Coffee to Mate - Seattle 3 Ride South America

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

  1. MissOrganized

    MissOrganized Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Live in Seattle, riding in Chile and Argentina
    I'm sure you'll have a great time! I can't think of any advice to share other than be flexible with your plans. Our plans change every 3 days or so. :) Perhaps consider registering your trip on the embassy web sites. We did that and it's how we've received updates on any areas of unrest. There hasn't been much but I think it's always a good idea to have that communication channel available to you.

    Have a great time!
    #81
  2. MissOrganized

    MissOrganized Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Live in Seattle, riding in Chile and Argentina
    We did just that and what wonderful roads and incredible countryside we saw! The weather stayed pretty nice, a few rain drops but mostly just really beautiful sky. What beauty there is here, hu?
    #82
  3. Rustysauce

    Rustysauce Adventurer

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Oddometer:
    55
    Location:
    Canada
    Hey I know you folks!!!

    Nice meeting you on the Carretera Austral the other day...my gopro caught the celebratory 'DR650 'bump'. It's been a while since I met other DR riders, hahaha. Maybe see you again in Santiago.

    Happy New Year
    -Nick

    [​IMG]
    #83
  4. Radioman

    Radioman Moto rider

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2005
    Oddometer:
    5,324
    Location:
    HOME (at least for now)
    Your not heading south to see El Calafate and the Perito Moreno Glacier? Or Torres Del Paine National park? Ushuaia?

    I am starting north tomorrow to reride the Caraterra Austral since it is so beautiful!!


    Ride Safe Still might see you on the road in Argentina as I will be heading to Buenos Aires soon!
    #84
  5. MissOrganized

    MissOrganized Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Live in Seattle, riding in Chile and Argentina

    Nick -- Coolest picture ever! Hope to meet you again someday in the Pacific Northwest! Or...we will be Santiago on the 17th and 18th of this month. Let us know if you're there as well.
    #85
  6. rcroese

    rcroese Haarlem Globetrotter

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    GR Michigan
    Hey, where are you guys? Did you make it to Ushuaia? I hope to still see reports and pictures! The Dakar made it into Salta, northern Argentina, today.

    Have fun!
    #86
  7. MissOrganized

    MissOrganized Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Live in Seattle, riding in Chile and Argentina
    It hasn't been busy, exactly, but somehow time just slips by and I don't notice it happening. Somehow we're already only one week away from our trip ending. I'm not sure how it's possible.

    Anyway, for those who are curious here's the summary of the last 10 days or so.

    We left Puerto Ibanez and made it to Puerto Tranquilo. Great dirt road, ok-ish weather, and met lots of riders along the way including Nick (the guy who posted the "DR fist bump" and a KLR rider from Australia who we ended up spending the next few days with, and a couple of other riders waved to or spoke with briefly in passing. It was definitely the road for adventure riders!

    Puerto Tranquilo was beautiful. It's right on the 2nd largest lake in South America and it's name is well suited as it's a very tranquil place to be. We did a few tourist things while there (someday we might get pictures posted) like hiking around on Exploradores Glacier and taking a boat to visit the Marble Caves. We were in Puerto Tranquilo for New Years and really, nothing even remotely exciting happened. We made dinner in our cabana and toasted happy new year to each other but it was about as quiet and calm as a new years can be -- no complaint, just an observation.

    From Puerto Tranquilo we road to Chile Chico which included one of the most beautiful roads I've ever been on. For days leading up to it folks had been telling me it was incredibly dangerous and incredibly gravelly. Honestly, I was pretty terrified. They were all wrong. It was wonderful! It was beautiful. It wasn't dangerous or scary. I suppose we were lucky as it wasn't particularly windy but that road should be a must for adventure riders!

    About 20 miles from Chile Chico Poodle noticed that my panniers were riding off center. Turns out a bolt had sheared off and a part of the welded frame had snapped. Big Bummer! Poodle took one of my panniers and Nivs took the other for the last 20 miles of the day. Luckily a) We found a Welder in Chile Chico b) we found a drill bit and borrowed a drill c) We found replacement bolts and washers and d) Poodle is awesome and managed to creatively fix the frame to be as good or better than new and by mid-day we were able to be on our way.

    The next day was miserable. We rode from Chile Chico (think beautiful town) to the Argentine Coast (think ugly and boring). The road was boring, it was windy, the towns we drove through probably couldn't have been much uglier. We camped in Rada Tilly and took off the next morning for Trelew.

    Riding from Rada Tilly to Trelew was pretty awesome. Poodle found a great dirt road that went along the coast for about 130 miles. It was in great condition and although wasn't the majestic views of the Andes it was still very beautiful with tiny coastal towns and crashing waves and hilly Argentne Campo. On this ride we even made a stop to see penguins! (Penguins are always fun, right?) The only bad thing about this day was it was too long. We got on the bikes around 10 a.m. and by the time we found a hotel in Trelew it was 11 p.m. (we took our time, rode over 350 miles on dirt/pavement combo, stopped several times and one of us even ran out of gas along the way). That was way too long of a day for me. However, I probably wouldn't have done it any differently either.

    After the long day to Trelew we decided we needed a down day and to get some laundry done so we made it a short day of riding to Puerto Madryn and spent two nights there. What a cute beach town that is! It wasn't too busy but it was lively. It was small enough we could walk everywhere. In the evening a well known Argentine band entertained the city with a 2 hour long concert in the park. It was a very cool stop!

    I forget exactly what the next day was but I think it was the most miserable day with riding 320 miles or so on straight, borning pavement with an incredibly strong side wind. Our tires now show significant wear on one side. Ugh. Miserable. Oh, and it was hot. Double Ugh. We camped again that night at a crappy little camp site near the beach not far from Viedma / Carmen de los Patagones. On this day of riding we were all wishing we had planned the trip differently -- but we needed to get to Buenos Aires so we kept pushing on!

    The next day was a lovely day. Poodle found an alternative to the hellish highway 3 which took us on some beautiful two-lane non-busy roads through gorgeous field of sunflowers. We were out of the wind and all three thoroughly enjoying our ride. It wasn't a road that would go on the list of "must rides" but it made for a really pleasant and happy day for us. We stayed that night in Bahia Blanca which is a very skipable city, in my opinion. I appreciated the nice, cheap hotel we found but not only is Bahia Blanca not very interesting but it was also SUnday and the city sleeps and no shops open on Sunday. One highlight though was finding some very delcious, freshly made Empanadas. Yummo!

    After Bahia Blanca we made it to Las Flores, just 125 miles from Buenos Aires. There was nothing special about this riding day. It wasn't as miserable as the worst day but also nothing to write home about. The little hotel we found in Las Flores was a bit of an oasis, except for the ants that got into all of our stuff.

    Finally, we only had one more short day of riding to reach Buenos Aires. It was only 125 miles or so but it ended up being really intense because of all the huge trucks driving so close to one another and often not a safe way to get around them. Also, navigating through Buenos Aires on a motorcycle when you don't know the city at all is a bit intimidating. But we did it, and we found a palce to stay and have been enjoying the city for the last 3 or 4 days. We've been seeing lots of tourist sites, I was able to meet up with an old college friend and his family from back when I lived here, we've been soaking up the sunshine, the heat and a relaxed pace for when we return to our cold bustling lives. Today especially was quite nice with many hours sitting in the shade in beautiful plazas or under umbrellas at cafes. We'll catch a Tango show tonight and then will be off tomorrow again on the bikes, making our way back to Santiago through Mendoza.

    Although I'm glad we chose to do the trip this way I would certainly make changes for a future trip. I do love Buenos Aires but the ride to get here just sucks. There's no two ways about it. I would love to have stayed on the Austral all the way down to Punta Arenas and ship the bikes home from there and then catch a flight to Buenos Aires to spend a few days vs. riding here. At least that's how i feel today -- but I always reserve the right to change my mind. :)
    #87
  8. MissOrganized

    MissOrganized Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Live in Seattle, riding in Chile and Argentina
    No, we didn't make it farther south than Chile Chico. We'll have to come back sometime with the trip planned a little differently. I'm not a fast rider on dirt so I hold the guys back somewhat and we needed to get back to Santiago by a specific date and I really wanted to get to Buenos Aires. Next time we'll get all the way to Ushuaia.

    The quality of internet hasn't been sufficient for picture posting so we'll have to do that when we get back home I think. Meanwhile I posted a long update on the last week or so.
    #88
  9. rcroese

    rcroese Haarlem Globetrotter

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    GR Michigan
    Nice report update, Miss O, and I know all about slow Internet connections and working while others are savoring the local beer and foods or doing much-needed work on the motos or just plain sleeping and getting some rest. People with high-speed internet and a comfortable office often don't understand that blogging and reporting from the road takes a lot of dedication and sacrifice.

    I can understand your disappointment about some of the boring routes and loss of precious riding time when you only had 6 weeks and you invested a lot of planning effort and money to get you to Santiago de Chile and back. But on the other hand, you did ride some favorite roads and saw some of the best areas you can visit. Sure, it would have been nice to see the glaciers of El Calafate, the jagged mountains and the guanacos of Las Torres del Paine, the crossing of the Strait of Magellan, the mountain pass on the big island of Tierra del Fuego and a look accross the Beagle Canal in Ushuía and sending postcard from the southernmost post office in the world. But you did what you could and what you had to do within your time frame.

    You will probably head back to the west coast via Córdoba (the Dakar will have a stop there on Monday the 14th), and if you have time to ride through Carlos Paz on Lago San Roque, spend some time around Mendoza and see Farrellones on your way back to Santiago, you will still have some very nice things to see. Also, the Dakar arrives in Santiago on Saturday the 19th and the podium festivities will be the next day.

    Enjoy the rest of your trip.
    #89
  10. Harris

    Harris n00b

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2013
    Oddometer:
    1
    Heeeey it's ur favourite aussie, hope u had a great ride! get me on fb cause I've a bunch of photos lost ur Email !! But joined adv and stalked ur post, just in Ushy at the end of my trip. Take care and talk soon :)
    #90
  11. MissOrganized

    MissOrganized Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Live in Seattle, riding in Chile and Argentina
    Hey! Good to hear from you and glad you made it all the way South! Congratulations! Poodle has the paper somewhere with your address on it and when he finds it we'll email/facebook you.

    We fly home tomorrow. It was so good to meet you and we hope to see you again sometime.
    #91
  12. MissOrganized

    MissOrganized Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Oddometer:
    27
    Location:
    Live in Seattle, riding in Chile and Argentina
    I still have a question on whether or not we will see our bikes again, and if it would have ended up being cheaper and easier to just ship them home via air the same way we shipped them south.

    We dropped off the bikes at a "warehouse" in Santiago the day we left. It was in a super sketchy part of town and I really wondered how safe we were personally as well as how likely we'd see our bikes and all those important papers we left along with them -- we made it out just fine, and the bike safety remains to be seen.

    Earlier this week I got news that we might have a solid ship date scheduled now and the bikes should start their trip home in the next week or two, provided I can transfer a pile of money into the shippers bank account at Chase Bank. I will do that tonight and hopefully will have a secured ship date by early next week.

    I don't really know what we will have to do to get them out of Customs once they arrive back on US soil, but I decided that's a problem for future-me and for now I"ll just wait. Wish me luck -- I'll update again when we have the details complete and can comment or recommend / not-recommend the shipper.

    I'm also trying to remind Poodle to get a bunch of pictures posted -- we have selected our favorites and there's only about 400 in the "favorites" folder. I suppose we'll have to cut it down a whole lot more.

    Gosh! What a great trip that was!
    #92
  13. rcroese

    rcroese Haarlem Globetrotter

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2009
    Oddometer:
    22
    Location:
    GR Michigan
    Sounds like quite a normal ocean shipping event - it always takes a lot longer than expected. I shipped my bike from Johannesburg to Detroit one time and it took a month longer than expected. When it arrived, the crate had been transshipped so many times that it was quite busted and the bike was hanging by its straps.

    Importation in Detroit was a bit dicey and the customs people were demanding all kinds of stuff, until one of them finally understood that it was my bike, I held the registration in my hand, and that I was just bringing it home from where it had started 6 months earlier. After the light went on in this fellow, he placed a stamp on the paper and there was nothing else to do. I "uncrated" the bike right there, threw the busted timbers on the side of the building, put it on the back of my truck and we were off. No problem.

    Good luck and I look forward to seeing some of those pictures!
    #93
  14. Adventurous Human

    Adventurous Human n00b

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    8
    Location:
    Los Angeles, California
    Pics pics pics
    #94