Oregon to Ushuaia on an XR650L

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

  1. ONandOFF

    ONandOFF ┬┐to post or to ride?

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Oddometer:
    7,285
    Location:
    Shenandoah Valley riding wonderland
    Only if you want to save the difference between the official exchange rate and the underground exchange rate. I doubt I'd have the guts to do that. Could be easy for the illegitimate exchangers or even the authorities to confiscate our funds. Might get hurt or worse in the process. Kinda like doing the ride only riskier. But Bryce is a young Marine of good size, a target they would wish they didn't mess with! :wink:
  2. alvincullumyork

    alvincullumyork I wish I was cool

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Oddometer:
    2,193
    Location:
    Cartersville GA
    I think saving $900 is a pretty good incentive to risk the underground exchange rate....what's the worst that could happen? A little knife fight? Some armed robbery? I think that would be a great story, probably worth the danger! :lol3
  3. dickosaurus

    dickosaurus Seasoned Noob

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Oddometer:
    803
    Location:
    Lone Rabbit, Oklahoma
    Numbah one ride report, Bryce- enjoyed every bit of your adventure. And that last bit was icing on an already cool cake. Semper Fi.
  4. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,173
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Day 171 - 174 (April 6, 2013 to April 9, 2013)
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Day's Ride: no bike....

    After getting rid of the bike and taking my chances on the black market, all of the serious work was out of the way and it was time to see a bit of Buenos Aires. I was eager to see the city; however, there was a sense of loss, almost disappointment after sending the bike home. I was also tired, really tired. Not physically tired, just travel tired. I was ready to go home. Still, I knew I needed to take the opportunity to see this amazing city before I left. With that in mind, I decided to take a bike (bicycle) tour and get the added bonus of a little workout as well. I convinced Dylan to come along as well.

    For about a 100 pesos we got some ricketty old beach cruisers and a four hour tour of BA.

    The first stop was the Argentine version of the White House. It's actually pink, so I think it should be called the Pink House.

    [​IMG]

    According to our tour guide, when the original building was built, it was painted with a mixture of lime and buffalo blood, hence the pink color.

    Since this is a country with a fairly recent memory of military rule, oppression, and turbulent politics, there were tons of political banners and posters up in the square directly in front of the Pink House.

    [​IMG]

    The statue in the main square:

    [​IMG]

    A look back in the opposite direction from the pink house:

    [​IMG]

    If you look down at the brick pavement you'll notice some odd white shapes painted on the ground. Those are supposed to represent women wearing headscarves. During the days of the military dictatorship, the mothers of people who had been "disappeared" by the government would come to this square wearing head scarves and try and exchange information in hopes on learning what had happened to their sons and daughters. It's such a haunting reminder of how different things were.

    We continued down to Puerto Madero. In the early 1900's this was one of the main ports in BA. However, by the 1920's it was too small to fit modern ships. The port gradually fell into disrepair until the early 90's when the city and local developers began turning it into a neighborhood. Now, it's the richest part of BA.

    [​IMG]

    The tour continued and we ran into a rival tour; they were riding bamboo bikes. I had heard about wooden bikes but had never seen one until now.

    [​IMG]

    The tour continued down to an area called Boca. Boca is a brightly colored neighborhood near the water that is said to be the birthplace of Argentine Tango. The neighborhood was full of tourists and free Tango shows.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    While we were in Boca, Dylan and I actually ran into Bear, the rider that I had met on the ferry to Tierra del Fuego. Once again, it's amazing how small South America can feel sometimes when you are on a bike.

    The final stop on the tour was to a famous soccer stadium in Boca, home of the famous "Boca Juniors". Apparently, around the turn of the century names with English words were in vogue; the result were team names like "Boca Juniors", "Racing Club", and the "Old Boys".

    [​IMG]

    That about finished up the tour; we took our bikes back to the rental place and hoofed it back to the Hostel.

    The next day I ended up going Tango dancing with a girl that I had met back in Santiago over a month ago. I know next to nothing about Tango; I had actually taken a ballroom dancing class back in College but didn't remember a thing about it. Luckily, when we showed up to the dance hall, everyone was dancing Swing instead of Tango. I actually can Swing dance quite well; my date for the evening had never tried it before. Like some bad kung fu flick, the student had become the teacher. ::lol3 We ended up dancing for a couple of hours; the dancing eventually changed to Tango and I was struggling to remember just the basic steps.

    The Argentinos in Buenos Aires are some serious night owls. Like most Argentinos, they don't eat dinner until after 10 and they don't usually go to bed until after midnight. The younger crowd in BA take it to a whole new level. Most of the clubs in town don't really get hopping until 2:00 AM and usually close up somewhere around 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM! After finishing dancing, we didn't get dinner until around 2:30 AM. After we finished eating around 3:30 AM, the people that I was with asked what we were going to do next! I was barely awake at this point and the beers that I had just drank weren't helping; I eventually found my way to a bus and headed back to the Hostel. I didn't end up getting to sleep until 4:30 AM.

    The next day was my last day in Buenos Aires. I had over calculated my need for Pesos and was about 800 to rich. knowing that I wouldn't be able to change these back to Dollars in the states, I asked Dylan if he wanted to buy some pesos at a really good rate. Luckily he had an old hundred dollar bill that he wanted to get rid of, so things worked out great. This left me with 180 pesos to make it to the airport and buy dinner....

    (to be continued......)

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------
    P.S. I'm actually back in Oregon! I'm heading up to Portland tomorrow to pick up my bike; is anyone interested in grabbing a beer?
  5. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,173
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Ouch. It's funny, I actually had a Marine prior service recruiter call me up yesterday and ask me if I wanted a job. I told him I'd think about it. I could do worse than go back to the Marines for a few months and pick up Captain's salary and a ton of per diem.
  6. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,173
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Man, that is so cool!

    And yes, you should definitely go down to Florida street and do the currency exchange. You would be crazy not to. :lol3
  7. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,173
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Thanks spud!
  8. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,173
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I'm back! Let's go get this beer that you speak of! Haha! I'll be in Portland tomorrow and again on Monday; hit me up if you are interested. :freaky
  9. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,173
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Thanks!
  10. Spud Rider

    Spud Rider Long timer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,855
    Location:
    Idaho
    Wow! I bet it took a lot of buffalo blood to paint the Pink House! :eek1

    [​IMG]

    I'm glad you have safely returned home, Bryce. :nod As always, thanks for posting the great photos! :D

    Spud :beer
  11. Super Dave Hawaii

    Super Dave Hawaii Ain't Dead Yet!

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Oddometer:
    248
    Location:
    Oahu,Hawaii
    Welcome back,
    How about that feeling stepping off that plane at home?
    Great trip and ride report. Thanks for taking us along.
    Dave
  12. Paebr332

    Paebr332 Good news everyone!

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,409
    Location:
    Shippensburg, PA
    Ulyses [sic] has returned! Beware all ye suitors of Penelope!
  13. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Oddometer:
    2,739
    Location:
    Bassett, NE
    I assume you are speaking of the Tango Penelope that is faithfully awaiting Ulyses return:

    [​IMG]

    and not the mythical Greek Penelope that faithfully awaited Ulysses (Odysseus') return.

    Saludos,
    Tio Juan
  14. PDX Alamo

    PDX Alamo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 18, 2012
    Oddometer:
    446
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Ill split the meal with ya, for 1/2 the stories. Amazing journey sir
  15. Ol Man

    Ol Man Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    293
    Location:
    Apple Valley, Calif
    Thanks for taking us along on your great adventure. You are a very good writer.

    Welcome home. Thanks for your service.
  16. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,173
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Man, you can't beat that feeling. Love being home!
  17. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,173
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    :rofl Love it!
  18. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,173
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Thanks! How's Apple Valley these days? Warming up a bit?
  19. firemedc

    firemedc 5150

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Northern California
    This is my first post so bear with me.

    I have been following your ride report faithfully since October and have absolutely enjoyed every bit. I never got to decompress nearly as much as you have after my 2 tours to Afghanistan. I am sure that all of that time on the bike and traveling have helped you on your return home. I identified with the feelings you expressed about your combat experiences and the memories that different things you saw during your ride triggered. I want to welcome you home from your adventure and especially home from Afghanistan. I hope your ride makes the transition from military to civilian life easier. Thank you for taking me many places that I wont be able to see in the near future and sparking my desire to see them myself.

    Al

    Sent from my DROID3 using Tapatalk 2
  20. purpledrake

    purpledrake No Pretensions

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    334
    Location:
    Seattle-ish

    Al, that is a great first post, full of raw emotion just barely hiding underneath the surface. Get on your bike, and start riding, and those cobwebs will start to fall off, I am sure.