PORKANDCORN: A Man & His Duck Explore South America

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by porkandcorn, Jan 6, 2013.

  1. porkandcorn

    porkandcorn FortesFortunaAdiuvat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    tuesday, february 12, 2013 (last day of carnival)

    sitting out on the patio after breakfast. i didn't go out last night. i tried, but i walked back home. i didn't have it in me. maybe i'm saving myself up for the final night, tonight.

    being back here in florianopolis for the week has come with a mix of strong emotions. this is a familiar and adored place, but it is not home. there have been many times in the last 10 years when i have pondered the possibility of buying property here, and for at least part of the year, trying to make this a second home.

    i'm at that familiar place in long-term traveling and exploring where i am missing home, my friends, my own life back in the states. the brazilians call this "saudade" - which is best translated to "longing" in english. for those of you following along, a month may seem pre-mature for this kind of longing, but this month has felt like an eternity from my perspective. i could easily say it feels like 3 or 4.

    could i live in florianopolis? yes. would i be happy here? i don't know. i'm not sure if living outside of you culture could ever really feel like you are home. and "home" is a powerful and important sentiment, not to be taken lightly. it's something i'm appreciating from this new perspective, looking back on my life in portland. even portland 6 years ago was new to me, and i was having similar feelings. now, away from portland, it feels more like home than it ever has living there for the last 6 years. this is saudade, the kind of longing that you here about in the classic, beautiful, old bossa nova songs. listen to this one, it's important.

    Luiz Bonfá & Elizete Cardoso - Manhã de Carnaval (Morning of Carnaval

    o carnaval passe different pra mim que o outros.

    and it's after coming out of this saudade that the real experience begins. you have to find your way through the fog to the real purpose of exploration. for what other purpose do we all find ourselves here in this life, if not to explore in our own way?

    ...

    i'd also like to take a moment to thank bruna and vini, who left for sao paulo early this morning. thanks for adopting me for a few days, my experience here was better for your friendship and your adventurous spirit. 'tou suso. fue sinistro!.

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    bruna, vini & me at carnival da rua, santo antonio de lisboa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr
    #81
  2. Dubl-A

    Dubl-A SuckerDucker

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,813
    Location:
    505
    Awesome pics!! Be safe man :jkam
    #82
  3. Tlaloc

    Tlaloc Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I've really enjoyed your ride report, particularly the insights you expressed in your last post. I will continue to follow.

    Gorgeous song, by the way.

    Be safe and have fun,
    Carlos
    #83
  4. porkandcorn

    porkandcorn FortesFortunaAdiuvat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    i survived carnaval. and it's time to get moving again. woke up with willie nelson's "on the road again in my head." did most of my packing last night. i'll be using my spot again, so you can track my progress back across the continent on my spot page.

    the last couple of days in floripa were a lot of fun. i might have broke my right foot dancing - a fracture of the fifth metatarsal bone on the outside of your foot is known as a dancers fracture. i only know this, because i broke my left foot dancing at a rooftop party in miami beach 10 years ago. i was dancing with 10 supermodels, and felt rather animated until i heard the snap... one of my favorite stories. no snap this time, but dancing without shoes at a pool party is not always the best idea, even if it seems so at the time.

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    P12 club pool party, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    me in 20 year i hope, P12 club, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    P12 club dancing, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    eu e una minina, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    before the pool party, i went to a peixada - basically what in english would be a "fish fry". everyone has the same yellow shirts. the girls went to great lengths to customize them into dresses, sexy tops, etc. must be a thriving niche industry for this in floripa, because i know some of those girls didn't do their own work.

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    peixada do gui, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    the last couple of days were full of goodbyes as people leave floripa for their normal lives. lots of good people were met.

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    eu e as mininas, pousada jureremirim, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    david, eu e manon, pousada jureremirim, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    yesterday was a day of logistics. lubed the bike chain, fixed a broken right front turn signal with rapidfix - EVERYONE should have some of this stuff. amazing. put some oil in the bike, as it was a little low in the tiger's sight window. got the boxes back on. and she's ready to go.

    also spent most of the day at the post office, receiving a package from the USA, and sending another one back. i'm now a real ADV rider - i overpacked, realized the overages, and sent them home. i'm 49 kilos lighter now!

    thanks to andréa at the post office in central florianopolis! you were a life saver. i had a hard time finding a box, so she was kind enough to help me build one.

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    andréa, my savior, correios, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    last night i had to have my favorite santa catarina state meal - a moqueca de peixe. it's a fish, shrimp, and other tasty things stew with a base of coconut milk, tomato, fish broth, green peppers and onions. i ate enough for a large family.

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    moqueca do peixe, toca do jurere, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    and now, on with the riding gear, and on the road to mendoza, argentina to change my tires, my oil, and then head north into the next phase of the adventure - to northern argentina and chile, to bolivia, peru, ecuador and finally columbia. this next three months will be ripe with more off the beaten path adventure and i'm sure it will produce some amazing photos as i'll be back in the andes region again.

    chao brasil!


    and thanks to my very good friend dave for this appropriate insight into my trip:

    Tom Waits' "San Diego Serenade"

    I never saw the morning till I stayed up all night
    I never saw the sunshine till you turned out the light
    I never saw my home town until I stayed away too long
    I never heard the melody until I needed the song

    I never saw the white line till I was leavin' you behind
    I never knew I needed you until I was caught up in a bind
    And I never spoke I love you till I cursed you in vain
    I never felt my heart strings until I nearly went insane

    I never saw the east coast until I moved to the west
    I never saw the moonlight till it shone off your breast
    I never saw your heart until someone tried to steal, tried to steal it away
    I never saw your tears till they rolled down your face

    I never saw the morning till I stayed up all night
    I never saw the sunshine till you turned out the light
    I never saw my home town until I stayed away too long
    I never heard the melody until I needed the song
    #84
  5. porkandcorn

    porkandcorn FortesFortunaAdiuvat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    thursday, february 14, 2013

    florianopolis left something undone. something needed to be resolved before i left brazil. i think it can happen where i am at now.

    i was about 70 minutes south of floripa, wondering what the empty feeling was that i carried with me on the moto. the plan was to do as many hours today as possible - 9, 10, 12 - however far i could safely and comfortably go towards argentina. i passed the sign for praia do rosa - garopaba, brazil, two beautiful beaches that i have been hearing about for many years. a part of me was telling me to stop. 5 km later, i went across the divide in the freeway (BR101). i turned around. plans abandoned. beach awaits.

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    praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    another praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    toward the hills, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    i rode into praia do rosa, looking for a pousada. mabye i was missing the scene in punta del diablo, uruguay. i probably needed a vacation after carnaval, to recover from the recovery. i have been here before, but only for 1 day, 10 years ago. i stopped, got a pousada, went to the beach, negotiated to leave a pousada, and then got another better pousada with air conditioning.

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    a gente boa, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    now i'm at the bar attached to the pousada, watching a soccer game between the porto alegre, brazil team (close by) and curitiba, brazil. the guy who runs this bar says the stadium is for the world cup and the olympics and is only 3 months old. he's very proud of his team, and of his new stadium. being that he runs a pousada/bar in praia do rosa, this is his team. curitiba just scored a goal and he threw something at the tv - a crumpled up napkin i think. but his spirits are up as he is getting another beer.

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    from the bar at praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    reggae band playing at praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    i might stay here through the weekend. i met a reporter from porto alegre on the beach earlier who is here doing a story and we are going to meet later at a party that is being thrown tonight to celebrate - i guess - the end of carnaval.

    and this is off-track a bit, but Tabasco® is everywhere in south america. it might be a more powerful symbol of american imperialism than the statue of liberty… think about it… every country - argentina, chile, brazil, uruguay - so far has tabasco! probably in the rest of them too. it's a marginal hot sauce, but i'm still a little bit proud when i see it and more often than not, i use it. it's the only option for hot sauce in the mercado and in restaurants.

    said goodbye to manon this morning. she is good stuff and i'l miss her. we both have the same birthday, march 11.

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    manon e eu, pousada jureremirim, florianopolis, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    curitiba is still up 1-0. i'm hoping for the best for porto alegre.
    #85
  6. porkandcorn

    porkandcorn FortesFortunaAdiuvat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    saturday, february 16, 2013

    i've been listening to this song over and over. here's too all my friends and family - i miss and love you all.

    bob marley, "high tide or low tide"

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    brazilian and bob marley flags, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    praia do rosa has satisfied whatever was missing from florianopolis. fewer people, better beaches, and a more relaxed vibe. i've been able to really chill out here, after a day of adjusting to it. i've enjoyed my time here and i'm happy that i took this detour.

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    future lady-killers, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    young dudes, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    many umbrellas, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    i am fairly certain at this point that i did not fully break my foot. i think i went about as close to doing so as one can. maybe a very small fracture. regardless, after a couple of days of walking on it, the pain seems to be receding, something that did not happen with the other foot. i'm being very cautious walking on it. the worst is the soft sand on the beach, before you get to the wet, hard sand on the shoreline. walking in the soft stuff causes your foot to flex, and that hurts. walking in flip flops - tranquilo. no problem. in my shipment from the USA was a pair of new balance ultralight running shoes. they are worth the 250.00 in brazilian post office fees that i paid. the shoes i brought were too small. so that is good for my feet too.

    today, i walked the 5km from the pousada to north praia do rosa (beach), then to the north, north end of the beach where i started a 10km walking trail that leads up over the mountain (left on the photos looking out to sea), and down to the next beach, praia vermelho (red beach). it was work, but it was early and still cool.

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    view back from hill to praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    looking south, still at praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    i needed the exercise to clear my head. i was nervous about the possibly broken foot, not able to run as i usually do to chill out or de-stress. that's a huge thing to loose on the road - exercise is critical, almost more so for your mental health than you physical health.

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    boundary on hill of praia vermelha, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    at praia vermelho, there was a beautiful swimming hole with fish, eel, star fish, and other critters. there was a strong current running north to south down the very inside of the bay, and so it has carved out a nice underwater refuge at the south end of the beach were i came off the trail. took a dip to cool off. had some other hikers snap a photo.

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    path down to praia vermelha, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    deep bay with good snorkeling, praia vermelha, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    foreigner on beach, praia vermelha, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    after the hike, i came back on the trail to praia do rosa, rented an umbrella and a chair, and spent the whole day napping, going to the water, napping, chatting, going to the water, napping, and getting sunburned. fact: you can get a very nice sunburn even sitting under an umbrella all day. it's the sunlight reflected off the sand that gets you!

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    cheers!, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    taking a dip, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    more umbrellas because it's after noon, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    it's my last night here, so i'm going to order a pizza at a close-by spot i've scoped out. on the road tomorrow, for real this time.

    i'm dreaming in portugues. long epic sagas and i wake up with the dialogue in my head. or maybe i wake up and my brain translates it? they are not all good dreams. they are not all bad.

    thinking more about my time here in brazil… i'm repeatedly loosing and finding my voice here, my place here. it's a fragile balance. it can be easy. it can be difficult. i've accepted the back and forth, and it's easier for having acepted it. there are some days where i don't talk to anyone until well into the afternoon. sometimes, just going to a little food-cart to get a snack can be too much work. last night, i was very talkative, outgoing. i hit the streets and chatted with lots of different people. after a couple hours, my brain tired, and i went to sleep early.

    i feel like with all this 'stirring of the pot,' i'm condensing something down to it's essence. i'm curious to see how that sauce turns out.
    #86
  7. porkandcorn

    porkandcorn FortesFortunaAdiuvat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    sunday, february 17, 2013

    i didn't know how far i would get when i started riding today. i was aiming for the border town of uruguaiana, brazil, where i could cross into argentina. it was literally hot as hell today. about 103 and humidity of 10,003%. i was absolutely miserable in my riding gear the entire morning. but with that kind of heat, storms are a given. i could see the relief off in the distance to the west, but i had to suffer through the intense heat until i got to the storms. i was tired, and the heat was compounding the fact.

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    beauty north of porto alegre on BR101, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    i stopped at a gas station as i do about every hour or two if they are available. i took off my jacket and laid in the shade under a tree next to the station. i had my leftover pizza from the night before. it reminded me of the praia do rosa, but i was far from the beach now. i think i actually dozed off a couple of times laying on the dirt concrete. i've become an opportunistic napper on the continent. one must do this.

    so i went from the driving heat into a driving rain. it was intense for a while, and then continued to rain steady for the next 3 hours. i asked at a gas station where the next "cool" town was to stay for the night. the pimple-face teen said são gabriel. it was 160km to the west, and the sky was finally starting to clear. i was pretty confident i could make it there before twilight. twilight is when all the animals start to come out on the road, and i was riding through an area with more big rodents, deer, dogs, chickens, and an occasional cows feeding by the roadside.

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    rain without end, BR 290 near uruguaiana, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    more rain without end, BR 290 near uruguaiana, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    são gabriel is a peaceful little farming town, from what i can tell. i drove into the main plaza or square as i now do out of reflex. sunday nights are big nights for small city plazas. it was just before dark, and all the teenagers were parked and tailgating, drinking yerba mate, and blasting their stereos. others were driving around the plaza in and endless loop. moms and dads were out with the kids and the kids rode their bikes and played on swings. the town drunks were out too, in a jovial mood, dancing to the bateria (drumming ensemble) that was playing on the east side of the plaza.

    i was having dinner in a restaurant in the middle of the plaza. plastic chair, plastic tables, and a pretty damn good steak with the requisite papas fritas (fries), arroz (rice), and salada mixto com palmito (mixed salad with palm heart). sitting there, calmly and slowly eating my dinner, it was like being transported back to the 1950's in middle america, long before walmart destroyed our small town squares that probably used to look a lot like this. one can find several things that are "wrong" with these "developing" countries, but one thing you can't say is that rampant commercialism is destroying their sense of community. it is strong and alive, and it is admirable. i love palm hearts by the way, i'm going to start eating them all the time when i get back to the states. they are very good with arugula, tomatoes and oil/vinegar/salt.

    also, thank you to my new friend cleber from porto alegre. he was on vacation with his family at the same pousada in praia do rosa. it was nice to have some company for a change to explore the town last thursday and friday nights.

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    cleber from porto alegre, praia do rosa, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    ---------------------------------------

    monday, february 18, 2013

    after another 10-hour day on the road, i made it to santa fe argentina. it was a character-building day on the bike. it began raining 30 minutes after i left sao gabriel. it was coming in sheets, massive downpours. it was ok on the brazil side, but after about 3 hours around noon, i crossed into argentina at uruguaiana, brazil.

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    final moments in brazil with a buffet livre and guarana, uruguaiana, brazil by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    once in argentina, the roads took a turn for the worse. still pavement, but with deep grooves in the road in the direction of travel. in the right lane of the two west-bound lanes, heavy truck traffic had worn two parallel tire grooves into the lane. the favored solution for this problem in argentina is to take a highway-sized cheese grater to the bump that is left in the center between the two grooves.

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    a rare break in the clouds, near federal, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    either way it is a nightmare scenario for a motorcycle. if you ride in the two grooves, they act line a rain-channel, an inch or more deep at times. this was all fine until the bikes rear wheel (maybe both) began to hydroplane. hydroplaning in a car is a curious or maybe unpleasant experience. doing so on a motorcycle at 90kmh is an oh-shit moment that will get the adrenaline pumping overtime. i slowed down after that obviously.

    riding on the cheese grated center portion is just as weird, because the grooves go with the direction of travel and whip the tires back and forth, almost like riding thick, loose gravel.

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    a weird looking kid with big hair, federal, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    and you can't travel in the fast/passing lane for very long, because in brazil, argentina... really anywhere down here, there is always some asshole right on your tail or coming out of nowhere. no matter how fast you go, someone else is always in a bigger hurry than you are. it's easy in that lane to get too comfortable and forget to check your mirrors. then you are in a situation where you have to move over into the water-filled or cheese-grated sections at speed with some jerk-off with his bumper on your tire.

    on top of all this, there was a 40mph cross wind, so i was leaning the whole day at an angle in the wind, which at times would push me over 4 or 5 feet with strong gusts.

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    more forboding skies, near chajarí, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    fun stuff! the rain finally let up for the most part at about 4pm today, i arrive in santa fe at about 7:30pm. i followed the signs to city center, and pulled over to ask a couple of younger dudes where i should stay. good practice to get into before you get too deep into a big city that doesn't have an obvious town square or city center. i like to do it on the perimeter. the dudes said go to the holiday inn, and pointed it out on my GPS. i hit "go" and in 5 minutes, i was pulling into a u-drive and checking into my $80 USD room. covered in mud, soaked in rain, and weary from the day, that felt like the deal of the century.

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    pedestrian street, santa fe, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    then off for some famous argentine beef, which even though ordered "jougoso" (juicy/medium rare), it was totally overdone. a known practice in argentina for meat lovers is to order one or two levels more rare than you would like, because they will almost always over cook it here. it looked like it was once an amazing piece of marbled beef - at least it still tasted good.

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    espana restaurant, santa fe, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    ps. just received some really good news. one of my old ducks was just recently recovered in boulder creek, california by an old friend. this duck is about 10 years old and have seen some good times. i certain my current duck will be happy to know his long-lost brother has been found.

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    an old friend, boulder creek, california by porkandcorn, on Flickr
    #87
  8. Cousteau

    Cousteau ...seeking adventure

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    61
    Location:
    Guatemala City / Washington, DC
    Fritz, very much enjoying your travels. Your prep work has been invaluable for my upcoming trip in April.

    What's the backstory on your ducks??

    Cheers,

    David
    Cousteau@ADV
    #88
  9. porkandcorn

    porkandcorn FortesFortunaAdiuvat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    excellent question. for some unknown reason, i have travelled with a rubber duck off and on since i was 18. the duck has lived in nigeria, brazil, and visited australia, europe, canada, fiji, tahiti, mexico, belize, and many other places - as well as having been all over the usa. people seem to really like seeing him, and so it can sometimes make traveling a bit easier - having a mascot like this along for the ride. i also feel like he is a talisman, which means that he somehow protects me. i have him tattooed on my right shoulder as well, so i'm committed to the principle.
    #89
  10. porkandcorn

    porkandcorn FortesFortunaAdiuvat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    thursday, february 21, 2013

    after waking up to some really pleasant tv news covering a man about to hang himself in his home, i had a quick 2-hour ride south to rosario, argentina.

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    you think your news is horrible, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    santa fe, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    rosario is a bit of an edgy, counter-culture college town. i had done a bit of research the night before on hostels, because i felt like meeting some people after a night alone in santa fe. "to hostel or not to hostel"... this is always the question traveling like this. you never really know what you are going to get out of the experience. you can almost always guarantee an uncomfortable nights sleep on a shit mattress. and being 6' 4", with several ruptured cervical discs and traveling by moto, this is a concern.

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    view from river parana, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    but hosteling, you have a much better chance of meeting people, and enriching your experience. hotels are terrible for this. usually, i'm the oldest person in the hostel but i don't care and no one else does either. everyone thinks i'm in my early 30's, so the religious moisturizing must be working!! calgon - take me away!!!...

    at the hostel che pampas, i met several really great people.

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    micaela, me, veronica, y tatiana, hostel ché pampas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    hostel ché pampas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    very crazy and drunk german guy, hostel ché pampas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    tatiana and micaela are from buenos aires, and had never been to rosario. so they adopted me for the afternoon, and we went for a walk to the monumento de las bandas (flags). rosario is among other things know as the birthplace of the argentine flag - it was first flown in rosario. it is also the birthplace of che guevara, and the current pride of the country - lionel messe of soccer fame. (he's really good.)

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    tatina at monumento de las bandas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    micaela at monumento de las bandas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    monumento de choripan, i'll have mine this big, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    monumento, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    outro monumento, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    outside of hostel ché pampas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    across the street from hostel ché pampas, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    air conditioners & motos!, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    later that night, ricardo, the guy working at the hostel desk when i arrived, took us all out to see a reggae-cumbia band at a really cool old theatre, cine gardel. ezequiel (a native rosarino and friend of ricardo), and veronica (a traveler from munich, germany) joined us too. the theatre didn't look like much from the outside, but inside it had been made into a really interesting space, and the sound was good in the venue because of the theatrical construction.

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    cine gardel, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    the venue was an homage to the revolutionary figures of south america. interestingly enough, i had learned about many of these figures on the airplane ride down to the continent, having watched a movie by oliver stone called "south of the border". the club might have made some americans uncomfortable, with political figures like fidel castro, hugo chaves, and others proudly displayed.

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    sueños insurgentes, cine gardel, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    famous revolutionaries, cine gardel, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    but this being a college town, full of young, politically active students, it seemed pretty normal to me. i really don't keep much of an opinion on political figures like this. seldom to we actually ever know the truth about any of them, even our own, from only gathering information from one side of the fence. some of them are loved, some of them are hated. maybe we know the truth, maybe we only know the lies - and in the end, it really doesn't matter. i prefer to think it is best not to make generalizations, whether it be politics, cultures, people. it's best to do your own research, look at things from all sides, and make up your own mind. most people just think what they are told, or believe what is comfortable or convenient for them at the time.

    the opening band was interesting, if only slightly out of tune. they seemed like a bunch of college students who had met and said "hey, let's get the band back together!". it was a cool mix of reggae and cumbia, a musical style that comes from columbia, but which is very popular in argentina. the second band was a bit more polished, and more of a straight reggae vibe.

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    there for the reggae/cumbia band, cine gardel, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    there was even an 'amway' across from the club and next to the gas station, which i thought was interesting.

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    amway in rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    a nice gas station outside cine gardel, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    after the show, ezequiel, ricardo and i started walking back toward the hostel. we ran into some other people from the show who's truck was stalled in the street. we jumped in a pushed them for a block, to pop the clutch and get it going. success! our hard work earned us a ride in the back from about a mile in our direction, at which point we hopped out much closer to home.

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    ricardo getting a free ride, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    ezequiel getting a free ride, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    the car is running fine now, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    thank you ricardo for taking me to this venue - never in a million years would i have found it, or had this interesting experience if you had not. lots of "buenas andas" (good waves, as argentines say when things are good and people are having fun.) and thanks everyone else for a great night out.

    on my way out of rosario, i ran into sebastian at a gas station with his brand new KLR 650. in march, he is going to start riding to alaska from argentina. i invited him to stay at my condo in downtown portland (which also goes for anyone else on moto traveling through the area - mi casa e tu casa.) sebastian - hasta seis, siete o qualqier meses usted necesita llegar a oregon!

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    sebastian, future adventurer, rosario, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    i'm currently sitting in the restaurant of the hotel amerian in the heart of downtown córdoba. it was an easy 4-hour ride from rosario - a straight shot on what might be the best chunk of pavement in argentina. perfect, and made out of 'portland', which remember, is what they call cement down here.

    i really like this town. it's really organized, lots of good restaurants, bar, and cool places to hang out. the people here are muy tranquilo, and i want to stay longer - but don't know if i have enough time to be staying an extra day in all these places i like. it's a struggle, because a day here is a day i won't have later in peru, ecuador, bolivia or columbia. maybe i'll just have to come back.

    [​IMG]
    cool building in córdoba, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    big old church, córdoba, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    i've started using couchsurfing.org to meet up with locals and travelers in these new cities. it's intended for finding a place to crash for a night, but the chat threads in each of the cities are a great place to connect with people when you are staying i a hotel, or just want to diversify your connections with people. so i typed in "córdoba, argentina", and put up a note saying i was here for a night or two and looking to meet up with people. pretty cool system. another american motorcyclists responded, and invited me to join him at the house of some argentines who live in a mountain town about 30 minutes up the east side of the mountains that straddle córdoba. this group of argentine motorcylist have been meeting here in villa carlos paz for 15 years, and they are having an asado (BBQ) tonight. very excited about this!
    #90
  11. moto-treks

    moto-treks Back Home

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,808
    Location:
    Spokane Washington
    Makes my mouth water just thinking about an asado :thumb
    #91
  12. porkandcorn

    porkandcorn FortesFortunaAdiuvat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    oh... the meat we shall eat!
    #92
  13. vintagespeed

    vintagespeed fNg

    Joined:
    May 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,898
    Location:
    Rancho Cucamonger, CA
    such a cool thread! keep 'er going man! :freaky
    #93
  14. Ulyses

    Ulyses Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,173
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Hey man, I just met Bear on the ferry to TDF two days ago. We rode into Ushuaia together and he told me about you. Good to see a fellow bald Oregonian making the ride! Cheers man and good luck!
    #94
  15. porkandcorn

    porkandcorn FortesFortunaAdiuvat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    sweet! oso en moto!
    #95
  16. porkandcorn

    porkandcorn FortesFortunaAdiuvat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    friday, february 22, 2013

    i wasn't expecting to like córdoba, argentina as much as i have. i guess that is why i stayed for three days, when i was only planning on being there for one day. it would be a shame to waste a perfectly good weekend anywhere else. mendoza can wait. changing my tires can wait. the north of the continent can wait.

    [​IMG]
    cordoba night by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    cordoba2 by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    the asado with the motorcyclists in villa carlos paz, argentina last night was good. i pulled into a gas station on the edge of town where i was to meet john, another ADV rider from the states. i didn't even put my foot down before he pulled up on his KTM 990, and led the way to the BBQ. john took 10 months to ride down to SA from the states, and then ended up staying in córdoba for the last year. traveling can be dangerous like that.

    [​IMG]
    villa carlos paz by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    it was just a few blocks away, and john let the way over a driveway, through a front yard, down a narrow walkway between houses, and into the backyard. i barely fit, and broke the same turn signal that i fixed in florianopolis. it's ok, i have more glue.

    the tiger was the belle of the ball. everywhere i go, this bike is received like royalty. after meeting everyone, there were lots of questions, lots of photos of the bike, some people wanted to sit on her to get the sizing, and one guy offered to buy it on site for what i had into it. (they are 2-3 times more expensive in argentina, so it would have been a good deal for both of us.) unfortunately for him, i need her to get to columbia.

    [​IMG]
    motos at the asado, villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    the guys, asado, villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    although i was struggling with the language again, it was nice to be received by some other riders. i felt very welcomed. these were enduro riders - technical off-road guys. sitting around the table as the meat began to flow, it was apparent how different the córdoban dialect is from other argentine dialects. the pace is quick, and the tongue was just different enough that i could only process about 5% of what was said that night. but i have gotten used to that, and just enjoyed the pace of conversation, the flow back and forth, the punchlines to jokes i didn't understand. occasionally, a kind soul would slow down, speak a little english, or tell me what was being talked about. again, motivation to continue learning languages.

    [​IMG]
    montañas de carne, asado, villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    i got some good road advice from john for my exit from córdoba toward mendoza. john, thanks for the experience, and good luck in your future travels.

    córdoba, like most other argentine cities, is full off people running for exercise from about 7-9pm every night. the episode with my possibly broken foot has passed, and i've been joining the runners every night. most people are running in sarmiento park on the east side of down. it's a maze of sidewalks and running paths, and they are all packed with people. if you are between the age of 18-35, that seems to be where you go and what you do before you head out to dinner. i remember the same thing in buenos aires, and rosario. argentines are fit and attractive because they like to run.

    [​IMG]
    lake in sarmiento by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    overlook for sarmiento park, córdoba, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    runners at sarmiento park, córdoba, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr
    #96
  17. porkandcorn

    porkandcorn FortesFortunaAdiuvat

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2011
    Oddometer:
    296
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    sunday, february 24, 2013

    i was planning to spend saturday night in córdoba, but i checked the weather and saw that there was a big storm coming in saturday night. i didn't want to get caught there, and i didn't want to have all the mountains closed in with clouds when i crossed over on my way to mendoza.

    so i did my patented 15 minute packing of the bike (i've gotten very efficient with this), put a route in the GPS, and left córdoba. i had to go through villa carlos pas again, to catch route 20. route 20 winds up into the mountains, with a pass at about 6,000 ft. they are not massive mountains, but they are beautiful.

    [​IMG]
    overlook, west of villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    vista of villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    there were lots of motorcycles on the road because there are lots of twisties to ride. i was stopping a lot to look from the vistas, talking to other motorcyclists, and in general taking my time.

    [​IMG]
    garmin route 20, west of villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    route 20, west of villa carlos paz, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    route 20, east of mina clavero, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    vista on route 20, east of mina clavero, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    twisties, route 20, east of mina clavero, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    i rode toward villa dolores, argentina, but took a smaller road south to merlo, argentina. it runs through about 10 really interesting small towns, each worthy of photos, stops, and exploration. i made it to merlo, and noticed a group of motorcyclists at a cafe. i pulled a u-turn, parked the bike. "¡hola motociclistas!," i said, and started talking with them. of course, i immediately received and invitation to follow them to the place they were staying and stay there for the night. it was a beautiful cluster of guests homes on the edge of town, right at the foothills that climb up into the sierras.

    [​IMG]
    the boys having coffee, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    panorama, aparts de montaña, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    chaco, savino, y martín, aparts de montaña, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    i finally burned through my rear brake pads on the descent into merlo. before we all went out to dinner, i took the time to change them out - finally got to use some of the tools and parts that i have been dragging around all this time. the chain needed a good clean and lube also.

    [​IMG]
    changing rear brakes, aparts de montaña, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    successful installation, aparts de montaña, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    while i was changing out the brakes, some of the guys were watching and asking questions about my trip. i gave out my postcards that i had made for the journey. one side with a description of who i am and why i'm on this adventure, and the other side all about portland, my city. as he read it, cacho, the shorter guy with grey hair, told me that the postcard was making him very emotional. i was standing there cleaning the grease off my hands, and watched a tear run down his cheek. i'm not sure which part got to him, but i realized at that moment that what i'm doing is a lot bigger than me. there's something in all of us that wants to explore and connect with other people. there's a part of that in cacho.

    [​IMG]
    postcard front by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    postcard back by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    yo, barbie, chachito, savino, martín, y chachez (missing paganini), aparts de montaña, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

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    chachez, yo, barbie, y martín, aparts de montaña, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    all the guys are from cities and towns near merlo, probably just down for the weekend to hang out. martín, the owner of the guest house (aparts de montaña) is originally from buenos aires. while i was cleaning my chain, i asked him why he moved to merlo. he said that a couple of years ago, while in buenos aires, he was hi-jacked in the city at gun point for his car. from what i understand, they held him for 90 minutes, occasionally putting the barrel of the gun to his head and threatening to kill him. he told me that his cojones were in his throat. after that, he couldn't live in the city anymore, and moved to merlo to start his life over.

    martín followed me out of the city this morning when i left. we stopped on the roadside to take these pictures. i could see tears in his eyes as he told me he would be with my on my journey, that 'i had his heart'.

    [​IMG]
    me & martín, outside of merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    [​IMG]
    sierras de merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    i couldn't have been luckier to meet such an amazing group of guys. thanks to all of you for adopting me for a night! the motorcycling family grows...

    [​IMG]
    paganini, me, cacho, savino, chachez, & barbie, merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr

    this morning, the ride from merlo back to mendoza, argentina was about a 5 hour blast through the valley that separates the mountains just west of córdoba from the massive andes range to the west of mendoza. the andes are so enormous, that you can see them for a couple hundred miles away. as you approach mendoza, twisting through the famous malbec vineyards, aconcágua looms ominously and snow capped in the background. as i looked at the andes, i though about the next couple of weeks that will take me into and over them again.

    tomorrow, i change oil and tires, and hopefully tuesday i head north into the mountains.

    [​IMG]
    straight blast through the valley, west of merlo, argentina by porkandcorn, on Flickr
    #97
  18. ExpeditionSouth

    ExpeditionSouth Asi es la Vida!

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Earth
    Great report thus far mate, enjoy the cheap food and gas before you hit the expensive petrol or Brazil! Best of luck! and congrats so far~!
    #98
  19. WeazyBuddha

    WeazyBuddha Carbon-Based Humanoid

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Oddometer:
    5,057
    Location:
    RGV Texas
    Hola desde Sur Tejas!

    Great pictures, perfect balance to the narrative with just enough detail...great RR. :freaky :clap

    I keep threatening to rent a motorcycle and ride around the Willamette valley in Oregon but i've yet to do it. When I was a kid and poor we worked in the fields up there picking strawberries, living in a labor camp in the Sholls Ferry area.

    May you continue to have a fantastic trip...now, about the bike.

    Did you consider others before settling on the Triumph? It sure is looking sweet and I suspect that triple is a nice engine. I know of at least one rider that went from 1200 GS to the 800. Would you choose that bike again or go with something different?
    #99
  20. mark883

    mark883 and the mysterians

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,612
    Location:
    Buckeyeland
    I officially rate this thread and trip as 'kick ass'

    great photos too...