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Old 12-22-2012, 04:38 PM   #76
Adv Grifter
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Different mind set regards vacationers vs. travelers. "Vacationers" don't really disconnect from life/family at home ... are always on gringo money, gringo time and gringo values. "Travelers" tend towards leaving it all behind. You guys aren't quite there with a 6 week stint ... but at least you've time to cover the area you want to see, take your time and enjoy the ride. Super good. Hope the weather brightens up for you.

Sorry for my screw up on the distance between Bariloche and San Martin.
Ages since I was there. I came up on a Freighter from Punta Arenas, through the Straights of Magellan and disembarked at Puerto Mont. Came over to Bariloche from there ... and even years ago I could see it looked like a Ski Resort in Colorado or Utah. We didn't even slow down. We had friends (and a job) in San Martin, so just kept going.

I spent 7 years on the road in Latin America, only "vacations" since then ... but try NOT to be an ugly American ... learned years ago how to simply be invisible.

I too love Argentine Spanish ... the one dialect I could more or less understand after spending so much time with Argentines. "!Escuchame, Che'"
Mate
I loved the ritualistic ceremony surrounding Mate; the sharing, passing and re-filling of the Gourde. I have a question: Has anyone ever seen Mate served in a restaurant? I only ever saw it in peoples' homes ... or places of work. Never in a Cafe or restaurant. Did I miss it?

I found Mate stunningly strong ... enough to keep me up all night if ever consumed after Noon. Powerful stuff ... about triple the caffeine of strong Espresso. Locals are used to it ... not as affected.

Pray For Sun!
Buenos Aires will probably be COOKING by the time you get there. Enjoy!
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Old 12-22-2012, 08:08 PM   #77
wronski
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Heading to this area, including Bariloche, in about 2 weeks. Anything else to be aware of? Hopefully issues like these won't persist.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:41 AM   #78
nivs
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For communication between bikes, we are using Blackbox radios hardwired to a cord. One y goes to the push to talk mounted on the left handgrip and the other y goes to the headset mic and speakers. It is very simple and works very well. We have no experience with other systems, but this setup has us completely happy. We are not carrying working cell phones, and the radios are great when we split up in towns or in separate hotel rooms at night.

We have been riding through huge amounts of rain. 2 of the push to talk buttons failed. We replaced one with a spare, and dissected the failed units. We sliced open the rubber cover at a seam. This revealed a damp circuit board with a simple switch. When we pushed the switch, water came out of the switch. We sprayed WD40 on all surfaces and used silicone self bonding tape to reseal. We also taped the cord end, which is, I am certain, the moisture entered. We have taped the cord end on all 4.

I received an unsolicited email from Adam at Rocket Moto, where we purchased the units. He wanted to make sure things were going well Here is his response:

Thanks for the update. I am a bit disappointed with the push button issue. If you can give me some sort of idea what you may pass through in about 10 days, I can get another one to you. Frankly this is an issue that I did not anticipate.

I can seal another one up here before I send it. Let me know, and in any event we'll get replacements for the faulty one's when you return back home.

Have a great holiday and stay safe.

Regards,
=Adam=



Outstanding service, great products, Thanks a lot, Adam. I think we have the problem handled, but will contact you in the future if we have any more problems.

Thanks Adam.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:22 PM   #79
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:41 PM   #80
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Merry Christmas to Us!

On Christmas day we crossed the border from Argentina back into Chile at Futuleufu.

We left Trevelin and rode on about 30 miles of dirt road (great road -- well maintained) to cross the border back into Chile. The border crossing was easy and then we rode for another several hours on more dirt roads ( Very well maintained) in some of the most beautiful country I think I have ever seen. At one point I very literally had a tear in my eye because it was so beautiful!

Then around 5 p.m. I really needed a break. Despite the fact that it was a great day, it's still lots of vibration to the body and is tiring so I wanted to warm up a little and get some food. So we pulled over to the side to have a break and Nivs rode on a little ahead just to see if there was a better place to stop. About 1/2 a mile up the road he found a house with a sign out front that said "Coffeeshop" which is very strange sign for Chile and especially strange in the middle of nowhere. So we rode up to there (and keep in mind this is along a dirt road, very much in the middle of nowhere. It's not a town and there aren't really even other houses or buildings around. So we go inside...it looks a little iffy. But once we get past the chickens, two cats and a dog to the front door and get inside we realize it's actually a very nice little home with about 5 tables with bright green table clothes (no one is there but us) and a wood stove. It looks icky on the outside but is warm, clean and inviting on the inside.


I ask to the woman who lives there and runs the "coffeeshop" if we can have something to eat. She says yes, but what would we like? I say "Two of us are vegetarians. Could we have just a sandwich with tomato, avocado and cheese perhaps?" She agrees. We sit down and she brings the guys a coke and I ask for coffee with Milk. After a while...it took quite a while..,she returns to the table with two plates filled with sliced (and peeled) tomatoes and perfectly ripe avocados and sliced white cheese and homemade (AMAZING) white bread that is a little denser than normal French bread. She also brings a third sandwich which I hear was delicious that was filled with some sort of meat and an egg and I don't know what else. We were so hungry and it was so good!

After we finished our Christmas dinner we rode the final 30 miles of the day to La Junta where we found a really nice little cabin that had a woodstove in it and a little clothes washing machine so we gave ourselves a Christmas present of clean clothes and a really toasty place to sleep! :)

On the 26th we continued on the incredible Ruta 7 (also known as the Austral) to Coyhaique. Nivs had quite a bit of trouble with his chain falling off so when we got there and found a nice camping spot he and Poodle started to tear apart the chain and sprocket, intending to replace it with the spare part Poodle brought along. Sadly, it didn't fit Nivs bike so the guys rode into town -- hopefully one of them posts soon about how it all went down but the short version is that "when you need help, it's amazing that the right person materializes to help you" isn't it? They found a guy who spoke English who knew all the bike shops in Coyhaique and was on a first name basis with each. Thanks to him we were able to order what we needed and also got to go watch him and his buddies ride some motocross in the evening.

We stayed three nights in Coyhaique waiting for parts to arrive and this morning Nivs got his bike put back together again. I think he's happy to have his bike back and I'm happy to not be riding with Poodle anymore -- Being a passenger is not fun to me anymore and these bikes were not intended for two!

Today we got a late start and only rode 75 miles or so to Puerto Ibanez. Tomorrow we'll head to Puerto Tranquilo where we hope to do a few tourist outings such as take a boat to the Marble Caves and a Glacier Hike. Our plan after that is to cross the border at Chile Chico and then blast over to Buenos Aires and start saving up on really hot weather and beaches to get us through the rest of our Seattle winter.

I can't believe our trip is already 1/2 over!
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:44 PM   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wronski View Post
Heading to this area, including Bariloche, in about 2 weeks. Anything else to be aware of? Hopefully issues like these won't persist.
I'm sure you'll have a great time! I can't think of any advice to share other than be flexible with your plans. Our plans change every 3 days or so. :) Perhaps consider registering your trip on the embassy web sites. We did that and it's how we've received updates on any areas of unrest. There hasn't been much but I think it's always a good idea to have that communication channel available to you.

Have a great time!
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Old 12-29-2012, 06:47 PM   #82
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Originally Posted by rcroese View Post

Enjoy your trip south and I hope you will take time to dip back into Chile at Futaleufu. The border crossing is fairly easy there.
We did just that and what wonderful roads and incredible countryside we saw! The weather stayed pretty nice, a few rain drops but mostly just really beautiful sky. What beauty there is here, hu?
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Old 01-01-2013, 01:20 PM   #83
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Hey I know you folks!!!

Nice meeting you on the Carretera Austral the other day...my gopro caught the celebratory 'DR650 'bump'. It's been a while since I met other DR riders, hahaha. Maybe see you again in Santiago.

Happy New Year
-Nick

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Old 01-01-2013, 04:28 PM   #84
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Originally Posted by MissOrganized View Post
Our plan after that is to cross the border at Chile Chico and then blast over to Buenos Aires and start saving up on really hot weather and beaches to get us through the rest of our Seattle winter.
Your not heading south to see El Calafate and the Perito Moreno Glacier? Or Torres Del Paine National park? Ushuaia?

I am starting north tomorrow to reride the Caraterra Austral since it is so beautiful!!


Ride Safe Still might see you on the road in Argentina as I will be heading to Buenos Aires soon!
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:20 PM   #85
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Cool!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rustysauce View Post
Hey I know you folks!!!

Nice meeting you on the Carretera Austral the other day...my gopro caught the celebratory 'DR650 'bump'. It's been a while since I met other DR riders, hahaha. Maybe see you again in Santiago.

Happy New Year
-Nick

Nick -- Coolest picture ever! Hope to meet you again someday in the Pacific Northwest! Or...we will be Santiago on the 17th and 18th of this month. Let us know if you're there as well.
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Old 01-11-2013, 02:44 PM   #86
rcroese
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Hey, where are you guys? Did you make it to Ushuaia? I hope to still see reports and pictures! The Dakar made it into Salta, northern Argentina, today.

Have fun!
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:07 PM   #87
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The last 10 days

It hasn't been busy, exactly, but somehow time just slips by and I don't notice it happening. Somehow we're already only one week away from our trip ending. I'm not sure how it's possible.

Anyway, for those who are curious here's the summary of the last 10 days or so.

We left Puerto Ibanez and made it to Puerto Tranquilo. Great dirt road, ok-ish weather, and met lots of riders along the way including Nick (the guy who posted the "DR fist bump" and a KLR rider from Australia who we ended up spending the next few days with, and a couple of other riders waved to or spoke with briefly in passing. It was definitely the road for adventure riders!

Puerto Tranquilo was beautiful. It's right on the 2nd largest lake in South America and it's name is well suited as it's a very tranquil place to be. We did a few tourist things while there (someday we might get pictures posted) like hiking around on Exploradores Glacier and taking a boat to visit the Marble Caves. We were in Puerto Tranquilo for New Years and really, nothing even remotely exciting happened. We made dinner in our cabana and toasted happy new year to each other but it was about as quiet and calm as a new years can be -- no complaint, just an observation.

From Puerto Tranquilo we road to Chile Chico which included one of the most beautiful roads I've ever been on. For days leading up to it folks had been telling me it was incredibly dangerous and incredibly gravelly. Honestly, I was pretty terrified. They were all wrong. It was wonderful! It was beautiful. It wasn't dangerous or scary. I suppose we were lucky as it wasn't particularly windy but that road should be a must for adventure riders!

About 20 miles from Chile Chico Poodle noticed that my panniers were riding off center. Turns out a bolt had sheared off and a part of the welded frame had snapped. Big Bummer! Poodle took one of my panniers and Nivs took the other for the last 20 miles of the day. Luckily a) We found a Welder in Chile Chico b) we found a drill bit and borrowed a drill c) We found replacement bolts and washers and d) Poodle is awesome and managed to creatively fix the frame to be as good or better than new and by mid-day we were able to be on our way.

The next day was miserable. We rode from Chile Chico (think beautiful town) to the Argentine Coast (think ugly and boring). The road was boring, it was windy, the towns we drove through probably couldn't have been much uglier. We camped in Rada Tilly and took off the next morning for Trelew.

Riding from Rada Tilly to Trelew was pretty awesome. Poodle found a great dirt road that went along the coast for about 130 miles. It was in great condition and although wasn't the majestic views of the Andes it was still very beautiful with tiny coastal towns and crashing waves and hilly Argentne Campo. On this ride we even made a stop to see penguins! (Penguins are always fun, right?) The only bad thing about this day was it was too long. We got on the bikes around 10 a.m. and by the time we found a hotel in Trelew it was 11 p.m. (we took our time, rode over 350 miles on dirt/pavement combo, stopped several times and one of us even ran out of gas along the way). That was way too long of a day for me. However, I probably wouldn't have done it any differently either.

After the long day to Trelew we decided we needed a down day and to get some laundry done so we made it a short day of riding to Puerto Madryn and spent two nights there. What a cute beach town that is! It wasn't too busy but it was lively. It was small enough we could walk everywhere. In the evening a well known Argentine band entertained the city with a 2 hour long concert in the park. It was a very cool stop!

I forget exactly what the next day was but I think it was the most miserable day with riding 320 miles or so on straight, borning pavement with an incredibly strong side wind. Our tires now show significant wear on one side. Ugh. Miserable. Oh, and it was hot. Double Ugh. We camped again that night at a crappy little camp site near the beach not far from Viedma / Carmen de los Patagones. On this day of riding we were all wishing we had planned the trip differently -- but we needed to get to Buenos Aires so we kept pushing on!

The next day was a lovely day. Poodle found an alternative to the hellish highway 3 which took us on some beautiful two-lane non-busy roads through gorgeous field of sunflowers. We were out of the wind and all three thoroughly enjoying our ride. It wasn't a road that would go on the list of "must rides" but it made for a really pleasant and happy day for us. We stayed that night in Bahia Blanca which is a very skipable city, in my opinion. I appreciated the nice, cheap hotel we found but not only is Bahia Blanca not very interesting but it was also SUnday and the city sleeps and no shops open on Sunday. One highlight though was finding some very delcious, freshly made Empanadas. Yummo!

After Bahia Blanca we made it to Las Flores, just 125 miles from Buenos Aires. There was nothing special about this riding day. It wasn't as miserable as the worst day but also nothing to write home about. The little hotel we found in Las Flores was a bit of an oasis, except for the ants that got into all of our stuff.

Finally, we only had one more short day of riding to reach Buenos Aires. It was only 125 miles or so but it ended up being really intense because of all the huge trucks driving so close to one another and often not a safe way to get around them. Also, navigating through Buenos Aires on a motorcycle when you don't know the city at all is a bit intimidating. But we did it, and we found a palce to stay and have been enjoying the city for the last 3 or 4 days. We've been seeing lots of tourist sites, I was able to meet up with an old college friend and his family from back when I lived here, we've been soaking up the sunshine, the heat and a relaxed pace for when we return to our cold bustling lives. Today especially was quite nice with many hours sitting in the shade in beautiful plazas or under umbrellas at cafes. We'll catch a Tango show tonight and then will be off tomorrow again on the bikes, making our way back to Santiago through Mendoza.

Although I'm glad we chose to do the trip this way I would certainly make changes for a future trip. I do love Buenos Aires but the ride to get here just sucks. There's no two ways about it. I would love to have stayed on the Austral all the way down to Punta Arenas and ship the bikes home from there and then catch a flight to Buenos Aires to spend a few days vs. riding here. At least that's how i feel today -- but I always reserve the right to change my mind. :)
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:11 PM   #88
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Hey, where are you guys? Did you make it to Ushuaia? I hope to still see reports and pictures! The Dakar made it into Salta, northern Argentina, today.

Have fun!
No, we didn't make it farther south than Chile Chico. We'll have to come back sometime with the trip planned a little differently. I'm not a fast rider on dirt so I hold the guys back somewhat and we needed to get back to Santiago by a specific date and I really wanted to get to Buenos Aires. Next time we'll get all the way to Ushuaia.

The quality of internet hasn't been sufficient for picture posting so we'll have to do that when we get back home I think. Meanwhile I posted a long update on the last week or so.
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Old 01-12-2013, 12:20 PM   #89
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Nice report update, Miss O, and I know all about slow Internet connections and working while others are savoring the local beer and foods or doing much-needed work on the motos or just plain sleeping and getting some rest. People with high-speed internet and a comfortable office often don't understand that blogging and reporting from the road takes a lot of dedication and sacrifice.

I can understand your disappointment about some of the boring routes and loss of precious riding time when you only had 6 weeks and you invested a lot of planning effort and money to get you to Santiago de Chile and back. But on the other hand, you did ride some favorite roads and saw some of the best areas you can visit. Sure, it would have been nice to see the glaciers of El Calafate, the jagged mountains and the guanacos of Las Torres del Paine, the crossing of the Strait of Magellan, the mountain pass on the big island of Tierra del Fuego and a look accross the Beagle Canal in Ushuía and sending postcard from the southernmost post office in the world. But you did what you could and what you had to do within your time frame.

You will probably head back to the west coast via Córdoba (the Dakar will have a stop there on Monday the 14th), and if you have time to ride through Carlos Paz on Lago San Roque, spend some time around Mendoza and see Farrellones on your way back to Santiago, you will still have some very nice things to see. Also, the Dakar arrives in Santiago on Saturday the 19th and the podium festivities will be the next day.

Enjoy the rest of your trip.
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Old 01-14-2013, 10:56 AM   #90
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Gorilla Tape to the Ceiling

Heeeey it's ur favourite aussie, hope u had a great ride! get me on fb cause I've a bunch of photos lost ur Email !! But joined adv and stalked ur post, just in Ushy at the end of my trip. Take care and talk soon :)
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