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Old 05-16-2013, 06:39 PM   #511
Romanousky OP
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Originally Posted by Hektoglider View Post
Wow. Hope you find a good place to set off the dynomite . Holy crap!
Don't worry I will. Try not to let you guys down
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:42 PM   #512
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We pound down the pavement to Tilcara for a night of camping. We make it just before sunset to set up the tent, grab some hotdogs, buns, mustard, potato chips, and a fifth of “Old Smuggler’s” whiskey to celebrate our last border crossing of the trip. Tilcara is a nice little town. Camp spot was mediocre but at least it had a picnic table. Even a barbeque pit but we couldn’t find wood anywhere.





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Old 05-16-2013, 06:48 PM   #513
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The Old Smuggler didn’t treat me all that well so I’m feeling a bit groggy this morning.



We get everything picked up and put away and are on the road headed for Salta by 9:00 AM.



Stopped at a gas station for coffee and croissants. Best cup of coffee I have had since Costa Rica. Good work Argentina!



Last night’s stay was at 8K feet. We are finally going down and it feels so much better. Breathing is easy again and it isn’t so darn cold.

Followed a nice valley out of Tilcara until we reached the Routa 9 turn off to head for Salta. This is a fantastic road. Only about 8’ wide with a dotted line down the middle that weaves in and out of the mountain crevices while most of the road is draped in jungle vines and large tropical trees. This area looks more like Ecuador than what I would expect in Argentina.









We also passed a number of very nice looking camping areas. Here is the GPS coordinates to the first one that we passed. The second, only 3-5 miles down the road looked even nicer.



Arriving in Salta the town looks quite nice. It is large but not too much traffic to fight. The first hostel was far too expensive. The next was being tended by the brother of the owner who didn’t appear to know much at all. The price he gave us was quite low so we rolled the bikes inside and got settled. Later in the evening the sister pushed for the real price but after saying we would just leave she gave it to us at the “discounted” rate.

Absolutely starving we walked around Salta and stumbled into a McDonald’s…just had to do it. Then we found a few stores that we would like to visit but everything was closed. This is where we learned that nothing really opens in Argentina until about 6:00 PM. What a work schedule? Even the sporting goods and moto shops. Crazy!



I’ve carried a decent amount of US cash all the way from the states because I didn’t know that Ecuador was on the US dollar. Anyway, the whole point is to trade US dollars on the black market, or Blue Dollar market, in Argentina. Luckily the rate is quite high right now. Officially, one US dollar is worth 5.25 Argentinean Pesos. On the black market you can currently get 9 to 9.5 pesos for 1 dollar. So basically if you bring enough cash then everything is damn near half price. I found a guy on the corner of 9 de Julio that I traded $500 for 4,500 pesos. I just made $400USD in about 2 minutes time. Damn I’m good. Later that evening I found another guy and traded another $500 USD for 4,625 pesos. Just made over $400 in another 2 minutes. I’m on fire. Argentina is going to be cheaper than Bolivia.

A little sketchy going through hundreds of bills on the street checking for authenticity but not too terrible:

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Old 05-16-2013, 07:36 PM   #514
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Kicked off the day with a McDonald’s breakfast. Sorry at best. No sausage egg mcmuffins…only ham and cheese sandwiches. Then grab gas. I guy at the station is selling Salami, I try a piece, yeah that’s delicious I’ll take one.





Grab oil for the last change of the trip:



Headed south for a bit and then shot westerly to the small town of Cachi. Got a little bit of offroad in to cross a mountain pass but a rather short ride at only 120 miles. Rolled into town and secured a nice campsite.























Apparently Argentineans love the “idea” of camping but all the campsites are for the most part empty. Doesn’t bother us at all. They are also right on the edge of town so walking in for food and drinks is no issue at all.

Here early we spend our time gather sticks and any wood that we can burn for a proper campfire.





Not before long we have a decent stash and then head into town for lunch and dinner fixens. The town is small, quaint, and nice. You can tell that a lot of the folks here are locals on vacation. They are the most welcoming and friendly people that we have come across on the trip. They all want to know where we are from and how the journey has been. I wish I spoke more Spanish. There is also a heavy Italian influence that you can here in all the restaurant conversations. On and on and on they ramble and drink their wine. Lots of folks stop on the sidewalk an snap photos standing with our bikes…pretty entertaining.

The only thing to be had for dinner is more hotdogs….and some whiskey.



With the sun setting we light the fire, warm our bellies, and make some proper weenie sticks. Before long we are tipsy and running out of wood.







I make an attempt to break a large dead limb off of a dead tree and after dangling and jiggling the bastard I can’t make it come free. With Al’s help we both yard on the stupid thing and it snaps off in a hurry crushing me in the head. Stumble down the hill and almost into the fire I hold my head to ease the pain.

Removing my hand it is absolutely bright red covered in blood and now drops are falling from the tip of my nose. “No Bueno Al, I got a problem”. I hold TP to the wound and after a bit it resides.









We go to the bathroom to rinse my hair. Chunks of my little remaining follicles fall into the sink with pieces of dead skin. Al doesn’t think I need stitches but even if I did what the heck can I do out here camping in the tiny town of Cachi. Just hold paper to the large knot on my skull and hope for the best. Eat the hot dogs, finish the whiskey, and then go check out the sports area where everyone is playing games.



Then sneak back to camp the "short" way.

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Old 05-16-2013, 11:03 PM   #515
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Probably a good thing you own your own body. If you'd rented that thing for the trip someone would be keeping your deposit when you turned it back in, lol.

This is larger than life, we may need to start a fan club, but will need a noble portrait of you to kick it off, preferably not giving that Cheshire smile

BTW, I'm down to either a DR or a DRZ for my next bike, thanks for your inspiration, lol...just need to sell the R first so I can stay married! Use the helmet next time you gather wood :).
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Old 05-17-2013, 12:33 AM   #516
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Good times.

I'm feeling a twinge of sadness that this will be ending before long.

But wait; Uruguay is just across the river from Buenos Aires!! Why, Colonia del Sacramento is a Unesco World Heritage site! How can you not at least go there and take pictures and eat hot dogs and drink whisky? Then there's the Atlantic coastline nearby and Cabo Polonio - one of the kwewlest places anywhere! They'd love you guys there - you'd be treated like rock stars!!

come on come on come on come on!!!
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Old 05-17-2013, 06:09 AM   #517
woodly1069
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Hey guys I know I must have read it somewhere along the story but since I forgot can you tell us why you are only going to Buenos Aries? I'm sure that's a good stopping point if you need to fly home but are you coming back for the bikes so you can go all the way to the end of the road? Just curious...
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:19 PM   #518
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Probably a good thing you own your own body. If you'd rented that thing for the trip someone would be keeping your deposit when you turned it back in, lol.
I can seriously feel pain in ever corner of my body. This trip has really beat the hell out of me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Chuck View Post
This is larger than life, we may need to start a fan club, but will need a noble portrait of you to kick it off, preferably not giving that Cheshire smile

BTW, I'm down to either a DR or a DRZ for my next bike, thanks for your inspiration, lol...just need to sell the R first so I can stay married! Use the helmet next time you gather wood :).
Sweet! I hope the participants bring large checks so that I can just keep riding around the world. Looks like Taranaki is already doing research....he can be the voice of destination.

Good luck on choosing the bike. I don't know what your style is but if you don't plan on throwing the bike around corners and absolutely killing single track, then I would probably opt for the DR. I think my biggest reason would be so that it can handle the large weight of Lockable Panniers. IMHO
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:23 PM   #519
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Good times.

I'm feeling a twinge of sadness that this will be ending before long.

But wait; Uruguay is just across the river from Buenos Aires!! Why, Colonia del Sacramento is a Unesco World Heritage site! How can you not at least go there and take pictures and eat hot dogs and drink whisky? Then there's the Atlantic coastline nearby and Cabo Polonio - one of the kwewlest places anywhere! They'd love you guys there - you'd be treated like rock stars!!

come on come on come on come on!!!
I wish! This is going to kill me going home. I don't want it to end. Complete and utter freedom; waking each day and doing whatever the heck you want to, not worrying about how you will make ends meet, etc....

Right me a check and I'll stay on this long road as long as you please (or fund).

All those places sound nice but I'm thinking "Venturing East" has a nice ring to it.
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:27 PM   #520
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Originally Posted by woodly1069 View Post
Hey guys I know I must have read it somewhere along the story but since I forgot can you tell us why you are only going to Buenos Aries? I'm sure that's a good stopping point if you need to fly home but are you coming back for the bikes so you can go all the way to the end of the road? Just curious...
I'm only going to BA because of the time period that I have chosen to ride in. Meaning that it is far too cold/windy/snowy to go down to the tip right now. I'd love to see but it just wasn't meant to be for this trip.

I will be flying me and my bike home from BA. I can't stand to leave it here. it sounds good and all but you only have a 6 month visa. My line of work doesn't exactly let me take long breaks after 6 months. I basically have to quit work to do this sort of thing. I need a 6 months on 6 months off sort of gig.....oil rigs maybe?
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Old 05-18-2013, 01:42 PM   #521
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I awake to find that my sleeping bag is NOT soaked in blood thank goodness. We pack up and clean up and then throw the shell on my head. I bit tender to say the least. Stopped in town and grabbed some empanadas from a lady on the street. Best empanada I have ever had hands down!!



Today we run down Ruta 40, part of the Dakar rally of 2013, heading for the small wine town of Cafayate.



Ruta 40 is for the most part a gravel road the follows along a river bed with only a trickle remaining. There are stretches of vibrant green corn fields, then desolate desert, then rock formations, then vineyards, then cattle, then back to desert. Really a neat road that I thoroughly enjoyed.



















































The outskirts of Cafayate is nothing but vineyards.





Roll into town and find another campground.



No wood available but this time we just let it go. Walk into town to find groceries and maybe some charcoal for a boring BBQ. Just happened to run into the FlyingDutchman in central park….last we saw each other was Huacachina, Peru. We bullshit and then he grabs a campsite next to ours.




We pick up cheese and crackers and then head back for a proper Argentinean snack while we wait for the restaurants to open up.



We drink beer, wine, & whiskey while snacking away on the salami, cheese, and crackers. Ed knows about the dynamite and badly wants to blow something up. I think this is a bad idea right here at the campsite but we’ll see what happens tonight….liquid courage can change things.

Head into town around 9:00 to a recommended restaurant and devour a choice steak and a nice Malbec.

Ed rolls in fisting his bottle of wine and heads straight for the case of good stuff:









Walk back to camp, prep the dynamite, and head for a vineyard. Ed has some sort of passion to blow up the grapes that he so loves. By this time I’m game. Scale a fence, watch a dog fight, set off some dynamite about 1 block from camp, then head back to the confines of my canvas. Good fun Lalo!

A layer cake of Awesome:

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Old 05-18-2013, 03:23 PM   #522
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I love it when two reports that I'm following meet up along the way, seeing Ed in your photos is like a special guest star on a TV show that I've been watching.

Great trip guys, I appreciate all of the details included about border crossings for future reference.
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Old 05-18-2013, 03:45 PM   #523
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Another report I have caught up on. This is by far the best Ive seen . I currently have a dl650 and after reading a dr is def in my future because of you guys. Congrats on the trip so far we all wish to do this and you gents bring out the inspiration to go. be safe and have a blast. When do you plan to return back state side?
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:26 PM   #524
Romanousky OP
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Originally Posted by davidbrundage View Post
I love it when two reports that I'm following meet up along the way, seeing Ed in your photos is like a special guest star on a TV show that I've been watching.

Great trip guys, I appreciate all of the details included about border crossings for future reference.
Thanks buddy. I hope the border details are good. I notice a lot of people do not do them so I was trying to make a point at it. I feel like I started to slip in South America. A few things I didn't mention was insurance in the last few countries. We rode Peru, Bolivia, and now Argentina without it. Peru does not offer it at the border and we didn't see it anywhere. Bolivia, didn't even know that I was supposed to have it. Argentina, not at the border but tons of Seguro shops everywhere. Just figured I made it this far and already had one car accident so i figured another was unlikely.

If anyone needs additional information don't hesitate to ask, I'll do what I can.
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Old 05-18-2013, 04:28 PM   #525
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Originally Posted by ukturfrocks View Post
Another report I have caught up on. This is by far the best Ive seen . I currently have a dl650 and after reading a dr is def in my future because of you guys. Congrats on the trip so far we all wish to do this and you gents bring out the inspiration to go. be safe and have a blast. When do you plan to return back state side?
Glad we could help and thanks for the compliments. I don't want to spoil but my plan is to ship myself and the bike into Los Angeles around June 10th. From there i will ride back to Oregon. Not sure what the route will be but I will continue to post until i find work. Could be a while....the adventure will continue stateside....hope to still have some followers.
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