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Where a journey through Africa became a journey around the world

date of entry 04/12/1996
mileage 159,714

capital Buenos Aires

area 2.780.400 km²

population 40.518.425

GDP 611,751 Bill. US-Dollar

official language Spanish

The proud nation at the southern tip of the American continent was a home fixture for Gunther Holtorf. He had lived here in the 1960s. It was his first foreign posting with Lufthansa. His wife Christine, however, had no knowledge of America at all. After five years in Africa, therefore, they decided relatively spontaneously to send Otto across the Atlantic. And so, what had started as a journey through Africa turned into a world tour.
  • Apart from sheep, the main creatures living here are penguins.
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  • The Casa Rosada in the capital, Buenos Aires, serves as the presidential residence, which makes it, so to speak, Argentina’s pink "White House".
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  • Mar del Plata, the Argentine Riviera, is the biggest seaside resort on the South American Atlantic coast. In summer, tourists lie here squeezed together like sardines. The towel sets are numbered consecutively.
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  • Christine and Gunther Holtorf and Otto looked for somewhere quieter, south of the town. A storm in the night almost blew Otto over.
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  • Gauchos on horseback drive the cattle at a village festival somewhere in the Pampas. Rodeos such as this are part of the occasion.
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  • In the Argentine interior, being a gaucho is still one of the most common occupations, because the cattle on the huge "estancias" have to be herded together regularly.
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  • Petrified tree trunks in the south of Argentina, halfway from Buenos Aires to Tierra del Fuego: the Bosque Pedrificado.
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  • One of the many crossings over the Andes to Chile, here north of Mendoza through the Paso San Francisco.
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  • In all, Otto visited Argentina about a dozen times during his tour and crossed the Andes via all the usable passes.
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  • The roads in the Andes often lead through rugged rock formations.
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  • Otto near Salta in the north of the country, by the route of the Tren de las Nubes, the "Train of the Clouds".
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  • Otto parked at the foot of the most famous bridge on the route of the "Tren de las Nubes" on his drive through the Andes.
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  • Lamas in front of impressive candelabra cacti. The snow-covered Andean Ridge is visible in the background.
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  • Open-air body care: Christine Holtorf cut her husband’s hair throughout the tour. "So that it looked exactly as she wanted," he says.
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  • The Iguazu Falls are one of the country’s best-known sights. They are on the Brazilian border and are up to 82 metres high.
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  • In many places, wind and water have eroded the softer rock of the Andes, creating spectacular formations.
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  • Most of the passes through the Andes are more than 4,000 metres high. Here, Gunther Holtorf stood at a height of almost 5,000 metres...
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  • ... and very soon had a problem: The front-wheel axle bearings came loose again. But Holtorf had all the necessary tools and spares with him.
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  • In the southern Andes, meltwater lakes often form at the foot of the mountains...
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  • ... and, time and again, provided breathtaking mirror effects – at least, when there was absolutely no wind.
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  • In Patagonia, the roads were generally not asphalted and saw hardly any traffic. Here you see Mount Fitz Roy, the landmark peak of the National Park with the same name.
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  • Huge glaciers stretch for kilometres through the landscape, breaking off into ice-cold lakes.
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  • The unending roads of Patagonia often lead through open plains. For days at a time, Otto was unable to get into fourth gear here, because the headwind was too strong.
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  • To get all the way to the southern tip of the continent, many bridges had to be crossed.
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  • Ushuaia is the southernmost city on Earth and uses this fact overtly in its advertising: Fin del Mundo – End of the World.
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  • The city has a large port, from where fresh supplies are delivered to the research stations in the Antarctic region during the southern-hemisphere summer. This is also the starting port for the many cruise ships to Antarctic.
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  • Video: Argentina – a potpourri of everything

Otto was here before ...


date of entry 27 April 1997
mileage 160,666


date of entry 01 May 1997
mileage 161,910