Young Aussie biting off way more than he can chew : LA -> TDF

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by clumsy_culhane, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

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    Nothing much happened but for posterity sake here’s a short writeup of the final few days with the piggie. Heading out for Caleta Olivia, had arrived on new years eve. Luckily my hostel/hotel was pretty quiet, and I crashed out early, celebrating new years asleep and alone in the middle of nowhere! This wasn’t actually too bad, I’m not overly sentimental about the date itself!

    No pictures of the road as its all the same straight, flat, boring stuff. Instead of interesting turn off points and sightseeing, my days are punctuated by petrol station stops, loading the next one into the GPS so I don’t have to see a “700 km to go”, rather just “200”. Breaking up long days into more manageable chunks works in marathons and long bicycle rides – same method works here too!

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    Puerto Madryn was weird – no gringo tourism but lots of local tourists there to see the beaches. Arriving without food on a public holiday is dangerous because here a public holiday actually means that everything is shut, making starving for the day a real possibility. Luckily a group of welcoming Brazilians and Argentinians were doing a huge cook up and invited me in. We all ate as much as we could and there was still a few bits various animals left over!

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    From Puerto Madryn I rode to the Refugio for motoviajeros in Argerich, near Bahia Blanca. This was a strange experience as I the owner was super super friendly, but spoke the most unintelligible spanish of the entire trip. At night there were up to 25 people all visiting for a big cook up, and I ended up crashing out early, too tired to speak any decent spanish with such a large group. They all love the beaten up KLR though!

    Yesterday I arrived in Buenos Aires and immediately met up with a local I was speaking to about selling the bike. He is just using it for parts (he has three others!) so I don’t have to worry about a hapless overlander getting stuck at a border crossing, or the engine eating itself in the middle of a desert somewhere! This gives some piece of mind as the bike was definitely heading towards some major mechanical work given it had one more than 30,000km without any major work. I sold it for $2300 USD including the GPS (300 extra), bent crashbars and skid plate, racks. I’m pretty happy as I bought the bike three years ago for almost that much, and it was going to cost at least $2500 USD to get the bike home again. I’ll go home and chuck all my gear back on another KLR and be back at it!

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    I look happy but inside I’m already missing her….
  2. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    You done good kid.

    I don't know if I've ever sold a bike without a twinge of regret and a sense of losing something. But there's always another waiting.
    clumsy_culhane and everready like this.
  3. fasttortoise

    fasttortoise Been here awhile

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    Great ride! You should be proud of your accomplishment.
    clumsy_culhane likes this.
  4. #1Fan

    #1Fan Been here awhile

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    Congrats, Young Aussie!! And thanks for taking us along. I enjoyed it as much as you did! Well, maybe not as much as you, but I really enjoyed it!! Cheers! :photog:photog:photog:clap:clap:clap
    clumsy_culhane likes this.
  5. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

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    Buenos Aires is really suprsing me.. I wasn’t expecting to like it this much! Big cities aren’t usually my jam, but so far I’m really liking it here. Having nine nights in a city means there zero pressure to do anything, but each day i’ve still managed to get out and see a new part of the city. Can’t visit without eating a big hunk of cow, so that’s where we started.

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    I am lucky enough to be staying at a great hostel – only 21 beds so everyone knows everyone. The flow of the building is such that you can’t leave without interacting with people in the common areas and the extremely present volunteers and owners. Even for a introvert like me this meant that plans quickly coalesced to go out together and explore – which suited me just fine as it meant I didnt have to navigate or plan, something I’ve been doing most of the trip!

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    Buenos Aires is huge but luckily has a pretty developed subway and bus system with tap on/off cards which are recharged at stations. This means the city feels a lot less oppressing as you can get around without having to walk miles and miles in busy streets. As it’s the holiday period its a lot quieter too! One thing the city is famous for is it’s bookstores – one of them stationed inside an old theatre which was spectacular!

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    Today we visited the sunday markets, which had lots of souviner’s of no interest – but Maria wanted some so off we went!

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    Catching a bus we arrived in La Boca – a suburb famous for its street art, gritty working class housing and colourful characters. Restaurants have live tango with accompianing guitarists, and a few streets of the tourist traps the streets definitely become ‘gritty’ – probably wouldn’t want to be stuck here after dark.

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    It felt very reminiscent of Valparaíso, although a little more ‘real’ – Chile’s town had been mostly gentrified.

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  6. P-wick

    P-wick The Islander

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    Congratulations on achieving such a monumental journey, nonetheless having done it solo and at your age. It looks as though i've stumbled upon your write up during the final days of your trip, however i've read through your story and I must say you've been a huge motivator for me. Hopefully within the next 2-3 years I too will be traveling south on my trusty KLR (from Canada.) You've provided me with some great insight. Also, I believe I can speak for us all when I say thankyou for taking the time to find an internet connection and share your trip of a lifetime with all of us here! Like the saying goes, "Our time in this world is limited, but the things we can do within that time are not" Good luck in the comming days and safe trip home! Keep the spirit of adventure alive!
    shuswap1 and clumsy_culhane like this.
  7. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

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    Thanks for reading :) Just make sure you get the KLR sorted before leaving, way better to pull the swingarm apart in your own garage to regrease it than in the middle of Bolivia!
    P-wick likes this.
  8. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile

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    Great trip, thanks for taking us along. Successful trip when not medevac'd home!
  9. Mooly

    Mooly n00b

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    Great thread mate. Well done on your trip. Have been well entertained.

    Impressive photography BTW.
    clumsy_culhane likes this.
  10. powderzone

    powderzone Been here awhile

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    What? No pics of the giant cement statue of Oil Worker Dude in Caleta Olivia? So disappointed (not).
    Great trip and thanks for such an authentic RR and for taking us along.
    Enjoy BA - it’s one of my fav cities. It’s been years but I hope to return someday soon...on a moto hopefully.
  11. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

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    Haha it is a pretty cool statue, but I was pretty over it by then so no photos!

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    The final travel post! My last few days in Buenos Aires were very similar to the preceding ones – being a good tourist by day, adhering to Australian drinking stereotypes by night. Definitely didn’t feel like 9 nights was too long, it was only on the final day I was running out of things to do.

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    Sadly I had lost my cooking and daytrip partner Maria as she left two days earlier than me – not to worry, Marias friend, of the same name, had arrived to fill in! We ended going back to La Boca but this time hit up the art gallery.

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    (these are all hand made porcelain sunflower seeds, about 40,000 of them!! See more info here -> http://www.aiweiweiseeds.com/about-ai-weiweis-sunflower-seeds)
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    A mate I met back in Bolivia was also in town, and we went to check out Tigre. Weird little touristy town/suburb on the outskirts of B.A. Not a huge amount of gringo tourism, it seemed more to be the place to be for rich Porteño’s to spend the weekend. Lots of nice speedboats darting up and down the river. The main attraction for us was an art gallery – or more importantly the incredible building that the art was displayed in.

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    The centre of B.A. was under high tension, with a lot of complex political pressures getting people pretty pissed off (not even mentioning the rapid inflation). There are these barriers in a lot of places in town ready for the inevitable protests. As we walked around there were lots of riot police and a few armoured trucks with water cannons ready to squash anything that came up. The barriers in front of the ‘Pink House’ below are to stop protestors storming the building (also why the president now takes a helicopter to and from work).

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    A few others from the hostel and myself got an excellent rundown on the 400 years of post-Spanish history from a walking tour led by an ex-professor. He runs walking tours in small groups for those wanting to debate engage in history. Was very tiring taking in lots of dense history, but was lots better than the huge free ones you can find in any city.

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    And that’s a wrap! After six months abroad I’m heading home. I have a lot of mixed feelings I can’t even begin to articulate. I have met so many incredible people, shared amazing experiences and gone places I couldn’t have dreamed of. Thank you to everyone that showed such generous hospitality, friendship and grace, both locals and other travellers (and you guys here at ADVRider of course). The trip wouldn’t have been so rewarding without you!!!

    Now there’s just 44 hours of transit to get out of the way and I’ll be back in Melbourne.

    _________________

    Some quick stats :
    Total distance ridden: 30,743 km
    Days of riding : 91 (338 km/day)
    Days off the bike : 93
    Countries visited : 14
    Border crossings : 21
    Highest altitude : 5200 m
    Punctures : 2
    Crashes : 2 (too many to count off-road)
    Money spent : Too much
    Time spent : Not enough
    Worst drivers – Bolivia
    Best drivers – Mexico
    Scariest city – Los Angeles, USA (seriously!)
    Favourite city – Guanajuato, Mexico
    Best food – Mexico
    Worst food – Bolivia
    Friendliest people – Colombia
    Most enjoyable roads – Peru
    Most boring roads – Argentina
  12. gavo

    gavo Slacker

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    I'm still curious about selling your bike in Argentina, didn't you have to take it back out of the country? did you have to pay import duty? from what I've experienced if you take it into a country you have to take it out in a required time or go through the import process.
    And an excellent ride report thanks for sharing.
    clumsy_culhane likes this.
  13. bungen

    bungen Been here awhile

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    Thanks mate. A great report and fantastic photos. Where to next?
    clumsy_culhane likes this.
  14. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    After you get settled in at home for a week or so we'd like to hear maybe one more report on your final thoughts.
    You did good kid.
    clumsy_culhane likes this.
  15. Blind Warrior

    Blind Warrior Lost in the Ozone

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    well done. Been following you since you crossed the Mexican border. Where to next?
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  16. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

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    So it was sold for parts to a local, so no title transfer or anything was done. The guy I sold it to legally owned three other KLR's in Argentina so I felt like it was likely his story about using it for parts was correct! There is no issue leaving without the bike as the systems aren't linked to migration very well, but I imagine if I want to enter Argentina in the future it could be difficult, although I will be entering next time (if any) on a different passport as this one is ruined from the rain in Central America!

    No where yet! Will definitely go back home and buy another bike, most likely another KLR. Its looking like limited time for big rides but if/when I do some decent day trips I'll be sure to put pics up on ADVRider.

    Yup that's the plan, I'm trying to edit down a 1000 word post about everything looking back, that I've been working on for a while!

    See previous answer, probably just day trips in Aus (and lots of cycling exploring which isn't really the right content for this forum).
    SkizzMan likes this.
  17. Arman8

    Arman8 Adventurer

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    Great riding, I`m watching closely, shipping my Vespa from Greece to Vancouver Canada in April to ride to Ushuaia good luck!!!
    clumsy_culhane likes this.
  18. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Grampy

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    Chris, I followed you all the way. Great report, thanks for sharing!
  19. SnipTheDog

    SnipTheDog Been here awhile

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    But another KLR? Ewww.
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  20. roadcapDen

    roadcapDen Ass, Grass or Gas, no free rides.

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    Great stuff, Thanks!

    Guanajuato as favorite city, why? Meet someone there too?...
    clumsy_culhane likes this.