Coffee to Mate - Seattle 3 Ride South America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MissOrganized, Dec 2, 2012.

  1. MissOrganized

    MissOrganized Adventurer

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    Live in Seattle, riding in Chile and Argentina
    Haha! Not yet, but it's not as prevalent as I remember it....I think it must be more of an Argentine thing. I did see it in the supermarket yesterday and I plan to replace my mate cup soon and start enjoying it whenever we camp.
    #41
  2. rcroese

    rcroese Haarlem Globetrotter

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    Indeed, mate is more prevalent in Argentina and Uruguay (and cold with ice in Paraguay - called tereré), but you will also see it used in the "campo" in the south of Chile, especially among the Mapuche people.

    How did the customs clearing go for the bikes? Are you on your way? Say hi to Temuco for me, and if you want an authentic and picturesque meal in Temuco, stop in at the down-town under-the-roof market.

    Have a great time!
    #42
  3. MissOrganized

    MissOrganized Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Live in Seattle, riding in Chile and Argentina
    Dear Readers: I'm super verbose in this entry. Apologies in advance.

    12.11.2012

    It's "pick up the bikes day" today. I'm so nervous that instead of pleasant little butterflies in my stomach I feel like there are giant vultures scratching at my insides. I don't really know why I feel so nervous, even the worst that could happen isn't really all that bad. It's just that I've been planning this trip for months and have been feeling this way for weeks. I have this idea that after this part is over--after we have the bikes, they're put back together and we're parked at our hotel in Santiago-- then my part of getting us here is complete and I can become a follower.

    I double check with Poodle and Nivs that everyone has 1) Title 2) Registration 3) Waybill 4) Proof of insurance 5) International Driver LIcense 6) The envelopes of cash I split up between the three of us before we left Seattle 7) The riding gear we'll need to ride the bikes back to Santiago 8) The tools we'll need to get the bikes back to gether....and then we wait in our hotel lobby for Juan Carlos to come pick us up.

    I found Juan Carlos through the guy we will use to ship our bikes back, via slow boat, at the end of the trip. Juan Carlos is the guy who owns the warehouse where we'll drop off the bikes. I asked several weeks ago if he could assist us today by being our driver, brining us gas so we can start the bikes, letting us follow him back to the hotel, and hauling away our crates (he's agreed to store them and ship them back on the boat with the bikes.)

    Juan Carlos arrived promptly at 10 a.m. as we had previously agreed. He was a professional looking man, clean cut, weraing a button up shirt, slacks and loafers and stylish sunglasses. He had all our papers in one hand and a cell phone in the other. His confidence made me relax.

    I've been chatting it up in Spanish every chance I get and it's starting to flow pretty well for me again. Even though Juan Carlos spoke English, I sat in the front seat of his car so I could chat with him in Spanish as we drove. I learned that there are so many stray dogs (there truly are EVERYWHERE) that the city has just passed a lay to spay all the female dogs to try and curtail the problem. A significant number of people die every year becuase of these dogs. Oddly enough, the many dogs we've seen so far aren't aggressive and they also seem to know how to cross the street. Seriously, they will wait for a green light at intersections and look both ways before jay walking. It's incredible.

    Anyway, back to the details of getting the bikes.

    So we arrive at the airport and drive to the international cargo area. This was the first moment that I felt like we would have really struggled without Juan Carlos. I have no idea how we would have know where to go.

    Juan Carlos tells me at he's been here 3 or 4 times and sort of knows what to do; but that it's been different each time so he's not exactly sure what we'll find today. Good to know.

    The first thing we do is walk up to this little booth where we hand over our passports and waybills. This gets us little slips of paper that allow us to pass back and forth into the cargo area.

    We walk into the first buidling and walk up to the first desk. Juan Carlos hands the woman behind the counter a bunch of papers and she tells him that we're at the wrong budiling. We need to go one buildng down and talk to Javier. When we get to Javier he hands us a bunch of papers and tells us that we need to pay $80 each. I'm not exactly sure what this was for but I think it was to pay for the paperwork. We could use Pesos, US Dollars or check. We used USD.

    Then we go on to Customs which is outside of the gate I mentioned earlier. Luckily we all still had our slips of paper.
    We waited in Customs for about 20 minutes. There wasn't much of a line but it took that long for the Customs Agent to look through our paperwork, write up some documents for us to sign and hand everything over. He called us up one at a time to sign the papers and then it was over. No money exchanged hands.

    Then we went back to the first builidng and that first woman we met who told us we needed to talk to Javier. This time she told us that we were missing an important signature from Javier. Juan Carlos left us in the first building to run back to Javier for the signature. He got it, came back and told the woman that Javier said the signature wasn't important and just a formality. The woman shrugged and said "Formalitites are important."

    Next up was to pay for the warehouse holding fee. This was about $75 each. However, we could only use Pesos or check and we didn't have sufficient Pesos. So....back through the little gate wtih our slips of paper we went. Fortunatley there is a bank with ATM machines right across from the customs building.

    Cash in hand we went back to pay our $75. By the time we walked out on to the loading dock (a mere 20 feet from the buidling we were in) we saw the first bike (It was mine!) and within 20 minutes all three bikes were fork lifted out (and those fork lift drivers are skilled!!) to a shady part of the loading doc and we got to work. We took the crates apart, reconnected the batteries, reattached the handle bars, connected the throttle and clutch. Reattached the windscreens and mirrors and we were ready to ride off.

    We followed Juan Carlos to a gas station about a mile away to fill up and got our first shock at gas prices. It cost around $70 to fill up all three bikes -- that's only, what 15 gallons? I guess that's where a lot of our money will go to this trip. Then we followed Juan Carlos back to his warehouse where we helped him unload the crates and left our spare tires with him. He agreed to hold them for us and if we end up needing them we can call him and he'll send them down to us by bus. Even if we have to wait a day or two to receive them it seemed better than carrying them around for 5000 miles.

    We said goodbye to Juan Carlos, but he was kind enough to drive back to our hotel so we could follow him one last time. Juan Carlos was so worth the little bit of money we paid him. We left the hotel at 10 a.m. and were back by 4 p.m. I'm sure if we were doing this on our own it would have been many more hours to get through everything.

    Ok, so then we're back at the hotel. We put the bikes in secure parking and then spend the rest of the day wandering around Santiago. We go in search of a few necessities -- soap, a sim card (which we cant' get to work), a belt for me (my pants are falling down!) some pens, a new plug adaptor and some bottled water. We find dinner at a pretty good Falafel place and are back in our room planning our first day out.

    Oh! I forgot one part that still makes me feel awkward. When I was chatting with Juan Carlos early in th day -- you know, when I was all proud of my spanish skills--he tells about this odd cultural thing that we should try to experience. All over Santiago there are these coffee shops. They aren't just normal coffee shops. They do sell coffee, juice and soda (note: no alcohol) but it's served by very beautiful women wearing very skimpy bikinis. The windows are all blacked out, the lights are low inside and, obviously, there are men standing there drinking espresso and chatting with these scantily clad women. Juan Carlos suggested we find one --they are nearly as prevelant as Starbucks are in the USA. Nivs and Poodle thought it was an important cultural experience that they didn't want to miss out on. Unfortunately for me, the have a rule that they won't leave me alone by myself while we're out and about (I'll break them of this habit eventually) and so they pushed and pushed to get me to go with them. They walked up to the door and opened it. A beautiful woman in a skimpy bikini opened the door and pulled them in. Then she stuck her head out and said "you too, you can come in."

    Ok so then picture this. I'm the only female in this place (wearing clothes) standing next to two very awkward men with a buxom Chilean woman standing in front of us asking us for our order. Also remeber that Nivs and Poodle don't speak Spanish and I do. I order an espresso for Nivs and two peach juices for Poodle and I. Then we spend the next 10 minutes with me carrying on a conversation with the woman while Nivs and Poodle look on awkwardly. She was very nice and explained to me that these coffee houses are very prevalent. That the men don't touch the women at all and just come in to have an afternoon cup of coffee. That wives/girlfriends don't really seem to mind if their men visit these places because nothing happens. There isn't prostitution, there isn't touching. She claimed that her boyfriend frequents one near his place of work and it's no big deal.

    So then I tell the boys that they have to pay the bill -- I'm certainly not taking responsibility for that. They go off to the register to pay and when they walk away the woman leans in to me and says "What's with those two?" HAHAHAHAH!!!!!

    Although she was nice and I enjoyed my conversation with her, I think I have now experienced the Chilean afternoon coffee breaks and don't need to do it again.
    #43
  4. rcroese

    rcroese Haarlem Globetrotter

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    Very nice description of the customs clearing. Congratulations. Be sure to have the temporary importation paper close at hand for the border crossing formalities.
    #44
  5. ROAD DAMAGE

    ROAD DAMAGE Long timer

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    Come on MissOrganized,

    I'm a happily married middle-aged man ...................... I need pictures of these gals at the coffee shops! :deal

    Ahem, I mean, uh, well, it's like this, uuhhhhh, you know what I mean. If you expect me to fully appreciate and completely absorb the rich cultural experience that these coffee shops provide, you'll have to help my limited imagination with some "visual aids". Yeah, that's it. That's what I was trying to say. :lol3

    Seriously, good start to this trip. I'm thinking that procuring the services of Juan Carlos was a little stroke of genius and money very well spent.

    Ride safe, have fun!
    #45
  6. DirtyPoodle

    DirtyPoodle Wannabe Adventurer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Redmond, WA
    Roads

    Drivers in Satiago (or Chile) are just crazy. I don't know why their cars have blinkers because they sure don't get used. Swerving into other peoples lanes is more then acceptable even for large trucks. With the close proximity of cars in Santiago it's a real nail biter getting out of town.

    Ruete 5 here in Chile is a lot like what you'd expected in California, Oregon, or Washington; it's flat, fast and boring as snot. There are some aspects that keep it interesting. There are a lot of people who run across the highway on foot, bicycle and many other versions of transportation. In the US, if someone is on the side of the highway that means there's something wrong. So, it took me a while to not freak out when I see people dashing across 6 lanes. I did see little groups of police officers hanging out on the side of the highway. I'm not exactly sure what they do or how/when they stop people. Parts of Ruete 5 are painted with arrows running down the road. These arrows are spaced apart such that if you keep two arrows between you and the next car then you'll be following at a safe distance. I don't think it helps the Chileans; for them 3 to 4 feet is plenty of following space.

    We got off Ruete 5 at San Javier and took the back roads south west down to Cauquenes. This road was fun after being on Ruete 5. It had a couple of hill climbs and the asphalt was in perfect shape. Construction started about 20 miles outside of Cauquenes. In construction zones, it's more then okay to send cars through pretty bad dirt and mud. So I'm glad I was on a dual sport.

    After Cauquenes we headed almost due west to Pelluhue. The speed limits here were very slow (40 Km/H) and if you follow the speed limit you will get run over by trucks hauling cut wood. We feel in behind one of those trucks and went way faster then we should have. In fact, I'm not sure I could have gone faster down that road then the truck.

    People

    We stopped at Curico for food and gas. Like most place we get a lot of looks when we roll through with the bikes. While my ride companions were in a grocery store, I had a little girl and her mother come up to me; well, more the little girl. She was very excited about touching the bikes and I was getting a little worried that she'd burn her hand. After acting outing burning one's hand the mother caught on and warned her little child after which she starting calling every part of the bike caliente (hot in Spanish). Her mother repeatedly tried to move her daughter away from the bikes and her daughter didn't until she was done. She had an odd affinity for the license plates which she traced multiple times with her finger. While in the same lot a motorcycliest coming down the road saw the bikes and cut up over the sidewalk (which is okay) though a bunch pedestrians at a bus stop (which is also okay) to come talk with me. Through a painful series of poor Spanish phrases on my part I was able to tell him I was from the US (he guessed Argetina), the bikes were mades by Suzuki, the sizes of the engines and our final destination. He shook my hand twice and rode back across the sidewalk to continue his own travels.
    #46
  7. DirtyPoodle

    DirtyPoodle Wannabe Adventurer

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    I've tried sky drive and flicker and both of them seem to have a lot of issues. What do you all recommend?
    #47
  8. rockydog

    rockydog just a guy

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    something like a free photobucket account, easy to use. Infanview is a free photo editing site, easy to resize and tweak pics. save ya some money for fuel....or expresso
    #48
  9. huzar

    huzar Pastor of Muppets

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    DirtyPoodle -- I've used Flickr with no issues on this site and many others. I click on any given picture detail page, then on the "Share" tab, and then select "Grab the HTML/BBCode" (make sure it is set to BBCode) and paste that into a post here. Works great.

    A lot of people here also use SmugMug, 'cause Baldy owns both ADVRider and SmugMug.
    #49
  10. nivs

    nivs Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
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    Bakken Basin
    Day 2 on the road: We spent our first night on the road at an otherwise deserted campground about half a mile from the coastal city of Pellehue. We rode into town near dusk and low on fuel. MissO, our wonderful translator asked the gas station attendant (no self serve in Chile) about campsites. He promptly asked another customer, and after a few seconds, we were told to follow him. I get a little leery in situations like this, but he was driving a family truckster with Disney windows tint for the child seats in the back windows. Seems safe enough. We followed him south for a half mile or so, left at the only traffic light in town and continued about half a mile out of town and past one other “campground”. These ain’t no KOA’s, I’m telling you. Anyway, we pull down the road as indicated and we pull past a Rodeo/Bullfighting arena, I’m not sure which. We slowly pulled into a large open area that kind of looked like a campground. I slowly led in, stopped in the middle then noticed someone walking towards us from a house on the perimeter. MissO takes lead and starts negotiating and is told it costs 5 pesos per night, “Just 5 pesos?”, asks MissO. “Si’”, says Slingblade with rum breath. I offer a hundred peso coin. “No, no, no”, he says. “5,000 pesos”. Evidently in the more rural areas they often assume the thousand when referring to pesos. Ah, devaluation. Can’t complain much about $10 to camp for the night.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We make camp in the fading light. We had just donned our headlamps when Slingblade arrives with a light bulb. He had buried extension cords underground and supported them up trees to provide us with power. Not exactly code, but hey, it worked. He had also brought water sprinkler lines up trees nearby.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    In the morning, we took a few pictures and packed up. Our goal was to head south along the coast. We were immediately found some incredible beaches. This area in Chili is known for having some world class surfing waves. <o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    The roads in this area switch from incredible pavement with lots of twisties and long sweepers, to dirt trails. We want to stay of the highways as much as possible, but have heard some of the coastal routes might be unpassable. We were all giddy with the beautiful vista, great roads and perfect weather. We rolled into a nice little town and found a restaurant that we could park our bikes in front of the outside dining area. We ordered our food and took a few pics. A quiet voice from the only other occupied table asked “Would you like me to take a picture of you”. She took a few pictures and we started a conversation. Ayyia from Bulgaria and her boyfriend Leonard from Hamburg were slowly working there way south, too. They were students and were going to study the Mapuche people for their university. They were very entertaining to talk to.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We finished lunch and continued south. We rode about 20 miles when we came to a long flat area about half a mile from the beach. They dirt road turned to unpacked sand and gravel. It was really squirrely. Our bikes are shod with 50/50 road/dirt tires and were not up to the task of digging through this unpacked gravel. My first thoughts were “I wonder who is going to be the first to go down”. I kept quiet to not jinx anyone. “I’m down” calls MissO. The tail of her bike had gotten loose and high-sided her at about 35 mph’s. Dirt and I turned around. My first thought was to grab a camera, but I thought better of that. She righted her bike (with a little help). She was fine with the exception of a slightly tweaked wrist and a bruised ego. We put the bike back together as best we could, and decided that this ealy in the trip we probably don’t need to take unnecessary risks. We decided to leave the coastal route and take the dirt roads for this leg.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p> </o:p>
    We arrived in the quaint town of Tome’. We had been going non-stop since a few days before leaving Seattle and decide to take the next day off to relax and do a little bike repair. MissO’s handlebars are askew and the front wheel and fender were mis-aligned. We pulled the handlebar risers and find that the risers are held to the triple tree with adjustable conical bushings. We straighten the handlebars, but then found that the front wheel was mis-aligned. The left fork axle hole trailed the right one. We loosened the lower fork brace and inserted a lever through the spokes and between the forks. Dirt sat on the bike to align the handlebars while I pried. The wheel, forks and fender all returned to dead center. We were very relieved. It was hard to even find much of a hardware store in Tome’, and we had fixed this issue without needing any parts. <o:p></o:p>
    Our hotel on the beach is very affordable and the town is quaint. We spent the rest of our second day there scouring the markets, gathering a few supplies and relaxing. Tome’ is a great little town.<o:p></o:p>
    Yesterday’s ride was uneventful. We had to do some slab, and the roads and views didn’t improve much until later in the day. We stopped in a little town and decided to eat at a little Paderia with outdoor dining out front. The pictures looked good on their sign. MissO asks the proprietress if we can sit out front and eat. “If you brought anything to eat you can”, she replies. The kitchen is closed. It is 5 o’clock. It seems that around here, all stores, regardless of what their sign says, are mini-markets that sell Coke and Fanta, candy and lottery tickets.<o:p></o:p>
    We continue and find a nice little lake to camp by. It is a large campground and full of escorted kids at end of the schoolyear daytrips. The place has a great vibe and the kids are having a blast. Three young ladies stroll over to MissO and ask if she would give them a ride around the campground. She says that she doesn’t want to haul passengers, but asks Poodle and I. We reluctantly agree. The first loop around the campground alerts the rest of the kids at the campground. We return to about 20 freshman girls a handleful of boys. They are all bouncing and waving their hands “Me-Me Me”.<o:p></o:p>
    #50
  11. MissOrganized

    MissOrganized Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
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    27
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    Live in Seattle, riding in Chile and Argentina
    I'm so glad that Nivs has posted his view on the last few days! Now it's my turn, although you can see that we're a few days behind. We're all three finding that the days go by amazing fast -- all of the sudden it's 8 p.m and we have to find a place to stay. Once we do, and get dinner, it's tough to want to find the time to sit down with a computer and the internet...if we have internet at all.

    The same goes for posting pictures. We will get around to it but it's not our first priority right now, as you can imagine. We are trying to remember to at least blog every night or two so that when we do have Wi-Fi we have something accurate to post rather than a hodge-podge of memories. Pictures may have to come later but we are taking lots and keeping them backedup and organized.

    Ok, here's my log of the last few days;

    12.13.2012

    Woke up in Pelluhue, stopped for lunch in Buchupureo, slept in Tale'

    So I was the first to crash and I was super upset about it. Not because I was hurt (just a bruise on my hand and my ego) but because I dropped my bike, scratched my windshield and bent the frame to my panniers and messed up the alignment of the handlbars to the forks. Also, it just sucks that the girl has to crash first. AAH! Oh well. Such is life. Lucky for me Nivs and Poodle are very sweet and making sure I don't feel too badly about it -- but I do anyway. (I think it's already been said, but Poodle is my husband and I really want this trip to be his dream trip and I don't want to be the one who keeps it from being awesome!) Enough of that. Here's what happened.

    I was riding along happy as could be on a dirt road. The scenery was beautiful. The ride was fun. But then the road quickly turned to loose gravel and the road got all soft and squishy. Down I went. It scared the bajeebies out of me but I guess it's not a bad thing because I wasn't hurt, I'll be more on the lookout for such changes in the road (And Nivs and Poodle are certain to radio back to me when they cross it as well.) and the bike is already put back together again -- except for the scratched windsheild.

    Earlier in the day was super fun though. We left our camp site in Pelluhue and stayed on the coast. We road on pavement for about 15 miles and then it turned to a great dirt road for 10 miles. We wound around on these great roads along the coast and stopped in Buchupureo for a late lunch.

    While eating lunch we started chatting with a couple the next table over. Her name was Ayya and she's from Bulgaria. His name was Leonard and he's from Germany. They are Univeristy students heading out to live with the Mapuche people for the next 6 months while they work on an Ethnography of the mapuche culture. They were really interesting to talk to and it was nice for Jeff and Neil to have a conversation in English with someone other than each other.

    After we left Buchupureo we had some nice dirt roads for a while and utterly beautiful scenery-- but then we hit that gravel road and I crashed. You already know that story. From there we decided to find the next closest town where we might be lucky enough to get a hotel room and a shower. We road for another 20 miles or so and stopped in Tome' where we found a hotel room for around $50 right on the beach.

    We decided to stay for two nights.




    .
    #51
  12. Adv Grifter

    Adv Grifter on the road o'dreams

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    I've tried both FlickR and Photobucket ... bad luck with both.

    Much prefer Picasa (a Google product) ... but if you really want to help support the site you are posting on ... for FREE ... consider opening an account on Smug Mug, owned by the owner of ADV Rider. It's the best in the business ... not free, but the BEST.
    #52
  13. nivs

    nivs Rocket Surgeon

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    Bakken Basin
    Coffee here sure beats Starbucks. Here is our coffee host, Gia. You may think her uniform is ill fitting, but I can assure you that she adjusted it 3 or 4 times per minute, and it is perfectly positioned.

    [​IMG]
    #53
  14. nivs

    nivs Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
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    Bakken Basin
    We started Day 8 in Villarica at the Don Juan Hostel. It had been raining pretty well and we were cold. Setting camp sounded lousy. The hostel was excellent. The rooms were clean, warm and dry and under $20 U.S./ single. <?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    We decided to have a down day, which to Poodle and O meant taking the side bags off our bikes and exploring around. We drove to see the huge local volcano, but in the rainy/foggy conditions was less than spectacular. We checked out a volcano/cave tour, but at $30/each decided it was not in the budget. I had lost one of my cold weather gloves, so with frozen hands, decided to separate and try to find some gloves in Punto. Poodle and O decided to ride out to the ski resort on the volcano. Just as I stopped in town, a guy on a mountain bike stopped to check me out. <o:p></o:p>
    Him: You ride that all the way down here?<o:p></o:p>
    Me: Nah, flew into Santiago.<o:p></o:p>
    Him: (disappointed) Still some nice riding around here. I rode a DR650 from here to Canada.<o:p></o:p>
    Me: (impressed) Nice, what did you do that for?<o:p></o:p>
    Him: a girl<o:p></o:p>
    Me: you an Ozzie?<o:p></o:p>
    Him: Nah, Kiwi.<o:p></o:p>
    Dave was a motorcycle nut and had lived in Punto for 4 years. He operates the Paradise Hostel off Colo Colo street and said we should drop by. I set out to find some gloves (success) and got on the radio to see if my mates could hear me. They could as they were pulling into town as I walked out of a store.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    We grabbed some lunch and went to find Paradise. It was a nice hostel with a great commune vibe. His guests seemed mostly long term and to be working around the area as white water raft guides, climbing guides and such. He offered us a cup of tea. He told us about his motorcycle exploits around the area, suggested routes. His obviously well used and abused DRZ 400 supermoto sat right in the courtyard. He pointed at a shed and offered us a place to work on our bikes. “I really want to get more motorcycle people to stay here”. Rooms start around $16/night.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    We hung out for a few hours planning routes and laughing. He had opened up his house just to chat with some moto-folk. He is a great guy with a great attitude. It was time to go back to our hostel. Dave walked us out. He was still eyeballing my DRZ, checking out the mods and farkles. “When you find out it is not worth it to ship it back you can sell it to me cheap” Me: “Maybe. We’ll see. Hey, would you sign my gas tank (as Poodle and MissO have been doing, as a souvenir). <o:p></o:p>
    “Viva’ la Vive’ and keep the hammer down”, he wrote. Life is to live and keep going fast. Good advice.

    Dave and his girl, Imaldena.

    [​IMG]
    #54
  15. kwb210

    kwb210 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
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    119
    Location:
    Washington, the state
    Which one is Gia?

    I was in Columbia in June on a motorcycle, looks like the Columbian women have some competition. That's a good thing btw...
    #55
  16. nivs

    nivs Rocket Surgeon

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    #56
  17. rcroese

    rcroese Haarlem Globetrotter

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    Nice report on Villarrica and Pucón (rather than Punto, I suppose). Sorry to hear it is raining, which fortunately is a bit unusual this time of the year. Hope it clears up for you. There is an American guy in Pucón, Willie Hatcher, runs a tourism and lodging business.
    #57
  18. nivs

    nivs Rocket Surgeon

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    Location:
    Bakken Basin
    My bad, Pucon is correct. Thanks for keeping this accurate.
    #58
  19. nivs

    nivs Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Bakken Basin
    We stopped 2 nights ago in San Carlos de Bariloche. It was a town that Miss O had spent some time in about 10 years ago. She looked forward to going back. When we arrived, we found a city that had just had a riot and that the federal government was sending in troops. We heard conflicting reports of the cause. Some said that an organized crime group had robbed a grocery store. Others claimed it had been started by some of the local laborers that were upset over low wages and didn’t have money for Christmas presents. Sadly, the city that Miss O remembered so fondly was gone. The city evidently has been in decline (not like Detroit declined, but not the city of its former beauty}. All of the shops were closed and boarded up. We were told (by the hotel staff) we would need to go straight to our rooms and leave early in the morning. It wasn’t that bad. We hung out in the lobby with some german friends we had met on the road. I had some beers. We shared some jokes. Walked down the street to buy some more beers after the hotel ran out. The city was re-booting. I guess that it is not that uncommon for stuff like this to happen around South America. I checked the American press and found no mention of it.<?xml:namespace prefix = "o" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    We left Bariloche yesterday morning. Chief Navigator Dirt had selected a route south through the Patagonia Mountains. The first part of the ride took us along unending lakes and beautiful roads. The second part had us riding along the most beautiful pass I have ever seen. This place is an order of magnitude greater than Glacier Park, Yellowstone, Yosemite, etc. The views of epic peaks from horizon to horizon just didn’t end. The roads were the most perfect motorcycle roads I have ever experienced. Tight technical switchbacks, long sweepers. It was sometimes nice to find a straightway so I could look at the views, as the roads mostly demanded all of my attention. I rode the Beartooth Pass last summer with my buddy Fast Eddie, and I have to apologize, mi amigo, this was at another level. Wish you were here.<o:p></o:p>
    #59
  20. nivs

    nivs Rocket Surgeon

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2012
    Oddometer:
    47
    Location:
    Bakken Basin
    [​IMG]
    #60