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Old 02-13-2013, 08:04 PM   #1081
25jack
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International Drivers License

Is some kind of International Drivers License required for this trip?
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:59 PM   #1082
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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
He's got a spare CDI.
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:52 PM   #1083
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He's got a spare CDI.
That's excellent. He won't have any problems; he should relax, and enjoy himself.

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Old 02-13-2013, 09:57 PM   #1084
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Yep, if you have a spare with you, the original won't break. If you don't have a spare, that's the little bugger that will quit on you... Never fails!
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figures...my stud was rusty I played with my nuts a little and it cranked right over
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:13 AM   #1085
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Originally Posted by Brown Falcon View Post
Yep, if you have a spare with you, the original won't break. If you don't have a spare, that's the little bugger that will quit on you... Never fails!

So true! And my wife keeps asking why I am always ordering stuff for the bike when it is not broken!


Thanks again B. These "en vivo" RR's are a lot of fun.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:06 PM   #1086
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Originally Posted by 25jack View Post
Is some kind of International Drivers License required for this trip?
Nope! I've got one, but they are actually worthless. No one down here wants to see them. I also have a few laminated, color copies of my Oregon licence. These are invaluable. I use them as fake licences. That way when the cops have my "licence", they can't hold it for ransom, aka bribe. Actually they can keep it, but I'll just let them keep it.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:12 PM   #1087
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Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Nope! I've got one, but they are actually worthless. No one down here wants to see them. I also have a few laminated, color copies of my Oregon licence. These are invaluable. I use them as fake licences. That way when the cops have my "licence", they can't hold it for ransom, aka bribe. Actually they can keep it, but I'll just let them keep it.

Only place I was asked for one is on the Northern border of Brazil with Venezuela. I always give it instead of my regular licence, I just carry copies of it, never even had to give one away yet.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:27 PM   #1088
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Originally Posted by Ulyses View Post
Nope! I've got one, but they are actually worthless. No one down here wants to see them. I also have a few laminated, color copies of my Oregon licence. These are invaluable. I use them as fake licences. That way when the cops have my "licence", they can't hold it for ransom, aka bribe. Actually they can keep it, but I'll just let them keep it.
Great idea! That never occurred to me.

Do you also keep a photocopy of your passport handy to show when asked, rather than the real thing? That's a document I don't like to get too far away from.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:38 PM   #1089
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Great idea! That never occurred to me.

Do you also keep a photocopy of your passport handy to show when asked, rather than the real thing? That's a document I don't like to get too far away from.
Oh yeah! I've got multiple copies of everything. The licences actually look like real licences, especially to someone who hasn't seen an American licence (read: everyone). Everything else, including the passport, is just a color xerox. You need lots of copies for your documents at the Central American borders.

When I got my speeding ticket in Colombia, I just gave the cops copies of everything. They asked for the originals, but I was playing dumb gringo at the time and just told them that I didn't understand. When they kept pressing me, I just told them that all of the originals where at my hotel. They were fishing for a bribe, but I wasn't going to give them squat. They could have threatened to take my "licence" back to the station until I paid up, but I really didn't care because it was fake.
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Old 02-14-2013, 04:45 PM   #1090
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Originally Posted by Throttlemeister View Post
Only place I was asked for one is on the Northern border of Brazil with Venezuela. I always give it instead of my regular licence, I just carry copies of it, never even had to give one away yet.
Yeah, I have copies of my drivers license too. They work for everything. We were stopped and asked for our paperwork in Southern Brazil and I mistakenly gave him my REAL Texas drivers licence and my buddy gave him his fake. They guy looked at them and looked at my buddy and said "this one is fake!" My buddies eyes got big as saucers! :-) He said, "hold on, I've got the real one right here, let me get it, hold on!" They guy says, "don't worry about it, we only wanted to see the bikes!" :-)

Most of them don't care in South America as long as you have it.

I carry a copy of my Passport (which works for almost everything except the border crossings and police stops), copy of my Title, copy of my Texas insurance card (which is worthless but they don't know that), a copy of my drivers license, they real immigration papers,my real Colombian insurance card (also worthless) and the Aduana documents all in a zip lock bag.

When I'm stopped and asked for documentation, I start off giving them only the minimum I can get away with, which is usually my real passport and my Aduana documents for the bike. Then I let them ask for the rest. Which is usually the copy of title, sometimes my license, sometimes insurance. I have the international drivers license; worthless!

Ulysses, we are headed home. I would say South America border crossing have been VERY easy, in general. I need to know about Central America border crossings and police stops. Are they easy or difficult. Should we plan a whole day at the border or just a couple hours? Anything to avoid?
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:23 PM   #1091
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Hace viento, no?

Day 122 (February 14, 2013)
Bariloche, Argentina to Gobernador Costa, Argentina
Day's Ride: 286 Miles



I actually have a lot more pictures than what are about to be posted; however, my new Japanese speaking camera refuses to cooperate with me and so I can only pull the photos from my iphone.

I got up at first light (around 7:00 AM) and went out to do a little valve check before I got started for the day.



This was the first time that I had done it unsupervised; however, it seemed pretty straight forward so I wasn't too worried. I'm hoping that this was the "T" that indicates TDC; if I'm wrong, I'm sure one of you will correct me:



In any event, the left intake valve was a little tight, so I loosened it up. Everything else seemed good. I don't have a .12mm feeler gauge to check the exhaust valves, so I just combined the .07mm and .05mm gauges. Hope that's up to spec....

With the bike all tuned up, I jumped on and started riding south on the famous Ruta 40. I was immediately reminded that I was now officially in Patagonia; the scenery was gorgeous!



I stopped in El Bolson for lunch and was immediately aware of the high concentration of bare footed, poncho wearing hippies that were wondering about. Sorry diegoteck, I didn't stay to learn more about El Bolson; I've heard rumors, but Ruta 40 called!



South of Bolson the terrain opened up, and I emerged onto the Argentinian Pampas.



I had heard stories about the wind down here, but I didn't really grasp the magnitude of how intense it was until I saw a dead Armadillo literally get blown across the road. I took pictures of it with my new camera, but alas, I can't decipher the language enough to pull the photos.

I've been learning a lot about the Argentinos. First of all, they drink Matte like water. Actually, they drink it with the same frequency as they inhale oxygen. Actually, they might take in more Matte than they take in Oxygen. It's close. It seems like every Argentino I see is carrying around a thermos full of hot water and their little Matte gourd. Every service station I stop in has these massive hot water dispensers:



I thought I had seen some people in the states who drank a lot of Starbucks; they don't hold a candle to the Argentinos!

Second, they are still sore about the Malvinas (Falkland Islands). For those of you that don't habla, the sign below reads "The Malvinas (Falkland Islands) are Argentinian". I had heard stories that this was still a hot topic for the Argentinos, but after seeing about five of these signs throughout the day, I began to realize just how serious they must take it.



The above scene is just screaming with patriotism: a huge Argentinian flag, a Malvinas sign, and a little Ruta 40 sign.

After about 300 miles, I decided to call it a day. I stopped in a little town off of Ruta 40 and hunted for a hotel. The cheapest one I could find was about 200 Pesos (about $33). At the beginning of the trip, in Mexico, I would have jumped at a $30 hotel. However, after all of the places I've been on this trip, I've come to regard a $30 hotel as something akin to the Ritz or at least a nice Hilton. Really, I've turned into a total cheapskate. I hunted down the local tourist office and asked them if there was anything cheaper in town. They pointed me to the Municipal Camping site, which charges 10 Pesos per person (approx $2). Sold!



Since it was still relatively early according to Argentinian time, I went to hunt down some wifi. The gas station had it, but no one new the password and the owner was out of town. I was eventually pointed towards a restaurant. Unfortunately, they didn't open until 8:30PM, which is quite typical. Out of all of the countries I've been to so far, Argentina seems to have the most in common with Spain. They people are very European, they take the siesta seriously, they don't eat dinner until 10:00PM, they stay up till 2:00AM (even little kids), and they have a very pronounced accent.

I came back at 8:45 PM and they were just opening the doors for dinner. Incredible.

Tomorrow, I'm going to jaunt on down to the Atlantic. I've made the decision to blast down to Ushuaia on the pavement then take my time coming back. I think that by getting Ushuaia off of my chest, I'll be able to slow down and really enjoy the rest of the trip. I'll probably be in Ushuaia in about three or four days. Then, I can spend a couple of weeks tooling around in Patagonia: Ruta 40 (the crazy gravel part), Torres del Paine, Carretera Austral, Fitz Roy, Perrito Moreno, etc. I know that they bike will make it down there, but I'm so goal oriented that if I take my time getting down there, I'm just going to be thinking about Ushuaia the whole time and won't really enjoy Patagonia.

I'm seriously considering spending about four or five days hiking in Torres del Paine.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:30 PM   #1092
25jack
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paperwork needed

If you covered it earlier I missed it. What paperwork do you need for this trip? Passport, License, Title. Insurance?
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:30 PM   #1093
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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
You were right about the Germans; I think I saw about 20 German resteraunts in Bariloche. I ate at a place called "Der Tiroler".

So what's the story with El Bolson? Other than being a hippie paridise and "non-nuclear" zone, is there some history that I'm missing? It really reminded me of Portlandia (Oregon) actually.

Also, can you fill me in on why Matte is so popular? These are some burning questions!
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:36 PM   #1094
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If you covered it earlier I missed it. What paperwork do you need for this trip? Passport, License, Title. Insurance?
Passport, licence, title, registration. Insurance will vary by country, but your American insurance won't work. If it's required, they will make you buy it at the border. Actually, in some countries, if you try hard enough, you can lie and tell them that your American insurance WILL work and therefore avoid buying the national insurance which probably isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Mexico will be one country where you will have to buy legitimate insurance as they generally know that your American insurance is worthless.

For Central America, you will need a ream of copies of each of these documents. If you don't have copies, you'll have to pay to have them made at the border.

It's also reported that some countries require proof of a yellow fever vaccine. I haven't been asked for it, but I have it.

Other than that, having a few fake copies of your licence is helpful. I made mine at a Staples in San Diego for $3.
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Old 02-14-2013, 05:51 PM   #1095
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Ulysses, we are headed home. I would say South America border crossing have been VERY easy, in general. I need to know about Central America border crossings and police stops. Are they easy or difficult. Should we plan a whole day at the border or just a couple hours? Anything to avoid?
Ugghhh....avoid the major border crossings. Try and shoot for the smaller ones that are more out of the way. They will generally be a lot more "tranquilo". Assuming that they are open of course. Sometimes they like to take long siestas out in the boonies.

I would plan on spending a few hours at each one. Hopefully it will be shorter, but sometimes you get stuck behind hoards of people or have the wrong papers. I typically tried to hit them in the morning whenever possible.

Costa Rica and Panama seemed fairly legitamite. Everything else was a walking nightmare. The worst part will be the hordes of tramitadores. Sometimes I would literally have 20 sweaty latinos chasing me towards customs, babbling at me in unintelligable english and trying to get my money. Sometimes I wished I had a can of peper spray or a tazer. Even when I told them repeatedly that I didn't want their help, they kept bugging me. So frusterating.

I would say the borders are hit or miss. I spent 6 hours at the Mexico-Guatemala border, but that was because we had the wrong stamps in our passport. I mangaged to sneak through, but my buddy Justin couldn't get through and had to pay the Mexicans a "fine" before they would fix his passport. Conversly, it only took me about a half hour to get from Guatemala to Honduras.

Some of these borders are very straightforward. Some are aboslute chaos. There really isn't any way to prepare other than to see what other people have done recently. I would search for Jdowns post on Central American border crossings. He's got lot's of details.

If you want specific details on the crossings that I used, I'll try and shoot you details. Every single one is different.
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