going south, see you in five months

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by johnsonal, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. benwiggin2

    benwiggin2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,170
    Location:
    Red stickered, in the wild, wild, west
    Where else in the world can you do this stuff!

    So proud of your ambassadorsmanship (lol)!!!!

    Way to represent Johnsonal, way to represent!

  2. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    here today, gone tomorrow
    Days one hundred and fifteen and one hundred and sixteen, 5-8, and 5-9-13

    For some reason when I woke up the next day I didn't feel to great. Must have been the food... Anyways it was time to get out of Potosi and head to Uyuni to check out the salt flats. The ride was once again boring down the shit pavement but we still had nine sticks of dynamite so we blew up a cactus to cheer ourselves up.

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    Dynamite count: 9-2=7

    We rode the rest of the way into Uyuni and found a cheap hostel for the night. Uyuni is kind of a shitty little town. But it is cheap and it looks like they are starting to kind of clean the place up. I'd like to see what it looks like ten years from now.

    Woke up and headed to the gas station to fill up for riding around the salt flats. Just south of Uyuni there is a train boneyard where there are a bunch of rusty old trains you can climb around on.

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    Then off to the salt flats where I pointed the bike in the general direction toward the salt hotel.

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    After checking out the hotel made of salt we headed out to one of the "Islands" for a beer.

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    Then we headed toward another, bigger island where I heard there might be lunch. We ended up at an uninhabited island with no lunch or people around. Bad for lunch, good for dynamite. We blew up another cactus.

    Dynamite count: 7-2=5

    Sorry the video came out shitty. Time to go back to Uyuni as I had hit half of my 200 mile range. On our way we decided to blow up some salt.

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    Dynamite count: 5-1=4

    Now they warn you to drive on the roads when you visit the salt flats but it is just too much fun to go anywhere you want.

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    Until you get to the wetter areas and the first layer of inch thick salt breaks through to its muddy friend below while you are going 40mph throwing you over your handlebars, not into the mud, but onto the hard crusted salt. And it isn't smooth and pleasant. (look at the dynamite video above for an example of the surface)

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    I bruised my knees (because I was just wearing jeans) but I was fine. And we did find some water which made for some cool pics.

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    We headed back to town anxious to wash the saltwater off our bikes. Nowhere would let us use their hose and all the car washes were closed. We try to sneak in a little cleaning at the hotel by dumping classes of hot water from the shower on the bikes one by one but the hotel owner, who already said no, catches us and tells us to stop. with no other options until the morning we decide to grab some food at one of the many shitty diner places, and hit the hay ready to move on the next morning.

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  3. benwiggin2

    benwiggin2 Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,170
    Location:
    Red stickered, in the wild, wild, west
    FRONT PAGE MATERIAL :deal

  4. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,536
    Location:
    Lone Pine Ontario (or travelling)
    Sounds like " good times "
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    Dy-no-mite !!!
  5. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    here today, gone tomorrow
    Days one hundred sixteen to one hundred seventeen, 5-10 to 5-11-13

    Bolivia is full of whiners. Of course the gas station was still striking and the water at the car wash was frozen. We rode around all morning trying to find gas before another couple on motos staying at our hotel told us they heard an ICE CREAM SHOP down the street sold gas. Sure enough the lady came out with a ten liter jug and a funnel and we had gas... from the ice cream shop... We hit the road, and what a shitty road it was. 120 miles of washboard. Yeah it wasn't asphalt but fuck, this was shit! No fun at all. After forever we arrived in Tupiza. kinda. The strike was nationwide and they were blocking people from even going in and out of citys. In Uyuni we just rode straight through at high speeds and figured people would move or get hit, but in Tupiza they were smarter. They had a rope. So we rode down to the river and took a rode through some gravel yard or something and into the town. We found a pretty nice place with, bad, but internet and hung out for two nights to get some typing and laundry done. I have no photos because I'm to lazy to reach into my pocket.

    The next day I headed to toward the border at Villazon. Now this could be important to someone. If you are an american citizen you have to go online and pay to get into Argentina, print out your receipt, and have it at the border. You can not pay cash at the border. And there is not good enough internet in Villazon to pay there. We had to call Robert, our friend that met us in Medellin, and have him do it for us in Portland over the phone. Thank you Robert you saved our asses! So we get stamped out of Bolivia and into Argentina. One problem... They are searching bags.

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    We have a bit of dynamite, blasting caps full of nitro glyceryn, a large bag of Amonium nitrate, and ten feet of gun powder filled fuse. I'm sweating a little. The guy searching bags is doing a fairly good job. But he is busy. He calls another man out of the office. This guy is not happy to come out of the office. He points to the bag, "What's in here?" "Ropa" (clothes) points to another bag..."Ropa". He is lazy. Great. He signs our papers and we drive away into Argentina. We ride to Tilcara where we find a campsite and set up shop, drink a bottle of whiskey and hit the hay.

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  6. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    here today, gone tomorrow
    Days one hundred eightteen and one hundred nineteen, 5-12 and 5-13-13

    So last night we found a fifth of this really classy whiskey called Old Smuggler and drank it all. It was five dollars. Somehow I feel fine today. I'm heading to Salta. There are two ways to get to Salta. The highway 9 and there is also the other highway 9 that is more western and looks like it might be a little less boring on the map. We chose well. This highway is about as wide as one car and is TWISTIE!

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    Lots of fun but you have to watch out for cars around the blind corners. Salta is a nice town.

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    I feel like I fit in a little better here. Not that I fit in but I don't stick out as much. The blue market dollar is at its peak. 10.1 to 1 where the official exchange rate is 5.5 to one. If you are going to Argentina GOOGLE THIS!!!!!! Argentina isn't on the world standard of money. They just kind of make up how much their money is worth or something. Therefore there is a black market for US dollars where people on the street give you a better exchange rate. Right now it is at an all time high and we are getting almost twice the amount as the national rate. For you math-magicians this means everything is half price. Andy brought a shit load of US dollars and now it will be half price for him to ship his bike home. Plaza 9 de Julio in Salta there are guys standing outside the Cambios. Seriously it wasn't at all unsafe and we checked the money for fakes, no fakes.
  7. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    here today, gone tomorrow
    Day one hundred twenty, 5-14-13

    After a night in the city I was ready to get back out into nature. I hate big cities. So off toward Ruta 40, partial home to the Dakar Rally. The road to get over to 40 was part asphalt part gravel and nothing too exciting but the views were nice.

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    We arrived in Cachi and set up the tent in a campground. Then we got kinda drunk and tried to find firewood. Idiots.

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  8. twisted-hog

    twisted-hog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    405
    Location:
    Wet Coast, Vancouver BC
    ouch, trees bite back?

    You guys be careful.

    Over the handbars and attacked by a tree so far.

    Head wounds really bleed, I hope it looks worse than it is.

    I was wondering when you guys where going to turn around and start heading back, but I see you are shipping your bikes back. Just curious from where?

    Keep up the great report.
  9. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    here today, gone tomorrow
    We are going to ship back from Buenos Aires. Dakar Motos is kinda famous for helping people line up shipping for cheap. I've read a couple reports where people go out looking for cheaper on their own and usually seem to go back to Dakar.

    Thanks for the comment! Always nice to have some inspiration to start working on the next post.
  10. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    here today, gone tomorrow
    Day one hundred and twenty one, 5-15-13

    Left to set out toward Caffayate on the routa 40, home to part of the dakar rally.

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    I was warned by an Argentinian rider that it was all sand which I'm not a fan of.... not true. There are little sections of sand but for the most part it was very nice hard pack that you could really get into it on. At about half way you get into some very cool rock formations.

    <iframe frameborder="0" scrolling="no" width="640" height="360" src="http://api.smugmug.com/services/embed/2516576162_kLQNX79?width=640&height=360&albumId=27639699&albumKey=kSMB3s"></iframe>

    Cafayatte is in a region known for it's wine, so naturally we passed some beautiful vineyards.

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    The town itself wasn't quite as nice as we expected but oh well. We found a campsite, set up our stuff, and headed into town for some food. Now, there are two big problems I have run into so far in Argentina. The first is that NOTHING opens, not even little corner stores until at least 6:30 pm and restarants sometimes 8 or later. The other major problem is that if you don't already have bottle for deposit, they will not give you a beer at the store. But you can't get the bottle to return without first getting the beer...? They are very concerned about their bottle deposits here. Anyways while walking around we bumped into the flying dutchman, Lalo or Ed, or whatever his name is, who we also ran into back in Peru. We told him where the campsite was and agreed to all meet up for diner and drinks. Ed was already a little drunk from wine tasting and had been following our RR and knew we had dynamite. He really wanted to blow up the vineyard across the street. After a bit of whiskey we went out for steaks. Argentina is supposed to be famous for their steaks. And they did not disappoint! Best steak I've ever had for about six bucks. After diner Ed really wanted to light off some dynamite. This was a REALLY bad idea. We were literally 100 yards from town square. The whole town would hear this. After a little more whiskey it seemed like a little better idea so we went across the street, strapped it to a vine, (at Eds request) and set it off. No video but we definatly woke up the whole town.
    Dynamite count: 4-1=3
    Well no one called the cops and we got away unscathed. Had fun with you Ed, safe travels.
  11. shojac

    shojac Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    36
    Have been following your awsome report and enjoying it to the fullest.
    I would like to ask a question. What make and model of computer are you carrying along, must pretty tough seeing all those roads you were on.
    Thanks, and happy travels.
  12. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    here today, gone tomorrow
    I'm carrying the macbook I had from college. It's probably seven years old now. No case, just sandwiched in between some clothes in my duffel bag on the back. It's scratched up and dirty, but I have taken some hard falls (some I haven't posted) and laid my bike over countless times, and she is still going strong. Not to mention the vibration over 15000 miles.
  13. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    here today, gone tomorrow
    Days one hundred twenty two to one hundred twenty nine, 5-16 to 5-23-13

    This ride sucked:

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    There is nothing over here. It is just cold and rainy and all asphalt in a straight line for miles and miles. We camped a few nights in the rain and stayed in overpriced hostels in not very nice cities.

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    But the destination made the ride worth it. Iguazu Falls:

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    Hope that's enough, we even saw some wildlife

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    Now we are in a town about 500 miles north of Buenos Aires, I forgot the name. Gonna go camping for a few days to save some cash. I've got 8 days to kill before I have to be at Dakar Motos to start sorting out shipping so I'm going to do some fishing (maybe with dynamite...) on the Parana river and maybe go over to Uruguay for a few days. More to come....
  14. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Out Standing Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Tallahassee. FL. USA
    Gotta love that exchange rate. I was in Argentina in 1975 and the rate was even better. I felt wealthy. We had a friend send us 100 dollar bills hidden in a book cover. Stayed six months and got fat.

    Really enjoying your RR. :dllama
  15. Honkey Cat

    Honkey Cat Tailights Fade!

    Joined:
    May 5, 2011
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    1,157
    Location:
    SW Florida
    I feel like you just gave me the bird.
  16. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    here today, gone tomorrow
    I am going to make this a vacation destination for sure. Stuff a bunch on hundreds in my underwear and live it up at half price for a while before going home and being poor again. thanks for following.
  17. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    here today, gone tomorrow
    Ha,

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    Good to have you along. Thanks for the comments. More to come...!
  18. johnsonal

    johnsonal avenger of all evil

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    here today, gone tomorrow
    Dear Argentinian police,

    You can say "Seguro" a million times but my answer will always be, "No Spanish". Not because I don't understand you, but rather because I have no insurance. Saying it louder and louder will not get you a magical piece of paper that I don't have. I know you are lazy. I know you will give up. And I have all day.

    Thanks, Alex
  19. twisted-hog

    twisted-hog Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2012
    Oddometer:
    405
    Location:
    Wet Coast, Vancouver BC

    Did the police look and act like this with you? :gun1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqomZQMZQCQ
  20. akshaymurthy

    akshaymurthy Thumping Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2009
    Oddometer:
    53
    Real Nice...pics and ride..

    Thanks for sharing...