a break from the strong winds situated on Routa 3 and head around on the dirt roads.  The temperature changed as much as the scenery.  The barren windswept plains turned into a desert enviroment.  We really got the feeling of being alone, along the 150 km stretcvh of road, we passed only 2 cars.  Wildlife was more present, the typical guanacos (llamas) and ostrichs which ran in every direction including in front of you as we passed, but also wild horses which would gallop along with you for a good time at around 50 kmph.  The road was longer than the tar but far more interesting and when the sun began to fall it made for some amazing sights which we attempted to capture in the photos.
Just as we could see our headlights on the road, we were pulling into what we thought was a small town, turns out its some sort of oil hub.  It isnt listed in our rough guide, so i believe we are safely off the gringo trail for the night.  Found a hotel on the main drag and diner in the attached reastaurant.  Time for some rest.  Our destination tommorrow is Penninsula Valdes where many of the whale shots from Planet Earth are shot and Punto Tombo where there is one of the largest penguin colonies in SA.  Keep you all updated on how far we make it.

Looks like the Spot has started to kick in again, we will click as often as we can and hope they all go through.
Eduardo is staying in Santiago for the time being, he has his plate and is ready to go. 

Heres a YPF tank here in Argentina for all you folks at CH2M Hill to analayze.