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Old 08-14-2013, 07:33 PM   #346
GuateRider
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Good to get to know the last part of your journey
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:55 AM   #347
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DustyRags View Post
Excellent! I love your adventure- I've dreamed of running the Pan-American pretty much for as long as I've known about it (I was 6 or so), and over the years that dream's changed from doing it with my parents in their old VW, to doing it in my own VW, to doing it in my truck, and now to doing it on my bike. It'll happen someday. In the meantime, I'll be waiting for more of your trip
Make a plan, and make it happen. Life passes all too quickly. But thanks for coming along on my ride.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:57 AM   #348
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkeycreek View Post
Hewby, I was thinking about you all day today, wondering what you were up to and here you are.

I was thinking about your visit here almost a year ago. The time has flown. Bisbonian and Mrs Bisbonian are on there way down this weekend.

Your write up continues to inspire.
Thanks Turkeycreek, looks like your fabulous place has had some changes too over the year by the photos. Hope the building is going well. Say hello to all for me.
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Old 08-15-2013, 10:58 AM   #349
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GuateRider View Post
Good to get to know the last part of your journey
Thanks GuateRider, its coming ;)
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:17 PM   #350
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Down, down, down the Chilean coast we went
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Traveling all day

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And then picking a patch of green on the map, and free camping where we could as the sun set.

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some times it worked out wonderfully…
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And other times it didn’t

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Camping behind the police station as we were told our previous chosen site was too dangerous by a local.

But the policemans cat seemed to love our visit
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:36 PM   #351
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Coming down the coast we stop in at a friend of Alison’s, Lorraine and stayed with her in her little house perched on the side of the ocean for a few nights.

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Enjoying conversations, foraging for seaweed, and making up inventive creations from local ingredients for our dinners and breakfasts. Made all the better for the crashing of the waves below us. A lovely time to take stock, and enjoy our host’s, and her dog’s, company.

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As my bike had seen pretty much everything, I let Loraine have a go to try and encourage her into motorcycle travel. A very sandy road accessed her house, so I left her to wobble off alone, without feeling I was watching too nervously, to get a feel for the bike. She was gone a while, and I don’t know how many times she had to pick it up to start again, but I reckon after that intro- if she could handle it on that road she was close to handling it anywhere. She came back smiling, so it seemed she did all right.
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The recognition of the stars and my gravitation south had brought on a sense of home. My heart was being pulled back. My mind was starting to drift. I was getting tired of the road. I started looking at booking flights, firming up plans, and dreaming of the future. Strange in a place where the world was so beautiful. But I was getting ready, and poor Alison had to listen to my ongoing desire to head south, and make a new life that I had the last 6 months since leaving the USA, to process.

My dreams were rudely awakened when I discovered that a water bottle had burst in my bag that held my passport and dissolved my photo into an indiscrete alien, nothing resembling my face, and had wiped all the almost full pages of their multitude of stamps and scribbles. Thankfully for me, I was a day away from the Australian Embassy- where they told me I could pick up an emergency passport before the weekend. Sadly I was to find out that this passport would not allow me into the USA, where I had planed to sojourn for a little on route to Australia, without a costly visa, both in time waiting for an interview at the USA embassy, and money. So Skype contact with Hazzar would have to stay as such until we met in Australia and not before; though we both fancifully dreamed of ridiculous rendezvous in the meantime.
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Old 08-15-2013, 12:51 PM   #352
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Much as the coast was lovely, I needed my bike fixed. I needed a new passport, and I needed to go. Alison toyed with the idea of staying on the coast, as her time and desires to head south where not as tight as mine, but decided to follow me to a mechanics I had found in Santiago and see from there. The season was getting short in the depths of Patagonia, and neither of us wanted to miss it.

Santiago led to unexpected delights. I had been there before and was not in need of sight seeing. My bike was my focus. Get it right before I headed south. The mechanic I found was brilliant. Johnny Motos, a genuinely wonderful man. He hosted us for a few days in the workshop, let us watch and be part of bike maintenance, and we shared food and laughter and greasy hands.

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My bike got a work over, with new chain and sprockets, valve adjustment, forks straightened and oil replaced, a new windscreen, and finally I got to remove the mud from Bolivia.






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Old 08-15-2013, 01:57 PM   #353
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Alison and I decided to keep riding together, and so our rapid decent of Chile continued. With long days, free camping and the occasional stop to forage on the side of the road



Wisely we decided not to take the bikes over this bridge

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But backing up I took a dive on the sand

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After finally finding a place to camp

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True Chilean hospitality was shown by some locals who came down to talk to us and took us back to their home for supper

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Alison finally deciding she was no longer "lost" changed her helmet sticker

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Blackberries were in prime season and so became a staple…
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Delicious with maple flakes, granola and Chai seeds.


Coming down into the lovely lake district
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Stopping at lunch some local kids were quite insistent they sit on our bikes for photos
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Staying with old friends in the beautiful Pucon
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And of course the required Pisco sours from their lemon tree
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Pucon’s beautiful volcano, just as spectacular as the last time I came by this way….
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We were sure to stock up on US dollars before leaving Chile for exchange in Argentina, and buy and print out our newly required proof of payment of the ‘reciprocal fee’ that Argentina had implemented as a requirement for entry.


Heading up to the border on advice from my friends, we stopped on the Chilean side and free camped by this beautiful lake under the shadow of another snowy volcano

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Alison’s porridge creation to clear our fresh food before our border crossing- Peach, avocado, rosemary and honey. Actually delicious!

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I noticed the temperature sensor had come loose from the side of the bike, but managed to put it back with Gaffa tape. Thankfully it caused no further issues.

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Then finally onwards towards the border and Argentina- the last country on my trip.

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I was sad to leave the lovely Chile, though I knew that I would cross back into it further south. The people were wonderful. The freedom in camping, the hospitality shown to us, the ease of being was thoroughly appreciated. It’s a country I hold highly in my heart, and am thankful to the wonderful people that I found along my travels there. They are proud to be Chilean, in a non ballsey way, and I smile as I remember them.
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Old 08-15-2013, 05:43 PM   #354
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awesome!
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:00 AM   #355
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Argentina- the last country on my journey. The last leg of a trip that had taken me to the top of the world by road and now almost to the bottom… A journey of mistakes and learning, of misunderstanding and insight, of disbelieving and believing. A journey of being alone though never alone, supported by a huge network of family, friends and strangers. A journey of polarities. Crossing the Andes into Argentina signified another step. My mind rolled into another gear thinking more and more about the next stage after going home. This is one thing I struggle with, but the one thing that also keeps me going. ‘What’s next?’ Always planning the next adventure, the next thing while I am still in the first. Needing to create my future before I step into it. Without it I feel lost. But with it I loose a little of the present. Loose a little of the experience and the joy of the moment. My mind wanders. I digresses…

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Rolling down over the mountains, the lush green of Chile faded into the dry ranch land of Argentina. I had been this way before a few years ago on a bus, and the landscape, the rock features, the lakes were surprisingly familiar.
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We were riding to one of my friend’s from that time. An Australian who had committed to 5 years in Bariloche, while her husband worked the mines in the south. She had arrived pregnant with her first child, and we had met in Spanish Class and for my short time in Bariloche we had explored a little together. Now she had two children, and I was looking forward to the reunion.


We had hoped to arrive in the afternoon, though a nail in Alison’s back tire lead to a hot tiring afternoon struggling with changing the difficult back tire out (once again Alison’s skills in bike maintenance shining).
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Frustratingly the new tube did not set properly due to the kink in my compressor, and we end up cobbling our way to tire changing station, with a few further flats along the way. She did well in the heat to maintain her composure, as we went back to the repairman twice.
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'Apple and dulce de leche' to celebrate my return to Argentina, and keep us sane on the side of the road...

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As the sun lowered the light was awesome, and our smiles returned. We were truly in a beautiful part of the world.

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Making it into the beautiful town of Bariloche on dark I pulled into a little enclave of home. Cooking and talking with my Australian friend, Alison commented on how my accent changed, and how our references and slang became less and less familiar to her. Spending time with children made me realise what I am scared my travelling spirit might one day find has been sacrificed for the road. And once again I felt the pull for home, and the need for speed. I used the internet time to complete paperwork for a job I was planning to start in Australia in less than 4 weeks. I tried to break down the distance and the days I had available. If I was going to ship my bike from Buenos Aires, it needed to be at Dakar Motos 5 business days before I flew away. And as I was flying to Australia on a Sunday, I needed to be there almost a week before my flight on the 17th March. That gave me 11 days to get down to Ushuaia and back up to BA. It was going to cost $2000US and I was shipping it to the States where I myself did not even have a visa, and I would have to make Marcin my power of Attorney or something like that, to be able collect the bike from the airport for me. It all seemed a little daunting.

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Leaving the lovely Bariloche I spilt coffee all over my camera, that a week before had taken a dive out of my tank bag onto the road at 60km an hour. While it had survived the drop, save for a few scrapes and little cracked glass on the screen, this was the last straw. Eleven days to go, and it was just the iphone and the Gopro for a camera. Stopping off for a quick ride up the chairlift at Cerro Campanario to see what National Geographic had once described as one of the best view in the world, I cursed my clumsiness. Though the GoPro captured the scene well too.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:12 AM   #356
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Beautiful! I played in a small orchestra in Argentina a number of years ago (San Luis). Lost my opportunity to travel during my time off thanks to a nice case of Scarlet Fever. Hope to make it down there again one day!
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Old 10-01-2013, 01:09 PM   #357
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Yay, another installment!
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:37 PM   #358
Turkeycreek
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I was thinking about you today, remembering your stay here over a year ago and up you pop. Great to see you writing again. Great photos
Abrazos!
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Old 10-01-2013, 08:13 PM   #359
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Old 10-14-2013, 03:01 PM   #360
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Heading south the road stretched on
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Riding south till dusk hit, then finding place to camp day after day, to me was exhilarating to Alison I fear it was wearing thin.
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I had a schedule and a faster bike. My motivation to head south was driving me. And Alison who wanted not to be the last at Ushuaia pushed through with me. I fear my mindset was not the most beneficial to her. She had time. I did not. I had plans to go to. I was preparing to move to another stage of life. She was not there yet. I was not the best travel companion at this point. But we pushed on. Thankfully the famous ‘Ruta 40’ was kind. The road was better than expected, and there was not a lick of wind, almost unknown in this part of the world.

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At times the distance between fuel was unknown, and driving on an unknown amount of gravel made if difficult to predict the amount of fuel we would need. People before us warned that we would need to carry extra fuel. For the first time on the trip I filled my free Starbucks “spare fuel container”, and strapped it to the back of the bike. Whether I needed it or not was up for debate, but I slopped it into my bike, on one of the evenings to prevent the sloshing around on my luggage. At some point, it is better to have more than less.

Each of the fuel stops along the route seemed to bear witness to other adventurous spirits. Stickers lined the pumps and the windows, a reminder of those that had gone before us.
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IMG_4641Finally off the plains we headed back towards the hills
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We stopped to see Perito Moreno glaicer-hoping to camp in the park- we were turned around by a ranger at the gate after closing time, but kindly he pointed us in the direction of an outstanding isolated free camp not far from the park. Pulling in under a huge willow overlooking the lake and the mountain we felt blessed to be where we were
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Heading towards the glacier again in the morning was a treat
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The Nothofagus plants turning red reminded me of home, but the huge expanse of glacier was mind boggling. Walking around the park, we seemed to have the luck of whenever we were in the trees we heard a deafening crack and the sound of the glacier tumbling into the water. We would run out of the trees only to see the last of the ripples in the water and a newly exposed blue glacier face. The glacier calved significantly over 5 times during our visit, but alas we were not to witness it with our eyes, just the smaller tumbles of ice that seemed a regular occurrence.
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