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Old 03-19-2013, 12:23 PM   #1471
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Originally Posted by alvincullumyork View Post
I have my own thoughts on this as well but we should probably leave the analysis and guessing games to another thread.
Hey Bro! I think we are already done with the topic, at least I was personally done. Unless more data comes in, that is. And is there a better place than here for what was said? The topic was introduced in the report. What thread did you have in mind to present your own thoughts, analyses, and guesses? Please link so we can go see.
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:34 PM   #1472
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Hey Ulyses,
Great RR. I noticed it only last week and caught up during the entire last weekend.

Many of things you wrote about, resonate with me very strongly. I too am a veteran, Israeli Military (tanks, infantry ran after our dusty trails..), and through out my 3 long and tough years in the army (we had our own Afghanistan, it is called Lebanon), had this dream of a long ADV Motorcycle trip, in Australia.
That was back in 1995.

I got out of the army, with $200 in my pocket (IDF service doesn't pay more than say $100 a month..) and started working in various jobs - body guard, gardener, fuel station operator.
Saved penny to penny (actually Shekel to Shekel). Had a motorcycle license complete.

My dream bike back then was a DR-750 or DR-800 ("DR-BIG"), which I wanted so badly. It was so funny to see it suddenly in your thread. DR-650 DAKAR was my 2nd dream bike.

Anyway, I met this beautiful girl, she loved travelling too, and had a mini RTW on her own already. Told her about my plans, we started dating..
So then I'm in a dilemma - she's amazing, only thing she hates motorcycles and I really wanted to travel.
We both quit our jobs and went on RTW for 6 months, RTW literally: Israel/Thailand/Australia/New-Zealand/Fiji/Cook Islands/Tahiti/Bora-Bora/LA/Paris/Israel
Just not on the motorcycle.
I think I made the right decision

Fast forward almost 20 years, I have 3 kids and a V-Strom (and my dear wife) and we are travelling as much as we can.
But that big ADV is still waiting. One day..

Enjoy your time, I wish you all the best.
Bigman

P.S. The Galil Assault Rifle you took a photo of (Columbia?) reminded my of my Glilon (shortened version of Galil) that was my de-facto GF for 3 years, we went together 24/7 and even slept together.. (Israeli soldiers never ever leave their rifles, even at night time, not sure how it is with the Marines)
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Old 03-19-2013, 12:38 PM   #1473
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Old 03-19-2013, 05:30 PM   #1474
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WOW I have Donated to Bryce, James & Lauren and to Jed & Meg! Kick Ass that you all met up on the road! I hope you spent some of my donations to have a great time!

Thanks again for taking us along!
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Old 03-19-2013, 06:28 PM   #1475
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Originally Posted by BigMan73 View Post
Hey Ulyses,
Great RR. I noticed it only last week and caught up during the entire last weekend.

Many of things you wrote about, resonate with me very strongly. I too am a veteran, Israeli Military (tanks, infantry ran after our dusty trails..), and through out my 3 long and tough years in the army (we had our own Afghanistan, it is called Lebanon), had this dream of a long ADV Motorcycle trip, in Australia.
That was back in 1995.

I got out of the army, with $200 in my pocket (IDF service doesn't pay more than say $100 a month..) and started working in various jobs - body guard, gardener, fuel station operator.
Saved penny to penny (actually Shekel to Shekel). Had a motorcycle license complete.

My dream bike back then was a DR-750 or DR-800 ("DR-BIG"), which I wanted so badly. It was so funny to see it suddenly in your thread. DR-650 DAKAR was my 2nd dream bike.

Anyway, I met this beautiful girl, she loved travelling too, and had a mini RTW on her own already. Told her about my plans, we started dating..
So then I'm in a dilemma - she's amazing, only thing she hates motorcycles and I really wanted to travel.
We both quit our jobs and went on RTW for 6 months, RTW literally: Israel/Thailand/Australia/New-Zealand/Fiji/Cook Islands/Tahiti/Bora-Bora/LA/Paris/Israel
Just not on the motorcycle.
I think I made the right decision

Fast forward almost 20 years, I have 3 kids and a V-Strom (and my dear wife) and we are travelling as much as we can.
But that big ADV is still waiting. One day..

Enjoy your time, I wish you all the best.
Bigman

P.S. The Galil Assault Rifle you took a photo of (Columbia?) reminded my of my Glilon (shortened version of Galil) that was my de-facto GF for 3 years, we went together 24/7 and even slept together.. (Israeli soldiers never ever leave their rifles, even at night time, not sure how it is with the Marines)
Hey, BigMan,

That is a great story. Thank you for your service (Hzb no friend of ours). Anywho, that big ADV is still possible, just take one of your kids with you! Or, have them meet you along the way. If your wife still hates the bike, she might be open to this?? Best of luck.
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Old 03-19-2013, 07:50 PM   #1476
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Final Day on the Carretera Austral

Day 154 (March 19, 2013)
Coyhaique, Chile to Esquel, Argentina
Day's Ride: 311 Miles

For some reason Google maps doesn't show the road that I took to cross the border back into Argentina. It just ends at the border on the Chile side and doesn't connect to the Esquel road. Just imagine a little blue line continuing on past the border to Esquel....


View Larger Map

Dylan and I left Coyhaique around nine this morning and road to a junction a few miles up the road where we said our goodbyes. Dylan is going to spend some more time in Chilean Patagonia seeing the sights; I have to start making my way north a little faster so I can get home before my money runs out.



Dylan, if you are reading this, it was great riding and hiking with you! Maybe I'll see you up north in a few weeks!

After splitting up with Dylan, I continued up the Carretera. This is far and away one of the most beautiful rides that I have done on this trip. This portion of Patagonia is incredible. The scenery just blows you away. At every turn it seems that you are riding down plunging valleys, overshadowed by hanging glaciers and stately pines, and bordered by crystal blue rivers and snowy white cataracts.



I'll be honest, the riding was so good today that I didn't stop and take a lot of pictures; I was just having to much of a good time. I'm sure I'll regret that later.







After about 100 miles, the pavement ended and it was back to the ripio. The scenery continued to be amazing; unfortunately, I had to devote a lot more attention to the road.



The ripio soon turned pretty nasty. Combined with a really bad washboard, the gravel was throwing me all over the road. I spent the rest of the day fighting a nasty tendency to fishtail and pogo when riding at speed.

After several hours of hard riding, I stopped for gas in a small puebla. I took a few seconds to do one of my regular visual checks to make sure nothing was broken or missing and realized that one of the pop rivets holding the top plate of my home made chain slider was missing. The chain probably ripped it off sometime before I tightened it up earlier in the day.



There was still one rivet holding it in place, but I wasn't comfortable with just that one little pop rivet keeping that thick piece of nylon from feeding itself into my counter sprocket. I asked the guy who ran the gas station if there was a mechanico in town. He said that there wasn't. He then asked me what i needed to have fixed. I showed him one of the extra pop rivets that I had and he told me that he had a pop rivet gun in his shop! He walked home and got it and brought it back to service station for me. I took the end of my round file and punched out the bottom end of the old rivet, then used the pop rivet gun to install a new one. It seems that I always have the best luck finding help when something goes wrong with my bike.

Back on the road I started running into construction. It seemed that I would pass through one flagger, go 500 meters and get stopped by another flagger. It stayed like this for nearly 30 miles!




I finally made it past the construction and turned off the Carretera Austral and started heading east towards the border.



I made another painless crossing between Chile and Argentina and then continued on down the ripio towards the town of Esquel. On the way, I passed through the town of Trevelin. Trevelin, along with another town out by the Atlantic called Trewlew, are old welsh colonies.




I finally made it into Esquel around 8:00 PM and was really tired. I had ridden 110 miles of good pavement and 200 miles of really rough ripio as well sneaking in a little border crossing. I decided to spring for another hostel instead of camping so that I could get a good nights sleep before trying to push for the Atlantic tomorrow. I forsee some Pinguinos in my near future...
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:10 PM   #1477
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMan73 View Post
Hey Ulyses,
Great RR. I noticed it only last week and caught up during the entire last weekend.

Many of things you wrote about, resonate with me very strongly. I too am a veteran, Israeli Military (tanks, infantry ran after our dusty trails..),

My dream bike back then was a DR-750 or DR-800 ("DR-BIG"), which I wanted so badly. It was so funny to see it suddenly in your thread. DR-650 DAKAR was my 2nd dream bike.

Anyway, I met this beautiful girl, she loved travelling too, and had a mini RTW on her own already. Told her about my plans, we started dating..
So then I'm in a dilemma - she's amazing, only thing she hates motorcycles and I really wanted to travel.
We both quit our jobs and went on RTW for 6 months, RTW literally: Israel/Thailand/Australia/New-Zealand/Fiji/Cook Islands/Tahiti/Bora-Bora/LA/Paris/Israel
Just not on the motorcycle.
I think I made the right decision

Fast forward almost 20 years, I have 3 kids and a V-Strom (and my dear wife) and we are travelling as much as we can.
But that big ADV is still waiting. One day..

Enjoy your time, I wish you all the best.
Bigman

P.S. The Galil Assault Rifle you took a photo of (Columbia?) reminded my of my Glilon (shortened version of Galil) that was my de-facto GF for 3 years, we went together 24/7 and even slept together.. (Israeli soldiers never ever leave their rifles, even at night time, not sure how it is with the Marines)
Awesome! I love tankers! They would totally make my day when they fired their main gun. The sound alone is enought to make you sh"t yourself. Of course, they always called us "crunchies" and made fun of us for having to walk everywhere, but I think they were just jealous...Personally, in retrospect, I think I would prefer to roll around in a 100 ton killing machine. Sounds like a good time to me!

That DR-BIG is a crazy bike! I just saw another one a few days ago. Did you ever end up getting one? Does your wife ride with you on the wee-strom?

And yes, we too had to sleep with our weapons. Except when we were sleeping in the snow. Then we had to dig a little snow cave for our rifles so that the moisture from our bodies didn't get into the action and then cause them to freeze up when we got out in the morning. Sleeping with an M-16 in your bag sucks. I was so happy when I became an officer and I could just sleep with my pistol instead. Much more comfortable.
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Old 03-19-2013, 08:27 PM   #1478
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
I offered to go burn down the village and spread salt on the ruins. That'll learn em!

Seriously though, that is something I would not expect to happen in Peru.

I read a previous story about a motorcyclist that was murdered by a couple of indigenous people in Peru. (It makes me wonder if it was the whole village who was in on that one now.)

I rode through Cuzco in 2007 with a buddy and there were road blocks every 10 miles. A couple of times they threw rocks and horse manure at us, but for the most part the villagers were helpful and would move the rocks for us so we could pass through the blockades.

When we got to Cuzco we got to see a huge protest which featured a 25 ft statue of George W. Bush who was holding a noose with an Indian Chief's head in it.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:53 AM   #1479
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Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Awesome! I love tankers! They would totally make my day when they fired their main gun. The sound alone is enought to make you sh"t yourself. Of course, they always called us "crunchies" and made fun of us for having to walk everywhere, but I think they were just jealous...Personally, in retrospect, I think I would prefer to roll around in a 100 ton killing machine. Sounds like a good time to me!

That DR-BIG is a crazy bike! I just saw another one a few days ago. Did you ever end up getting one? Does your wife ride with you on the wee-strom?

And yes, we too had to sleep with our weapons. Except when we were sleeping in the snow. Then we had to dig a little snow cave for our rifles so that the moisture from our bodies didn't get into the action and then cause them to freeze up when we got out in the morning. Sleeping with an M-16 in your bag sucks. I was so happy when I became an officer and I could just sleep with my pistol instead. Much more comfortable.
LOL - Spoken like a true infantry man! I guess it is the same everywhere. Infantry get all the glory, but they know every well what the tankers bring to the game..
One of the visions that I fondly remember is a company of 11 tanks charging in fast motion while shooting the main guns, and the multiple on-board 7.62mm FN-MAG Machine guns. Words cannot describe the sounds and awe of this scene.

I never got the DR-BIG. When I got back from the RTW trip, I was broke, and had to find a job (I guess you know what I mean). Later on when I had the money to buy it, I was in a different "zone" - kids, house, career.
When I moved to the states in 2007, I was looking for it, but was surprised to find out that the DR-BIGs were never sold here. Never understood why, seems like an awesome bike. BTW the Honda Varadero (XL1000V) is not sold in the US either. Weird.

My wife doesn't ride with me. But she is very understanding and allows me to ride - I have a lot of respect for her, to allow me to do my things.

Here is my Wee, notice it was 'militarized' - Custom 'Top-Gun' decals I designed, and blackened out.. I don't want those MF Hizbulla firing their sagers AT missile on my bike right..? (I'm totally 'scratched' in my head, when it comes to Chrome and Shiny metals - everything must be blackened)



Back to the main story - your amazing RR. I don't want to take it off-topic too much


Quote:
Originally Posted by purpledrake View Post
Hey, BigMan,

That is a great story. Thank you for your service (Hzb no friend of ours). Anywho, that big ADV is still possible, just take one of your kids with you! Or, have them meet you along the way. If your wife still hates the bike, she might be open to this?? Best of luck.
Thank you!
Yes, the big ADV is surely possible, and I did speak to my 2 sons about it - they want to do it after they finish the army. That would be epic.
My wife can find us some where in the middle, where we can rest for two weeks and enjoy time off as a whole family. We're talking 10 years from now..
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:00 PM   #1480
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I just read that blog post. Holy crap! That's insane. I think I'll be avoiding Peru unless they actually do something about those villagers.

Rob
Hey Rob,
Peru it's an extraordinary country, and most of the people we've met there were among the most awesome people we've met in the whole trip (we've been there recently). What happened to those guys was an unfortunate event but that should not be reflected on the country as a whole. Don't let that make you avoid Peru, you'll be missing a lot!
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:09 PM   #1481
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Back in the Pampas

Day 155 (March 20, 2013)
Esquel, Argentina to Dolavon, Argentina
Day's Ride: 352 Miles


View Larger Map

I knew when I left Esquel that it was going to be a long and boring ride back across the pampas to the Atlantic so I decided to just get as much of it out of the way in one shot as I could. Besides, other than a few small estancia's along the way, there really wasn't anywhere to stop between Esquel and the town of Trelew. I had to re-ride about 40 miles of Ruta 40 that I had already ridden on the way down to get to the turn off for the coast.

The scenery was classic southern Argentina. Flat expanses of scrub brush stretching to the horizon with the occasional gully or small bluff to add a little disruption to an otherwise linear view. I did go through one small stretch of sandstone cliffs that reminded a little of Utah.




Other than that, there wasn't much to see. I did have some more pictures of the nothingness; unfortunately, photobucket is refusing to upload them.

Since I was riding from west to east, I had a nice tailwind throughout the day and wasn't getting blown all over the place. However, after 340 miles I was starting to get a little tired. When I saw a municipal campground in a small town 20 miles outside of Trelew, I decided to stop for the night.

I was the only one at the campground and the caretaker didn't even make me pay. I went to the local mercado, got some food and some wine and came back to the campground to cook. It started to rain a little and the caretaker let me cook under his little awning.



I shared my wine with him and we talked for a little while. A little later he went out and bought a couple liters of beer and came back and shared with me. We sat around and talked and drank for a few hours and then I headed back to my tent to catch some sleep. All in all, a simple day. A little riding, a little cooking, and a little bs'ing with an Argentino over some vino and cervesa.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:34 PM   #1482
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Hi Bryce,

Great pics and great stories. I look forward to heading south later in the year when I come back to SA. Epic shots of your hiking in Patagonia as well as your pics of the Carretera Austral. Looks inviting. It will be interesting to see what the future brings.

I mean it when I say I will build a bitchin' BBQ like Mario's in El Salvador for you once you get situated. You will be the asado king wherever you live. I can see it now.

I'll be in Oregon this summer and will hunt you down like a wild animal if you're in the area.

Saludos,
Tio Juanito

Currently listening to the crack of lightening and the thundering roar of a thunderstorm in Medellin that reminds me of Nebraska in the spring.
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:59 PM   #1483
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Prepping for the Pinguinos...

Day 156 (March 21, 2013)
Dolavon, Argentina to Puerto Piramides, Argentina
Day's Ride: 110 Miles


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Woke up rather late this morning and took my time packing up. I had a few things to take care of in Trelew before heading out to Peninsula Valdes to try and find me some Pinguinos.

I made it to Trelew in about 20 minutes and commenced my hunt for oil. I stopped at a couple of larger "Lubricentros" looking for some Rimula R4; unfortunately, I could only find it in the 5 liter jugs and they wanted about $60 for those jugs so I said "no thanks" kept on hunting. So much for Rimula being cheaper than true moto oil. I did find some Shell Helix 10W-40 that was JASO rated; unfortunately, the store I was in only had one liter.

Eventually I buckled down and went to one of the motoshops in town. They sold me three liters of Castrol semi-synthetic for about $40 in American dollars. I got a deal by paying with greenbacks; if I had paid in pesos it would have cost around $55. It's still not cheap, but at this point I was paying for convenience as they agreed to let me use there shop to do my oil change.

I wheeled the bike in and got down to business. I had to change the filter this time so it took a little longer; however, it was still a relatively quick job. The guys in the shop were cool and we had a good time talking while I worked. They were fascinated by my bike and my trip and they had tons of questions. When I finished up, I had them sign my tank and took a few pictures of them with the bike on their cell phones.



After finishing up at the shop, I went to the local bank and pulled out some more pesos then headed over to the gas station to fill up and check my emails.

I'm currently in the process of trying to arrange shipping for my bike back to the states and I'm beginning to think that it would have been better just to sell the damn thing in Punta Arenas. The irony that I keep running into is that airfreight seems to be cheaper or at least the same price as ocean freight. Purpledrake explained a little bit of the logic behind this to me but I still find it fascinating. The one huge thing with ocean freight is all of the little hidden fees; things like port taxes, brokerage fees, port maintenance fees, etc. I'm beginning to think that I may just go with air freight out of Burns Aires.

After leaving Trawler around 1:00 PM, I rode north for the Valdez Peninsula. The peninsula is a huge wildlife reserve complete with elephant seals, whales, and penguins. Since this is probably my last chance to see some pinguinos, I decided that I should probably ride the few extra miles to make it happen. I know Allvincullumyork is counting on some pictures of the pinguinos and I can't let him down.

I got into the little town of Puerto Piramides around 4:00 PM and decided that it would be better to travel the final 140 kilometers of ripio out to the penguins in the morning. I found the municipal campground and set up my tent.



This is the most expensive municipal campground I've been to in Argentina and Chile. It cost 60 pesos ($12)! I suppose that it's due to the fact that camping isn't technically allowed in the reserve and this is the only spot where you can set up your tent.

Tomorrow I'm going to burn out to see the pinguinos and then head back to the main road and keep making tracks for Buenos Aires. I've noticed a few small cracks in my luggage rack again. I'm hoping that they survive the ripio tomorrow. My rear tire is also just about shot. I'm hoping that it makes it the final 800 miles or so into Buenos. At this point I don't know if I can afford another rear tire.

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Old 03-21-2013, 03:08 PM   #1484
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Originally Posted by JDowns View Post
Hi Bryce,

Great pics and great stories. I look forward to heading south later in the year when I come back to SA. Epic shots of your hiking in Patagonia as well as your pics of the Carretera Austral. Looks inviting. It will be interesting to see what the future brings.

I mean it when I say I will build a bitchin' BBQ like Mario's in El Salvador for you once you get situated. You will be the asado king wherever you live. I can see it now.

I'll be in Oregon this summer and will hunt you down like a wild animal if you're in the area.

Saludos,
Tio Juanito

Currently listening to the crack of lightening and the thundering roar of a thunderstorm in Medellin that reminds me of Nebraska in the spring.
John! Good to hear from you! I'll confess, I haven't been keeping track of your RR. Are you storing your bike and heading home for a while?

I may be in Oregon this summer. If so, we'll have to meet up!
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:18 PM   #1485
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Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
John! Good to hear from you! I'll confess, I haven't been keeping track of your RR. Are you storing your bike and heading home for a while?

I may be in Oregon this summer. If so, we'll have to meet up!
Hey Bryce,

Forget my ride report. Yours is much more interesting reading at this point. I am just hanging in Medellin fixing up Al's Shamrock pub. Painting, hanging pictures, putting in a security system with video cams, that sort of thing in exchange for room and board. It means I can stay in South America for a while longer.

And yes, I'm storing my bike down here and heading back to the States in a while and heading back down for more next fall. Have to go earn some pesos back where the wages are high.

I'll be in Oregon this summer and will stay tuned to see where you land.

I of all people can relate to what you've been through the last few months. You're doing a great job on the ride report. Kudos. Keep up the good work. See you down the road.

Oh, and the hell with penguinos. Better wildlife in Buenos Aires. I say head north and learn some Tango. You can always sell the XR to another traveler and do the photoshop title switch going over on the ferry to Uruguay. Cheaper than sending a beat Honda back to the states methinks. Or park it in Uruguay for a year. They give you 12 months on the TVIP over there. You might want to come back for more. Or not.

Saludos,
Tio Juanito
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