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Old 02-21-2013, 09:48 AM   #91
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Originally Posted by porkandcorn View Post
and they are having an asado (BBQ) tonight. very excited about this!
Makes my mouth water just thinking about an asado
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:50 AM   #92
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oh... the meat we shall eat!
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Old 02-21-2013, 10:53 AM   #93
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such a cool thread! keep 'er going man!
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:36 AM   #94
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Hey man, I just met Bear on the ferry to TDF two days ago. We rode into Ushuaia together and he told me about you. Good to see a fellow bald Oregonian making the ride! Cheers man and good luck!
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:15 PM   #95
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sweet! oso en moto!
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Old 02-24-2013, 04:53 AM   #96
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córdoba, argentina

friday, february 22, 2013

i wasn't expecting to like córdoba, argentina as much as i have. i guess that is why i stayed for three days, when i was only planning on being there for one day. it would be a shame to waste a perfectly good weekend anywhere else. mendoza can wait. changing my tires can wait. the north of the continent can wait.


cordoba night by porkandcorn, on Flickr


cordoba2 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

the asado with the motorcyclists in villa carlos paz, argentina last night was good. i pulled into a gas station on the edge of town where i was to meet john, another ADV rider from the states. i didn't even put my foot down before he pulled up on his KTM 990, and led the way to the BBQ. john took 10 months to ride down to SA from the states, and then ended up staying in córdoba for the last year. traveling can be dangerous like that.


villa carlos paz by porkandcorn, on Flickr

it was just a few blocks away, and john let the way over a driveway, through a front yard, down a narrow walkway between houses, and into the backyard. i barely fit, and broke the same turn signal that i fixed in florianopolis. it's ok, i have more glue.

the tiger was the belle of the ball. everywhere i go, this bike is received like royalty. after meeting everyone, there were lots of questions, lots of photos of the bike, some people wanted to sit on her to get the sizing, and one guy offered to buy it on site for what i had into it. (they are 2-3 times more expensive in argentina, so it would have been a good deal for both of us.) unfortunately for him, i need her to get to columbia.


motos at the asado, villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


the guys, asado, villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

although i was struggling with the language again, it was nice to be received by some other riders. i felt very welcomed. these were enduro riders - technical off-road guys. sitting around the table as the meat began to flow, it was apparent how different the córdoban dialect is from other argentine dialects. the pace is quick, and the tongue was just different enough that i could only process about 5% of what was said that night. but i have gotten used to that, and just enjoyed the pace of conversation, the flow back and forth, the punchlines to jokes i didn't understand. occasionally, a kind soul would slow down, speak a little english, or tell me what was being talked about. again, motivation to continue learning languages.


montañas de carne, asado, villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i got some good road advice from john for my exit from córdoba toward mendoza. john, thanks for the experience, and good luck in your future travels.

córdoba, like most other argentine cities, is full off people running for exercise from about 7-9pm every night. the episode with my possibly broken foot has passed, and i've been joining the runners every night. most people are running in sarmiento park on the east side of down. it's a maze of sidewalks and running paths, and they are all packed with people. if you are between the age of 18-35, that seems to be where you go and what you do before you head out to dinner. i remember the same thing in buenos aires, and rosario. argentines are fit and attractive because they like to run.


lake in sarmiento by porkandcorn, on Flickr


overlook for sarmiento park, córdoba, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


runners at sarmiento park, córdoba, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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Old 02-24-2013, 01:23 PM   #97
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merlo, argentina to mendoza, argentina

sunday, february 24, 2013

i was planning to spend saturday night in córdoba, but i checked the weather and saw that there was a big storm coming in saturday night. i didn't want to get caught there, and i didn't want to have all the mountains closed in with clouds when i crossed over on my way to mendoza.

so i did my patented 15 minute packing of the bike (i've gotten very efficient with this), put a route in the GPS, and left córdoba. i had to go through villa carlos pas again, to catch route 20. route 20 winds up into the mountains, with a pass at about 6,000 ft. they are not massive mountains, but they are beautiful.


overlook, west of villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


vista of villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

there were lots of motorcycles on the road because there are lots of twisties to ride. i was stopping a lot to look from the vistas, talking to other motorcyclists, and in general taking my time.


garmin route 20, west of villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


route 20, west of villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


route 20, east of mina clavero, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


vista on route 20, east of mina clavero, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


twisties, route 20, east of mina clavero, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i rode toward villa dolores, argentina, but took a smaller road south to merlo, argentina. it runs through about 10 really interesting small towns, each worthy of photos, stops, and exploration. i made it to merlo, and noticed a group of motorcyclists at a cafe. i pulled a u-turn, parked the bike. "¡hola motociclistas!," i said, and started talking with them. of course, i immediately received and invitation to follow them to the place they were staying and stay there for the night. it was a beautiful cluster of guests homes on the edge of town, right at the foothills that climb up into the sierras.


the boys having coffee, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


panorama, aparts de montaña, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


chaco, savino, y martín, aparts de montaña, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i finally burned through my rear brake pads on the descent into merlo. before we all went out to dinner, i took the time to change them out - finally got to use some of the tools and parts that i have been dragging around all this time. the chain needed a good clean and lube also.


changing rear brakes, aparts de montaña, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


successful installation, aparts de montaña, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

while i was changing out the brakes, some of the guys were watching and asking questions about my trip. i gave out my postcards that i had made for the journey. one side with a description of who i am and why i'm on this adventure, and the other side all about portland, my city. as he read it, cacho, the shorter guy with grey hair, told me that the postcard was making him very emotional. i was standing there cleaning the grease off my hands, and watched a tear run down his cheek. i'm not sure which part got to him, but i realized at that moment that what i'm doing is a lot bigger than me. there's something in all of us that wants to explore and connect with other people. there's a part of that in cacho.


postcard front by porkandcorn, on Flickr


postcard back by porkandcorn, on Flickr


yo, barbie, chachito, savino, martín, y chachez (missing paganini), aparts de montaña, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


chachez, yo, barbie, y martín, aparts de montaña, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

all the guys are from cities and towns near merlo, probably just down for the weekend to hang out. martín, the owner of the guest house (aparts de montaña) is originally from buenos aires. while i was cleaning my chain, i asked him why he moved to merlo. he said that a couple of years ago, while in buenos aires, he was hi-jacked in the city at gun point for his car. from what i understand, they held him for 90 minutes, occasionally putting the barrel of the gun to his head and threatening to kill him. he told me that his cojones were in his throat. after that, he couldn't live in the city anymore, and moved to merlo to start his life over.

martín followed me out of the city this morning when i left. we stopped on the roadside to take these pictures. i could see tears in his eyes as he told me he would be with my on my journey, that 'i had his heart'.


me & martín, outside of merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


sierras de merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

i couldn't have been luckier to meet such an amazing group of guys. thanks to all of you for adopting me for a night! the motorcycling family grows...


paganini, me, cacho, savino, chachez, & barbie, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

this morning, the ride from merlo back to mendoza, argentina was about a 5 hour blast through the valley that separates the mountains just west of córdoba from the massive andes range to the west of mendoza. the andes are so enormous, that you can see them for a couple hundred miles away. as you approach mendoza, twisting through the famous malbec vineyards, aconcágua looms ominously and snow capped in the background. as i looked at the andes, i though about the next couple of weeks that will take me into and over them again.

tomorrow, i change oil and tires, and hopefully tuesday i head north into the mountains.


straight blast through the valley, west of merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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Old 02-24-2013, 06:33 PM   #98
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fantastic!

Great report thus far mate, enjoy the cheap food and gas before you hit the expensive petrol or Brazil! Best of luck! and congrats so far~!
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Old 02-24-2013, 06:56 PM   #99
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Hola desde Sur Tejas!

Great pictures, perfect balance to the narrative with just enough detail...great RR.

I keep threatening to rent a motorcycle and ride around the Willamette valley in Oregon but i've yet to do it. When I was a kid and poor we worked in the fields up there picking strawberries, living in a labor camp in the Sholls Ferry area.

May you continue to have a fantastic trip...now, about the bike.

Did you consider others before settling on the Triumph? It sure is looking sweet and I suspect that triple is a nice engine. I know of at least one rider that went from 1200 GS to the 800. Would you choose that bike again or go with something different?
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Old 02-24-2013, 08:04 PM   #100
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I officially rate this thread and trip as 'kick ass'

great photos too...
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:18 AM   #101
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This is great.
Thanks for the detailed account.
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Old 02-25-2013, 07:37 AM   #102
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I love the Portland postcard you made. Micro cerveserias, Indeed

Great photos, and they're all with an iPhone 5! Incredible.
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Old 02-25-2013, 08:36 AM   #103
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What is it about us midwesterners that draws us to the Tiger
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:14 PM   #104
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thanks everyone for your enthusiasm! it's good to know others are along for the ride. to answer the question about my choice of the tiger, here's a post from my "Obsessive-Compulsive South America Trip Preparation" thread.

Triumph Tiger 800xc vs. the Competition

there is also a lot of info on the tiger and it's accessories in my Canada trip, which you'll find a link to in my signature.

i would make the same choice over the KTM 990 and the F800GS again in a heartbeat.

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Old 02-25-2013, 07:00 PM   #105
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mendoza, argentina

monday, february 25, 2013

i'm humbled by the kindness of the argentine people. i'm not sure if i'm lucky, or if there are just awesome people all over this country (or both) - but i like it. i didn't know what to think about argentina before i came here, hearing usually only bad news in the american media about the depressed economy, hated president, riots and strikes in the streets, the tanking currency and resulting black markets... now, having been in buenos aires, santa fe, rosario, córdoba, mendoza, and countless small towns in between - i'm officially a fan of this country and of it's people. there is such warmth, generosity, and passion for life that while sitting down for dinner tonight on one of the many crowded pedestrian streets, i myself became a little emotional thinking about everything that has happened to me here. i smiled as i watched people pass by, eating yet another enormous steak. even if something bad were to happen here, nothing could erase the kindness that i have experienced in this beautiful country.

i came into town yesterday, knowing that i would spend today changing my tires and oil. last night i went out for a simple dinner, and found a full-blown wine festival happening near the central square of mendoza. there was two blocks of wineries, a live band, and lots of people for a sunday night. the temperature had dropped, and that brought them out.


megadegustacion festival, mendoza, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


hey sexy!, mendoza, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

a mustached man was tormenting the festival at the main tent. he was some kind of honorary figure (from the countryside no doubt), but after a couple hours of pounding wine he got super hammered and was making a scene and generally entertaining and horrifying everyone. to his credit - he kissed, or slobbered on, almost every pretty girl in attendance. and due to his mystery status, there wasn't much anyone could do about it. i was taking pictures, and he threatened to fight me if i didn't take his. i agreed, of course. he stole this poor girl away from her boyfriend for the shot.


very drunk guy at the festival, mendoza, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

my quiet night out ended up with me dancing to more cumbia with the people that were involved in organizing the festival for the city of mendoza. they are doing a good job of branding mendoza maravillosa as the wine capital of the universe. you have to work pretty hard to find a bad glass of wine, or a bad party around here.


mendoza marivilosa girls, mendoza, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

the next day, with a slight headache, i met up with mathieu from mendoza motoaventura. he is french, but has lived in mendoza for over ten years. i could understand his spanish perfectly, because he is not a native speaker - funny how that works. i emailed him through his website, because i heard about him through ADVrider.com. he has never heard of ADVrider.com. i told him i needed a place to change my tires and oil, and he offered up his workshop in downtown mendoza. mathieu rents motos and organizes moto tours in the beautiful areas surrounding mendoza. give him your business if you decide to come here - he's a fantastic person and his operation is outstanding.


mathieu saved my ass, mendoza, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

as i was waiting for him to meet me, another guy came up to the triumph, curious about the bike and especially the shiny, new german-made heidenau k60s strapped to the bike. i told him what i was up to, and it turns out he's an ADV rider, with a BMW GS1200. i let him know that my old tires were going to be for sale after i swapped them out for the new ones. the heidenau's are such a high quality tire, the front still looked new after 10,000 kilometers, and the rear had only flattened out on the center of the tread by less than a centimeter - due to all the highway miles i put on the bike crossing to brazil and back. so i decided to only change out the rear.


pato y mathieu discussing my fate, mendoza, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

josé (who goes by "pato" - meaning "duck") offered up his BMW mechanic for the oil change and to sort out a fuel problem i was having this morning due to what i think was a bad tank of gas at the end of the ride yesterday. this was great, because while mathieu had a good space for the tire change, he didn't have a set-up for dealing with an oil change and the used oil. pato also was interested in the used tires, and eventually found a buyer for me earlier tonight - the son of a riding partner that he rode with through patagonia. what luck!

so mathieu and i zipped off to the BMW dealer. on the way, the fuel problem cleared up. must have been air, water, or some contaminants in the lines, but after some high RPMs on the way to the mechanic, it all disappeared completely. this is good, because that was stressing me out. the mechanic wasn't available until 6pm, which left me four hours to attempt a change of the rear tire in mathieu's workspace.

well, after fighting with the tire for an hour, i accepted defeat. i wanted to at least try. i later realized that when i practiced the tire change in oregon, i had 2x4s underneath both sides of the tire. this allowed me to stand on top of the tire, pushing the bottom side-wall toward the center of the rim, while using the spoons on the top sidewall. i forgot about this, and, there were no materials of a similar thickness that i could find in the workspace to keep the tire toward the center of the rim - essential for spooning on these monstrously stiff german tires. lesson learned.


changing the tiger's rear wheel, mendoza motoaventura, mendoza, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

so mathieu, ever patient, put my huge-ness and the very heavy tire on the back of his 250cc tornado, and tested his riding skills for the 5-mile drive across town the the gomeria (tire shop). not only did he have my 235lbs, but he had a 75lb wheel and tire hanging off to one side. i hung on for my life through the insane mendoza traffic with one hand, getting a gold's gym quality workout with my other arm holding the wheel for the ride. he is clearly a very skilled rider, as we arrived without any difficulty.

the guys at the gomeria had the tire on in 5 minutes, and we were off to put the wheel back on at the workspace. lesson: don't make life harder than it needs to be - there will be plenty of opportunities to be a hero when the need arrives.


gomeria narvaez, mendoza, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr


spinning on the heidenau k60, gomeria, mendoza, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

again, today, the motorcycle family has grown. mathieu wouldn't let me pay him for the use of his space and for his time. pato found a buyer for my tires at a fair price, and waited with me for an hour until the purchase was complete. thank you, thank you, thank you. i'm speachless and, as i said in the beginning of this post, humbled...


pato y mathieu have a plan, mendoza, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

funny that in contrast, i got this note from the lady who runs the pousada where i am staying when i got home. she means well by it - she wants to protect me from possible harm - but at the possible expense of her neighbors. there is this constant dichotomy of trust vs. distrust around here - between people of the same countries and cultures, and between the people of one country or culture vs. another. it's complicated to understand the dynamics without being here to experience it yourself. again, my policy is to just keep to the center.


advice from pousada owner, mendoza, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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