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Old 06-02-2014, 11:22 AM   #226
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death road.....sign me up! what's the worst that could happen?
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Old 06-09-2014, 10:10 AM   #227
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Originally Posted by vintagespeed View Post
death road.....sign me up! what's the worst that could happen?
Hmmm, perhaps you get a case of Bolivia belly midway down the road... and forgot to bring TP.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:41 PM   #228
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Stuck in second gear: Bolivia. Repost, BUT WITH PHOTOS!

I'll decorate this post with some photos as soon as I can, for now... (June 11th edit: Now with Photos!)

Sometimes you want to get somewhere, but it feels like you are stuck in second gear, and just can't get there as fast as you intended.
Figuratively and literally, that is Bolivia for me.



Jayne's time in Bolivia was marred with rain. A moto friend of hers had said long ago simply "don't go to Bolivia in Rainy season". Given that Jayne had a below average time and I have loved the rides and otherwise really enjoyed myself here, I think he might be right.


The border was quick and easy, possibly the fastest yet. The ride from Copacabana through to La Paz was scenic and great twisty roads. The only downside was that nobody would sell me gas! Not "that'll be three times the price", just "No". The one lady who seemed like she miiight sell me gas had no power to operate her pumps. Fortunately I had taken all the advice and filled before the border but still, 0/7 is a pretty bad start.


In La Paz I moved into a place with Pablo and Mama Lilly, amigo's of my moto friend Rusty. Great to have my own room.

Pablo pretends to work in his cafe.


"Shhhh, they'll hear us"... Pablo's cafe art: suited for every hostel dorm room, everywhere.


Under repair, Pablo's moto.


Mama Lily, always smiling and ready to chat over a cup of tea.


I spent a fair amount of time down at Loki Hostel, since Luis and many of my other Loki Cusco friends had turned up there.

Reunited with Luis for some daily drinks



Heaven and hell party at Loki. Photo c/o Loki La Paz


My second day in La Paz was bright and sunny, a change apparently from a recent 2 week spat of rain. I took advantage and rode the "death road".
I had such a great time riding down, that I turned around and rode right back up! The only real danger on death road: Tourists out of control on bikes.


death road

I had planned to leave the next day, but finally got approval to have my bothersome clavicle pin removed. I spent an extra couple days with appointments to have that done, and what a relief! Video here.


Good bye pin #1!



Micro Kelly now set to play hockey with pin #1.


Good chats with Pablo and Mama Lilly highlighted my stay in La Paz, and made it easy to stay, but once my pin was out, I hit the road the next morning towards Potosi.
Once out of the traffic nightmare that is Alto (above La Paz), the road past Oruro introduced me to what would become the norm here in Bolivia: Spectacular scenery.

Glorious hills. The twists would be a lot less glorious in the rain, I lucked out.



Great views around every corner


Potosi was run amok with children throwing water balloons and spaying shaving cream. All in a lead up to carnival apparently. Eventually I found myself a place at Koala inn, parked in the living room, and booked a mine tour for the morning.

Moto parking in the lounge at Koala inn.


For dinner I met up with Carla, one of Rusty and Pablo's amigas. I ate Llama for the first time. Carla had an annoying habit of disappearing to the toilets each time the bill came, but it was nice of her to come show me around town on such short notice.

Carla and I out for drinks.


In the morning I set off to blow some things up. Only we didn't. The mine tour was great: cramped, hot and head-crashingly uncomfortable. Exactly what the brochure offered. Really makes you appreciate your job back home. But the brochure also offered explosions, and apparently that usually only happens on the evening tour.

First stop: very loud mineral processing.



Bolivian MacGyver works here.



Dynamite demonstration in the miners market.



Can you tell who the tourists are?



Trying out the wheels outside the mine.



Taking a knee under one of the many broken support beams in the mine.



I took over the shovel for one load of rock... I have great appreciation for how hard these men are working.



Two Tonne Trolleys pushed by Two Tiny miners.



96% pure alcohol, the refreshment of champions. Though strong, surprisingly it is incredibly smooth. No joke!


The "unregulated" miners market is indeed unregulated. When you show up in your miners costume and helmet, they will without question sell you all the explosives your heart desires. But when you show up again later in your Motorcycle gear, the questions start. Regardless, I convinced the kind lady that I would be very careful and left with some fuse and a detonator to go with the extra stick of dynamite I had picked up earlier. I would get my explosion come hell or high water.

Boom!


Chased out of Potosi by black clouds, I soon came into bright blue skies to highlight one of my top five rides of this trip. Potosi to Uyuni is just magical. I also stopped at a weigh scale along the way.





Llamas and cows together at last.


Random cacti make a roadside appearance.


And more.


More beautiful scenery.


"When you can get gas: get gas". This is never more true than in Bolivia.


In Uyuni my first stop was gas. I'd discovered a trick to always getting served, and generally at a discount: Coca leaves. I pull up to the pump, and before they say anything or look at my plate, I'm already shoving coca leaves in my mouth and offering them some. Without question they say "yes" and we start chatting. Tank filled, and at an average of about 5 BOB/liter (rough guess: 80 cents) since I started with the coca. Golden!

Follow the leader: young boy leads me to cheap accommodation. 30 BOB (5$)/night


Own room, shower, secure parking and friendly neighbors. Can't ask for more.

In the morning I set off on a 4x4 tour of the salt flats. The entry was still s 30 cm lagoon of salty water, and after all she's been through, I couldn't subject Jugs to that too. Great day on the salt flats with my crew of 2 Swedes and 3 Chileans. Many fun and beautiful photos to come below! of that too. p.s. Sunscreen would have been a good plan...

Train Graveyard


Dakar Salt statues are all over the place


Perspective shots


Easy now


Hanging off my pin


making sure I got an even burn everywhere


I think there are dino's in a lot of the 4x4's


Puddle shots were all nice


Couldn't bare the rough, sharp salt on my feet, the socks just made it tolerable.


The sweedes


the Canadian


Well worth staying out the extra couple hours for sunset. no extra charge.


Young girls being young girls.


Middle-aged man being middle-aged video game character.


From Uyuni I set off south west towards the Alvaro National park, then into the Atacama in Chile. 100kms into my day, I pulled into the small town of San Cristobal to try to top off with gas. The station was closed for lunch, but my ability to change gears was suddenly closed forever.


I had felt a couple rough shifts from first into second gear for quite some time. But it never caused any problem more than having to shift a second time out of neutral. The only luck I would have is being stuck in Second gear, not neutral. It feels like the shifting forks are worn out, with simply nothing happening when I shift up or down. Not knowing my fuel mileage running purely in second gear, and not wanting to get stuck in the Atacama, I pulled a U-turn and head back to Uyuni. A mechanic there confirmed my diagnosis: "muy dificile", a very tough fix. To get at the transmission you have to take apart the motor and then split the cases...



He had no parts to help out, so recommended I head off towards Sucre. Instead I head south, towards Argentina.

"Grande problema". No doubt.


The roads since leaving Uyuni have been all dirt with sandy patches and a couple washouts. In all, I haven't missed having gears too much. Second gear does alright for the most part. A couple water crossings first gear would have been nice. I stopped to help a young guy change his blown tire, then found a nice secluded place to go blow something of my own: my stick of dynamite.

Today you, tomorrow me. They always stop to help here. I've adopted the practice myself.


First gear would have been really nice in a couple places, but mostly dry.


Took a spin and a slide. Tore the cage off my spare gas, but otherwise no harm. zip-ties to the rescue.

The dynamite had been on my mind constantly. Where? how far away should I be? What should I blow up? Eventually my concern for roaming wildlife took priority, and I found a location devoid of Llama's, Alpacas or anything else. I'll post a video is below! with the results. (less impressive than you might think)




At sunset I was in the middle of nowhere, so set up camp next to a hut. As I set up my tent, a lady herded about 150 llamas into their walled pen. My night was spent eating cheese and jam sandwiches, watching the stars come out, with lightning storms off in the distance to the north and east. All the while the Llamas made Llama sex noises, or perhaps Llama snoring. I guess I'll never know which. It was a pretty amazing place to end up.

Next to a heard of Llamas rounded up in their pen for the night. The locals were happy to have me camp out.


With that many Llamas around, finding a Llama-poop free zone for the tent was key.

I'm now (Feb 21st, 2014) riding very slowly southbound to Argentina. There I hope to track down whatever parts I need and get moving south at a much faster clip.
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Old 06-13-2014, 04:11 AM   #229
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On pause: Waiting for parts in La Quiaca, Argentina

One of the worst parts about breaking down and getting stuck in second gear, was that I now had to once again cross "the worst border in the world": the Villazon - La Quiaca border between Bolivia and Argentina. Once there I would set up shop in La Quiaca, where I found and solved my problems, but not without first adding another one.


Riding the dirt roads to Tupiza I barely noticed I was stuck in second gear. It was a beautiful fun stretch of road, used during the Dakar rally earlier in the year. Once I hit the tarmac in Tupiza however, I was painfully aware of my lack of gears.

Glorious sunrise of the Llamas, Jugs and I.


Bolivia? Could easily be in Drumheller Alberta.


Read this sign twice and still went the wrong way. Fortunately a kind bus driver stopped and re-directed me.


Crest riding to Tupiza


Two wheels are better than four.

I got lucky at the border, only having to wait 30 minutes or so. It was late afternoon on a Friday. The Bolivian customs agent was too drunk to stand, so had to lean forward in his chair in order to reach over and touch my beard. Very fast stamps from him, I guess he like how it felt.


The Argentinians discussed whose turn it was to work. Of the six agents standing around, the one who happened to have the stamp in his pocket finally decided to come over and "check" my bike. Stamp, stamp go. I still feel it is the worst border in the Americas.


After toodle-ing along riding in second all day, once across the border it was getting dark. I found a hostel with a garage: "El Apolillo". Great hostel, 80 pesos/night with breakfast. Super friendly, helpful owners. Super slow internet.


The internet in northern Argentina, and most of the country actually, is painfully slooooow. Eventually I was able to log on to find that my dad had emailed me with a possible cause to my problem: a broken "band spring". I was lucky my dad had found that, searching for anything online was a chore. Before this nugget of the possible problem, my plan had been to carry on to the Loki Hostel in Salta to stay free and start my repairs there. However that plan was when I thought a complete lower end job might be needed. If I could find the problem was just this 'band spring' and order parts now, I could have the parts meet me seven hours south in Salta. This plan assumed I wouldn't make things worse...


The next morning, I tore into the right engine cover to inspect this "band spring". When taking the cover off, I left a nut on the impeller shaft (so as to not lose it). The nut caught, and I broke the mechanical seal on the water pump.

This was plan Z.


The band spring was indeed my shifting problem, but now with the broken seal, I wasn't going anywhere until I had replaced the seal as well. Arg!

Good news: it's just a broken band spring.
Bad news: I don't have a spare band spring...


The KLR riders groups on Facebook have been a great resource this trip, and would be again this time around. Within a few hours of posting my parts problems, and Jayne re-posting them, a man named Sergio in Buenos Aires replied to me and was willing to do anything he could to help. I sent him part numbers and in the end he located and mailed me the band spring, a brand new mechanical seal and a new gasket set. The spring and gaskets were his personal spare parts. Sergio sent the parts by bus, and they arrived just 3 days after I first contacted him. All this with only my word that I would pay him back as soon as I was able. Thank you Sergio, without you my trip would have again stalled out for far too long.

Parts from Canada would have taken 2 weeks on rush delivery.

To kill time waiting for parts, I watched tv with the resident dog "terrible-underbite".


...I also taped my map back together. That is all I accomplished in 3 days of waiting.


Motorcycle minute:

Knocked Jugs on her side to work so that I wouldn't have to drain/store the oil.


Pounding out the seal housing from the case was tough. Leaving the cover to heat in the sun finally did the trick.


Old gasket removal. First razor blade used this trip!


Like Christmas! Thanks Sergio!


Old and New.


New band spring in place.


For those interested in watching me talk about/demonstrate exactly how a broken 'band spring' is a problem, plus watch me give Jugs a reach around, this video is for you:



While the hostel was nice, La Quiaca is a terrible place to get stuck. Given that everything is far cheaper on the Bolivian side of the border, La Quiaca is pretty well a ghost town. Everything is boarded up. Everybody shops for everything on the Bolivian side. Given the horrors of the border, even with an easy-to-acquire 24-hour pass for Argentinians to cross the official border, most locals just walk through the ravine. It is totally unguarded, and one afternoon I sat up top watching well over 100 people come to and fro, some wheeling carts stacked high with merchandise. This ravine is also where I got robbed my previous pass through La Quiaca.



Easy go, to and fro. Official border crossing is in the distance, beneath the flag.



Many-a-building look like this around town.


No labour available, the townspeople resort to hiring dogs.


Nicest people though, as with all of Argentina. Borrowed tools I was missing without a problem to work on Jugs.


With Jugs reassembled, I took off late in the evening and head for the city of Jujuy. It was four hours away with some night riding, but after being stuck for days I really wanted to get out of town.


In Jujuy I met up with Martin, also via the Facebook KLR groups, and proceeded to have dinner with his family. Late arriving and with little notice, they welcomed me warmly.


Martin had also been offering whatever help he could whilst I was stuck in La Quiaca. Unfortunately, all moto parts come from Buenos Aires, so there was little he could do more than cheer me on. It was nice to be able to meet up with him on my way though town. His wife worked at a hotel, and was able to arrange me a discount on my room.



With Martin and his daughter


Martin gets stuck with an ultimateride sticker.

I would have liked to stay longer and head out for a ride with Martin, but I had decided I was going to make a push for Ushuaia.


I had been in contact with my friend Joe, and we were to meet up once again in Salta. Joe had recovered from his shoulder separation and was also looking to head south quickly. We wanted to get south before the snow came. And in the process maybe, just maybe, catch Jayne.


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Old 06-13-2014, 09:12 AM   #230
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digging the updates! your thread is top of my list! wondering where the re-connect with jayne will be.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:59 PM   #231
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Nice


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Old 06-18-2014, 06:36 PM   #232
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Starting the slog south with Joe, Argentina.


The magical "hobbit road"


With Jugs repaired, it was time to make the big push south. First to Salta to rendezvous with Joe, then as far as possible each day. Of course Salta was only 100kms away, so I was easing into this "big push south". A fun 100 kms though.


The "hobbit road" aka "camino de la cornisa" aka ruta 9. The narrowest of roads, often only wide enough for one car to pass at a time. It weaves through the forest along a ridge, occasionally opening up to provide delightful views. Twisty as all hell. A short, delightful ride.

It's like it was built just wide enough for motorcycles.


In Salta I head for centro to change some more American dollars to Pesos. The Bolivian border had given me 12:1. Salta offered no better than 11.3:1. I found overall as you go south, outside of Buenos Aires, the rate drops. The official-unofficial "Dolar Blue" rate was heading south along with me at the time, around which didn't help either. Still beats the 8:1 official rate. Lesson: bring American dollars to Argentina.


I briefly made like a tourist in Salta, with a quick stop at the High Altitude Archeology museum. A small collection, within which they have three perfectly preserved frozen children. One is on display at any given time( held at -20 Celsius), and "the boy" I saw looked like he was about to get up and walk away. Eerily preserved. Worth my 40 pesos.


Back at Loki Hacienda I reunited with Joe and his Triumph Sixto, while barkeep and friend Liam set us up with some Bloodbombs to start off the night. Many Bloodbombs later we found ourselves in a heated game of Flip Pong (combo of beer pong and flip cup) against some locals. A great night. Triumphant, hungover, the morning came too early. We would set the tone for all our starts, leaving late in the morning on our first day of the push south.

Liam still struggles with a full drink of his own.



Prepping Jugs and Sixto at Loki


Bikes prepped, we head south through what would be very varied terrain this day. Red rock canyon, flat dry plains into a high mountain pass. The weather would vary to extremes as well. We made it from Salta to Monteros, via Cafayate. 400 kms.


Red Rock Roads.




Canyons roll into foothills


While sharing desire to make some serious miles each day, Joe and I still wanted to enjoy ourselves. We were starting our ride at the start of Carnival, a four day holiday where everything is closed, and everyone is having a fiesta. Passing through a small jubilant town we stumbled upon a rodeo, and decided it was time for a break.


The cowboys lasso the next bull to be ridden out of the herd.


Bull on a post. Corralled over to the post. Once there a rider hops on and away they go. 20 minutes of work for an 8 second ride. Yee-haw!


Rested and with our fill of sun and bulls, Joe and I set of to find ourselves in new terrain yet again, the start of a mountain pass. This time greeted with a rainbow!

Rainbows are supposed to happen after the rain is over right?



The rainbow was misleading, and we soon found ourselves in heavy, cold fog. Misty fog is the worst subset of rain I've found, since it continuously coats your visor. Every couple seconds I had to wipe my left glove across my face-shield. Somebody please invent a Rain-x type product for plastic visors!

From rainbows to misery. Stopped to layer up. Found a little blue boot in need of a friend. Joe would be that friend. (Boot here is waiting to be discovered on the ground beside Joe)


The rain and fog would lighten after an hour of misery. I wish it hadn't. This (temporary) stoppage of the rain encouraged us to push onwards, trying to make it to Monteros before dark. 30 minutes later we found ourselves in a new full on downpour, riding down steep switchbacks, stuck behind a train of cars unable to pass a semi-trailer. Given the conditions, being stuck in slow moving traffic was likely the best possible outcome. We made it to Monteros well after dark, soaked. Fortunately the rain trickled to stop as we rolled into town.


Every local we asked in Monteros said we could camp in the "Gimnasio" aka the athletic field. The young kids "working" at the field disagreed, and called their jefe (boss) to double check. In general, I prefer to ask forgiveness instead of permission, and this case would be no different. After waiting for over an hour for an answer, the Jefe called back. The permission was not granted. Now past 11pm, tired and frustrated, Joe and I rode around neighborhoods looking for a vacant lot. A couple old boys having a chat on the side of the road would be our saviors.


They too initially suggested that we just camp in the athletic field. After hearing our tale of woe, Hugo offered his back yard. We graciously accepted. It was concrete slab to set our tents upon, but at almost midnight we didn't care. Hugo didn't have much in his "holiday" house, he normally lived in Buenos Aires, but he shared all the wine and crackers he had. Snacking away, Joe and I set up our tents... and the skies opened once more.



Hugo's hair was quite nicely combed I must say.


Hugo eagerly shared all he had with us. Such kindness is everywhere I've found.


Tents ready for the rain. Joe and I, not so much.




Tomorrow would be another wet one.
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Old 06-29-2014, 02:41 AM   #233
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Really enjoy the report, Phil, when you can be arsed to dribble out a few more photos and lines of text. And what happened to that sister of yours - what has she got to say for herself? Have you two gone and signed up for more wage/ work schemes that you think somehow have more merit than does my entertainment? I hope you will see this report through before your dissolute lifestyle wipes the memory of it all from your neurons. I might be your only reader, but still - you owe it to me.
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Old 06-29-2014, 05:52 AM   #234
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Hi Phil,

Funny to see you caught up with Joe, we met him in Quilotoa.



he should be in Brazil to watch the World Cup now.
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:30 PM   #235
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Originally Posted by GSBruce View Post
Really enjoy the report, Phil, when you can be arsed to dribble out a few more photos and lines of text. And what happened to that sister of yours - what has she got to say for herself? Have you two gone and signed up for more wage/ work schemes that you think somehow have more merit than does my entertainment? I hope you will see this report through before your dissolute lifestyle wipes the memory of it all from your neurons. I might be your only reader, but still - you owe it to me.
I do hate to leave the fan(s) waiting!
Every now and then someone asks me about the trip and when I am going to finish the stories. The nagging does apply a hefty guilt trip. And it works.
I've been busy bouncing back and forwards from Calgary to Vancouver back in Canada playing frisbee and having that pesky final pin pulled out. Each time the dribble threatens to pour something new comes up.
I'm making it more a priority at the moment as slow rate of writing is getting a little silly. Too many ride reports are left unfinished. I refuse to have this be one of them.
For the fan(s)...

Phil
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Old 06-29-2014, 09:35 PM   #236
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Originally Posted by Two Moto Kiwis View Post
Hi Phil,

Funny to see you caught up with Joe, we met him in Quilotoa.

...he should be in Brazil to watch the World Cup now.
Indeed he is in Brazil. Tho I don't know what he's doing with himself since the shocking Soccerroo upset.

We rode together for a lot of kms. Solid chap. Fortunate to call him a friend.

I think there's only about 2 degrees of separation max between all moto adventurists on the road. Eventually we all drink beer with everyone.
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Old 06-30-2014, 03:14 AM   #237
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Chasing Jayne, Covering Ground in Argentina


Trying for an early start in Monteros, the rain not subsiding, in fact increasing in fortitude though the night. Joe and I kept glancing to the sky for any sign of let up. It soon became apparent we would be packing up and riding away in the wet. Where to? South. How far? As far as we can go, closing the gap between Jayne and I.


Hugo made us coffee and insisted on running to the store for some bread. Such a kind gentleman. Hugo had a little air of loneliness, and sadly also potentially the early stages of Alzheimer's. He really bailed us out the night before, his kindness won't be forgotten.


Moist morning, water running along the concrete under, and into, the tent.



Joe dodging rain packing his soggy tent.



Joe and Hugo as we all have our heartfelt goodbyes.


Splashing down the highway, we managed to outrun the rain by lunch time.

We let the tents dry out in the parking lot while stopped for lunch. Clutch move.


By the way, who is this Joe? For starters, he's an Australian. He rides a 2012 Triumph Bonneville (865cc). Joe worked in the construction industry before flying to California to buy his Triumph and ride down the continents. He looks much younger without a beard.



Joe Crashed his moto while he was in Bolivia. Came off on a sandy road and separated his right shoulder. I met him while working at the Loki in Salta, and we were "slung" together. With similar goals, similar timelines, similar budgets and a similar appreciation for amazing sunsets, we got on great right from the start.

This day would take us to Cordoba, a 600km day that got drier and nicer as we rode. At one point we were pulled over by police for a checkstop. They seemed more concerned with the size of our engines than searching our bags, or that my license plate is fully obscured. Friendly chat and we were back on our way.


Also noticed that perhaps a few too many knocks has my gas can leaking and swinging around. Zip-ties, as per usual, to the rescue. For the swinging at least.



Police check stop. Friendly, take our plate numbers (with a touch of difficulty) and we carry on.

Being the last big city on the way south, in Cordoba we had hoped to purchase some items for the cold weather to come. Gloves for Joe and replacement heated hand-grips for myself. This idea would be rapidly squashed, as the locals reminded us that it was "feria" aka Carnival. No shops would be open for the next THREE days! A moto friendly hostel was also tough to find. One had space for the motos but not for us, eventually drinking my much-needed shower beer in hostal "Malibu". They had space for us, and more importantly secure space for the motos. For dinner Joe cooked up some steaks, nice and rare. Argentina may have amazing meat, but I've found they really love cooking the hell out of it!


Used the big city opportunity to change more Dollars. Found a rate of 11.0-1 after a bit of a struggle searching. We lucked out and stumbled upon the "office" all the street touts were using. Even still the "blue" rate does indeed drop as you head south.

Money in hand, next up was a 615 km day to Santa Rosa. My dad has been following us closely watching as the SPOT tracker leaves its spots. Very closely. In fact I found a great way to see where I'd been and how close I was getting to catching Jayne was to check my dad's Facebook.






Joe flows into Santa Rosa at sunset.



Public camping is free, complete with "asado" aka bbq facilities.


Didn't explore much other than to find beer. As now standard: late evening arrival, street meet eat, and sleep.


How did we do with today's ride dad?





As always met some great folks in each town we passed, a pleasant distraction from really our only daily tasks: filling with gas, eating, riding, sleeping.

After Santa Rosa was a 520km day of dead straight, dead boring riding to San Antonio Oeste. We rode dirt tracks through some kind of dumping grounds until we found a spot to camp on the other side. Got a touch stuck along the way.

Joe boycotts his kickstand while hunting for a camp spot.



Our first taste of camping in the notorious Patagonian winds. Unprotected, had to park the bike as a wind block for Joe's tent. Vicious!



Our first (and only) attempt at an early start quashed by the common YPF gas line-up.


After a late start out of Cordoba and late-ish from Santa Rosa, our "early start" out of San Antonio was delayed 45 minutes waiting to fill up. Gas stations here in Argentina, when they aren't out of gas, ALWAYS have a line up. The price does seem to drop as you ride south though, which feels great on the old pocket-book.


I knew I was getting close to catching Jayne though. She had been travelling slowly and we had been rocketing along. Long days on the bike made it tough to walk long distances, apparently...

Oops... A moto is a kind of chair with wheels right?


While inadvertently being dicks (honestly!) we made use of the fact that most YPF stations have free wifi, and checked what my dad's Facebook had to say about how close we were to finally catching Jayne...








Motorcycle micro Minute:


Always something: Not sure when or how it happened, but I noticed my sub-frame has a bit of a shift to the left, to the left.


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Old 07-02-2014, 02:59 PM   #238
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Add me to the list of occasional lurkers hoping for the eventual conclusion of this tale.
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:03 AM   #239
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Double the pressure!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cam805 View Post
Add me to the list of occasional lurkers hoping for the eventual conclusion of this tale.
Double the fans, double the fun.
Coming right up, we'll get this done!
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Old 07-03-2014, 03:08 AM   #240
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Two months later, the siblings re-unite! Comodoro Rividavia, Argentina.

Jayne and I split up just after Christmas to allow me to wait for my clavicle to recover in Cusco. Two months later, I'd ridden from the north to the south of Argentina in 6 days, and was about to finally catch up. I'd been sending messages to Jayne every few days, but with spotty internet access and spottier SPOT tracking, keeping track of each others movements was best left to our father, who art in Canada, hallowed be thy computer skills.

Jayne had been watching my rapid decent south, while trickling along herself. (Note: Jayne is off travelling again, so will write her side of the travels a little later) Jayne met up with our amigo Ian and hung out together at "Porno Pedro's" place in Comodoro Rivadavia for a couple days to wait for Joe and I to roll up. How did Porno Pedro get his moniker? Well, his name is Pedro and...



Properly in Patagonia, Joe and I were properly experiencing the notorious strong winds and dead straight roads. Tedious riding down the #3 highway. Both of us looking forward to the ride back up, taking the famed "Ruta 40" instead.


700km day in a nice cross wind. p.s. Mapquest is best for Argentina.




Riding past all those clouds... then further.



700km in heavy crosswind conditions is a bit of a slog. Slowed waiting for gas in the morning, slowed again in the afternoon where the truck was just filling up the tanks at the gas station. We took a lunch break to wait it out, after which Joe hopped on "Sixto" and rode right up to the pumps which had now opened... past the long line of local cars wrapped around the block. If they noticed, which Joe didn't, at least nobody gave us grief about it. Gas not guaranteed in Argentina. Get it while you can.



We rolled into Comodoro Rividavia after dark, not quite sure where we were going. Jayne had given us loose directions, but street signs are a novelty, and it was night time. Unbeknownst to Joe and I, Jayne had been receiving fairly regular text message updates of our progress. Our father who art in Canada had been closely following my SPOT track online. Sadly our track petered out the closer Joe and I got to town. The SPOT tracker has a reputation of being "spotty" the further south you go. There are simply not many satellites covering that sparsely populated part of the world. Regardless, Jayne was posted near the only road into the city while attending a conveniently timed "moto-encuentro". After we cruised by unawares, Jayne and Ian came running down the road screaming after us. A well positioned red light held us up long enough for them to get our attention. The Davidson's reunite!



Jayne, Joe, Phil and Ian flanked by a couple welcoming Argentinians! Safety reflectors and flash photography don't mix.




Jayne gets to meet shitty-blue-boot for the first time!



A much needed beer went down a treat, with tons of folks who were neat to meet. After a dose of conversation it was time to eat, so we took off in a gang to go find a feast.




The KLR crew... and Joe on his Bonneville.




All you can eat empanadas, with a side of choice video clips from Pedro's phone.



Porno Pedro and Andrea were delightful hosts. Laughs abounded, and we graciously accepted the roof over our head after roughing it for days. Both veterinarians by trade, they worked in the morning, took siesta off then switched for the afternoon shift. Great set up for them and their two kids. The two year old, Felipe, had been practicing his new word "NO". Great fun when they aren't yours!



Joe and I might have been keen to stay another day to rest, but since Jayne and Ian had already waited an extra day for Joe and I to catch up, they were keen to get on the road. After a quick oil change down to 15w40 to cope with the impending colder weather, the gang got ready to ride the [disputed amount of] kms down to Ushuaia!


Meet the gang and their steeds, while I guess wrong at distances:




I was elated to be back riding with Jayne again. For a long while it seemed impossible that my clavicle was going to heal up fast enough, and that Jayne would travel slow enough, for us to meet again before the bottom. I was looking forward to the final push to the bottom: to complete what we started, our "Ultimate ride", together.





P.S. Dear Father who art in Canada, Happy 69th birthday! Thanks for all the support on our ride!
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