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Old 02-07-2013, 07:05 PM   #1036
Ulyses OP
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Day 116 (February 7, 2013)
Santiago, Chile
Day's Ride: 20 Miles

Today was spent running around Santiago with my head cut off trying to find motorcycle parts before I head into Patagonia and things become scarce.

The first order of business was a quick run to the Honda shop to have them check my front suspension. No issues there. Next stop was downtown at a place called iMoto, a huge parts warehouse where you literally take a number like at the DMV and wait your turn. After waiting for about 30 minutes I finally was called up and started talking to one of the helpers. I had a fun time explaining to him that I wanted a new rear sprocket, which is called a "catalina" down here. After lots of hunting through the warehouse and measuring sprockets with a micrometer, we eventually found one that would fit. Unfortunately, it's only a 42 tooth sprocket, unlike the 45 tooth one that is currently on there. It looks like I'll be going a little faster on the highways!



Next I stopped at a store called Moto Chile looking for tires. They didn't have tires, but the owner, Nader, saw that I was lacking a tank bag and immediately told me that he had a Giant Loop tank bag that would fit my bike. Normally I wouldn't be interested, but since I had lost my tank bag during the Lagunas adventure in Bolivia, I was slightly intrigued. After I told him that I was from Oregon (where Giant Loop is based) and that I had met Harold (one of the owner's of Giant Loop) in California, he was really keen on selling it to me. He pulled out a Giant Loop Buckin' Roll tank bag and slapped it on my tank and sure enough, it fit like a glove. I hemmed and hawed for a while as I don't really have the money to spend on something like that, but eventually he made me an offer that I couldn't refuse and I had to buy it.



We got some pictures together, I bough some oil from him, and all in all, I felt pretty good about the deal, despite my pocket book being a little lighter.

I spent the rest of the day hunting around for various other things. I think I've still got about 1,000 miles left on my current tires, but I reckoned that Santiago is probably the last place to buy decent tires for the next 3,000 miles or so. So, I decided that I would buy a new set and then just cart them around on the back of my bike until it was time to change. I ended up looking at either getting another set of Pirelli Scorpions, a set of Metzler Sahara's, or a set of ridiculously expensive Hydanaus. After I found out the that the Hydanaus would run me around $450 dollars and that they didn't have the Pirellis in my size, the Metzler's became the default option. This will be the third different set of tires that I've tried so far. Up until this point I think the Avon Distaznia's have been the best, but I'll have to wait and see how these Metzler's hold up.

Back at the Hostel I ended up meeting some American guys from Oregon (go figure). I was supposed to be hunting down a charger for my camera, but instead sat around drinking beer with them for a while. After a bit, I told them that I had to leave and go find a cable to charge my camera. One of them told me that he had the exact same camera as me and then just offered to straight up give me the cable to charge my camera! What a guy!

Once again, I think that the best part of a trip like this is the people that you meet and the awesome things that can happen when you do. What are the chances of meeting up with a bunch of guys from my home state, who actually know where my little obscure hometown is, and have the exact camera cable that I'm looking for? Seriously, this kind of stuff is awesome!

In summary, here is a list of what I got today:

- Tires (Metzler Sahara's) = 140,000 Pesos
- Brake Pads (Front and Rear) and Rear Sprocket (42 tooth) = 80,000 Pesos
- Giant Loop Tank Bag = 33,000 Pesos
- Disk Lock/Alarm = 29,000 Pesos
- Oil (2 liters of Motul 10W-40 Synthetic) = 13,800 Pesos
- Oil Filter = 4,000 Pesos
- Bottle Cage = 3,000 Pesos
- Camera charger cable = Free


All told, I think that adds up to somewhere around $640. Yikes. Riding a motorcycle down here can be expensive. I should have just bought an XR250 Tornado in Mexico, bought used engine oil from farmers, and ran re-treads on my wheels. Taking a big bike (even a Honda) through the land of import fees = $$$$.

In closing, I'll leave you with an interesting sight that I saw today. One of my other money absorbing hobbies back in the States is Cycling. I saw this on the window of the bicycle shop where I bought the bottle cage today. I think you could substitute motorcycles for bicycles and it would be just as true.....

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Old 02-07-2013, 07:17 PM   #1037
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Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
All told, I think that adds up to somewhere around $640. Yikes. Riding a motorcycle down here can be expensive. I should have just bought an XR250 Tornado in Mexico, bought used engine oil from farmers, and ran re-treads on my wheels. Taking a big bike (even a Honda) through the land of import fees = $$$$.
Have you thought about anybody sending you care packages as you were traveling? I am planning a trip similar to yours and figured I could convince my Mom to do something like that, with all the parts purchased before leaving on the trip.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:27 AM   #1038
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Hiya Ulyses, I've been enjoying your ride report since the beginning of December; every evening when I get home from work I pop open AdvRider to see what you've been up to for the day, where you were and where you have ended up, vicarious thrills 'doncha know'! I've donated a few pesos through paypal to help you get to your goal. From one former fellow Oregonian to another you ride fast and stay safe.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:28 AM   #1039
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Hola Ulyses,

Really enjoy following along on your travels in my downtime. Keep up the good work!

And hey! I'm finally on the same continent as you are. Oh, and when you get old and poor like me, 250s with cheap little tires and 70mpg start looking better and better for third world travel.

Enjoy Patagonia amigo,
Tio Juanito
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Old 02-08-2013, 05:55 AM   #1040
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"Up until this point I think the Avon Distaznia's have been the best."

I would have to agree, we got 18,000 miles out of the last set and only changed them (like you) because they had about 1,000 miles left in them and the next leg of the trip was far longer.

TH
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:33 AM   #1041
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Have you thought about anybody sending you care packages as you were traveling? I am planning a trip similar to yours and figured I could convince my Mom to do something like that, with all the parts purchased before leaving on the trip.
I thought about it, but it's too hard to plan ahead like that for me. I don't really have a schedule or a planned route, I just make it up as I go. An international package can take a few days to get somewhere, or it can take a few months. You just never know what's going to happen, especially with the customs process in some of these contries. Plus it's darn expensive to get stuff shipped down here. I had to get a new chain guard in Lima; they looked at importing it for me and it would have cost $40 just to ship it. And it's only like a $30 part.

I think your best bet for getting hard to find parts down here in a timely manner is to see if you can find someone that is flying down, send the part to them in the states, and have them bring it with them. Byron and Isabel, the two brits I met in Texas in September, were able to find a bunch of people through this forum who worked together to bring them a new wheel and a bunch of suspension parts for their 1979 BMW R100RS. Amazing stuff.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:38 AM   #1042
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Hola Ulyses,

Really enjoy following along on your travels in my downtime. Keep up the good work!

And hey! I'm finally on the same continent as you are. Oh, and when you get old and poor like me, 250s with cheap little tires and 70mpg start looking better and better for third world travel.

Enjoy Patagonia amigo,
Tio Juanito
John,

More and more I'm begining to see the wisdom of your ways. Unfortunately, I also enjoy being able to do 75mph on the highways...I think the only solution is to take something really prohibitively next time. Like a ducatti.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:55 AM   #1043
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Tires

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevorHeath View Post
"Up until this point I think the Avon Distaznia's have been the best."

I would have to agree, we got 18,000 miles out of the last set and only changed them (like you) because they had about 1,000 miles left in them and the next leg of the trip was far longer.

TH
Been following Ulyses, jdowns, and kedgi and would like to know if you balance your wheels when changing tires?
You all seem to get easy access to tools and equipment at the shops you stop at for repairs so just wondering.......
If not balancing, do you have much adverse effect at hwy speed?
Have fun, but ride safe!
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:06 AM   #1044
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John,

More and more I'm begining to see the wisdom of your ways. Unfortunately, I also enjoy being able to do 75mph on the highways...I think the only solution is to take something really prohibitively next time. Like a ducatti.
Next time you go, you'll be rich, so sure, take something really expensive!
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:08 AM   #1045
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Hey Bryce and Mike ( guessing Mike might read this ;) Alison and I are hoping to head the langauns route in a few days. No GPS. Going to try and find a map. And hope google maps works in a way. At least showing where you are in space. Is there any reception at all there? Pm any tips please! Thx
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Old 02-08-2013, 10:01 AM   #1046
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Awesome! Which ones? I miss my Dyna so bad right now....
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Old 02-08-2013, 03:27 PM   #1047
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Hey Bryce and Mike ( guessing Mike might read this ;) Alison and I are hoping to head the langauns route in a few days. No GPS. Going to try and find a map. And hope google maps works in a way. At least showing where you are in space. Is there any reception at all there? Pm any tips please! Thx
Wow! No GPS?! That's brave! Actually, most of it you can do without a GPS, but there are two turn offs that we wouldn't have found without a GPS. I think. I think your best bet is to just flag down Land Cruisers and ask them for directions as you go. Once you get to the Lagunas it's very straightforward. You just follow the 8 million sets of tire tracks heading south down the valley. After you reach Laguna Colorada, there is a fairly well graded road all the way to chile and navigation shouldn't be an issue. Just make sure you find the Aduana or you'll have to back track 80 kilometers when you get to the border.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:12 PM   #1048
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Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Wow! No GPS?! That's brave! Actually, most of it you can do without a GPS, but there are two turn offs that we wouldn't have found without a GPS. I think. I think your best bet is to just flag down Land Cruisers and ask them for directions as you go. Once you get to the Lagunas it's very straightforward. You just follow the 8 million sets of tire tracks heading south down the valley. After you reach Laguna Colorada, there is a fairly well graded road all the way to chile and navigation shouldn't be an issue. Just make sure you find the Aduana or you'll have to back track 80 kilometers when you get to the border.
Thanks for the info. But quick question. What were the two turn offs actually for?
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Old 02-09-2013, 05:19 AM   #1049
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The Pass is Cut!

Day 117 (February 9, 2013)
Santiago, Chile to......Santiago, Chile
Day's Ride: 133 Miles



Originally I had been planning on going straight to Mendoza, Argentina from Santiago. There is a really amazing pass with over 30 identical switch backs that I really wanted to ride. However, I had met some Chileanos and Argentinos the night before, and they had invited me to go to Valparaiso with them. Unfortunately, when I showed up to at the bus station to meet them, they weren't there. So, I switched back to my original plan and headed off for Mendoza.

Various people had told me that the pass over the Andes into Argentina was only open at certain hours due to construction. I had a eventually found out that it would supposedly not be open that evening until 8:00 PM. Naturally, I took my time getting out of town. I stopped and had a massive hot dog at a restaurant near the Hostel.



Heading north out of Chile, the landscape continued to look very Southern Californian. I started passing through tons of vineyards and had the feeling that all of the wine that I had been drinking lately was coming from here.



I arrived at the turn off for the pass and was immediately confronted by long lines of trucks waiting to be let onto the road. Even though I knew that I was going to have to wait for a few hours, I decided to go see exactly what everyone was saying about the pass. I popped into the Aduana and was immediately confronted by an official who told me that the pass would be closed until Tuesday! Apparently there had been some heavy rains recently and there was a lot of damage to the road. The exact words that were used were "the pass is cut". I asked if he meant that the pass was closed and he said yes. Chileanos have funny ways of saying things sometimes. Not to mention a crazy accent.



Frustrated at having ridden 60 miles in the wrong direction, I jumped on my bike and tried to figure out my next move. I eventually decided to just go back to Santiago, spend the night, and then start heading south again through Chile the next day.

Going back to Santiago ended up being the right move. Arriving back in town, I was able to hunt down a new camera and a few more outstanding supplies that I had been lacking and hadn't been able to find on the previous day. My old camera had actually died that morning, despite having been given a new power cord.

Back at the Hostel, the Oregonians that I had met the day before (Miles and Josh) and an Australian guy named Teddy, were throwing a birthday BBQ for Miles and invited me to attend. I was all about that!



Josh teaches English in Santiago and a bunch of his Chileano friends and students showed up for the party. I had a blast eating good BBQ and talking with a bunch of amazing people! Being able to converse in Spanish has been a huge blessing; even though I'm not anywhere near fluent, I can still have a fairly in depth conversation. Talking with all of the Chileanos last night was a blast!
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:15 AM   #1050
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The Lagunas Route GPS Files, Waypoints, and more....

Okay, I know I promised this a while ago, but I've just now figured out how to do it. I had tons of requests for this information, so, rather than responding one by one to each email and PM, I'll just post a link to it on my google drive here and you can dowload it if you so desire:

https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B9...it?usp=sharing

Be forewarned, there are some small gaps in some of the lines as my GPS power likes to go on and off at random times.

Also, here are some waypoints that I pulled off of a Horizons Unlimited post. I believe that these are the ones that Mike downloaded for us. Of special note is the Bolivian Aduana; don't miss that one or you'll be making a 160km detour to get your papers stamped. Or you'll just have to bribe someone like we did.

Arbol De Piedra S22 03.109 W67 52.992 4585 m
Bol Aduana S22 26.452 W67 48.353 5019 m
Bol Border S22 52.434 W67 47.426
Camp Ende (gas,water,food,accomodation) S22 10.415 W67 49.117 4316m
Chilean aduana+border S22 54.665 W68 11.629
Colchani-Entry to Salar S20 18.001 W66 55.999
Waypoint EntrytoSalar south (approximate,but you cant miss it) S20 33.995 W67 34.499
followtracksouthhere S21 04.831 W67 59.809
San Juan (gas,water,food,accomodation,incagraveyard) S20 53.930 W67 45.915
Geyser S22 25.988 W67 45.704 4885 m
go south to here and follow railway S20 58.589 W67 45.934
go straight S21 23.609 W67 59.617
Hot Spring S22 46.945 W67 48.168 4330 m
IsladePescada(approximate) S20 09.956 W67 45.154
keep left S21 30.535 W67 51.695
keep south S21 44.924 W67 58.644
Laguna Blanca S22 32.140 W67 38.980 4422 m
lago colorada S22 09.692 W67 44.950
laguna verde S22 47.113 W67 46.591

Or, you can just go to this link and download all of those waypoints:

http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hub...ma-uyuni-34664

Now, there is also a topo mapset that Mike downloaded somehow, but I've already deleted my copy and I'm not sure where he got it from. If I figure that out I'll put it in my google drive and post up a link for everyone.

Even without that map, the free Open Street Maps cover this area with most of the little roads depicted. If any of you didn't know about OSM, it's a free, routable, customizable, dowloadable map service for your GPS. It's what I use instead of the Garmin South America stuff. Why spend a ton of money on the Garmin software (which is often incorrect) when you can get something that is just as good for free? If you want to get some of the OSM stuff, go to this link: http://www.openstreetmap.org/.

That's all I've got for now, hope this helps everyone!

Bryce
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