Ushuaia to Quebec on Xchallenge

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Kabalung, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. Kyler

    Kyler Confused Hack Nut

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    what goes around comes around. No doubt some day he'll have the same happen to him. Karma is a bitch.
    #41
  2. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    Puerto Varas is a beautiful city. A friend owns a Fishing Lodge in Hornriperin, located at the base of the Volcano. Love both places. Have a EPIC ride/adventure. Torres del Paine is a must do. EL Calafate is a cool area. Perito Moreno Glacier is also a must do. Prepare for STRONG winds...
    #42
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  3. flaldrider

    flaldrider Adventurer

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    Ride sounds very exciting. I am in until the end!!! Good Luck and Ride Safe.
    #43
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  4. Kabalung

    Kabalung Been here awhile

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    Day 11, Coyhaique, Chile, 1.809 km

    This was so far the best day of my trip, at least in terms of natural beauty of the landscapes. I guess I could risk saying that this part of Chile is one of the most beautiful parts of the world and can easily compete with the Alps or Norwegian fjords.

    The road is a mix of dirt tracks and tarmac, so after you get tired of riding on a loose gravel, you can chill riding on a paved road enjoying the vistas. You can’t help but smile, it’s so insanely awesome!

    Andre decided to sell his broken Suzuki to a local mechanic at a discounted rate, taking the hit of $1.550 vs. what he paid last week. But he wants to rent a van and continue as much south as he can. That’s what I call the traveller’s spirit. You go on, despite the obstacles! Well done Andre!

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    Tomorrow, I will be moving towards Chile Chico to cross the border with Argentina in the next couple of days. Unfortunatelly, I hear the ferry that crosses the lake over there is broken. Not sure what that means yet, but hope to figure something out while I am there. Will keep you posted.
    #44
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  5. FotoTEX

    FotoTEX Long timer

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    It is South America. Accept... the unexpected.
    #45
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  6. Kabalung

    Kabalung Been here awhile

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    Yeah, by now I know exactly what you mean. :-)
    Cheers!
    #46
  7. Kabalung

    Kabalung Been here awhile

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    Day 12, Puerto Rio Tranquilo, Chile

    It was hard work today. First the temperature dropped to 11C, then it started to rain. Also, in some parts of the road there was a strong wind making my bike dance on a loose gravel road like a ballerina and forcing me to reduce speed.

    The ferry to Chile Chico is out of service for few days, so the only way to go is around the lake. People say the road is hard, so the following 200km might be challenging.

    On one of the curves Martin lost control of his bike and drove off the road. Luckily, nothing happened to hom or the bike.

    I am having problems uploading the pics so I will do it next time.
    #47
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  8. Kabalung

    Kabalung Been here awhile

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    It was hard work today. First the temperature dropped to 11C, then it started to rain. Also, in some parts of the road there was a strong wind making my bike dance on a loose gravel road like a ballerina and forcing me to reduce speed.

    The ferry to Chile Chico is out of service for few days, so the only way to go is around the lake. People say the road is hard, so the following 200km might be challenging.

    On one of the curves Martin lost control of his bike and drove off the road. Luckily, nothing happened to him or the bike.
    #48
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  9. OK Lucinda

    OK Lucinda n00b

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    The road around the lake is no harder than previous sections, it’ll be fine. Beautiful too.
    #49
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  10. Kabalung

    Kabalung Been here awhile

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    Day 13, Chile Chico, Chile, 2200 km

    Another day of off-roading around the Gral Carrera Lake. I could keep telling you how beautiful it is here, but I don’t want to bore you to death with it. Have a look at the pics and see for yourselves.

    I arrived early in Chile Chico but decided to wait until tomorrow to cross the border with Argentina in the morning. The bikers coming up north say there are really strong winds in Argentina, easily reaching 100 km/h. I am a bit scared: a wind this strong can move your bike a few meters to the side when you least expect it. It also doubles the fuel consumption and the range between two gas station south of Argentina can be 400 km. I am happy I am travelling with Martin - I feel safer having him around.
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    A vista point photo: Brazilian, American, Polish and Colombian (left to right) in one place, sharing the same passion...

    I heard many stories about Argentina: how unsafe it can be at times, how uninhabited the southern part is, how careful you have to be not to end up with an empty tank, and how difficult it is to exchange or withdraw money from the ATM. All this, plus the winds, makes mea bit anxious. I hope it will not be as hard as people say it would. Anyways, I will know soon.
    #50
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  11. Kabalung

    Kabalung Been here awhile

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    Thanks, Lucinda. It actually turned out to be easier, as it was not raining. And it was beautiful, OMG!
    #51
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  12. Kabalung

    Kabalung Been here awhile

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    Day 14, Gobernador Gregores, Argentina, 2640 km

    In the morning I said good-bye to Martin. He wanted to stay another day or two to fully recover from his accident and I decided to stick to my plan. He is also heading to Ushuaia, but without the Torres del Paine detour, so it’s likely we meet en route again.

    The border crossing with Argentina was a piece of cake, 30 mins tops. But the Routa Nacional 40 which takes you south was boring as hell. 440 km through the semi-desert, a large chunk of it was a straight line stretching for miles and then some more. The only attractions I had on the way to Gob. Gregores were as follows:

    1. I saw a family of ostrich-looking birds;

    2. I saw a lama/ camel looking animal crossing the road;

    3. I saw maybe 20 cars in total on the way. Nothing to look at, nothing to take the photo of.

    At some point I saw a biker on the side of the road so I stopped. Freddy, an Arentinian on a Harley, ran out of gas. He had two canisters with him, but the wind was so strong he could not pour it into the tank. Whatever he tried to pour in, the wind would blow away before it reached the tank. I helped him by using my body as a windshield. We talked a bit, took a selfie, and moved on.
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    A little Argentinian princess requested a photo with me. I was flattered...

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    I hope the Argentinian part of the trip will get more exciting at some point. I am running out of songs that I can sing to myself while travesting the bloody desert!
    #52
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  13. stravis

    stravis Adventurer

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    Great start. Looking forward to following the rest.
    #53
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  14. Railrocker

    Railrocker Adventurer

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    Hey Kabalung!

    I live in Quebec just north of New York state and wife and I have a place in upstate New York also. I know you are just starting your adventure but If you want to see some great roads in the Adirondacks in NY and Quebec and place to stay for couple days send me a pm. Our best friends next door in NY are polish too! Anyways safe travels!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #54
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  15. Kabalung

    Kabalung Been here awhile

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    Thanks, I would be happy to get together for a beer and a ride. I will send you a pm, when I am in US. This will give me enough time to figure out how to do that :-) In the meantime, enjoy the updates. And thanks for making the time to read them!
    #55
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  16. Kabalung

    Kabalung Been here awhile

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    Day 15, El Calafate, Argentina, 3.156 km

    The road got a bit more interesting. Partly because it takes you through the mountaineous region of Argentina, and partly because some 70 km of it is not finished, so there is a natural opportunity for some off-road action.

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    Maybe I am lucky, but the wind I got was totally manageable. It does push your bike somewhat and occasionally blows your feet off the footpegs, but is far from making the ride impossible or too dangerous. If it doesn’t get any stronger, I can probably continue riding without any problems. Ojala!

    I got to El Calafate, found a camping to stay in, and then made a round trip to the Perito Moreno Glacier, which is 80 km to the west. It is really impressive, and hence worth seeing,

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    but also the road that takes you to the glacier is every biker’s dream. The last 30 km is continuous curves and twists of beutifully paved tarmac, so it feels a bit like on a racing track. And you get to ride it twice!

    8CEC0FCB-3C39-4162-BB98-F17A6588AFD2.jpeg A6E1957C-C68B-4054-9119-64ADD16252C5.jpeg The $30 park entry fee seemed a bit steep, but, the road and the glacier combined make it worth every penny.
    #56
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  17. Dan Alexander

    Dan Alexander nail bender

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    :thumb:lurk
    #57
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  18. Parcero

    Parcero Mundial

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    Chile (and Argentina as you will soon discover) are very different than the rest of Latin America, mostly due to the huge influence of European immigrants many years ago. I would go so far as to say that Buenos Aires looks and feels more like Europe than Lain America. When I visited with my family, my Polish mother-in-law agreed. The city was actually designed with Paris in mind.

    Doesn’t sound like your tour guide mentioned that Chileans just re-elected Sebastian Piñera, who will replace Michelle Bachelet as President, and in so doing, rejected socialism in a big way. I’m guessing as the economy improves and the government gets its hands out of everyday life, life in Chile will improve for all.
    #58
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  19. Kabalung

    Kabalung Been here awhile

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    Doesn’t sound like your tour guide mentioned that Chileans just re-elected Sebastian Piñera...

    Percero, thank you very much for your comment!

    Actually she did mention Pinera, but could not really explain to me how come the people elect a right wing president, if the big issues she describes, will likely not be resolved by him. She said something about corrupted media that manipulate uneducated people, but I did not really buy it. Maybe I will find the answer to this a bit later.

    Cheers, mate!
    #59
  20. Kabalung

    Kabalung Been here awhile

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    Day 16, Puerto Natales, Chile, 3.479 km

    Impressions (1)

    It seems like there are many homeless people in Chile. I saw many of them right upon my arrival in Santiago. They sleep on sidewalks, park benches, entrances to buildings, or gates; on grass or stretched carton boxes, sometimes accompanied by dogs, often surrounded by numerous plastic bags containing their limited possessions. To someone coming from Central Europe, the sheer number of them (at least in Santiago) can be overwhelming.

    The dark side of Chilean cities has three other manifestations I subjectively observed.

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    The first one are stray dogs. There are small hordes of them running around cities (esp. Valparaiso), hungry and apathetic, likely sick. I wanted to give some food to one I pittied. „Don’t do that, Gringo!” - someone warned me. - „The dog will follow you to your home country, even if it is on a different continent.”

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    Another one is a lot of trash outside the strict city center, pretty much everywhere, in some places - piles of it, in others, random bottles, caps, plastic bags, uneaten food., etc, scattered over grass or streets, ditched on the side of the road. To be fair, it is to be expected, ‘cause you can hardly spot a trash can anywhere, and so getting rid of what you don’t need ain’t that easy. But why doesn’t anyone clean it?!

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    Finally, there is crime that everybody keeps warning me about, but on that I don’t really have a personal POV. To me it seems that if you are careful, nothing bad should happen, and if it does, it’s just bad luck, and it could easily happen anywhere...

    The countryside is different, though: relatively clean, with good living standards and lower prices; peaceful, safe, and quiet. Some parts of it could be easily taken for Europe or US. I met many Chileans who left bigger cities to live a peaceful small town or country life.

    Overall, Chile is a prosperous country with good living standards, and the stuff I wrote about earlier does not really change that. I guess, the contrasts you can see here are characteristic of most American states. For historical reasons Europe is more egalitarian, whereas here, there’s just more of the rich and poor polarity, but otherwise it’s quite similar.
    #60