Chicago to Panamá y Más Allá - A Staged Trip Through Latin America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Parcero, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    I headed back to Santiago by way of Panamá to connect to a domestic flight to Castro, on the island of Chiloé in southern Chile where my bike was being stored. Got in way too late to do anything, but had a chance to check out the Lastarria neighborhood in the morning where the Hotel Cumbres Lastarria was located. Enjoyed a nice breakfast at their Punto Ocho restaurant and a coffee in the library before departing to see some more of Santiago and kill time before the flight to Castro.

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    Got a chance to view the city from the 64th floor of the Gran Torre Santiago located next to the excellent Costanera shopping center. It's the tallest building in Latin America, and the view from the top is worth the small price of admission.

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    In the afternoon it was time to head back to the airport to catch the flight to Castro. Hugo picked me up at the airport and took me to his house. On that cold and damp night it felt good to feel the heat of his home and smell the wood burning stove which also heated the house and provided hot water.

    We had a great home cooked meal at night and got to bed early since the departure time the next morning would be 5 AM. Hugo insisted on traveling to the border with me, to make sure I would not have any more problems. It was a cold but very enjoyable trip, having to take a ferry at one point to depart Chiloé.

    When we arrived at the border, all went as planned. I simply handed in the newly-issued TVIP and was on my way.

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    The border crossing into Argentina was super smooth and relaxed. Inside of ten minutes, I was stamped in, had an eight-month TVIP in hand, and was rolling toward Bariloche through mountain twisties. The road was clear, but snow covered the surrounding areas.

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    Arrived early to Bariloche to the Alma de Lago Hotel, a beautiful place on the shore of Lago Nahuel Haupi.

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    Enjoyed a rare and well deserved beer, along with the view.
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    The next day I took some time to wander around the town. Beautiful, touristy, and a little dead since ski season hasn't opened just yet.

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    Enjoyed an awesome lunch at a little European restaurant called La Marmite.
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    After some more wandering, took a look at the incoming weather and decided to have an early dinner and try to get an early start in the morning.
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    Dinner at Alto el Fuego, a casual but too-notch restaurant should not be missed if you're ever in Bariloche.

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  2. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    I had the trip from Bariloche to Buenos Aires planned for two days. It GPS'd out to just over 1,000 miles, most of that across the relatively flat and straight roads through the desert of La Pampa. I woke up to a bit of wet snow falling and temperatures in the mid-30s. I decided to wait until the sun was up and at least warming the mountain roads near Bariloche.

    Had a final coffee and it was time to leave.
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    The roads departing Bariloche were nicely paved mountain twisties. After a couple of hours, they straightened out a bit, which allowed me to pick up the pace.

    First stop was for gas and lunch near Neuquen. Didn't look like much, a little German restaurant near a gas station in a dusty little town, but the food sure didn't disappoint.

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    I wasn't able to make my planned destination of Santa Rosa, and ended up staying in a little town called Chacharramendi, at the Hotel Chacharramendi. It was about 200 miles short of Santa Rosa, but it was the only place available within a hundred miles, and it was getting late.

    Nothing fancy, but warm and clean.
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    Then next day I got an early start and knew that I would be in Buenos Aires by nightfall.
    The road was mostly straight and I had it all to myself. Found another little family restaurant in the middle of nowhere and ate before gassing up.

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    Rode on into the day and dusk and hit BsAs late Sunday. Arrived at the Faena Hotel, where I stayed once before. It was going to more than make up for last night's place.

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    They have valet parking only, and would not allow either their valets nor myself park the moto in the garage. Instead, they assured me that it would be safe and sound and under the watchful eyes of their doormen. They insisted that I simply leave it on the sidewalk by the front entrance, which frankly, was way more convenient.

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    Rock star parking!


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  3. Nateman

    Nateman Adventurer

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    Freaking awesome, Parcero! Love that you are able to combine a moto trip with a little luxury. Not that there's anything wrong with roughing it, of course.
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  4. CanuckCharlie

    CanuckCharlie Been here awhile

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    ADV in style...I like it!


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  5. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Haha could be a sub topic on this site!


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  6. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Woke up refreshed and happy to have a free day to explore Buenos Aires. First stop La Boca, the old Italian neighborhood famous for its colorful buildings, the famous Caminito, tango, and of course home to the Boca Juniors fútbol club.

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    Have to tango when on El Caminito.
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    Now on to La Bonbonera, sacred ground to many soccer fans worldwide.
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    After a nice lunch at Fervor in Recoleta, a visit to the famous baroque Recoleta Cemetery, with the obligatory visit to Eva Peron's tomb.

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    After the cemetery, it was back to the hotel, change, and get ready for dinner at Aldo's Ristorante and Viniteca and later a tango show.

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    This place should not be missed if you love good food and wine.

    And, within walking distance to the show!
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    The show at La Ventana blew the Carlos Gardel show, which I had seen on a previous trip, clean away.




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  7. Nateman

    Nateman Adventurer

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    Parcero, I am loving your RR but dude, when you head back down to Argentina to return to your trip, we better see some photos of gnarly adventure, and maybe some pics of you eating plants in the middle of nowhere to survive. We don't want to think you've gone soft!
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  8. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Haha don't worry, Nate, I promise photos more typical of ADV rides. Gonna bring the tent and the MSR stove. Maybe not on the very next stage but on the stage after that for sure.

    Remember that I still have to check out Rio de Janeiro and Montevideo before heading back out into the subtropical desert and getting out to the middle of nowhere.
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  9. holckster

    holckster dougholck

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    I've been riding SA in stages since 2015 and has similar overstay experience leaving Chile.

    Left moto in Limache for 1 year in 2016 after being told we could get the 90 day TVIP extended by applying 20 days before TVIP ended.
    Requested and received first additional 90 day extension but the next request was denied as only 1 extension allowed.
    Great, nobody told me that so moto was now going to overstay it's TVIP date to leave the country.

    Feb 2017 return and go to Customs at Santiago Airport to see what to do about TVIP.
    They say go to border and it will be handled there as they only import and border exports.
    Head for Mendoza and at the border they will not allow moto to leave, and I must return to Santiago Customs ????
    At least they did not impound my moto.

    Return to Santiago where luckly the year before I had meet a young man studying to be a Lawyer.
    Marcos said he would go with me to Airport Customs and resolve.
    No one there could help us and we needed appointment to see Director, so I headed north toward Peru leaving my friend to resolve.
    I told him to be sure to tell them I would not pay any fines as all my funds were being spent in Chile for hotels & food and that I was a tourist begging for forgiveness..
    Several days later he meet with Director of Customs who determined NO FINE, I just had to pay a TAX and be out of Chile in 2 weeks.
    Paid the $130.00 TAX and crossed into Peru at Arica with 1 day to spare.

    Bummer you got HAMMERED with outrageous FINE for just leaving the moto sitting in Chile.
    What or Who did it hurt or how did moto sitting there cause Chile to incur any expenses ????
    Strictly arbitrary and you got screwed but I know the feeling that you just needed to resolve and move on.

    BTW
    Uruguay allows 1 year TVIP and I left my moto with Kevin at Willi's Moto's in Montevideoin 2015.

    Peru allows 90 days but you can get 1 year extension with proper paperwork.
    Felipe at Moto's del Peru in Lima will assist with paperwork and stores motos.

    I plan to return in Jan for start of Dakar and continue heading north.

    It's not an Adventure until your Plan goes to shit.

    Safe Travels
  10. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Yes, they did hammer me, but at least the four-year bike storage was free! :rofl

    Totally agree with you, however, that my bike being in Chile did not cause them any harm. Their response to that was, "how do we know that the bike was not being used as a rental or for other commercial purposes while here?" I had the option of going back to Arica where I entered, which might have resulted in a better outcome. This was suggested to me by the customs officer at the border, but since that would have been totally the wrong direction of travel AND they had impounded my bike, I had no real choice but the aduanas office in Osorno. Since I paid the fine to the government through a private third-party payment center, as opposed to handing cash over the table to the customs director, at least I'm fairly certain that he didn't pocket anything personally. My advice to anyone in Chile is that if you have to leave the bike, cross the border in Argentina and boogie from there.

    I am heading back down to BsAs in September to tour a few more countries, then I'll park the bike in BsAs again until October or November, when I'll return to ride south to Ushuaia. Not sure where I'll leave it there, but I'm sure I'll be able to work that out.





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  11. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Getting some things in order for the next stage of the trip which I'll begin in a few weeks in Buenos Aires.

    New Michelin Anakee Wilds are packed and ready to bring along to replace the dangerously worn TKC-80s that have been on the bike since Ecuador.

    On this stage I plan to pass through Paraguay. Another inmate suggested obtaining a visa in advance since they aren't always issued at land borders in Paraguay, and I just got that piece of housekeeping out of the way. While in D.C. on Monday I stopped by the Paraguay consulate to apply for the visa. My passport with new ten-year Paraguayan visa arrived today by FedEx. I love it when passport stamps are actually real, old-fashioned, adhesive stamps. In this case, they affirm that I paid the $145 visa fee. I'm loving the retro look.

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  12. Nateman

    Nateman Adventurer

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    Ride safe, amigo. Don't forget that you might need a Brazil visa as well.
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  13. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Thanks, Nate! As for the Brazil visa, I've had one in my passport for a least a year now. They're valid for ten years, so I'm all good. Also have a Bolivia ten-year visa. I'll be crossing into that country in a few months. It's really just insurance since I can likely enter without one, although I wouldn't want to chance it.
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  14. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Time to swap out those clapped out TKC-80s and GO! Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, here I come.

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  15. CanuckCharlie

    CanuckCharlie Been here awhile

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    That cart needs an ADV sticker lol

    Have a safe trip...looking forward to your updates!


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  16. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    That or slap one on the side of the airplane during boarding.
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  17. Guri

    Guri Adventurer

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    I am originally from Argentina (now living in LA) and I can say that I really enjoyed all the photos of Argentina.
    I hope you have enjoyed your stay and landscapes of Argentina.

    Buen viaje, Amigo!
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  18. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Argentina is a great country to ride in. So many different types of terrain and scenery, and of course great food and people. I plan to continue from BsAs to Ushuaia later this year, and then make my way north on Ruta 40 to Bolivia.
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  19. Guri

    Guri Adventurer

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    Please, keep posting pictures.
    Buen viaje!
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  20. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    .
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