Oregon to Ushuaia on an XR650L

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Ulyses, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    I thought about it, but it's too hard to plan ahead like that for me. I don't really have a schedule or a planned route, I just make it up as I go. An international package can take a few days to get somewhere, or it can take a few months. You just never know what's going to happen, especially with the customs process in some of these contries. Plus it's darn expensive to get stuff shipped down here. I had to get a new chain guard in Lima; they looked at importing it for me and it would have cost $40 just to ship it. And it's only like a $30 part.

    I think your best bet for getting hard to find parts down here in a timely manner is to see if you can find someone that is flying down, send the part to them in the states, and have them bring it with them. Byron and Isabel, the two brits I met in Texas in September, were able to find a bunch of people through this forum who worked together to bring them a new wheel and a bunch of suspension parts for their 1979 BMW R100RS. Amazing stuff.
  2. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    John,

    More and more I'm begining to see the wisdom of your ways. Unfortunately, I also enjoy being able to do 75mph on the highways...I think the only solution is to take something really prohibitively next time. Like a ducatti.
  3. DocRock

    DocRock considerothers

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    Been following Ulyses, jdowns, and kedgi and would like to know if you balance your wheels when changing tires?
    You all seem to get easy access to tools and equipment at the shops you stop at for repairs so just wondering.......
    If not balancing, do you have much adverse effect at hwy speed?
    Have fun, but ride safe!
  4. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF more off than on

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    Next time you go, you'll be rich, so sure, take something really expensive! :D
  5. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

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    Hey Bryce and Mike ( guessing Mike might read this ;) Alison and I are hoping to head the langauns route in a few days. No GPS. Going to try and find a map. And hope google maps works in a way. At least showing where you are in space. Is there any reception at all there? Pm any tips please! Thx
  6. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Adventurer

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    1993 XLH 1200, 1997 XLH 883 and a couple of mid 70's SXT AMF H-D Enduro 175's 2T.
    :1drink
  7. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Wow! No GPS?! That's brave! Actually, most of it you can do without a GPS, but there are two turn offs that we wouldn't have found without a GPS. I think. I think your best bet is to just flag down Land Cruisers and ask them for directions as you go. Once you get to the Lagunas it's very straightforward. You just follow the 8 million sets of tire tracks heading south down the valley. After you reach Laguna Colorada, there is a fairly well graded road all the way to chile and navigation shouldn't be an issue. Just make sure you find the Aduana or you'll have to back track 80 kilometers when you get to the border.
  8. Hewby

    Hewby Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the info. But quick question. What were the two turn offs actually for?
  9. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Day 117 (February 9, 2013)
    Santiago, Chile to......Santiago, Chile
    Day's Ride: 133 Miles

    [​IMG]

    Originally I had been planning on going straight to Mendoza, Argentina from Santiago. There is a really amazing pass with over 30 identical switch backs that I really wanted to ride. However, I had met some Chileanos and Argentinos the night before, and they had invited me to go to Valparaiso with them. Unfortunately, when I showed up to at the bus station to meet them, they weren't there. So, I switched back to my original plan and headed off for Mendoza.

    Various people had told me that the pass over the Andes into Argentina was only open at certain hours due to construction. I had a eventually found out that it would supposedly not be open that evening until 8:00 PM. Naturally, I took my time getting out of town. I stopped and had a massive hot dog at a restaurant near the Hostel.

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    Heading north out of Chile, the landscape continued to look very Southern Californian. I started passing through tons of vineyards and had the feeling that all of the wine that I had been drinking lately was coming from here.

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    I arrived at the turn off for the pass and was immediately confronted by long lines of trucks waiting to be let onto the road. Even though I knew that I was going to have to wait for a few hours, I decided to go see exactly what everyone was saying about the pass. I popped into the Aduana and was immediately confronted by an official who told me that the pass would be closed until Tuesday! Apparently there had been some heavy rains recently and there was a lot of damage to the road. The exact words that were used were "the pass is cut". I asked if he meant that the pass was closed and he said yes. Chileanos have funny ways of saying things sometimes. Not to mention a crazy accent.

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    Frustrated at having ridden 60 miles in the wrong direction, I jumped on my bike and tried to figure out my next move. I eventually decided to just go back to Santiago, spend the night, and then start heading south again through Chile the next day.

    Going back to Santiago ended up being the right move. Arriving back in town, I was able to hunt down a new camera and a few more outstanding supplies that I had been lacking and hadn't been able to find on the previous day. My old camera had actually died that morning, despite having been given a new power cord.

    Back at the Hostel, the Oregonians that I had met the day before (Miles and Josh) and an Australian guy named Teddy, were throwing a birthday BBQ for Miles and invited me to attend. I was all about that!

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    Josh teaches English in Santiago and a bunch of his Chileano friends and students showed up for the party. I had a blast eating good BBQ and talking with a bunch of amazing people! Being able to converse in Spanish has been a huge blessing; even though I'm not anywhere near fluent, I can still have a fairly in depth conversation. Talking with all of the Chileanos last night was a blast!
  10. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Okay, I know I promised this a while ago, but I've just now figured out how to do it. I had tons of requests for this information, so, rather than responding one by one to each email and PM, I'll just post a link to it on my google drive here and you can dowload it if you so desire:

    https://docs.google.com/folder/d/0B9a9LBra49N5Q2FQV04xVmhYSTg/edit?usp=sharing

    Be forewarned, there are some small gaps in some of the lines as my GPS power likes to go on and off at random times.

    Also, here are some waypoints that I pulled off of a Horizons Unlimited post. I believe that these are the ones that Mike downloaded for us. Of special note is the Bolivian Aduana; don't miss that one or you'll be making a 160km detour to get your papers stamped. Or you'll just have to bribe someone like we did.

    Arbol De Piedra S22 03.109 W67 52.992 4585 m
    Bol Aduana S22 26.452 W67 48.353 5019 m
    Bol Border S22 52.434 W67 47.426
    Camp Ende (gas,water,food,accomodation) S22 10.415 W67 49.117 4316m
    Chilean aduana+border S22 54.665 W68 11.629
    Colchani-Entry to Salar S20 18.001 W66 55.999
    Waypoint EntrytoSalar south (approximate,but you cant miss it) S20 33.995 W67 34.499
    followtracksouthhere S21 04.831 W67 59.809
    San Juan (gas,water,food,accomodation,incagraveyard) S20 53.930 W67 45.915
    Geyser S22 25.988 W67 45.704 4885 m
    go south to here and follow railway S20 58.589 W67 45.934
    go straight S21 23.609 W67 59.617
    Hot Spring S22 46.945 W67 48.168 4330 m
    IsladePescada(approximate) S20 09.956 W67 45.154
    keep left S21 30.535 W67 51.695
    keep south S21 44.924 W67 58.644
    Laguna Blanca S22 32.140 W67 38.980 4422 m
    lago colorada S22 09.692 W67 44.950
    laguna verde S22 47.113 W67 46.591

    Or, you can just go to this link and download all of those waypoints:

    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/south-america/san-pedro-de-atacama-uyuni-34664

    Now, there is also a topo mapset that Mike downloaded somehow, but I've already deleted my copy and I'm not sure where he got it from. If I figure that out I'll put it in my google drive and post up a link for everyone.

    Even without that map, the free Open Street Maps cover this area with most of the little roads depicted. If any of you didn't know about OSM, it's a free, routable, customizable, dowloadable map service for your GPS. It's what I use instead of the Garmin South America stuff. Why spend a ton of money on the Garmin software (which is often incorrect) when you can get something that is just as good for free? If you want to get some of the OSM stuff, go to this link: http://www.openstreetmap.org/.

    That's all I've got for now, hope this helps everyone!

    Bryce
  11. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    The turn offs were for gas in San Cristobal, the cut-off that gets you to the start of the Lagunas route, and the Bolivian Aduana.

    Without a GPS, I can't really tell you how to get there as the maps that I purchased in Unuyi were all fairly inacurate and didn't really depict the right route. You can talk to tour operators in Unuyi, but once again, just going off of what they say will be pretty hard.

    I think your best bet is to download google earth and then overlay my GPX files and some of the waypoints that I've posted above and try and figure it out from there. I would do this before you get to Unuyi as most of the internet there sucks.

    You can buy maps of the area from the Librerias in Unuyi, but like I said before, they aren't all that accurate.
  12. GRinCR

    GRinCR Oppressed Nomad

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    :superWoW:super


    and :dizave... :cob is about how it feels viewing this from my publicle.
  13. 09Prodigy

    09Prodigy Instigator

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    Finally got caught up with this RR! Thank you for taking us along! :freaky

    I am a bit surprised a Marine could get that far w/out Naval support! :rofl:rofl:rofl

    Ride Safe!
  14. purpledrake

    purpledrake No Pretensions

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    Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh!
  15. Mossy-Back

    Mossy-Back Brown Falcon

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    He did have naval support... didn't you see that rusty old boat he rode into Columbia on? And the rickety canoe looking things that they used to get the bikes out to it? :rofl
  16. 09Prodigy

    09Prodigy Instigator

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    True True :lol3:lol3

    Donated a little..

    Prodigy
  17. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    I'm currently crammed in a gas station trying to get some fast food with about 100 Chileanos who are returning from Holiday. I've been camping the last two nights but hopefully I'll be able to get a room some where tonight. I've made lots of new friends in the last few days and also found that my computer only speaks Japane.
  18. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Haha! That was a hard burn....respect. :huh

    Brown Falcon is right, I did have to rely on one salty slovakian squid to get me across the caribean, as well as a few ferries here and there.
  19. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Day 118 (February 9, 2013)
    Santiago, Chile to Lake Vichuquen, Chile
    Day's Ride: 176 Miles

    [​IMG]

    Waking up rather late after the previous night's epic BBQ, I spent the remainder of the morning at the Hostel sending emails and doing computer stuff. It's amazing how fast correspondence and electronic tasks begin to pile up after you've been on the road for so long.

    Around noon I was finally packed up and ready to leave. Just as I was starting my bike, a man came running down the street, waving his arms furiously, and yelling at me to wait. Turns out it was Yuri, aka inmate Yuraco, who had tracked me down via the ride report and my SPOT beacon, and wanted to invite me over to his house for lunch! Once again, I was blown away by the hospitality of a random stranger; I had to accept his invitation!

    Yuri lead me back to his house with his car, where we went upstairs and talked and ate a wonderful lunch that had been prepared by his wife. He gave me tons of advice on things to see in Chile and even sat with me and showed me on my map where I should go. He and his wife were so gracious to me; it was a huge blessing to have a nice home cooked meal and converse with some amazing Chileanos!

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    After lunch, Yuri volunteered to get on his bike and ride with me so that I could get out of Santiago via the short route. I'm always down to ride with another person, especially one as awesome as Yurri, and I agreed to his offer whole heartedly. Yurri has an R1200 GSA and it was all I could do to keep up with him on the Autopista out of Santiago!

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    At the first toll booth Yuri had to turn around and head back to his family. However, before he left, I made sure he signed my tank:

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    Yuri, if you are reading this, thanks a ton! You're the man!

    Following Yuri's departure, I cruised south on the Panamerican towards a turn off in the town of San Fernando that Yuri had told me would lead to a nice long stretch of dirt road terminating in a beautiful lake. As I was passing a Copec gas station, I noticed what appeared to be a large, fully laden, DR650 in the parking lot. I did a quick u-turn and went back to investigate. That's how I met Max:

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    I pulled up and introduced myself and we started talking. It turned out that Max was from Australia and he had had has bike shipped over to Santiago so that he could spend eight months riding around South America. He had just left Santiago that day; he was on the very first day of his trip!

    We talked a bit more and eventually decided to ride together to the lake that Yuri had told me about. Plugging down the Panamerican, we eventually reached the turnoff and headed towards the coast. We stopped briefly in the town of Santa Cruz and bought supplies in preparation for camping that evening. A few miles later, we finally reached the end of the pavement.

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    Yuri's recommendation turned out to be superb. The road was a phenomenal mix of well graded dirt and gravel.

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    Max and I blasted along in the dirt for nearly 20 miles. I was a little jealous of his brand new tires; my nearly bald Scorpions just didn't have the traction to allow me to fly through a dirt turn anymore.

    [​IMG]

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    Just before sunset we reached the lake. We went to a developed campground first just to check out how much it would cost. Unfortunately, they were filled to capacity. Just before leaving, I asked how much they would normally charge for a campsite. They wanted 30,000 pesos! That's over $60! And this wasn't some full hook-up RV park either, it was just a little dirt campground next to a lake. Crazy!

    Max and I left the campground and rode back up into the hills aways, intent on doing a little stealth camping. Before long we found a nice, hidden spot on top of a hill on the edge of a pine plantation (-34.80185, -72.03659).

    [​IMG]

    We cooked up a big dinner of pasta and sauce and then racked out.
  20. Mossy-Back

    Mossy-Back Brown Falcon

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    Very nice! Seems like you are meeting tons of great people, eating lots of great food, and seeing LOTS of wonderful sights down there!

    [​IMG]