Big O's little trip...

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Umarth, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Umarth

    Umarth Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    435
    Location:
    MTL
    i admit that taking pics of the bike kind of got boring after a while. But every once in a while, a good shot come in...

    Whats next? I'm thinking home for a year. Then Africa. But the next leg will probably more limited to six months. I've come to the conclusion that, for me, six months is where picking my shit up every morning and heading out again starts to weight on me.
  2. theycallmetrinity

    theycallmetrinity Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    96
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Super RR, your picture are amazing and I'm sure this is the first time you hear this :D

    Your post making me start to like KTM now :evil Your bike looks badass!!

    Keep up posting the rest of us procrastinators live through your adventures :)
  3. Umarth

    Umarth Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    435
    Location:
    MTL
    What? A non-orange blooded person is reading my RR!!!! Heresy!!!

    Glad you enjoy.

    Cheers
    -J
  4. masterchiller50

    masterchiller50 n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Delft, Netherlands (Normally Southwest Germany:) )
    Well thank you for the link! I think there are too many of your pictures that I like. But you could try to sell some of them to Microsoft when windows 9 comes out :D

    greets
  5. Umarth

    Umarth Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    435
    Location:
    MTL
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    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/Maps/i-tnjP4gG/0/L/route%20-%20the%20end-L.png" /></div>

    <strong>Days: 301</strong>

    Well, that's done! Checked off Ushuaia from the bucket list. Now comes the hard part. Again. Figuring out what's next?

    This life of unending travels sure is hard! So many decisions to make! Every day comes with its&nbsp;lot of: stay or&nbsp;go? What wonder to mark as&nbsp;the next destination? Sleep-in&nbsp;or go on that mesmerizing hike with chicks you met the night before? I tell you, it's not for the faint of heart! If only the chicks were not just imaginary, things would be&nbsp;a tad bit easier...

    But today, for once, the decision was quite easy to make: no way to go but up from here... North that is. Ushuaia is NOT a place I care to stay in longer than bare necessity dictates.

    Packing and&nbsp;then storming out of dodge,&nbsp;we had no idea of&nbsp;the route to take and figured it would be a series of coin tosses from here on out until we reached Buenos Aires.

    Yes, yes, you read it right: Buenos Aires as in the capital of Argentina. Why,&nbsp;you ask? Me that&nbsp;loathes large cities?&nbsp;Quite elementary my dearest Watsons: me requires a visa to enter Brazil! And B.A. is the simplest way to get one...

    And yes,&nbsp;Brazil it will be. Finally decided to hit that famed plot of land with the beautiful girls and acrobatic dudes brimming with <em>malandragem</em>. More specifically, the plan was to&nbsp;head, with as little fuss and as straight a line as possible,&nbsp;to the city of Salvador&nbsp;de Bahia. Capital of my obsession (even though I have not practiced in 14 years): Capoeira!

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    With that settled, Big O and I slowly headed out of Ushuaia - The Tourist Trap.

    The way out of Terra del Fuego proved to be miserably cold and wet with a good dose of snow. Thank god it was summer down here!

    Half way out of T. del F., we wanted to hit a road that crosses back west to a tiny little village that I had heard rumored to be inhabited by&nbsp;very hospitable people.&nbsp;Unfortunately by the time we got to the&nbsp;turn off, I was so damn cold that adding an other&nbsp;four hours of freezing made my good sense prevail and kept on riding,&nbsp;thus heading&nbsp;to Rio Grande, which&nbsp;we had visited&nbsp;on our way&nbsp;down.

    The decision proved to be a very&nbsp;poor&nbsp;one as I would learn a few days latter.&nbsp;Had we persisted in crossing Terra del Fuego to Porvenir, we would&nbsp;have come within throwing distance of the largest penguin colony on the continent! And... The access is <em>not</em> controlled so you can literally walk up to them and&nbsp;be as close as you care to be!&nbsp;Hell you can stuff one or three of the buggers&nbsp;in your suitcase if that's the king of thing you do and no one will be the wiser. Would have been photo bliss for sure. But none of that happened. Yes, I blame my girly side for that one! Too cold, too cold! Who gives a shit if it's cold! I'm taking notes for next time I skip something due to physical discomfort...

    Out of T. del F., flipped a coin on going up the east coast or going back up the dreaded Routa 40. RN-40 won that coin toss. (What can I say, I'm not a coast type of dude. I may&nbsp;have newly acquired&nbsp;surfer hair but I have yet to&nbsp;grow the tics.) And who says routa RN-40 says El Calafate of course. That would be my 4th stay there. The staff at the campground in town now greet me by name and laugh at my yoyo way of traveling.

    As luck would have it, two riders that we had met back in Valparaiso were in town and we got together for an attempt at replicating an Argentinian BBQ. Will&nbsp;need to keep practicing on that one, but was nice talking in a language than I'm fluent in. They were the one's who told me about the penguin colony that I missed because of the cold. They also reminded me of a nice campground, that another traveler had told me&nbsp;about months back,&nbsp;not far that&nbsp;is right next&nbsp;to a nice trail hike overlooking the Perito Moreno glacier. Shit, couldn't pass that up now could I?

    Got there the next day if&nbsp;a bit late for the hike, so just walked over to the lake with a bottle in one hand and my guitar in the other.

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-pj3ZJtW/0/XL/_FX07285-XL.jpg" />

    Next morning, got up unconscionably early, 8am, and went for that hike. Really nice hike if&nbsp;a steep mother!

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    The higher you go, the less signs of life there are. Until nothing is left or so I was thinking. That's when the Intrepid Grasshopper showed up to make sure I did not trespass and stayed on the trail! Steely eyed bastard...

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-q84ch2c/0/XL/_FX07311-XL.jpg" />

    Reaching&nbsp;the top, you are greeted by a gale force wind&nbsp;who cares for nothing but its all consuming desire to see you tumble all the way back down. But this valiant adventurer&nbsp;was not to be thwarted! Pictures I wanted&nbsp;and pictures I would take.

    &nbsp;Jesus I need a hair cut!!

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-smKVPHS/0/XL/_FX07324-XL.jpg" />

    No idea why, but I really like the next picture. This being MY blog, I don't need no ones&nbsp;permission to put it up so I am!

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-t5TQG4z/0/XL/_FX07334-XL.jpg" />

    Left the next day, using roads that where quite familiar to us by now. Stopped again in Baja Caracoles. Tiny shit whole of a "town" of 10 buildings with a thief of a restaurant/hotel/gas station. And again set up tent in the backyard of it. This was my view from the tent as the sun was setting.

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-6vDBFN3/0/XL/_FX07349-XL.jpg" />

    Reading the Lonely Planet I discovered that there was an archeological site quite near here: Cuevas del Manos, or caves of hands. It's a place where ancient tribes use to paint there hands on rock surfaces. Some of them date back 13000 years. It's astounding to see how incredibly well preserved they are after all that time. Kind of makes you wonder what will be left us in 13000 years. A few scattered parts of Big O, here and there?

    While packing to go see the caves, Big O had a visitor come by and shoot the shit for a bit. He really must learn to keep better company...

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-94sBJLG/0/XL/IMG_0359-XL.jpg" />

    The caves then. Here we have the entrance to the area with the hand paintings.

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-HTtk6X8/0/XL/_FX07372-XL.jpg" />

    And the hands themselves.

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    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-nB9P937/0/XL/_FX07413-XL.jpg" />

    At times, they give the impression that they are the hands of the damned trying to claw their way out of hell.

    Patagonia being sparsely populated and the caves being a bit out of the way, plus having taken a wrong turn at Albuquerque, Big O needed gas before heading out for the next town. So coming back from the caves I did a quick refill at that highway robber of Baja Caracoles gas man. BIG BIG mistake! I had filled up also before heading out on the trail to the caves. It would appear that I was given a very bad batch of 'premium' gas. So much so that ever since, Big O's been experiencing indigestion better know as 'Knocking'. And getting worse with every day that passed. For those of you who don't know it: knocking is about the worst thing that can happen to an engine. It's on&nbsp;par with running with no oil. Severe knocking can destroy an engine in minutes.

    In the days that followed, I tried quite a few things to keep the knocking under control and was met with some measure of success but never managed to fix it. Even did a full carb rebuild on the side of the highway one day, as I just couldn't take it anymore!

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-XXtFRgb/0/XL/_FX07512-XL.jpg" />

    That improved things a bit but the problem remained. Maybe the trouble is routed deep in Big O's brain?

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-77Bh7Bm/0/XL/IMG_0367-XL.jpg" />

    From Caracoles, we headed up to the town of Perito Moreno and then on to Rio Mayo and Sarmiento. Had read that there was a Petrified Forest near there. Cool place to do an oil change... hehehe

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-gzvFqBg/0/XL/_FX07461-XL.jpg" />

    Was more interested in the patterns of eroded soil than of&nbsp;old stumps...

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-mvnxqWp/0/XL/_FX07453-XL.jpg" />

    That done, we headed to the coast to see anüother penguin colony. This one being located on some peninsula whose name I forgot before even getting there. The ride being uneventful, the highlight being trying to catch a half decent picture of my shadow while riding.

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-LWmbmVB/0/XL/IMG_0364-XL.jpg" />

    The small peninsula has a tiny tourist town called Pyramids that has the only campground within 200km. The penguin colony turned out to be VERY limited. As in 100? Still, got my picture, so all's good!

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-gtKwdmx/0/XL/_DX07481-XL.jpg" />

    Then it was la Capital Federal de Buenos Aires!

    In the past few months, I've been asked quite a few times what I considered being the bare minimum to bring on such a trip. I summarized in this one picture:

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-nHQdmMw/0/XL/_FX07509-XL.jpg" />

    Whaaaaat?? hehehe

    Spent about 10 days in Buenos Aires, waiting for the Brazilian visa to come in. Such a horrible thing, being trapped in a city chuck full of <i><b>gorgeous women</b></i>, fine dining and interesting city scapes! Life is just not worth living sometimes. But this was not one of those times!

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-3NNZMNR/0/XL/_FX07673-XL.jpg" />

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-QdgNQpP/0/XL/_DX07583-XL.jpg" />

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-n4Jq8pZ/0/XL/_FX07636-XL.jpg" />
    That bottle is a full liter by the way...

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-CbcvD3X/0/XL/_FX07522-XL.jpg" />

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    Some areas can be more adventurous than others, as this car can attest to.

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-QR42cnD/0/XL/_FX07634-XL.jpg" />

    Visa finally came so we left Buenos Aires and headed to the northern most tip of Argentina, the district of La Mission. As you go north, you feel the climate change with every mile. From nice temperate and dry to horribly humid. The goal was to hit Iguazu falls, take some pictures and then cross into Brazil and head on to Salvador de Bahía. Which is pretty much what happened except for one minor incident.

    I had just veered off the main road onto a dirt road. The dirt road was hard packed sand and very easy riding if quite bumpy. So easy that I was going 70ish kmph and having a ball when the past caught up with me and Big O: the front wheel locked up and we crashed hard! Stunned, took a moment to just breath and wait to see if&nbsp;any parts of me would start screaming at me to pop one of those morphine pills I'd taken along for extreme situations. Happily, aside from a bloody nose, a sore chest and knee all seemed ok. Big O had suddenly acquired quite a bit of character!

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-9j6K7TN/0/XL/_FX07697-XL.jpg" />

    Karma was thrown clear.

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-dkwpHNP/0/XL/_FX07699-XL.jpg" />

    What happened was a direct consequence of an other situation that occurred about a month past, back in Patagonia. Some of you may remember that I lost the front fender while riding through wet clay and that I had to jerry rig a way for the brake line to stay away from the wheel and it's knobs. Here's a picture to refresh your memories:

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-ndNCCWm/0/XL/IMG_0342-XL.jpg" />

    Would seem that todays bumpy road was too bumpy and the break line did catch on a knob! That'll teach me put it off and not fix Big O properly!

    Anyways, got back on the saddle and promptly retreated back to the highway. Had some 300km to do still to get to the falls. At first, all was good if a bit stiff but an hour into the ride I was hurting something fierce. Rolling into Iguazu falls, I opted on a rather expensive hotel. The reasoning being that the bed would probably be better to rest my old carcass on.

    Following morning I woke to more pain than I was expecting and started to think that something might not be right with my ribs so I went to the local hospital. Doc quickly concluded that I had one or two cracked ribs and should be good in three to six weeks. Shit! Capoeira is going down the crapper fast at this point...

    Ended up staying 5 days there. On the fifth, I when touristing at the falls. For you older people who remember the movie "The Mission", when the dude jumps of the falls, this is the place.

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-JK9Vg93/0/XL/_FX07740-XL.jpg" />

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-nwjQhdv/0/XL/_FX07734-XL.jpg" />

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    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-Qd8BQp6/0/XL/_FX07798-XL.jpg" />

    Not wanting to give uo yet on the Capoeira thing, I then left for Brazil the next day. But this was not going to pan out. I only stayed 3 days in Brazil! The first day, I stopped: hurting like a girl after a cat fight. Big O was also making some ugly sounds the warmer it got. Ended up turning around for two main reasons: it was obvious that I would not be able to do Capoeira any time soon and there was no way i hell that I was gona staying Brazil for something like three month and <em>not</em> play that game. And, Big O's engine trouble was making me less than happy. In a Spanish speaking country, wouldn't&nbsp;have been so bad. But Portuguese? If Big O went and gave up the ghost in Brazil, just getting back to a town would be quite a challenge due to the language barrier.

    With those two considerations in mind, I decided to back track to Buenos Aires, ship both&nbsp;Big O and me back home, heal&nbsp;both of us and&nbsp;next year come back to Brazil. Cause, I have to admit, the little that I saw of Brazil fully confirmed me in my desire to visit this country!

    And that's how I ended up staying no more than three days in Brazil!

    On my way back to Buenos Aires I got my first traffic violation ticket ever! I might have been able to get out of it, but I was just to tired and still had hours of riding to do that day. When the<em> nice</em>&nbsp;policeman gave me the ticket, he indicated that I was getting a 25% rebate. At the time, I had no idea what the 25% was all about. Later that day, once at the hotel, I took a second look at the ticket and saw the note at the bottom in which basically said: if you do not contest the ticket, you get a 25% rebate!!!

    The other reason for going back to B.A. was that I knew of a&nbsp;company that would ship my bike home by plane: DakarMotos. Very nice&nbsp;people and cheep two.&nbsp;They basically setup up everything for you, all you need to do is go to the airport, drop the bike off then down town to pay the shipping company and that's it.

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-wCVTC37/0/XL/_FX07811-XL.jpg" />

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-ZxKRwGJ/0/XL/_FX07816-XL.jpg" />

    Only hick up was getting the damn ATM's to spew the cash fast enough!

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-MZWxTrp/0/XL/_FX07819-XL.jpg" />

    And that was it! Cheers Latin America! You've been a dream!

    <img src="https://gnarlyrides.smugmug.com/Travel/BigOTripping/i-sTW893c/0/XL/_FX07827-XL.jpg" />

    <b>Big O's take on the days events</b>

    Well, will you look at this! When Morron first purchased me, he was convinced the I would let him down and explode mid-trip. And yet, here we are, flying back home because He is hurt! There is irony here!

    As for me, so I have a little caught! Big deal! It's been&nbsp;over 3000km now,&nbsp;if I was going to die, I would have done it already...

    <strong>LONG LIVE KTM! WE TAKE A LICKING BUT KEEP ON TICKING!</strong>
  6. mopulga

    mopulga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Absolute Amazement.

    Thank you for taking us along. I have been subscribed since early and plan to review the posts I missed (I am leaving in August to start SA ride from Colombia.)

    Cheers to you sir.

    i
  7. Paratrout

    Paratrout Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2012
    Oddometer:
    227
    Location:
    Cackilackistan, Concord Oblast
    Thanks for the great story. Did you ever figure out what Big Os problem was?
  8. theycallmetrinity

    theycallmetrinity Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    Oddometer:
    96
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Damn I feel sad you stopped your adventure. Hope you and Big O is ok. Let us know whats next. I'm curious what people do after an adventure like this.
  9. Umarth

    Umarth Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    435
    Location:
    MTL
    Your gonna Love S.A.!
    One tip: if your Spanish not up to par, get to it BEFORE you leave! Will the whole exp. That much better!

    Best of luck!
    -J
  10. mopulga

    mopulga Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    450
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks! I was born in Ecuador and my spanish, albeit of a 14 year old, is pretty good. A few weeks hearing the tongue and I will be a loco local. So I hope....

    So looking forward. I saw your favorite country was Peru best I remember. The pictures looked fantastic. Epic places in Colombia?

    I was looking at Mompox and Barichara today. What places! Granted the article was from 2 years ago and in latin america, things change fast so it might be a mecca for tourists now (dislike.)
  11. Umarth

    Umarth Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    435
    Location:
    MTL
    big o is now in little pieces in my 'workshop'. The must obvious culprit, cracked rings and/or piston, has been dismissed as they are in excellent shape. Because of that, i've decided to tear the bike completely down and do a systematic check of each component and will replace anything that's not quite to my licking. And, while I'm in there, will change absolutely every bearing in the engine.

    This all means that Big O is getting the summer off...

    But i'll let you in on a little secret: our family has recently grown with the addition of a new member. This one is 'Igor', Big O's retarded cousin:

    [​IMG]
  12. Umarth

    Umarth Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 16, 2011
    Oddometer:
    435
    Location:
    MTL
    No need to be concerned, thank fully. My shoulder is still [email protected] but the rest is good now. And the trip, it's only postponed not ended. You can count on that!

    Will probably be hitting Brazil next year. Don't know yet if i'll keep it at that or cross over to south africa from there. We'll see in 12ish months.

    As for what's become of my life since the return? Aside from some subtle be very far reaching attitude changes of before vs after the trip: back to work, wrenching on bikes, chasing skirts. You no, wasting my time in trivial pursuits like everyone else on this mud ball! :tb
  13. masterchiller50

    masterchiller50 n00b

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2014
    Oddometer:
    4
    Location:
    Delft, Netherlands (Normally Southwest Germany:) )
    Man Jason,
    I have to admit, epic adventure! Its nice though to know that your back home;) I was already wondering what happened to you in the mean time! Hopefully also Big O gets better soon:)
    At least Riley has to put on some videos riding with you not being the guy with "a few weeks of riding experience" anymore :p That means, if Riley does that in the upcoming time, he has been very slow in updating new material in the recent time...
    I am looking forward to hear from you again riding, it has been very nice to read your posts and took me also away in my mind :)
    big THX for it! :)

    greets

    Karl
  14. Xindusun

    Xindusun n00b

    Joined:
    May 1, 2016
    Oddometer:
    5
    Location:
    Sultanate of Oman, Muscat
    Epic Adventure :clap
    Keep it up