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Old 01-29-2014, 11:38 PM   #31
Cherokee71
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:34 PM   #32
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Good stuff Rob
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Old 02-01-2014, 05:37 PM   #33
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Thanks for the various comments.

Regarding the lack of protective gear that day - yep, somewhat silly, but as I said, we went slowly and were aware, and responsible, of the risks and consequences. Other than that day, and the odd run into town, we're fully dressed to crash!

Also appreciate the offers of accommodation, despite their current distance from our location! Micro-breweries are always on my interest radar.

We just finished our leg of the Carretera Austral - I'll try to update now.................

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Next was a short ride to visit thermal pools. We found our best camping price yet ($2000 pesos/$4 per person) and even got given a light globe in the evening to plug in!





The ride there was around 20k of awesome dirt:








In hindsight, we should have free-camped on the way to the springs, but that's always the way. There were plenty of lovely spots on flat grass, by a running creek flowing clear water.


The thermals were expensive, but very nice. They had multiple pool of different temperatures. The place was immaculate and you got the impression everything was well cared for. Later though, we saw the staff putting a little chlorine in one of the pools, and the pools drain into the 'pristine' river......


To cool off, they had a waterfall which was a balmy 9 degrees.





Still, a relaxing way to waste a few hours.










Then, back to the campground.





Stopping on the way, this dude stopped at the supermarket we were stopped at, and parked like so.





Not one person tooted their horn, or got overly annoyed. I guess everyone is expecting the unexpected, and with that mentality, it's all good. We've had our share of road-related shocks reversing down the road on a blind corner, leaving your car in the middle of the road with all doors open etc and with our 'anything goes' mentality, we haven't yet been shocked. In Australia, this dude would cop all sorts of abuse, or at the very least unfriendly looks.


This dog was a campground local:





Many of the street dogs are ferocious when you first meet them (enjoy chasing bikes) but very friendly once you 'greet' them.


Next day, on the move again.





Everyone is welcome on the roads.


Stopped for lunch under some trees, to get off the highway.





Our standard feed of avocado, tomato and cucumber in a roll.





I heard there was a brewery outside Orsorno, so we had to check it out.





Was pretty good, but quite dear. Had a plan to ask them if we could pitch our tents there after purchasing beer, but they seemed a little too fancy for that.


Back on the road.....







Stayed in Puerto Montt, and found out we had to book a ferry at the beginning of the Carretera Austral. Went to the ferry booker, who didn't open, and found out from another company that the ferry is booked out for now, and only runs once a week.....so, we had a decision to make. Loiter in Puerto Montt, or go through Argentina and cut onto the Austral a little later. We chose the latter.


Took photos of my speedo showing my birthday.





On the way, we saw a Studebaker mueseum had to stop. Kath and I love looking at old vehicles. Vehicles had style back then.










The owner was a funny old man, who spoke in what he called poor English (for us), but is was better than our Spanish (still working on that).


This one, Kath could easily sleep in the back seat.





Again, the building was primarily made of wood and looked fantastic.





After the museum, we again hit the road, with the plan being to cross the border early in the morning we still didn't really know if we had all the required documents. We bought insurance on the way (3 days of insurance in Argentina), just in case it was required.





Lovely ride.







Got ripped off camping in a national park just shy of the border, ready to hope to cross....


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Old 02-01-2014, 09:41 PM   #34
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The big ferry is booked from Puerto Montt but you can take the series of three smaller ferries with no booking, just show up.

They run constantly on a daily basis.

We just did it.

You follow the coast road south from PM and get the first ferry.....then it's self explanatory as there is no other road.

Don't wait in ferry lines. Take the oncoming road and go right to the front.

Ruta 40 south of Esquel is nothing to write home about.

If you end up in Argentina at Esquel you can take a 25k gravel road back to Faltefufu/Chile and the Austral.
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Old 02-02-2014, 07:38 AM   #35
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Great ride report, Raaaab! Better than mine! Nice pic of us girls under the falls, and you shrieking like a girl in the other one.

Tuckers: We did try that, but the ferries don't run daily. We got the schedule and talked to locals about the small ferries, and you can get stuck if you just show up. We did end up heading over Futaleufu, which was beautiful! I'll let Raaab fill in the details.

Raaab, keep up the great report!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TUCKERS View Post
The big ferry is booked from Puerto Montt but you can take the series of three smaller ferries with no booking, just show up.

They run constantly on a daily basis.

We just did it.

You follow the coast road south from PM and get the first ferry.....then it's self explanatory as there is no other road.

Don't wait in ferry lines. Take the oncoming road and go right to the front.

Ruta 40 south of Esquel is nothing to write home about.

If you end up in Argentina at Esquel you can take a 25k gravel road back to Faltefufu/Chile and the Austral.
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:38 PM   #36
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Ride to the border was nice, albeit a little fresh.





Then, booyah!







The surrounding area was covered in a fine, sand-like material. You could see many 4x4s had been playing in the area; unfortunately our bikes weren't suited to sand!





This lake is just inside Argentina.





Weather wasn't the greatest.





We failed to change money near the border (at banks, you will get 6 pesos per USD, but on the streets you can get more than 10; a budget game changer). But, I won at finding a brewery.





Decorated brilliantly.








Doesn't this make you want to stay, like until infinity?





We cruised into Bariloche. This was one of the few vehicles we managed to overtake, and it looked like he had a working exhaust which was fine, but chose to hang, with rope, two more exhausts just for looks. Certainly didn't help performance if we're overtaking.





In Bariloche, a guy sold photos with these two dogs. This one was free.





Looked in the Church lots of Catholics about.





And, eye-pleasing wooden buildings.





After successfully changing money (10 pesos per dollar), we left to El Bolson).





Ride was rainy, and cold.


Elisa had arranged meeting a friend of her mother's.





The next day rained, and we wondered around town, under heavy clouds. But, not without seeing a disco pub karaoke show joint!





Once the clouds cleared off, we were able to appreciate what a aesthetically pleasing part of the world we were in.











'Roberto' who we stayed with was a dead-set legend, and totally welcoming of strangers on bikes. Every meeting was with genuine warmth, and an Argentinian trademark kiss on the cheek. He let us stay for 4 days in his visitors cottage, for free, showed us around and even gave us free beer (great home-brew he does in 200 litre lots). What more can one ask for?





The cars in Argentina are almost all old European cars; Citroens, Fiats etc. Also, bikers don't even bother with helemts in smaller towns. My personal favourite though was dude up front, with helmet, Mrs on back, sans helmet.


Roberto took us to a nearby lake, and to a community farm he's a member of. 25 families pay for the land, and pay a worker who gets WOOFers (working on organic farms) to work there. The farm's yield is then returned to the contributing families, as well as those working on the farm. It was great to visit, and we wished we had more time to hang our there for a few days and get our hands dirty.





Elisa's bike ended up breaking down in town. I deduced it was electrical, and pushed her back to our place with my foot on her rear footpeg, whilst Kath was on the back of the bike. We pretty much laughed the whole way. A day later, after much head scratching, figured it out; the tank!



So, I poked a few wires under the tank, and so far there's been no problems!




Back on Ruta 40, heading south. Highway vehicle!





Chatted to a few guys on old Hondas, man they were in good nick.











Met another traveller Andre who had come down from Canada.


Had coffee and camped alongside him man his beast dwarfed ours!








Got out of dodge, and started the dirt, back into Chile and, finally, the Carretera Austral.



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Old 02-18-2014, 11:29 AM   #37
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We meandered, slowly, along the winding gravel roads happily taking in the many sights.





Our average speed was probably only 40km/h, but the roads were in, mostly, good condition.





The road follows, and crosses, many rivers all of which look absolutely pristine.









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Old 02-18-2014, 11:58 AM   #38
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Great report! More, please!
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Old 02-18-2014, 12:10 PM   #39
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Good views abound:





But, where there were roadworks it was, umm, let's say 'exciting' in the deep gravel. We spoke to a guy from Alaska who had ridden all the way down here, but the roadworks section broke his rear sub-frame.





Road was sometimes thin.





Sometimes wet.





But always enjoyable.





We free-camped along here, with this just behind our tent.





There were some great reflections in the water when the wind eased.








Like many great dirt roads, it seems people just want to seal them. There's a chunk in the middle now which is bitumen.








But, it ain't all bad!











Got to a viewpoint with crazy wind.





My bike couldn't handle it.





Did I mention the colour of the water here?











Some epic landslides to view; wouldn't have wanted to be riding when this guy came down:





Got a boat to the 'marble caves' from a dodgy camp-site. The legitimate mobs wanted 20000 pesos, though this boat was only 5000 ($10). They were pretty impressive, but not as impressive as Google's images would have you believe.





The boat drivers were happy to bump and grind into any hole they could fit their boats. Entertaining, but I'm unsure of the long-term impacts.











There will have to be a pause here; Photobucket is not playing ball.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:20 PM   #40
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Great pics!
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:47 PM   #41
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Thanks for the update. The scenery is brilliant, and I can't think of a better way to go this trip.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:15 AM   #42
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Amazing!

Amazing photos!

You once again prove that it is about the journey, not the destination. I love the smaller displacement touring!
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Old 02-28-2014, 12:35 PM   #43
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Great report & pic's Rob,

I see you remembered to take tent poles
Do the Hondas burn as much oil as your KLR?
Getting ready to head off to the Dargo KLRRR in a couple of weeks.
Keep safe mate.

Cheers Andy
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Old 02-28-2014, 05:36 PM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fester C View Post
Great report & pic's Rob,

I see you remembered to take tent poles
Do the Hondas burn as much oil as your KLR?
Getting ready to head off to the Dargo KLRRR in a couple of weeks.
Keep safe mate.

Cheers Andy
Maaate, it's all going well so far.

Tent poles - check (and just bought a new one so can get rid of the un-waterproof cheapy we bought here).

Oil use - Honda's not using oil (just like my KLR), but Kath's now leaks since her accident.

Enjoy the KLR rally - I'm jealous of KLRs' cubic capacity, but not their fuel use. In Chile, at the moment, it's almost $2 a litre. Argentina is less than $1, so we're heading there shortly.

RR will have more pics as soon as Photobucket allows (hopefully within the next few days).

Rob.
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Old 03-11-2014, 10:00 AM   #45
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It was such a pleasure chatting with you and your lady, mate. You're welcome to call when you're in Texas, perhaps we will have made it back by then. Enjoy Argentina, and keep the rubber side down!

iSuerte, Boludo!
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