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Old 05-13-2013, 05:41 PM   #496
rtwpaul
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Romanousky View Post

Also, next trip I do I want to slow it down. We move to far to fast. I don't ever want to do more than 150 miles in a day. You see more, you are more comfortable, you experience more. All the more reason to have a "dirt bike". JUST DO IT!!!
i repeat this line above to every person that is thinking of heading south

but now i'll tag this onto the end of that line after reading the last few posts...."add dynamite and tequila and now its a party!!!!"
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:16 PM   #497
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When this trip started I could see this becoming the STD Tour.
But that collapsed into the alcohol research tour. Ibuprofin for breakfast.
Then the sexual frustration release blowing things up.
AWESOME
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:07 PM   #498
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Originally Posted by Ricky Chuck View Post
Too much sensory input, lol!!

I have been reading two threads, this one and the blog thread which I just realized was there, and was in a meeting on my deskphone and watching videos on my other computer, and innocently enjoying the Panama vid when it cuts off just as Romanousky tries to do the Lambada and evidently trips and heads for the dirt as the vid goes to black...

I forgot I wasn't on mute, so suddenly I'm guffawing and then realize there are crickets chirping on the meeting phone..."Uh...Rick, why are you laughing?"

The Romanousky Gambit has once again claimed a victim!!!
This cracked me up! Reminds me of being in my office on an "important" call. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 05-15-2013, 02:13 PM   #499
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
This is a great endorsement of the Awesome DRZ400! Why ride a $10,000 motorcycle down there? It could be stolen or destroyed tomorrow. With my DR650 (or your DRZ's) ... if she blows or is stolen ... I just walk away, still able to continue on.

I do agree about your pace. Slower is better if you can manage it. But honestly I don't think you guys have missed much. BIG UPS! It's been a great report ... but you guys DO move FAST! (from Colombia to Chile I spent 11 months )

Once I got to Argentina I slowed down a lot. Mostly gob smacked looking at the Women! Also very cheap during those years.

The Italian influence will blow your minds. In the Northern areas (Cordoba, Tucuman) you can hear Italian being spoken. Beautiful people; funny, charming ... but they talk A LOT (from the Mate') ... and almost never work .. and argue about everything!
Can you imagine two pilots screaming at each other during pre flight run up? ... right before take off? It happened! (we didn't crash!)

After struggling through the Alti Plano I think Argentina may provide some well deserved comfort and sensory indulgence. Lots to see too if you look around. (besides the girls!)
Don't get stuck on the Salar mud! Eyes UP - Ride safe!
You are so correct. In the small wine shops you can hear the Italian influence. And the ramble on and on and on. Also, nothing seems to open until 5:30 PM. So they must not work much ;)
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Old 05-15-2013, 07:35 PM   #500
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Originally Posted by Romanousky View Post
You are so correct. In the small wine shops you can hear the Italian influence. And the ramble on and on and on. Also, nothing seems to open until 5:30 PM. So they must not work much ;)
Yea, but they'll be at dinner at midnight. Also notice ... drunken behavior is NOT looked upon favorably in Argen. We were kicked out of several restaurants ... too much Vino, too noisy. Everyone drinks there ... but almost NO ONE gets roaring drunk, loud or rowdy.
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Old 05-15-2013, 11:42 PM   #501
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Hi! I've been watching this thread since it was linked on reddit. For some reason this really intrigued and inspired me, I normally would look over something like this and move on, but it's been bookmarked since I found it and I check for new posts daily. Just signed up to drop in and say thanks for the updates, looks like an awesome trip.
Cheers
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:13 PM   #502
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Originally Posted by vintagespeed View Post
holy effing perfect update. unreal and epic!
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:16 PM   #503
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Originally Posted by rtwpaul View Post
but now i'll tag this onto the end of that line after reading the last few posts...."add dynamite and tequila and now its a party!!!!"
And I like to party......so lets keep this trucking into Argentina.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:17 PM   #504
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MRED View Post
When this trip started I could see this becoming the STD Tour.
But that collapsed into the alcohol research tour. Ibuprofin for breakfast.
Then the sexual frustration release blowing things up.
AWESOME
So you had a lot of confidence in me when I departed.....Is that what you're saying? Anyway, I haven't uploaded all the gopro.
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:19 PM   #505
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typewritertrew View Post
Hi! I've been watching this thread since it was linked on reddit. For some reason this really intrigued and inspired me, I normally would look over something like this and move on, but it's been bookmarked since I found it and I check for new posts daily. Just signed up to drop in and say thanks for the updates, looks like an awesome trip.
Cheers
Thanks for dropping in. I have to ask; what is "reddit" and is it good or bad that I am linked on it?
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Old 05-16-2013, 01:21 PM   #506
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Originally Posted by Adv Grifter View Post
... but almost NO ONE gets roaring drunk, loud or rowdy.

That's funny because I do. Should make it interesting....but I'll watch it a bit.
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Old 05-16-2013, 04:36 PM   #507
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First thing to do is run down to the gasolinera where we find that the protests are continuing. We ask all over town and they say that tomorrow morning we should be able to get gas. I even offer locals double price to siphon from their car because I do not want to stay another night….not happening. Then we roll to the Llavado to get the bikes washed and to see what is left underneath the salt. Water is frozen so they are still closed; yeah it’s cold here.



We grab breakfast and then head back to the wash station and pay an exorbitant gringo price to have them pressure washed and soaped down. Then head for the hotel to pay for another night after checking on the gas station again.





Station still blocked:



Right next door to us is a Frenchman riding two-up with his wife and we tell him about the gas situation. He busts out a piece of paper with the name of an ice cream shop on it “Heladeria Pinguil”. He says that he read about another rider who experienced this same situation and this ice cream shop sold him gas out of the back. So we all leave the hotel and a few blocks later find the place and they have gas!! The price is only $7 bolivianos per liter which is half way between local and international price so we gladly pay this and fill the tanks. It is just before noon so we rush back to the hotel and load up. 120 miles of pure offroad in front of us to the next town of Tupiza.





Leaving town there is a roadblock made of cars, bicycles, garbage, and rocks. We squeeze between a bicycle and a car before anyone can make a move on us and hit the dusty trail.

Just after squeezing through the blockage:



First 30 or so miles is straight lines full of brutal washboard with the occasional 20 yards of sand patches thrown in that tries to give you a case of the tank slappers. We run this section full out at our normal cruising speed of 55mph. Occasionally there are large ruts/dips in the road that bottom out your back end and then send it flying diaganoly just to test how hard you can squeeze your knees against the tank.

During one of these episodes my front end smashed hard and I flew out of the rut with a large piece of the bike flying up into the air and then smashing me in the face……it was the llama skull. Happened so fast it could have been anything I thought I was going to go down hard. Phew!!

Then the road entered the hills winding through red rock terrain and rolling cactus laden hills. The Frenchman who gave us the lead on fuel said that this road took him a little over 5 hours. He said we might be able to do it in 4 if we are cruising. I said 3 hours I’ll be in Tapiza and he said no way. This is an Enduro event with a single entry. Sliding around corners, hitting large rocks, slamming gears because the bike just won’t run right under 5K RPM due to the elevation, I am absolutely punishing the DRZ.





Occasionally there is a sign that depicts a sharp corner or twisty road ahead. It seems that whenever a sign is present you can haul ass because the corners will NOT be very sharp and when there are no signs you better be careful. I learned this after flying up over a hill where the road immediately turned 90* and also turned into loose sandy dirt rather than gravel. Sharp turn and over the handlebars I went….kinda bugered up my shoulder but my luck was due to run out soon. :mutt



A few miles down the rode and I realize I am aiming at 11 O’clock in order to go straight; somehow I tweaked the forks in the triples. Stopped, loosened everything up and realigned everything. Seems to be fixed.



All along the way I was looking for a good spot for a little explosion but nothing jumped out at me. We rolled into Tapiza after 3 hours 15 minutes. Killed it. These people are protesting as well so we had to turn around at the road block and navigate around town along a river bed and then jump onto the highway where we found a gas station. The first was out of fuel due to the road blocks but the second had a bit. The lady wouldn’t take a tip so we paid international rate for the last time. We will exit Bolivia tomorrow.

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Old 05-16-2013, 04:39 PM   #508
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More photos just before entering Tapiza, Bolivia.









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Old 05-16-2013, 05:09 PM   #509
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Today internet duties consumed the majority of the day. Walked around town, found some grease for the chains, ate a bunch of street food, and hid dynamite in various places among my bike to bring to Argentina. I’m going fishing one way or another. POW!

5/12/13

Shoot south for the last bordering crossing that I will make on this trip. Decent ride but nothing notable.

So we get to Villazon, on the border, and I watch the bikes while Al figures out the process. He turns in the bike paperwork and stamps out of Bolivia in all of 5 minutes. It is quite nice because the Bolivian and Argentinean immigration and customs office are all in the same place.



But then he goes to get his stamp into Argentina and can’t. We were expecting to pay the $160 reciprocity fee but were completely unaware that YOU CANNOT PAY IN CASH at the border. Apparently noone sent me the memo. You must pay online and print a receipt.

The website:



So then we turn back and drive into Villazon looking for an internet shop with a printer. The 3rd one we stop at has both computers and printers. Sit down and access the website. I can make it only so far through the process and then the internet cuts out or the browser times out and can’t load the required page. After 100 tries and much frustration sitting in a room full of kids playing video games, looking at porn, and playing rap music we say F*CK it go to a hostal/hotel. They have wifi so we can use our own computers. No success. The internet is just flat out to slow to make this required payment to enter the next bloody country.

So I call my buddy Robert (the guy that met us in Medellin). I wake him up and tell him I need help, here is a website, here is a debit card number, just save the forms as pdf’s and email them to me. I owe Robert big time. He has been an awesome help for me on this journey. 15 minutes later I get two emails with our Payment receipts that I quickly print out back at the first internet café.

We pull up at the border again and now a bus has dropped off about 70 Bolivians trying to enter Argentina. The sun is beating down on us and all I can think about are the hidden stashes of explosive in my bike and how they my start leaking impact sensitive fluids at any time. I stand in line for a solid hour to get my exit stamp. Entering Argentina took no time at all. Now we can pull the bikes into the shade and get them imported. The guys inspecting the citizens that came off the bus are doing serious searches. Digging through all the belongings pretty in depth. We get the bikes imported (30 minutes for both) and then are told to show some guy our papers and he will inspect the bikes before we can enter. He says to hang on a minute while he is digging through somebody’s luggage and will be over soon. I’ve got this stuff tucked away pretty good but still have my concerns. His line gets longer and longer and finally he yells at the guy who do the paperwork for our bikes and asks if he will do the inspection. You can tell this is one lazy government employee so I’m feeling better already. He walks over, checks the vin number to match the paperwork, asks what’s in the bags, we say clothes and camping gear, he says go ahead. Sweet!!!!! Resume update: International explosive trafficker. BAM!!!

Before we depart we ask where we can trade in the Bolivianos for Argentinean Pesos. He says you have to do that in Bolivia. So Al runs back (no bikes allowed) and changes our money out. The guy doing the change accidently divided by .73 instead of multiplying. I made about $150 in the ordeal and Al picked up an extra $350 or so. Awesome, entrance to Argentina paid for on a fluke.
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:06 PM   #510
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Wow. Hope you find a good place to set off the dynomite . Holy crap!
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