Places Beyond: California to TDF

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by advFord, Sep 5, 2013.

  1. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

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    Hey Jason! Stoked to hear you'll be making a trip. any questions let me know. but really you'll be fine. just leave your driveway.
  2. meat popsicle

    meat popsicle Ignostic

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    Dan, I thought you might enjoy a bit of ecology:

    Years ago I watched a show on flamingos that breed in saline lakes. They stay until their chicks fledge and can fly off, which is just before the lake dries up. If they don't leave before the water dries up, the lake deposits salt on the chick's legs and they will never leave because they will be too heavy to fly.

    The researchers showed a chick that did not fledge in time and was doomed by salt weights on its legs, saying how this was part of their delicate balance with nature and an important part of their evolution. Selection chooses chicks that fledge earlier, and even though this chicks genes were doomed by this relationship, and its offspring would likely be similarly doomed, they couldn't leave it to its fate (we humans are sentimental), and broke the salt weights off its legs so it could fly away.

    Maybe changes in the climate have changed how soon that specific lake dries up, causing this to occur:

    http://www.boliviabella.com/wildlife-trivia.html

    Hopefully elsewhere in their breeding range things are going better.​
  3. oobus

    oobus Been here awhile

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    Dan,

    Just got back from a 10 day fly/drive thru Chile and Argentina. Reading all the posts on this ride report and others about South America I really thought it would be great to make the same trip as you.

    After driving thru Buenos Aries and Santiago and watching the motos weaving in and out of the crazy, wild, nutso traffic I've reconsidered. Holy crap I'd need to wear a diaper while riding as it would scare the shit out of me to be part of the frenzy.

    Talk about bringing a knife to a gunfight!

    Matt
  4. honda20

    honda20 Adventurer

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    That was a truly great trip you had! Mucho props on that lengthy adventure. You got to taste the culture to the fullest by doing selfless volunteer work and meeting the locals. I hope to make this trip someday and as a former Newport Beach resident I have to say you are a Sick Boy!
  5. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

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    haha, there's been a few times I thought I needed a diaper too.
    well the cities are a small fraction of the riding time. I try to time my arrival in large cities to avoid the crazy traffic or on sundays when cities are usually pretty dead then I park the bike and then walk or take public transport around while I'm in the cities.

    Did you enjoy the rest of the trip at least?
  6. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

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    The trip isn't over! i have months to go!
    Enjoy the warm California weather. It snowed the past few days in Ushuaia. Chilly!!!
  7. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

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    I love all the interesting backstories you send me on these places. thanks!
  8. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

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    There's a lot more to tell! so check back.
  9. oobus

    oobus Been here awhile

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    Oh, I had an epic fun trip! First 4 days riding with a close friend from San Juan hopped up on Mate listening to 80's rock going down the road at 100mph. Watching a show being filmed at our hotel in Vinas~ del Mar, trip over the Andes to San Juan, too much wine/food/getting in @ 5:00a.m. in Mendoza, late night in Cordoba, hookers in the coffee shop "Orleans" @ 10:00a.m. in B.A. eyeballing us like a piece of meat... on and on. Great trip, great countries.
  10. bastchild

    bastchild Been here awhile

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    Hey dan, have been lurking since you started. Congrats on tdf. Glad to read this rr doesn‘t end. Great photos and story. Well done.

    Sent from my ASUS Transformer Pad TF300T using Tapatalk
  11. antipode

    antipode Wanderer

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    I am sure Dan is not done yet, we know he has reached Tierra del Fuego but "officially"he is only at El Viejo jack's in Salta having dinner!!

    I hope there is lot more to come, I am enjoying the report a lot.
  12. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

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    And what a great dinner that was! More updates coming. Riding out of TDF was exhausting so I've been relaxing for a few days.
  13. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

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    I've tried matte and can't do it. I'm sticking with coffee. Sounds like a fun trip. What bike did you ride?
  14. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

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    The first order of business in Salta was to exchange money for Argentinean Pesos. For a couple of years now Argentineans have lost faith that their peso will hold it&#8217;s value. The preferred currency is US Dollars, which gives people with US Dollars a great advantage.<br />
    It&#8217;s called the Blue Dollar, it&#8217;s the unofficial/black market money exchange. The official exchange rate for dollars to pesos is 1USD = 7.78.<br />
    But on the black market the rate is as much as 1 = 12. The only problem is you can&#8217;t get US Dollars in Argentina easily. The last chance to get US Dollars easily is ATM&#8217;s in La Paz, Cusco, and Lima. In Salta the money changers are everywhere by the main plaza. I walked around until I found a guy to give the best rate. They first offered 10 but a minute later I had talked them up to 11.5. If you have hundred dollar bills you&#8217;ll get a better exchange than smaller bills. For hundred dollar bills I got 11.5 pesos per dollar. For the twenty dollar bills I got 10.5 pesos per dollar. There was no shady back room deals, simply sat at a cafe table in the middle of the busy plaza and made the exchange. I was surprised to see that the &#8220;Blue Dollar&#8221; rate is even printed in the papers and mentioned in the news on TV.</p>
    <p>If you&#8217;re traveling from the US or even other countries, Argentina is the worst place to use your credit or debit card for purchases. You will get an even worse rate than the official rate plus the fees you have to pay.</p>
    <p><img class="aligncenter" alt="IMG_5377" src="http://placesbeyond.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IMG_5377.jpg" width="819" height="546" /></p>
    <div>
    <dl id="attachment_3168">
    <dt><img class="aligncenter" alt="IMG_5379" src="http://placesbeyond.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IMG_5379.jpg" width="819" height="546" /></dt>
    <dt></dt>​

    :freaky
  15. advFord

    advFord Been here awhile

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    It was time to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather and all that the fine city of Salta had to offer. With a warm climate and no rain while I was there, Salta was an urban paradise. Trees and cafes lined the crowded streets. People were everywhere but it wasn&#8217;t a chaotic NYC kind of crowding. Families hung out in the parks, old men sat at cafe tables talking loudly, vendors sold balloons on the street corners. After weeks in some rural and poorer regions in Peru and Bolivia, Argentina felt rich and modern.</p>
    <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-3163" alt="IMG_5362" src="http://placesbeyond.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IMG_5362.jpg" width="819" height="546" /></p>
    <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-3166" alt="IMG_5374" src="http://placesbeyond.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IMG_5374.jpg" width="819" height="546" /></p>
    <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-3162" alt="IMG_5358" src="http://placesbeyond.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IMG_5358.jpg" width="819" height="546" /></p>
    <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-3164" alt="IMG_5370" src="http://placesbeyond.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IMG_5370.jpg" width="819" height="546" /></p>
    <p style="text-align: left;">One thing that didn&#8217;t seem modern were the cars on the streets. So many old cars. I was surprised to see old European and American cars that had been converted to run off natural gas. At the gas stations there are usually more natural gas pumps than gasoline/diesel.</p>
    <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-3165" alt="IMG_5372" src="http://placesbeyond.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IMG_5372.jpg" width="819" height="546" /></p>
    <p style="text-align: left;">Even though the nice restaurants weren&#8217;t that expensive there&#8217;s something about finding the local street food vendors and bbq&#8217;s that I can&#8217;t miss in a city. I found this spot one night. Delicious chorizo (sausage) sandwiches for 15 pesos. With a great bottle of Malbec for only 25 pesos, this is the best street meal I&#8217;ve had since Mexico.</p>
    <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-3170" alt="IMG_5383" src="http://placesbeyond.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IMG_5383.jpg" width="819" height="546" /></p>
    <p style="text-align: center;"><img class="aligncenter wp-image-3169" alt="IMG_5381" src="http://placesbeyond.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/IMG_5381.jpg" width="819" height="546" /></p>
    <p style="text-align: left;">I spent three days in Salta enjoying walking along the streets, exploring art museums, McDonalds french fries,and lots of ice cream. With so many dairy farms in the nearby valleys and hillsides that we rode by, it&#8217;s hard to find bad ice cream here. I could spend a lot time here. But after 3 days it&#8217;s time to ride on.</p>​
  16. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer

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    Second worse, the worst is Venezuela:deal
  17. oobus

    oobus Been here awhile

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    Hey Dan,

    I was in a 4X4 four door diesel Nissan truck, part work, part fun trip.
    The money exchange was a really, really strange thing. Everyone is out and about, looks like everyone is going on about their business as usual and then you come across the money changers - bad indication for this country. Wait until you get to BA, if you are going there. Florida street has 4 changers for every block. I don't think I'll ever get the chime of "cambio, cambio, cambio" out of my head!

    And I have to agree about the food, off the hook good! You haven't even mentioned anything about the beautiful women in Argentina....

    Matt
  18. TUCKERS

    TUCKERS the famous james

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    In Ushuaia I only got 9 pesos per $20 bill at the Hostel.

    Better than the banks 6.5 at the time (Jan 2014).
  19. JDowns

    JDowns Sounds good, let's go!

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    I think you meant 9 Argentine pesos to the dollar which would be 180 for a twenty.

    That's not horrible especially when you're out in the sticks and running out of pesos. The current blue dollar rate was pegged at 10.85 pesos to the dollar yesterday. I changed money over here in Chile at a casa de cambio so I'd have some dinero for gas until I hit a city in Argentina and they gave me slightly less than black market at 10.35 Argentine pesos to the dollar. I was happy to get them. Nothing worse than running out of cash in the middle of nowhere.

    Kindest regards,
    John Downs
  20. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

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    Happy for you man! Way to go! Bet you have a whole new perspective on this trip by now, don't you?