Rainer's team approaches starting line in Ushuaia

Rainer Zeitlow agrees: there’s nothing like getting out of the city for a little weekend drive. Compared to the grueling 16,000-mile TDI-Panamericana Endurance Challenge that lies ahead of them, this 1,300-mile leg of the journey before the journey must have felt like a Sunday drive to Rainer and his team.
They stopped along the way to take in the sights, sample local delicacies and make final preparations for the Challenge, which begins on June 29th in Ushuaia, Argentina. Here’s what Rainer had to say about his weekend:

June 27th, Buenos Aires to Rio Gallegos
After packing and stuffing our luggage and equipment into the Touareg, we drove south from Buenos Aires towards the TDI-Panamericana starting point in Ushuaia. Leaving the urban areas of Buenos Aires behind us, the country rapidly changes into vast farming land with herds of cattle everywhere. Even further south, we notice the air getting dryer and the wind picking up. In Southern Argentina, the roads are long and lonely, similar to roads in Wyoming or Idaho.
We are in luck: even with winter starting here in the southern hemisphere, the weather is favorable for the Panamericana challenge. Since the TDI Touareg runs on Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel, which is not available in all countries, we are fortunate to find gas stations that have this kind of fuel readily available. In other countries, where Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel is not available, we had to position several drums of diesel fuel along our route in advance.
We arrived in Rio Gallegos on the evening of June 26th.


You can follow Rainer’s adventures online at www.tdi-panamericana.com, where you’ll find a map and live streaming video to show the Touareg’s real-time progress on the route, as well as photos and videos documenting the journey from start to finish. Be sure to check back on Wednesday, June 29th for the official Challenge kickoff! Tell us: if you could drive anywhere, where would you go?