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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    Actually, to be 100% accurate, the order that day was: coffee, champagne, wine (white), coffee, beer (IPA), gin, wine (red), beer (amber), absinthe, scotch. Did we miss anything?

    It was a long day. :D
  2. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile

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    Sheeesh, that makes it so much better! Enjoy these times, at least from my prospective, they appear to be quite good.
  3. TreasureState

    TreasureState A murse posing as a freelance dirt rider

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    Likely on the lagging strand . . .
    This ride report had previously been at a 9.97 on the awesomemeter, but this last post just pushed it up to a solid 11.

    Ask your contact if I can just open a bar tab when I get down there, would love to sit awhile and listen to his stories of things he has seen along the many miles.
  4. Precis

    Precis Maladroit malcontent

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    In pretty well any reasonable sized town in SA, you'll get paying work as an English language teacher. It won't be a lot of pay, but if you need to while away a few weeks, at least it's something. I saw fliers in several hostels, internet cafes and bars in Santiago looking for tutors. Santiago is exxy though - as you now no doubt know! Ushuaia is much more so, by a big factor.
  5. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Patagonia III - Puyuhuapi

    From Bariloche I rode south back into Chilean Patagonia. My first stop was just across the border in Futaleufu, a world class rafting town. I didn't realize how well-known it was, but everyone at my hostel---maybe two dozen people---was there solely for the river. The Futaleefu River is, apparently, world class rafting and I regret not having time to spend a few days on it. The color alone is enough to inspire a ride, rapids or no. Its bright blue-green hue looks a lot like some love potion prop from an eighties movie. Oh, and I've never seen a river current move so fast. Must have been 20-25 mph in certain spots. Insane. I took only one pic of the river as I rode along it when I stopped to chat with some guys trout fishing on the banks:


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    Once I got to the Carretera Austral, I got back on pavement and raced through curvy riverside roads. It was two hours of river dancing with views like this:


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    Eventually, I arrived in Puyuhuapi to spend the night before continuing south. It's a port town in a bay (fjord, really) that connects with the Pacific.


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    The highlight of Puyuhuapi was a small restaurant run by a women that will hang on the wall just about anything gifted to her. Case in point: some friends killed some sort of deer and gave her a small portion of its hide. She decided to crudely fashion it into a miniature four-legged creature and then have someone construct a head for it out of wood. It looks like a fantastical beast from a Hayao Miyuzaki film. Other bizarre creatures are: a Pacific salmon tarred in black lacquer that hangs over the main dining table, about 3/4 of a beaver skin nailed to the wall next to regional maps, and what looks like a pigeon-like bird that was hit by a car. Or maybe it was two pigeons that collided mid-air into some two-headed, four-winged beast. It's hard to tell.

    There's no evidence of an attempt to properly taxonomize these poor departed creatures in any way resembling how they lived. Instead they are immortalized in death as things maimed and mystical. But at least the are remembered, if less for their charm than for their phantasmagorical elements. It all had a Twin Peaks feel. I left town before I had any strange dreams of little people talking backwards of murder clues.


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  6. Ohio_Danimal

    Ohio_Danimal If I die trying, at least I tried

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  7. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Patagonia IV - The road to Coyhaique

    No commentary here. Just a chronological gallery of things I saw along the Carretera Austral on my way from Puyuhuapi to Coyhaique. This is a typical day's experience on the Austral.


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    I don't know who Farkas is, but I like his style. He gets my vote.
    :thumb
    dave6253, SLUGGO, Vampir and 9 others like this.
  8. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    Incredible Ride Report and imagery. Do not pass up El Calafate, Argentina and the Perito Moreno Glacier. Also Torres del Paine NP is a must do. Tierrra del Fuego is where the road ends. But your journey will not.... Thanks so much for taking the time to share your EPIC journey.
  9. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Beeeautiful!

    In October 2008 Farkas announced that he was considering being an independent candidate for the presidential election of 2009.[3] Initially, he declined to comment on the issue.[4][relevant?discuss] However, on December 5, he announced he would not be running.[5]
  10. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Nice. I didn't think searching would turn anything up, but I guess I was wrong. He even has his own wikipedia page:


    He definitely looks like a Hungarian Jew from Transylvania that plays piano on cruise ships and runs a Chilean mining company.

    Farkas 2018!!


    :clap
  11. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Patagonia V - Cerro Castillo

    I continued south form Coyhaique to Cerro Castillo hoping to do a half-day hike to the base of the jagged peak that gives the town its name (castillo means castle and the peak does look a bit like a castle). Unfortunately, a missed turn and heavy winds delayed my arrival and I ended up arriving after the hour that they let people start the hike. Oh well. At least I got a nice, if windy, sunset. My hostel owner had a large collection of hats from his years working with sheep and other livestock. I was impressed.


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    The next day offered no respite from the wind. If anything, it was worse. When I stopped to take this one last picture of the mountains as I rode out of town, I turned back to see that the wind had blown over my 450lb full-loaded bike.


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    Cerro Castillo is the end of asphalt for the Carretera Austral. All dirt from this point on. The weather was not only windy but raining off and on but the views were nice, if gray. When I arrived at Bahía Murta, a town with a huge blue bay, I pulled off the Austral to detour down to Puerto Sanchez.


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    The road down to Puerto Sanchez was a quiet and empty dirt path that was the perfect way to finish a dusty and drizzly day.


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  12. TreasureState

    TreasureState A murse posing as a freelance dirt rider

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    I am a greenhorn at this international adventure riding, so please forgive my n00b question here:

    What (if anything) do you have to do about your NY motorcycle plate registration in order to cross over the borders there in South America?
  13. VTbeemer

    VTbeemer Traveler

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    You don’t have to do anything. Just make sure the registration stays current in your home state,

    Dan
    Precis likes this.
  14. Lesharoturbo

    Lesharoturbo Nerdly Adventurer

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    Not trying to be a Jerk, but there are plenty of threads on this topic in Trip Planning.
  15. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    VTbeemer was right. Don't do anything. I renewed it online when it expired, but never got the current document since I was in Colombia (I think) at the time. It has never been a problem. I just show my title and old registration. They don't notice or, if they do, they don't care.
  16. twowings

    twowings Comfortably Numb...

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    Be firm, stay low, fly cool....
  17. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Patagonia VI - Puerto Sanchez

    Puerto Sanchez is a small lakeside village that offers an alternative to the heavily trafficked Río Tranquilo, both of which offer access to the marvelous marble caves of Lake General Carretera. It is sleepy town with no industry or businesses outside of field work. The one shop I walked passed seemed perpetually closed. There was a mineral processing plant which was shut down two decades ago and now sits decaying on the cliff overlooking the bluest lake you've ever seen. My arrival from Bahía Murta was greeted by heavy winds and empty streets, save for a lone mare that had escaped from her pasture and was grazing on the weeds growing between the cracks of a blighted public basketball court.


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    I arrived in the early afternoon and began asking around in hopes of finding someone to take me by boat to the caves. Eventually I met Jose, who runs tours on his boat, "Diablo". His three-legged dog, Anksa, never leaves his side unless he's on the boat, wherein she will wait patiently on shore until he returns.

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    Jose told me he was expecting a tour van at 16:00h and if I waited I could join. So I set up my tent under one of the only trees near the shore and wandered the village for the afternoon. The tour arrived a bit late and by the time we had our life jackets on and were settled in the boat, whatever maritime authority overseas the lake had put the kaibosh on all tours due to high winds. So I had to wait out the night and hope the following day brought calmer weather. I explored the abandoned mining facilities and sat on a cliff looking out over the boldest blue I've ever seen until the sun set. The view was spectacular: while the west washed the sky with bright oranges and pinks, the east offered up a mountaintop rainbow. Two vistas dueling for my favor.


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    The next day winds were still strong (strong enough to break a tentpole...RIP Nemo Galaxy 2p, you served me well) but had dropped enough to let the boat out. The cavernous side of the island is well protected from the wind, so in the end we had a relatively calm tour. The marble in the caves were formed when calcium from dead mollusks and other primordial creatures was compressed under the weight of an ancient glacier in the region. The constant churning and crashing of the wind swept lake wore down the soft marble rock into surreal forms and columns. Other minerals present in the rock make beautiful patterns and texture that are reminiscent of an abstract expressionist painting. And with the sunlight reflecting the blueness of the water, the caves seem alive under the shimmering light.


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  18. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Interlude - To the Roads of South America


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    You sinuous scourges, you that are fat with promise. You dusty paths etched by boot and by hoof into the immovable granite giants of this land. You blue-black strips of macadam stamped with the fists of modern machines into this primordial rock. You, that led with indifference Incan armies and Spanish conquistadors to triumph and to calamity alike. You, that cradled young Che and guided him to epiphany and infamy. Guide me, too, to the bones of your lost civilizations and their lost cities. Show me their secrets. Reveal me your hidden corners where mountain peaks conduct the swirling firmament in silent symphonies of light. Where snow falls on the wooly backs of wild camelids that stare at strange forms motoring passed. Strike fear in me with your dizzying drop-offs. I will ride on. Whelm me in your rocky streams and numb me with your bitter alpine air. I am yours. Beat me, you malevolent masters, with impossible distances and ferocious winds. I pick myself up and trundle on. I am your acolyte, your willing slave ready to suffer long hours and lost days in your interminable soup of switchbacks. I will endure your treadmill of torture, your endless rows of ruts and puddles and embedded rocks that pummel my tires like the fury of a thousand fists and wrest control from my weak and weary arms. I am painted in your mud and dust. I am bathed in your glacial streams. I am baptized in your faith. Lead on, you sirens of tomorrow. I will not yield. It is forever morning, and the bright day lies before me. Lead on.
  19. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile

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    Wow...dude! Most riders of southern Patagonia simply say something along the lines of “fucking ripio sucks and is exhausting to ride.”

    But you come out with...

    ready to suffer long hours and lost days in your interminable soup of switchbacks. I will endure your treadmill of torture...”

    You sir, need to write a book. No seriously, write a book. Unless you have already, in which case, keep writing...it’s awesome.
    That’s all I have to say about this.
    TreasureState and Pedersoli like this.
  20. infinityjellyd

    infinityjellyd Been here awhile

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    Haha. Thanks. In their defense, ripio does suck and it is indeed exhausting to ride.
    chudzikb and powderzone like this.