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Old 02-12-2013, 05:09 AM   #1066
Ulyses OP
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More Rain

Day 120 (February 11, 2013)
Lota, Chile to Pucon, Chile
Day's Ride: 230 Miles



Setting out from the campsite in Lota, we passed a horse drawn cart trundling down the highway. I hadn't been expecting to see something like this in Chile, but it was there nonetheless. It's always a bit of dichotomy to see a horse and buggy cruising down a highway.



Just down the road we came across a roadside stand where we stopped for breakfast. The lady in charge made us a traditional Chilean drink called Mote con Huesillo. It's almost like a sweet tea infused with slices of a peach and lots of cracked wheat. Very tasty. They also served us some delicious breakfast sandwiches.



The family running the stand were all quite impressed by our trip and wanted to take lots of pictures with us.



.

We still continued to see lots of forestry. This is a sight I haven't seen since leaving Oregon:



I also kept seeing signs for Oregon:



Around noon the rain started up, another reminder that the area we were in was the Pacific Northwest's distant Chilean cousin.



Since my new camera is not waterproof, I didn't take any pictures for the rest of the day. We eventually reached Pucon, a small resort town in the Lakes district. Unfortunately, it's the busiest week for of the year for Chilean Tourism, and every Hostal that we tried was booked solid. After 30 minutes of riding between Hostals in the rain, we finally found a place for 30,000 Pesos.

The owner was quite nice and very talkative. As I was working on my computer, he kept making me drinks and talking to me about Chile, the town of Pucan, and the abdication of the Pope, all very important topics.

Today I think I may try and make it to Bariloche, Argentina.
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Old 02-12-2013, 05:11 AM   #1067
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Originally Posted by yokesman View Post
In those days only officers carried rank on their shoulders.
Which doesn't mean that the 1st Sgt (or other staff NCO) won't still be pissed: "Sir, you're setting a bad example!" Etc, etc, etc.
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:39 AM   #1068
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yes I wondered about the power of the sargent(not first)and four years later he is in the stars and stripes-best man to the newly married general.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:01 PM   #1069
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Day 120 (February 11, 2013)

We still continued to see lots of forestry. This is a sight I haven't seen since leaving Oregon:



I also kept seeing signs for Oregon:


Very interesting, these 2 photos could be from anywhere along the coast range of Oregon. See any signs for Washington or California?

That stand of timber over the 'Oregon' sign looks like Doug Fir and it seems that Douglas Fir has been planted in Chile (quick web search) and is known there as Pino Oregono. Learn something new everyday.

Ride fast and stay safe Bud.
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:30 PM   #1070
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Originally Posted by TigerInTheNight View Post
Very interesting, these 2 photos could be from anywhere along the coast range of Oregon. See any signs for Washington or California?

That stand of timber over the 'Oregon' sign looks like Doug Fir and it seems that Douglas Fir has been planted in Chile (quick web search) and is known there as Pino Oregono. Learn something new everyday.

Ride fast and stay safe Bud.
I wonder what kind of saws they run?
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Old 02-12-2013, 08:53 PM   #1071
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Saws

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I wonder what kind of saws they run?
Stihl..the only saw!
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:12 PM   #1072
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Stihl..the only saw!
Me too.
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:30 AM   #1073
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Originally Posted by HIgh Water View Post
Stihl..the only saw!
Quote:
Originally Posted by purpledrake View Post
Me too.
I see I am in good company. I miss my 440
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:30 AM   #1074
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Argentina

Day 121 (February 12, 2013)
Pucon, Chile to Bariloche, Argentina
Day's Ride: 297 Miles



This morning I said goodbye to Max who was going to head south for southern Chile. I left Pucon in the rain feeling cold and miserable. I had intended to take a more scenic route along some of the lakes in the region; however, with the rain and the wind and I didn't really feeling like prolonging the misery for a dubious chance at seeing some scenery. Instead, I jumped back on the Panamerican and rode south as fast as possible in hopes of escaping the weather.



After a hundred or so miles of beautiful four lane cruising, I reached Orsorno and the turn-off for Argentina. As I was riding along, I noticed a whole grip of BMW R12000's parked outside of a cafe. I stopped to see where they were from and found a bunch of Polish riders.



We talked for a few minutes and they filled me in on Argentina. They had started in Uruguay and had been on the road for about two weeks. They said they were averaging about 800 km per day! Before we parted they gave me a sticker and we took a few pictures together.

Shortly after leaving the Poles I reached the Chilean side of the border and found a huge line of people! I was a little worried as I didn't want to stand in line for hours and then have to ride into Bariloche in the dark with wet gear. Fortunately it turned out that that line was for entering Chile. The exit line was significantly shorter.

There is a large, 20 mile gap between the Chilean immigration buildings and the Argentinian immigration buildings and it passes through a beautiful national park which crests on a pass over the Andes.






Halfway through the park you reach the actual international border.



I finally reached the Argentinian migracion and was met by another huge line. Unfortunately, this was the line for people trying to get into Argentina, and I had to wait with the masses for about an hour. Luckily, by the time I finished, I still had a few hours of daylight left and I knew I could make it Bariloche before I froze to death.



There were still more great views coming down out of the pass and on to Ruta 40.





About 20 miles outside of Bariloche, I came across a long line of slow moving traffic. Interspersed within the traffic were a few large adventure bikes. I came up on the rear bike, saw that it had Venezuelan plates, and gave a little wave as I passed. I eventually passed everyone and was cruising down the final stretch into Bariloche when one of the bikes caught up to me and started motioning me to pull over.

I hadn't been able to see his license plate so I was a little surprised when he started talking to me in English with an American accent. It turns out that he was from Oregon!



When I passed him he had seen my license plate and immediately tried to chase me down. His name was Kieth and he was from Portland. He had shipped his bike to Ecuador and had been riding around South America for the last few weeks. He had met up with a Venezuelan rider named Ernesto and they had been riding together for a while.



I rode into Barlioche with them and the famed Argentinian wind began to play havoc with our bikes.



Just outside of Bariloche we were treated to some amazing views of the nearby lake.



After making it into Bariloche we all went to a German resteraunt and had a few beers.



It was great to meet up with a fellow Oregonian down here and share some stories. Bariloche is slammed with tourists right now, so finding a Hostel was a little difficult. Things are also almost just as expensive here as they are in Chile. I'm hoping that I can find someone that will give me the black market exchange rate for dollars.
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:40 AM   #1075
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Stihl..the only saw!
In Newfoundland the loggers have an expression, "Stihl not working!"

Great RR. Hope to make it south soon.
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Old 02-13-2013, 02:56 PM   #1076
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Ulyses,
Congrats!, you made it to Argentina!
Couple of tips; as you can see Bariloche is a very touristic town, is but very expensive at the same time. I don't know if you are planning to go north, I doubt it, but If you take ruta 241 north you have Villa la Angostura an further north San Martin de Los Andes, the route to San Martin... Is called ruta de los siete lagos, just an amazing ride.
But if you go south on ruta 40 you'll find El Bolson, an amazing town filled with characters and people you don't want to miss, with a very interesting history I'll let you, to find out.
About germans down there, you'll see many, just don't ask too much, Argentina was a top choice for ex nazi generals to hide after the second war and many settle in the patagonia. Is estimated that 5000 Nazis fled to Argentina at the end of the second war.

About changing your money, don't forget about Xoom.com , but if you need to change on the spot, the guys exchanging on the street at called "arbolitos" everybody knows the term, at least in Buenos Aires, but I'm sure it will work there too. just be carefull.
"Estoy buscando un arbolito para cambiar dolares"

Good luck

diegoteck screwed with this post 02-13-2013 at 04:05 PM
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Old 02-13-2013, 06:34 PM   #1077
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Bariloche

Day 121 (February 13, 2013)
Bariloche, Argentina
Day's Ride: 0 Miles

I decided to take a day off and relax in Bariloche. As part of my mandatory relaxation program, I decided to go stuff myself silly on some of this amazing Argentinian beef that I've heard so much about. I found a good restaurant, albeit slightly expensive, and was just getting ready to sit down when I saw two guys pull up to the restaurant on a Yamaha Tenere 650. I had talked to them briefly yesterday as I was hunting for Hostels and I knew that they were from Spain. I went out and said hi and invited them to come and eat with me.



Javier and Ignaci are in South America for three months to ride and have a good time. They are on the 650 versions of the Tenere which they picked up used in Spain for around $4,000 apiece. Ignaci had just broken his clutch yesterday and had ridden nearly 300 miles to Bariloche without it. They had just found an R1 clutch kit at a local moto shop and were going to try and fit it on later in the day.

These guys were hilarious and we had a good time talking about our respective journeys and telling stories. Their last motorcycle trip had been a 13 day ride through the States on Electra Glides that they had rented in San Francisco.

While we were talking, I got a good picture of our lunch being prepared:



We all decided to split two ribeyes, three filets, a huge plate of french fries, and a salad. The meat did not disappoint.



After lunch we went out to take a look at one of their Tenere's. If these were available in the states, I think I would have gotten one. Such a cool bike!



After saying goodbye to Javier and Ignaci, I returned to the Hostel and engaged in another Argentinian pastime: the Siesta.

After I woke up, I went in search of a money changer of the unofficial kind. The current official rate of exchange is 5 pesos to the dollar. The unofficial rate is somewhere around 7.5 pesos to the dollar. The people at my Hostel directed me to a small souvenir shop next to the legitimate money changers.



I walked in, bought a sticker, then asked if they changed dollars at the unofficial rate. The lady behind the counter looked me over, then told me to follow her into the back room. We walked through the door into their merch room, took a left around a couple of boxes, and found ourselves in front of a glassed in booth. This all seemed a little too secret-squirrel, but I'll admit, I was intrigued.

The lady left and I found myself talking to a guy with a calculator and wads of cash behind about an inch of reinforced Plexiglas. I told him I wanted to change some dollars and he gave me the rates: 7.5 to 1 for hundred and fifty dollar bills, 6.5 to 1 for twenty dollar bills and smaller. Damn! I only had 20's. I had pulled a bunch of American dollars in Peru and Ecuador, but they only deal in 20's and smaller. In most of Central and South America, 100 Dollar Bills are known affectionately as "laundry money" because the only people that use them are the narcos (drug dealers).

Still, it was better than what they were giving next door, so I changed a bunch of dollars into pesos and scrammed.

Back on the street I saw my second interesting bike of the day:



A DR800? I had no idea this thing even existed. It looks interesting; I'm guessing that these were never sold in the States.

The rest of the day was spent hanging out and chilling. Tomorrow I'm going to get up early, check my valves, then hit the road. I'm considering doing a fast end run down to Ushuaia, hopefully getting there in about four days, then taking my time on the way back to do Ruta 40, Carreterra Austral, Torres del Paine, and Fitz Roy. There's a part of me that is super stressed about being this close to Ushuaia. If something went wrong with my bike this close to the end, I think I might just die.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:02 PM   #1078
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Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
...I'm considering doing a fast end run down to Ushuaia, hopefully getting there in about four days, then taking my time on the way back to do Ruta 40, Carreterra Austral, Torres del Paine, and Fitz Roy. There's a part of me that is super stressed about being this close to Ushuaia. If something went wrong with my bike this close to the end, I think I might just die.
Don't worry; your XR650L isn't going to die, Bryce. You have been changing the engine oil, and checking the valve clearances. The Honda XRs are bulletproof motorcycles. Enjoy your ride, and take your time getting to Ushuaia.

The only possible problem you might have is a CDI failure. Fortunately, the CDI unit exhibits intermittent problems for quite some time before it fails completely. Even if you started having CDI problems tomorrow, you would easily complete your trip without untoward difficulties.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to document your trip with such wonderful photographs!

Spud
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:36 PM   #1079
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Originally Posted by Spud Rider View Post
Don't worry; your XR650L isn't going to die, Bryce. You have been changing the engine oil, and checking the valve clearances. The Honda XRs are bulletproof motorcycles. Enjoy your ride, and take your time getting to Ushuaia.

The only possible problem you might have is a CDI failure. Fortunately, the CDI unit exhibits intermittent problems for quite some time before it fails completely. Even if you started having CDI problems tomorrow, you would easily complete your trip without untoward difficulties.

Once again, thanks for taking the time to document your trip with such wonderful photographs!

Spud
Bryce, Ride it like you stole it. It'll make it there and back and probably there and back again.
They are just like big tractors. Thanks for the photos and reports.
Wish it was me!
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:40 PM   #1080
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Sent some more beef money!

Bryce,

I have been following for most of your entire ride, except the last few weeks have had me lagging behind keeping up due to other commitments. I, among others, am thankful that you have taken the time to share with everyone here. This has been a great escape for many and for me, it is helping refocus priorities. I sent you some coin so you can enjoy more of that beautiful beef.

p3
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