The Wife takes on Chlamydia. A South American Retrospective

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by ChrisUK, Mar 6, 2017.

  1. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Day 7 of the '16 Dakar, night of the 8th and morning of 9th January 2016, near Turpiza, Bolivia

    When following the Dakar, it’s important to find out about road closures occurring the night before the next stage. Often the access-road to the viewing point is also part of tomorrow's race track, so you have to arrive there the night before and in plenty of time too.

    Nick and I rode back across the Salar towards Uyuni town and the next viewing point, maybe 80km (?, I really can’t remember) beyond Uyuni town, near Turpiza. A (4x4) car full of (drunk) Bolivians from Santa Cruz (the ones in the green/white flags in my last video) asked if they could follow us back across the mostly flat and featureless salt lake. Local knowledge and all :-)

    In Uyuni we ride along a bit of the trail from the stage finishing line towards the bivouac and got overtaken by some race cars.

    The police were already out on the way to Turpiza, ready to close tomorrow’s racetrack and we made it to the next view point just before dark. The question: Where to camp, especially as we’ll have to leave a lot of stuff and the bikes unattended tomorrow? Why not befriend the local police and pitch our tents next to theirs?

    An attempt to shoehorn another Goaty picture into this bit off the RR. In 2001 I did once sleep at a police station in NE Peru when I couldn’t find any accommodation in that particular hamlet. Just asked nicely…

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    Anyway…

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    Letting the local police have a sit on the bikes. Nick carefully holding on to make sure the guy doesn't drop his 690.




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    Hangin' with t'lads




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    It's cold, so we'll just torch a few bushes in the desert, thought the policeman. Hope my tent doesn't burn down, thought Chris....




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    Possible Biblical connotations ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_bush ) , or just keeping warm? The temperature drops dramatically at night at 3500m above sea level...
    #81
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  2. kito

    kito Been here awhile

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    nice write up chris you have me wishing I was back in south America. I'm interested in the story of how you imported your bike into the UK on your trip if you want to share
    #82
  3. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Glad the RR brings back pleasant memories, Dave.
    #83
  4. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Turpiza race bike pictures and video

    A quick fast and dirty video, not made with love, but still… Why am I panting. No air at 3500m...







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    Just a little experiment with making an animated gif. Sorry, I’m bored at home at the moment. Even flash animations have been superseded because they won’t run on Apple devices and were good for getting viruses onto your machine. Here is the top lady Laia Sanz, again.





    Now loads of race bike pictures. Taken in the order I took them. I struggle to edit the number down any further. And this thread is pretty much a personal and public diary anyway, so why not? ;-)


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    Toby Price, Australia, winner



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    Kevin Benavides, Argentina, 4th



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    Xavier de Soultrait, FRA, dnf



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    Olivier Pain, France, 22nd



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    Armand Monleon, Spain, 10th



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    Ivan Cervantes, Spain, 16th



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    Fabricio Fuentes Bolivia, 38th, getting some air!



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    Jun Mitsuhashi, Japan 56th. Japan’s only m/c competitor. On a KTM!



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    Sjors van Heertum, Netherlands, 51st



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    Julio Quiroga, Argentina 66th bike and Alexis Hernández, Peru 8th quad



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    Enric Martí, Spain, 77th



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    Jose Garcia, Spain dnf on the only BMW in the race. More about him a subsequent chapter. Here he still looks happy… I first met Jose at the Perito Moreno Glacier in Argentina in 2001.



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    Sylvain Espinasse, France on a 125cc 2 Stroke Husqvarna! And he reached the podium in Rosario!!! Serious respect!



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    Yesterday’s Suzuki Man… Gone are the gaffer tape, cable ties and webbing. And the bash plate is bolted on properly…



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    Chris Cork, UK, dnf
    #84
  5. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Turpiza to the Bolivia/Argentina border: Must ride far and fast to keep up with the race!

    Very tragically today one of the race buggies hit and killed a young Bolivian boy. What a crying shame!

    It was time to break camp and say my goodbyes to Nick. His route was different to mine. We met again at the Fin del Mundo in Ushuaia.

    He went west back to Uyuni town. I headed east towards the main road and then south to the border with Argentina. As a Dakar chaser there are many miles to cover every day.

    The following video is self-explanatory… :-)



    After dropping down from the mountains it became dryer and warmer.



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    Interesting rock formation



    Upon arriving at the main (paved) road there’s a traffic jam. I ride to the front. The road is closed until 10pm as it’s currently being used as a liaison stretch for all the race vehicles and their backup teams heading to Salta in Argentina for a rest day. Bollox! It’s 5pm now and gets dark at 8 or so. Ok, sob story = marginal BS story…. "As I’m on a bike I need to ride only in daylight as it’s dangerous to ride in the dark". The policeman believes me! And I’m through! It must be that cute innocent face I have :-)


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    No difficulty in working out what this guy does for a living!



    I was overtaken by several race trucks, with friendly toots from them. Also overtook one truck that sounded severely sick. If they could get to Salta they would have a day to fix it. Hope they did. Coming into Villazon, the border town to Argentina, I can’t say how many spectators thought I was a racer… In my dreams!




    And friendly locals at my hotel….
    #85
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  6. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Salta to Belen

    After a good night’s sleep at Villazon, I slept in too. Should be an easy day as the Race was having a rest day at Salta in North West Argentina, where I had already visited in November. Oh no… I can’t calculated in the 5 or 6 hours to cross the border into Argentina. It hadn’t occurred to anyone in the Bolivian immigration service that as they hadn’t let anyone apart from racers pass the day before, there might be more people today… And all those people following the race too. And from 1 til 3pm, let’s only have 1 person stamping passports as there rest are out to lunch. All part of the fun, I suppose.

    So I crossed the border at about 5pm. The 5 hours I planned on taking to Cachi situated on the Ruta 40 to intercept the race took 9 hours! I had to eat, find fuel and riding mountain dirt tracks in the dark isn’t possible at 55mph! I slowed it right down. Best to arrive alive! I got to where the road was closed pre-race at 2am. Lots of Argentines still partying!

    In the morning, I met a couple of Dutch people supporting one of the race teams. In a rented 4x4. In the back a brand new ktm450 engine amongst other spares. Should any of their team have a problem, a car would get to them much quicker than the big lumbering support truck. They gave me a cap and some water to drink as my supplies were dry.


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    Another map someone showed me



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    Despite the slog down the highway, it’s always possible to stop for a quick picture



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    Up early after 3 hours sleep



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    Antoine Meo, France, 7th



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    Paulo Goncalves, Portugal, one of the favourites, dnf



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    Gerard Farres, Spain 8th



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    Helder Rodrigues, Portugal, 5th on the first Yamaha home



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    Emanuel Gyenes, Romania, 14th



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    Milan Stanovnik, Slovenia, 79th riding Malle Moto. That means you ride all day and then maintain your own bike at night! The ultimate respect! A bit of the fairing missing from the bike.



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    You can always tell when one of the famous names is going to pass. There’s a helicopter above. In this case Stephane Peterhansel



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    7 times winner on a bike and this year his sixth win in a car. I give you Mr Dakar…



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    Erik van Loon, The Netherlands 13th car



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    Carlos Sainz, Spain, dnf this year. I was in the bivouac at La Rioja when he was towed in. A 2010 winner and 29 stage victories
    #86
  7. boboneleg

    boboneleg we can rebuild him.

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    I hate wet bollox as well, anyway thanks for taking the time to write this report and get well soon.
    #87
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  8. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Thanks Bob!

    Riding into that hole, things were looking ok, then I started to dive. When the sludge and water level was close to the headlight I was seriously concerned. Then the bike stopped (probably carb breaker blocked) and and I nearly dropped it. The wet butt and bollox quickly focused my mind. After a minute or 2 stopped in the middle I tried the electric boot again and she started.

    Conveniently, things then became shallower :D
    #88
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  9. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Belen, Argentina, Day 9 of the 2016 Dakar Race. Just about staying on schedule

    Before leaving the viewing position at Cachi, I jumped off a 5 foot wall and twisted my left knee, again. Ouch! I don't have a left cruciate ligament anymore from a previous motorcycling mishap. My party trick is being able to hyper extend it, kind of like Monty Python's Ministry of Funny Walks, except it puts me in excruciating agony. Not nice. It again, became really swollen. Bollox.

    I managed to hobble around to pack up my tent and set off. I wear full technical knee braces when riding from the previous knee event, so doped up on pain killers and anti inflammatory tablets, I could still ride.

    The Ruta 40 that was now really carved up, in particular because the race cars and trucks had left the dirt road badly rutted. I overtook most of the cars and motorcycle spectators who had set off ahead of me too :D At Cafayatte the pavement started again, which was a relief as I was able to stretch my leg horizontally forward on the front saddle bag that held my wet weather gear.

    I intended reaching Belen, which would have involved a couple of hours of night riding. Shortly after passing a small town and with the sun having just set, I was welcomed with the sight of a wicked electric storm in the distance. Upon getting closer I entered a “100% humidity job” ( = a wall of rain). Stuff that for a game of soldiers; I'll return back to the last town, even if I have to shelter the night in someone's doorway, I thought.

    I asked a couple of people walking up the street if there was somewhere I could stay. They really had never met a British person before! Would have stayed to chat, but had to pop some more ibuprofen first and I really was hungry too! One of the things with being marginally proficient with a gps unit is that if everything goes to plan, I don’t really talk to many people as there’s no need to ask directions. Now, with this change of plan, I actually had to speak with someone! Heaven forbid! Very different to 2001, pre-gps and digital maps/ mapping file sharing websites.

    There was a small hospetaje in the town that welcomed me and the bike was even allowed in the owner's garage. The people were so trusting, I could have ridden off at dawn the next morning without paying, but that wouldn't have been right. So I just left the agreed rent on my room table and still hobbling, wheeled the bike out.

    The ride to Belen was clear and fresh and things warmed up nicely. I ended up at the bridge over a dried out river bed at Belen in the late morning. People everywhere. Wow! I parked up the bike on the pavement (American = sidewalk… In England we drive on the road and walk on the pavement) and immediately got chatting to a couple of Harley Davidson riders from Scandinavia (Per from Sweden and Antti from Finland) on their own Trans Americas trip.

    The following pictures are pretty much in the order they were taken. There were a lot of comings and goings under the bridge (racing) and over the bridge (to/from the bivouac) of race cars, quads, buggies, bikes and race trucks. I really lost any overview of what was going on.

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    A Toyota race car getting close and personal to the spectators



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    Alain Duclos from France on a Sherco who was 42nd overall



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    Robbie Gordon giving a photographer reason to jump out the way!



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    Laia Sanz being chased down



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    Chlym offering shade to a weary spectator



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    Me and Per getting interviewed by a local TV station!



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    5th truck, driven by Ton van Genugten from the Netherlands



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    Number 132, Spain’s José García Domínguez's bike and only BMW in the race, strung out below a helicopter heading back to the bivouac. Usually this sight makes your stomach churn because it means an injured (or worse) rider. Jose was fine and just got lost, so he pushed his emergency button. For him, zee race voz over!



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    An interesting view from above, of a racer’s cockpit. At a pub meeting in England of a certain brand of motorcycle many years ago, I asked the owner of a very large displacement bike if he knew what all the buttons on his dash and bars did, and if he pressed them all at once, would the bike explode ;) No chance of such disrespect when you’re confronted with someone who is the real deal!



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    Little and large? A 125 2 smoke from France and a 450 4 stroke from Peru. I think it must be the angle the bikes are standing as both riders (according to their profiles on the official Dakar website) are of similar size/weight. Both reached the podium at Rosario



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    The bikes may not have been too reliable, but the Honda ladies were the prettiest!



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    Giving Chris Cork from the UK a wave on the way back to the bivouac. He seemed distracted.



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    Per and Antti and their HDs on the local campsite. Top lads



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    Not sure what this can-can is supposed to achieve, but you can see I’m not weight bearing my left leg! On the right of the picture is Joshua from the United States who was cruising around on a BMW (800GS?) if I recall correctly. The guy on the left: I can’t remember for the life of me where he's from or who he is. In the background there's a 950/990 KTM, so I assume that was his bike. Muy bad!

    We ate well that night. There was a fruit and veg salesman on the main road who also sold fresh meat. Joshua’s superior Spanish persuaded him to cook us an asado. A great night over beers and chat!
    #89
  10. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    The Bivouac at La Rioja, Argentina

    The previous night's festivities meant I rose late. And it was raining. The others were already gone, but we had said our farewells the night before. I had decided to just head for La Rioja, the next night stop and try to get into the bivouac, as with my dodgy knee, I wasn't up to riding anywhere technical in order to see the race live.


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    The Mini backup team waiting at the end of a special. Not expecting anyone soon... Here I also spoke with one of their head honcho types (In a flash looking car made by the same company) about getting a pass into the bivouac. His attitude came across as "Jog on fella, no plebs allowed" (The older you get the better your mind reading skills... ;) )

    I did meet a couple of chaps on bikes from La Rioja and they said they could get me into the bivouac as they had contacts with a (Japanese car) race team. "See you at the gate at 6pm".



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    So, after putting up my tent at the municipal campsite, coincidentally diagonally opposite the bivouac gate, I headed there for 6 to meet my new buddies. They either weren't there, or we couldn't see each other. Bollox. In the time I was there waiting at the gate and trying to call them, I had plenty of opportunity to observe if there was any chance of getting in, either sneakily or with BS. No chance. The security were on the ball.

    I went for a walk and near a carpark to the right of the main entrance, the fence surrounding the site looked a bit shabby. So after some food and when it got dark: A backup car for one of the Argentine quad-riders or bikers stood next to said fence. The racer was receiving physio. He and his physiotherapist were more than happy to lift the fence up enough for me to crawl under (on the way in and out)... In fact they were highly amused as it was "what a local would do". I was in and had an ID bracelet from a mate from a few days previously too. The wrong colour for La Rioja, but in the dark, nobody would spot the difference as long as I kept a low profile :D The pleb had got in... ;)



    So, some impressions....

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    Full strip down



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    I found Chris Cork's (UK) support team and spoke with Scott Spears, his mechanic. Chris was expected "later". He ended up sleeping out in the desert for the night and the race was over for him. Gutted!

    I also stopped by the Honda works teams/ Honda South America encampment to see if my mate Geraldo Lima from near Sao Paulo was there, but as Jean Azevedo had retired after his spectacular crash on day 2 (See the picture in my Brazilian section on page 1 of this RR), he had no reason to still be there. Shame.

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    I think this is #11 Jordi Viladoms, second in 2014, 4th in 2012. 17th this time. Definitely at the KTM factory tent though. Without a bike number I'm not so good at recognising competitors.



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    The malle moto guys deserve the greatest respect. Ride all day and work all night. Here is Manuel Lucchese working on his bike, while the lovely Lucie marks up his roadbook for tomorrow. Ideal!



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    David Wijnhoven, #124 checking today’s results



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    Talking heads at the Peugeot garage doing what they do best. Possibly discussing where Carlos Sainz is…



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    Carlos had been leading the overall standings. Here he’s being towed into the bivouac with a blown engine = dnf at the podium in Rosario



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    In very late, but still in under his own power. And at the podium at Rosario. Well done Nicolas Billaud of France!



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    BAS Trucks of the Netherlands supported half a dozen riders. ALL got to the podium at Rosario. Well done to the riders and the backup team!
    #90
  11. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    And finally, Villa Carlos Paz and the Podium at Rosario.


    Thanks for bearing with me on this one, that is my presentation of the impressions of following the Dakar race that happened in Bolivia and Argentina in January 2016. I like watching motorcycle racing and my new favourite is this race, along with the Isle of Man TT. If you fancy yourself as a dirtbike rider, get yourself entered. I won't be!


    In order to give my aching bones a rest, I missed the leg to from San Juan and headed straight (literally) to Villa Carlos Paz...


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    Did the Romans ever colonise Argentina?




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    Without following the race I would never have made it onto this pleasant campsite near Villa Carlos Paz and the opportunity to hang out with some pleasant locals.




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    Near Villa Carlos Paz, I met a couple of chaps from Turkey (Tolga Basol @ridemust) and Australia (Again, I can't remember a name). I do recall the starter motor on his Triumph was donald-ducked and I re-messed my knee trying to give him a push-start. We met at the barrier the police had erected on the only (not part of the racecourse...) sideroad to an official viewing area. We found a workaround (ride-around) but were held up again by another checkpoint, where minibuses were demanding silly money for the 3km drive to the track. Jog on, and whatever the Spanish for jeune maties is.

    What to do? Why not head east to Rosario in order to see Podium festivities tomorrow. Sounded like a damn good plan to me. Long, hot, straight highway. At 55mph, mmmmh. Nice!

    After another session of night riding and not much sleep on a loud campsite 30 miles from Rosario (anything closer was full, because of the Race) I teamed up with Yvette and her fella (I'm useless with names!) from the UK, also on a KLR, and headed into Rosario.

    I bumped into a race team I'd met in the bivouac a couple of days previously and they gave me a wristband to get into the holding enclosure behind the podium where the race teams/ mechanics etc gather. When their rider/bike/quad or drivers/car ride/drive up into the podium, they run up in order to get into the pictures and celebrate with their team.

    So I officially self-designated myself as their "team photographer". The problem was that when they ran up, I was still stuck behind them, so no pictures were possible. Another cunning plan was called for: Convince the security chap that I had to run through the tunnel under the podium in order to get to the other (front = VIP area) side so I can take the necessary pictures. When another of "my team's" riders rode up, the backup crew ran up the podium and after more pestering (Polite Pester Power does work... :clap ) I ran through the tunnel to take the "designated" pictures.

    Now I'm in the VIP area and have taken my pictures. Nobody is telling me to return back, backstage. It's nice here. Free food, a free bar and the best views. So, keep the hand attached to the wrist with the wrong coloured wristband in my pocket and hang out.... :rofl


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    Backstage: The other Mr Bright, Scott -No relation- he knows how to ride...


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    Backstage: Laurent Lazard from Uruguay and his daughter. A cute picture.


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    Backstage: Laia


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    Front stage: A happy Bolivian: Fabricio Fuentes 38th


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    Top 3 bikes: Toby Price, Australia (KTM) - Stefan Svitko, Slovakia (KTM) - Pablo Quintanilla, Chile (Husqvarna = rebadged KTM)



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    A happy Aussie!


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    Gate crasher...




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    First car: Peterhansel and Cottret, Peugeot


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    Manuel Lucchese and Lucie from Italy, 3rd Malle Moto and 44th overall. A lot of respect!


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    Father and Son Fernandez from Spain!

    After about 4 hours in the VIP area my wristband and I were spotted by security and asked to leave. :( "I was going anyway, thanks guys". Free food, free drink, saw the truck, car, quad and bike winners: A good day out... :-)
    #91
  12. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Slabbing it to Buenos Aires

    A couple of videos




    A 2016 Dakar highlights video. Much better than my offerings, but I suppose a helicopter, a drone and an access all areas pass gives them an unfair advantage





    My good self on another not mountainous, non curvy bit of slab heading towards BsAs, as are lots of race teams (in order to ship home), here I’m being overtaken by truck #515, Kazakhstan's Artur Ardavichus, who came 11th
    #92
  13. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    Buenos Aires

    I used my visit to Buenos Aires as an opportunity to visit friends Javier and Sandra at http://www.dakarmotos.com/ as well as Karl-Heinz, people I had only previous been in touch with via the internet. It was great to meet them in person.

    The other plan was to do some job interviews that I had arranged via Skype. I assumed that the capital city of a country would have fast WiFi connections in order to allow uninterrupted voice and video comms. Wrong! Even in a 4* posh hotel (I was staying in a cheap gaff around the corner) where the receptionist was kind enough to allow me to use their conference room (I was in shorts, but from the waist up, I wore a shirt and tie...) it wasn't good. People told me it was the same all over the city. Rubbish internet connection = stressed interviewee = no job :-(

    I bought 2 new tyres and a chain and sprocket kit for the bike. The tyres were 1.5 x and the C and S kit 2 x what it would cost anywhere else. But this is Argentina. Friendly people, run down and over priced.

    I did take more pictures in downtown BsAs, but the mood wasn't with me. I'm not a big city fan anyway.


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    Argentina's answer to Cannon and Ball?



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    Pink House, Buenos Aires



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    Top half of route map down the Atlantic coast of Argentina along the Ruta 3. For reasons unknown I put my GPS tracklogs for this bit of the trip "somewhere safe". Navigtion is easy: 3000km in a straight line, likely with a 100km/h side or head wind. Just plug in mp3 player, duck behind windscreen and disengage brain for 5 or 6 days.



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    Bottom half. On my previous South America trip on the Wife in 2001 I never rode the Ruta 3. I didn't miss anything then.

    Pictures to follow in the next post...
    #93
  14. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

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    The long, and I mean long!, ride down the Ruta Tres


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    The highlight of my Ruta 3 ride: Pretty much at the beginning in Azul, only a few 100 km south of BsAs at Pollo's "La Posta de Viajero en Moto". "Pollo", real name Jorge, has been making bikers welcome at his place long before even my 2001 trip. I didn't pass Buenos Aires then, so it was great to meet the man at home. I had met him in the mid-2000s at a bike meeting in Germany where he was a guest of honour. An utterly top bloke who allows you to stay in his place for free. Donations welcome in an honesty box.



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    A few of the many messages from around the world!



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    Some messages are more profound than others... :-)



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    Sometimes the Ruta 3 skirted the coast. Here some chilling sealions.



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    Buying tyres and tying them on the back is part of the "overlander chic image" (!) ;-) that some try to portray. In this case me too, with a double whammy. Tyre availability is more than patchy outside the population centres of northern Argentina. The rubber currently on the bike ended up utterly shagged by the time I reached Rio Gallegos, the entry point to Tierra del Fuego



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    At Puerto Madryn, a posh-fancying itself kinda place, all the rooms at the inn were full or horrendously overpriced. So I headed back to the main highway and free-camped at the gas station. The morning after packing up the tent. Excellent value for money!



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    Long, straight and blowing a gale. That's the Ruta 3....



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    I hitch-hiked in several trucks up the Ruta 3 in 2001. With a new shock-absorber for the Wife that a good mate had muled into Puntas Arenas. That story is described at http://www.thebrightstuff.com/ch19.htm



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    Guillermo, a super friendly bike traveller, hosted me Rio Gallegos. In a dry, wind free garage at his mother's house. And good wifi too!

    Here we're outside the British Club, which considering the UK-Argentina stand-off regarding The Falkland Islands/ Las Malvinas amused me. Guillermo said there was a long history of British influence in Patagonia and much of the perceived antagonism is whipped up by the politicians. Like everywhere on the planet really: Friendly populous, dodgy suits.



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    Guillermo guided me to a cool volcanic crater



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    The ferry to Tierra del Fuego



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    I didn't volunteer the information to anyone that my father was a British soldier in 1981, although he wasn't required to serve in the South Atlantic. The new 50 Peso note may look familiar... Like I said, pr!cks in suits



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    In 2001 the signs were everywhere too.



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    The main fuse on the bike kept blowing, here on a roundabout in Rio Grande. So, while I'm parked where I wouldn't usually stop, take a picture... A scuffed cable attached to the battery: Nothing what a bit of electric tape cant solve. And many new fuses until I sussed the cause.



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    A chap in Rio Grande suggested I visit this ship wreck



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    It's been here a while
    #94
    roadcapDen likes this.
  15. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    729
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Ushuaia, the Third

    What do 1st February 2016, 29th January 2002 and 24th March 2001 all have in common? On each of these days, Spritely Brightly (sounds a bit wnak to refer to yourself in the 3rd person, but today I will, just using my alleged alter ego...) arrived at the end of the South American road, at this famous sign! Interestingly, Alaska is still the same distance from here, but Buenos Aires has moved 16km further away since the turn of the Millennium! :-) How could this happen? Maybe the guy who does such measuring has had his trundle wheel re-calibrated?


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    There is a sign nearby that says no vehicle parking in front of the sign, but having selective understanding of Spanish (No fumar Espanol, Senor!) means yet again vital information passed me by :-)



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    March 2001, 1989 BMW R100gs, sometimes called the Wife, but also Goaty, Helga, Ex-wife and the Fat Lady



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    January 2002, 1998 KLR650 that burned even more oil than Clym!



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    Take nothing but photographs, leave nothing but footprints (and graffiti...)



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    Shrine by the sea. South of here is the Drake Passage. The souls of many seafarers rest out there.



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    The sign in downtown Ushuaia, but not the end of the road.



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    While touristing on foot, these guys rode by. I never spoke with them as the traffic light was green and they didn't slow down. 2 up on a KLR with a load of stuff



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    Here at the port there was also a sign that said no photos... Camels are sometimes described as ships of the desert. Are "Ingles" registered motorcycles "ships of the road? Whatever. It amused me taking this picture, albeit briefly. Arrrrgh Captain, shiver me timbers!



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    Not sure about this sign. I'm in Ushuaia. Maybe these are the distances from Antarctica to these cities?
    #95
    knight and roadcapDen like this.
  16. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    729
    Location:
    God's Own County
    Antarctica. Wild Antarctica! (Warning, display of gratuitous violence at the end of this post... But it is nature!)

    In this post, no motorcycle pictures, whatsoever. Sorry. They'll resume in the next post.

    Ushuaia is the principle staging post for commercial trips to Antarctica, the wildest place on earth that I'll ever visit. On my visits in 2001 and 2002, the season was finished (it runs to mid February) or I didn't have the time, respectively. Most people fly in for the tour. A few ride in. In 2016 I didn't really have the money to afford it, but when you put your mind to it, creative accounting can overcome many obstacles. :-) And it was last minute, half price!

    On board the ship I only wore shorts. I had no long pants on the bike, except camouflage waterproof over trousers! Most others on the boat were well off and alcohol was expensive. But wine was free with the meals and the waiters felt sorry for the few last minute riff raff (possibly because we were able to create some empathy too), so after dinner it was time to stagger to bed, half or completely cut. I hung out with Mike from Canada (who rode down on a 1200gs) and Nick from the UK who flew in. Great guys!

    [​IMG] Mike
    and Nick [​IMG]


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    Flying the flag



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    Zodiacs and the ship. All the twice daily excursions were by zodiac with some very knowledgeable guides.



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    Diving humpback whale



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    Cormorant taking off Port Lockroy, Britain's southern most post office. Such machinations of bureaucracy help to continue claiming sovereignty to their part of the end of the world.



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    And he's airborne



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    Reflections



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    Interesting glacier formations. This is a small one, but still bigger than our ship



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    Sweet dreaming Crabeater seal. Luckily for him, no Orcas around...



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    More reflections. We did hit it lucky with the weather, most of the time...



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    Other seaborne visitors: Yot on!



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    Intrigued penguin chick?



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    Chinstrap penguins debating whether to go for a swim



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    Grub's up



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    Penguin colony. Boy, does their purple/red poo stink!



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    And a step to the right.... Chicks chasing and adult. This may not even be their parent. It's all about pester power if you get fed!



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    During: Leopard seal shredding penguin



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    After: Is the seagull saying: "That was a bit harsh!" ?
    #96
    boboneleg, roadcapDen and Max Wedge like this.
  17. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    729
    Location:
    God's Own County
    A map of the cruise. 10 days in total. 2 each way across the Drake Passage and then 6 days in situ


    [​IMG]
    #97
  18. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    729
    Location:
    God's Own County
    As we're on the topic of maps, here's the first bit of the route I took from Ushuaia northwards. From Rio Gallegos I followed the Ruta 40, with side trips to some of the usual sights. Lots of memories were rekindled.


    [​IMG]
    #98
  19. ultrasheen

    ultrasheen Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2016
    Oddometer:
    198
    Location:
    Rocket City (Huntsville, AL)
    Great RR, but I can't see the last couple of posts' images.

    Thank you for taking the time to write this and present it for our enjoyment!
    #99
    ChrisUK likes this.
  20. ChrisUK

    ChrisUK Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2004
    Oddometer:
    729
    Location:
    God's Own County

    Glad you like the RR ultrasheen.

    I was surprised that you couldn't see the 2 images from the last 2 posts (#97 and 98). They were working fine on my 2 devices (laptop with Windows 7/Chrome and cellphone with Android/Chrome). But I am permanently logged into these devices with my Google Account and am hosting the images in my "Google Photos".

    I just checked if they were visible on a third device that I'm not logged into, and like you say, no image was visible (just a "No entry" symbol as a placeholder). In posts 97 and 98 I used the site-software inbuilt image loading wizard. So now I've reloaded the images by a different way (by manually writing the embed tags = the same way I loaded other images in posts <=96 = visible posts).

    Could you please pet me know if they're still not visible, or if you can now see a map in post #97 and another map in #98.

    Many thanks!
    dwj - Donnie likes this.