A String in a Maze: NYC to Patagonia solo

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by infinityjellyd, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    When I considered hard cases those Mules were the ones I was looking at. But I don't have first hand experience with them.
  2. Precis

    Precis Maladroit malcontent

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    As said above - we just used a home-made equivalent of PacSafe mesh bags over our Wolfmans; in reality, we never felt that our stuff was appealing to miscreants, and we both had crashes where any rigid pannier would have suffered significant damage, probably injured us - and likely imparted damage to the rear of the bike too.
    Once we reached the USA, the most common question we were asked was "Ohh, South America - how often did you feel your lives were in danger?"
    Of course the answer is not once, in 15 countries and 38,000km - until we reached the USA; within 200 miles I'd been run into oncoming traffic (and sworn at) by a redneck in a truck who didn't like being passed, and within three days of arriving, we were 200 feet from a shooting where crims tried to hold up a Sunglasses Hut kiosk, shooting two guards in the process. And we left Las Vegas 10 days before that little bit of unpleasantness unfolded.
    Stick with your Wolfmans, get a good bike cover as Infinity suggests and enjoy the ride.
    TaZ9 and TreasureState like this.
  3. george248

    george248 runwhatUbrung

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    Thanks for taking the time to share this great ride report and photos! Best wishes for the remainder of your trip.
  4. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Patagonia I - Pucón

    After the coast I raced off south towards Patagonia. My first major stop was Pucon in central Chile. If you're familiar with Hokusai's "36 Views of Mt. Fuji", you have a sense of what it's like riding around the Pucon and surrounding areas. Each pueblo sits at the base of a volcano (each with the same symmetrical form and snowy cap) that makes riding along the lake region an act of deja vu: there always seems to be a lone volcano framing the landscape as if you are passing through the same spot again and again. Or worse, they are like Big Brother, always watching, always spying on you from just over the ridge or around are forested hill. They are inescapable.


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    Pucon is a typical outdoor town familiar to anyone that has vacationed in the Alps or Rockies. Activities include kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, skiing, fishing, and on and on. Though technically not in Patagonia, it is a preview of what lies ahead: lakes upon lakes, waterfalls after waterfall, endless clear blue streams, wildflowers as far as the eye can see, and forests again and again.


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  5. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    I also want to recommend Moto Camp in Pucón. For anyone traveling by bike through Pucon it is the place to stay. Built by a Chilean who previously spent five years traveling the world on a bike, it does all the little things right. This guy knows what ADVers need in an accommodation. And of course you get to meet and swap fish tales with plenty of other riders passing through.
    :thumb


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  6. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Travel Tip #320: Things to consider when invited to act as a shaman


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    As a seasoned traveler you may find yourself in a conversation comparing prior shamanisitic experiences when it is pointed out that there are in fact some medicinal plants growing on the property just a few feet from your hammock. Your enthusiasm may be misconstrued as confidence and then you could find yourself handed a half meter of echinopsis pachanoi and assigned the task of converting the plant into an elixir of the soul. Don't panic. Keep in mind the following things and all will go well:

    - Google is your friend. More information on plant preparation than should be legally allowed is available with just a few keystrokes.

    - Don't forget to look up the proper indigenous name for the plant. It will make you sound like you know what you're doing.

    - When cooking the strange brew, bring a book. A full twelve hours may be needed to fully separate the pulp from the alkaloids. It's a good time to bite off a chunk of 1Q84's 1,317 pages.

    - Think only positive thoughts while touching the cactus and cooking the brew because maybe all the metaphysical shit is real.

    - Dress accordingly for the ceremony. Go sock-less and maybe put your hair in a bun if it's long enough. Anything that gives you the air of carefree chaperone to the spirit world. If you have a hemp shirt, wear it. No one is going to believe a shaman wearing Nike Dri-FIT.

    - Pick a sacred space for the ceremony. Try to avoid hilltops in direct sunlight. You'd think the combination of view and nature would be ideal, but you'd be wrong. Sunlight amplifies nausea.

    - Start by burning something. Tobacco. Palo Santo. Whatever. The sacred space won't cleanse itself.

    - Encourage the group to make some music. It will call the spirits to you and create vibrations through which interworld communication can take place. Also, it gives you something to kill the boredom while you wait the necessary two hours for the mescaline to kick in. Drums, pan flutes, or maracas make simple but effective instruments. Maybe don't try playing the flute if you can't get it to make concordant notes.

    - Don't think about the taste. Dear god, think about anything but the bitter taste. And maybe add more lemon juice next time.

    - Ignore the sounds of your fellow participants' vomiting. Be a good shaman and remind them that that is their body just passing all their negative energy. And breakfast.

    - Oh, speaking of that, maybe don't have a big breakfast. Avoid big egg-y things in particular.

    - Probably not relevant, but just in case: don't try to ride wild horses while under the influence.
  7. SlowMovinDream

    SlowMovinDream Not All Who Wander Are Lost

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    Well that was just F$”@&?,.N brilliant advice. I’ll be taking that to the bank for safe keeping until I ( hopefully ) need it someday. Brilliant I say. Thanks for such a great report. Ride safe and stay curious.
  8. Trip Hammer

    Trip Hammer It's not the years, it's the mileage

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    What's the street name of
    "echinopsis pachanoi"?

    Asking for a friend :lol3

    Seriously though, the writing and photography you pump out here is top notch and fascinating as hell, infinityjellyd.
    You also seem to have found the perfect rythm of posting. Not too often so as to flood us with every detail daily, but just enough to whet the appetite for what's coming next.
    Great stuff.
  9. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    any insights achieved while under the influence? did anyone have a "bad" trip?
    how long did the effects last?
    impressive - combining inner travel with your road trip. kudos to you.
  10. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

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    When does your trip end? Meaning when do you expct to be back home?
  11. Ride Now

    Ride Now Graybeard

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    Just because no one else has said it: Far out, man! :lol3
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  12. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    San Pedro (or "huachuma" in Quechuan).


    Nah, nothing bad. Long trip: 8-12 hours.


    Plan is to get to Ushuaia, which should be in about three weeks. But if I can find a job/volunteer spot or at least some way to avoid spending money I'm going to try to stay in South America until March.
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  13. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

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    I meant when will it be over? Are you riding back North after Ushuaia?
    If you stay in SA through March, what then?
  14. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Ok, so the trip as planned was to get to Ushuaia. From there I would ride back to Santiago and fly the bike home. End of trip. Return to the world of the working.

    But...on a whim I've convinced my 75-old dad to walk the Camino de Compostela with me. It's a 800km hike across northern Spain. That's April-May 2018. So I have to figure out what to do from Ushuaia (roughly end of this year) to April when I go to Spain. Can't really get a job, so I figure I'll try to stay in South America to learn more Spanish, continuing exploring, and try not to spend money. So I'm trying to figure out where I could go and what exactly to do.

    Anyone got any fun suggestions? Sadly, I don't think psuedo-shaman is a viable lifestyle.
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  15. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile

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    Do you not like your Father? Want to dispose of him by hiking him to death? Just checking...
  16. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Groovy!

    Dan and Sara of Finding freedom WWR did that hike and reported it on their RR.
  17. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

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    Nah...no suggestions from me. Question was based totally on selfish reasons.
    Have enjoyed your RR, Canuk's and Michnus' so much....that it was just a thought that you'd still be on the road next Summer/Fall when I am just getting going.
    My plan is to ride to Ushuaia and then ride back to Ohio, taking different routes on the Northern leg
  18. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Yeah, I'll be done by then. But I may return sans bike to live for a bit. If I do you're welcome to stop by on your journey

    I've seen Canuk's RR but not Michnus', until you mentioned it. Thanks. Now I got another thing to inspire my future trips. :thumb
  19. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Patagonia II - Rio Negro (Argentina)

    From Pucón I rode across into Argentina and spent some time in the lake towns on my way to Bariloche to meet a contact. Wildflowers are in full bloom now so as you ride on RN40 weaving through the lakes you feel as if you're part of some grand parade, like a Roman general returning from a great conquest. The towns of San Martin de los Andes and Villa Angostura echo the quaint style of affluent ski-towns in the Rockies or the White Mountains.


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    So my contact was a former classmate of my sister 15 years ago at university. She passed me his email mentioning that he's a nice guy, did some motorcycle thing once but what she can't recall, and that he now lives in Bariloche. She hadn't seen him in a decade but thought the contact worth making. Well, he invited me to his place and as it turns out he was the perfect contact: he set the Guinness record in 2003 (now beaten) for the fastest to reach Ushuaia from Prudhoe Bay by motorcycle and he also literally wrote the (Bradt Travel Guides) book on the Carretera Austral. It goes without saying that we had a lot to talk about. Fortunately for us, the wine in Argentina is cheap and the craft beer in Bariloche is good (the town's got German roots, people).


    Anyway, for those that are tired of the holiday grind and the chilling weather, I leave you this view from his home office:


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  20. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile

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    Damn, you keep knocking them out of the park. Stumble on a moto guy, beer and wine all in one day? Just not right...