The small hamlet of Cameron is located slightly after the intersection of route Y-85 and Y-897. Cameron is the gateway and municipal seat of the Timaukel region of Tierra del Fuego and has about 60 inhabitants. This picturesque coastal village deserves a short detour if only to snap a couple of photos of life in this southern extreme of the world.
Tip: Take advantage of the public restrooms in the main square with a large utility sink to wash up some pots and plates from lunch. We were told there is a minimarket somewhere in town, but couldn’t actually find it (likely it was closed for the Christmas holidays).
A Note on Sleeping Arrangements in Tierra del Fuego
In general we found it tough to find a secluded place to sleep north of Pampa Guanaco, because the majority of the roads are bordered by fences marking the beginning of private estancias (ranches). We had the most luck finding places to sleep/camp along the coastal roads.
Y-85 south of Cameron is in good condition, and the drive was pretty smooth and uneventful. Approximately halfway between Cameron and Pampa Guanaco you’ll want to pass by the sawmill of Russfin. Most importantly this is your last stop for gas (in Chile) as you make your way to the south of the island. They also offer basic car maintenance and lodging options. Check out their website (spanish only) for hours and more information.
We arrived to Russfin to fill our tank only to discover they had run out of diesel, due to the volume of people travelling for the holidays. Now we know that happens. We still had over half a tank and an extra 20-L container, which we had filled in Cerro Sombrero. After some quick calculations we decided we would continue on with our plan with the fuel we had left, and cross our fingers that Russfin would have diesel on our return.
In the final leg of the journey to Pampa Guanaco, the landscape begins to change. The flat and barren pampas are slowly replaced by small shrubs and then trees, a welcome sight.