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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    Day 155 (March 20, 2013)
    Esquel, Argentina to Dolavon, Argentina
    Day's Ride: 352 Miles

    <IFRAME height=480 marginHeight=0 src="http://www.google.com.ar/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Av+Ameghino&daddr=-43.5045091,-70.8038613+to:RN+25&hl=en&geocode=FZJJcf0d5vG_-w%3BFYMsaP0da57H-ymVQF3mmtz3vTHFeY-n4pyjMw%3BFeVPa_0d7DoV_A&sll=-43.524655,-69.99939&sspn=1.561321,3.532104&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=8&via=1&ie=UTF8&t=p&ll=-42.956423,-68.950195&spn=7.718175,14.0625&z=6&output=embed" frameBorder=0 width=640 marginWidth=0 scrolling=no></IFRAME>
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    <SMALL>I knew when I left Esquel that it was going to be a long and boring ride back across the pampas to the Atlantic so I decided to just get as much of it out of the way in one shot as I could. Besides, other than a few small estancia's along the way, there really wasn't anywhere to stop between Esquel and the town of Trelew. I had to re-ride about 40 miles of Ruta 40 that I had already ridden on the way down to get to the turn off for the coast.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>The scenery was classic southern Argentina. Flat expanses of scrub brush stretching to the horizon with the occasional gully or small bluff to add a little disruption to an otherwise linear view. I did go through one small stretch of sandstone cliffs that reminded a little of Utah.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>Other than that, there wasn't much to see. I did have some more pictures of the nothingness; unfortunately, photobucket is refusing to upload them.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>Since I was riding from west to east, I had a nice tailwind throughout the day and wasn't getting blown all over the place. However, after 340 miles I was starting to get a little tired. When I saw a municipal campground in a small town 20 miles outside of Trelew, I decided to stop for the night.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>I was the only one at the campground and the caretaker didn't even make me pay. I went to the local mercado, got some food and some wine and came back to the campground to cook. It started to rain a little and the caretaker let me cook under his little awning. </SMALL>
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    <SMALL>I shared my wine with him and we talked for a little while. A little later he went out and bought a couple liters of beer and came back and shared with me. We sat around and talked and drank for a few hours and then I headed back to my tent to catch some sleep. All in all, a simple day. A little riding, a little cooking, and a little bs'ing with an Argentino over some vino and cervesa.</SMALL>
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  2. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hi Bryce,

    Great pics and great stories. I look forward to heading south later in the year when I come back to SA. Epic shots of your hiking in Patagonia as well as your pics of the Carretera Austral. Looks inviting. It will be interesting to see what the future brings.

    I mean it when I say I will build a bitchin' BBQ like Mario's in El Salvador for you once you get situated. You will be the asado king wherever you live. I can see it now.

    I'll be in Oregon this summer and will hunt you down like a wild animal if you're in the area.

    Saludos,
    Tio Juanito

    Currently listening to the crack of lightening and the thundering roar of a thunderstorm in Medellin that reminds me of Nebraska in the spring.
  3. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Day 156 (March 21, 2013)
    Dolavon, Argentina to Puerto Piramides, Argentina
    Day's Ride: 110 Miles

    <IFRAME height=480 marginHeight=0 src="http://www.google.com.ar/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=RN+25&daddr=Unknown+road&hl=en&geocode=FeVPa_0d7DoV_A%3BFT1jdv0dKjor_A&sll=-42.569138,-64.279461&sspn=0.024779,0.055189&mra=me&mrsp=1&sz=14&ie=UTF8&t=p&ll=-42.875964,-65.019836&spn=0.96613,1.757813&z=9&output=embed" frameBorder=0 width=640 marginWidth=0 scrolling=no></IFRAME>
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    <SMALL>Woke up rather late this morning and took my time packing up. I had a few things to take care of in Trelew before heading out to Peninsula Valdes to try and find me some Pinguinos.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>I made it to Trelew in about 20 minutes and commenced my hunt for oil. I stopped at a couple of larger "Lubricentros" looking for some Rimula R4; unfortunately, I could only find it in the 5 liter jugs and they wanted about $60 for those jugs so I said "no thanks" kept on hunting. So much for Rimula being cheaper than true moto oil. I did find some Shell Helix 10W-40 that was JASO rated; unfortunately, the store I was in only had one liter.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>Eventually I buckled down and went to one of the motoshops in town. They sold me three liters of Castrol semi-synthetic for about $40 in American dollars. I got a deal by paying with greenbacks; if I had paid in pesos it would have cost around $55. It's still not cheap, but at this point I was paying for convenience as they agreed to let me use there shop to do my oil change.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>I wheeled the bike in and got down to business. I had to change the filter this time so it took a little longer; however, it was still a relatively quick job. The guys in the shop were cool and we had a good time talking while I worked. They were fascinated by my bike and my trip and they had tons of questions. When I finished up, I had them sign my tank and took a few pictures of them with the bike on their cell phones.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>After finishing up at the shop, I went to the local bank and pulled out some more pesos then headed over to the gas station to fill up and check my emails.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>I'm currently in the process of trying to arrange shipping for my bike back to the states and I'm beginning to think that it would have been better just to sell the damn thing in Punta Arenas. The irony that I keep running into is that airfreight seems to be cheaper or at least the same price as ocean freight. Purpledrake explained a little bit of the logic behind this to me but I still find it fascinating. The one huge thing with ocean freight is all of the little hidden fees; things like port taxes, brokerage fees, port maintenance fees, etc. I'm beginning to think that I may just go with air freight out of Burns Aires.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>After leaving Trawler around 1:00 PM, I rode north for the Valdez Peninsula. The peninsula is a huge wildlife reserve complete with elephant seals, whales, and penguins. Since this is probably my last chance to see some pinguinos, I decided that I should probably ride the few extra miles to make it happen. I know Allvincullumyork is counting on some pictures of the pinguinos and I can't let him down.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>I got into the little town of Puerto Piramides around 4:00 PM and decided that it would be better to travel the final 140 kilometers of ripio out to the penguins in the morning. I found the municipal campground and set up my tent.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>This is the most expensive municipal campground I've been to in Argentina and Chile. It cost 60 pesos ($12)! I suppose that it's due to the fact that camping isn't technically allowed in the reserve and this is the only spot where you can set up your tent.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>Tomorrow I'm going to burn out to see the pinguinos and then head back to the main road and keep making tracks for Buenos Aires. I've noticed a few small cracks in my luggage rack again. I'm hoping that they survive the ripio tomorrow. My rear tire is also just about shot. I'm hoping that it makes it the final 800 miles or so into Buenos. At this point I don't know if I can afford another rear tire.</SMALL>
  4. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    John! Good to hear from you! I'll confess, I haven't been keeping track of your RR. Are you storing your bike and heading home for a while?

    I may be in Oregon this summer. If so, we'll have to meet up!
  5. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    Hey Bryce,

    Forget my ride report. Yours is much more interesting reading at this point. I am just hanging in Medellin fixing up Al's Shamrock pub. Painting, hanging pictures, putting in a security system with video cams, that sort of thing in exchange for room and board. It means I can stay in South America for a while longer.

    And yes, I'm storing my bike down here and heading back to the States in a while and heading back down for more next fall. Have to go earn some pesos back where the wages are high.

    I'll be in Oregon this summer and will stay tuned to see where you land.

    I of all people can relate to what you've been through the last few months. You're doing a great job on the ride report. Kudos. Keep up the good work. See you down the road.

    Oh, and the hell with penguinos. Better wildlife in Buenos Aires. I say head north and learn some Tango. You can always sell the XR to another traveler and do the photoshop title switch going over on the ferry to Uruguay. Cheaper than sending a beat Honda back to the states methinks. Or park it in Uruguay for a year. They give you 12 months on the TVIP over there. You might want to come back for more. Or not.

    Saludos,
    Tio Juanito
  6. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork I wish I was cool

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    I might be okay with this.
  7. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF Road, or off?

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    Interesting. Sounds like some good options to ponder.
    and Tango lessons... that's good!
  8. BRUTSQD

    BRUTSQD 2 scoops of stupid

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    Still loving your RR, great pictures, candid and inspirational. Safe travels
    -T
  9. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    This is why I decided I am converting my Sportster to do RTW even though I have had few people talking me out of it. Couple are still trying! After doing Trans-America Trail, riding KLR650 back to home on I-40 was a very long ride and no fun! Also, I believe that I am destined to ride a harley RTW because I put it on the market for 12 months and not a single email or phone/text call. I put KLR on the market and get over 20 inquires then sold it, all within 2 months?

    Is that screen over the cooking pot? Are bugs really that bad you need to cover it with the screen? (sorry if I missed it earlier if you mentioned anything about that.

    JDowns, how long are you allowed to store the bike in Colombia? Or is there a trick you have worked out? I'm curious on that! :D
  10. some call me...tim

    some call me...tim Been here awhile

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    That's just a wind screen for the stove. It's basically a strip of super heavy duty aluminum foil and helps contain the heat and cooks your food a lot more efficiently.
  11. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    Ah ok Thanks for explaining.. my eyes are bad last few days and I couldn't find my glasses. Still trying to remember where I last used it 2 years ago.. It's not often my eyes get lazy..
  12. JourneyRider.com

    JourneyRider.com Been here awhile

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    Well, I figured that I would try and talk some sense into you!:D If you take that Sportster down there, there are going to be countless opportunities that you will miss out on. No ruta 40, no Coyhaique for you if you take the Harley. Every dirt road is going to annoy the crap out of you instead of excite you like it would on a KLR.

    Another, annoying side effect of taking the Harley is Latin American thieves will be way more interested in it than they would a KLR. Every motorcyclist in Latin America wishes he rode a Harley. I really wanted to go to Venezuela, but was too afraid because I had a BMW F650 and that is what the cops rider there, so it is a very desirable bike to steal.

    Finding parts for your Harley will be impossible down there. KLR 650 parts can be found in a few places down there.


  13. woc4

    woc4 Adventurer

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    when I was 18 years old a long time ago I rode a Harley with stick over the 40 from B.Aires to Comodoro Rivadavia to Rio Mayo and after that the famous 40 to Mendoza. It was and old Harley that was sold as a surplus in B.Aires. My father bought it and I made the whole trip when I was 18 years old. I still remember it because at that time you have to take gas with you, you could not find gas stations and usually the only places to ask or buy gas was at the Gendarmeria Nacional posts that where taking care of the few border crossings. So do not say you cannot make the 40 on a harley, it's difficult, but now you have a lot of pavement, some graded and not so much ripio as it used to be. Probably what it is said about thieves it's true around the capital city (Buenos Aires) but around the country that is not true. do not take counsel of your fears, remember that and enjoy the ride.
  14. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF Road, or off?

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    You gotta ride what you bring. :wink:
    Everything has it's compromise. It's all about knowing your machine and your limits on it.
    Personally, from all I've gathered, I'd like the bike Bryce is on, at least for solo riding, not sure about two-up.
  15. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Oh no my friend, you can definely take a Harley on the Ripio. In fact, I think it may be even more exciting than riding some sissy little jumped up dirt bike. Imagine fishtailing down those washboards at 60 MPh on 700 pounds of pure Americana. That almost makes me want to start singing the national anthem!

    Really, you could take anything you want on a trip like this. I don't think you would miss out on anything. Especially if you are turning your sportster into a dirtster! At the beging of this trip I was so concerned about bike choice. At the end of the trip, after seeing people on everything from unicycles to $200k custom overland trucks, I've realized that you can do it on anything. In my opinion, the more oddball the choice, the better!

    And I don't think parts will be too much of an issue. It's hard to find parts down here for most big bikes, regardless. Fortunately, there are Harley dealers in most of the big cities.
  16. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Definetly not a good choice for two up!
  17. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    I found your pinguinos. Pictures to follow. I hope you're happy.
  18. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF Road, or off?

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    Thanks Bryce. I'll have to come up with something more suited, then. Maybe wee-Strom...
  19. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Day 157 (March 22, 2013)
    Puerto Piramides, Argentina to Las Grutas, Argentina
    Day's Ride: 300 Miles

    <IFRAME height=480 marginHeight=0 src="https://www.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=Unknown+road&daddr=-42.4462453,-63.6253954+to:RP+2&hl=en&geocode=Fatndv0dvjor_A%3BFVtSeP0dTSc1_Clh_uynIS8dvjFQWS-E5x1WRQ%3BFQJskf0dCvMe_A&sll=-42.40115,-64.190369&sspn=0.79505,1.766052&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=9&via=1&ie=UTF8&t=p&ll=-41.664705,-64.588623&spn=3.939348,7.03125&z=7&output=embed" frameBorder=0 width=640 marginWidth=0 scrolling=no></IFRAME>
    <SMALL>View Larger Map</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>As I was leaving the campground this morning, I stopped by the office to pay. The guy on duty just looked at me, smiled, and told me not to worry about it. Awesome!</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>I went by the gas station, fueled up, and then got on the ripio and started riding for the end of the peninsula. The road was incredibly nice, well graded, gravel. I even had a nice tailwind on the way out which made things nice and quiet, and I was able to listen to some NPR podcasts in my headphones.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>After about 45 miles of ripio, I reached the end of the peninsula and saw this:</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>I love the way you say penguin in Spanish: peen-guee-no If you say it with a mexican accent, it just sounds hilarious.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>I parked the bike, took two steps, and spotted this little guy peeking his head over the birm:</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>I just about called it a day right there. List of things to do on SA trip: 23.) See penguins. Check.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>I walked up to edge of the overlook and found a whole colony of the little guys hanging out catching some rays.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>In reality, there weren't that many, but I hear it's late in the season. Plus, this is one of the small nesting grounds. Puerto Tumbo is supposed to be the real big one down here, but it was too far south for me. A couple of these guys were close enough for me to touch, but I played by the rules and left the "pinguinos" alone.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>There's a part of me that wonders what penguins taste like......it would have been so easy to scoop one of these little guys up and stick him on a parilla. :D Oh well, next time. </SMALL>
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    <SMALL>After seeing the penguins, I went down the coast a little farther to see if I could find any elephant seals. Unfortunately, I think most of them have left for the season. I did see a few females, but they were really far away.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>As I was walking back to my bike, I ran across a few rheas. At least I think that's what they are. I've been seeing these things since Bolivia and at first I thought that someone had turned some emus loose.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>In any event, whatever these large flightless birds were, they were pretty tame and I was able to get close enough for some good pictures.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>With "Mision Pinguino" complete, I hit the road and made it back to Puerto Piramides to top off my fuel one last time before heading back to the main highway. My luggage rack didn't even break. I think that that may have been the last ripio for the trip. Yeah!</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>The road north was flat, straight, and uneventful. Luckily, the weather has warmed up considerably since I came north and I was able to enjoy the ride without shivering to death.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>Right before I hit the 300 mile mark, I came to a small town on the coast called Las Grutas. I decided that this would be a good place to stop and rolled into town. Apparently this is a big beach vacation spot in the summer. However, with the summer season over, the place is a ghost town. I stopped at three different campgrounds before I finally found one that was open. </SMALL>
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    <SMALL>The campground that I'm staying at is some sort of retreat for Police officers. However, for 30 Pesos, the public can also camp here. It's pretty nice; they have hot showers, wifi, and electrical outlets at all of the camp sites. Plus I'm the only person here. The caretaker even invited me over to his house for some asado. I provided the beer and we had a little family style dinner while we watched the Argentinian versions of "The Biggest Loser", Lifetime, and MTV. All very entertaining.</SMALL>
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    <SMALL>After dinner I checked my email and found out that my identity had been stolen and that someone in Kansas City, MO had decided to spend about $300 of my money at Target and Chic-Fil-A. </SMALL>
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    <SMALL>So now my debit card is on lockdown. I've only got about 100 pesos left. Uh oh. Now I've got some problems.....</SMALL>
  20. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Naw, just get a 1200 GS. Those things make great people haulers! They make great haulers in general. You can put so much stuff on a BMW.... :freaky