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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by marcoue, Jul 8, 2016.
Congrats my friend. You wellcome.
Google Maps show (Pampas- Pallasca) Banco de Nacion here -8.194728, -77.895855
Route from Huamachuco to Pallasca on Google Maps shows as 3N to 116 to 115 to 101 to Pampas and 101 on to Pallasca which is back on 3N. Then 3N to Huaraz
Happy holidays to everyone! And thanks again for you moral support!
Day 91 to 98 – Argentina – One Last Country, Lots of Wine and a Well Deserved Pause!
2016-12-11 – Day 91 – Santiago, CL to Lujàn de Cuyo (341 km – 5,5 hrs)
2016-12-12 – Day 92 – Luján de Cuyo, AR
2016-12-13 – Day 93 – Luján de Cuyo, AR à Mendoza, AR (24 km – 1 hrs)
2016-12-14 – Day 94 – Mendoza, AR
2016-12-15 – Day 95 – Mendoza, AR to Uspallata, AR (123 km – 1,5 hrs)
2016-12-16 – Day 96 – Uspallata, AR to Santiago, CL (255 km – 5 hrs)
2016-12-17 – Day 97 – Santiago, CL
2016-12-18 – Day 98 – Santiago, CL to Montréal, CA
After my rear suspension repair, several options were presenting themselves to me. I had the possibility of returning north to visit the places I had missed, having to go as directly as possible to Santiago (Cusco, Bolivia, northern Argentina), but my heart was just not there and going back several thousand of kilometres was not something I was enthusiastically considering.
Also, I could have simply continued my journey towards Patagonia, but I took the decision to return to Montreal for the holidays and take a well deserved break to see my loved ones. So I booked a flight with Air Canada for December 18th.
I am now facing a nice problem. What do I do for the next 10 days ?!
Santiago is a beautiful city, but after a few days it was time to get moving. As I had visited the areas around this city several times in the past, I must admit that my enthusiasm was a bit low. In addition, the living costs in Chile are very high and I did not want to pay hundreds of dollars for hotels to see places I already knew, even if they are superb (Valparaiso, Santa Cruz…).
What do you do when you have an energy drop and lack of motivation? Well, you make a small change… of country!
Argentina, and the beautiful wine region of Mendoza, is only a few hundred kilometres away so why not finish this first half of the trip by crossing the border of the last country I will visit! So I decide to leave for the superb Route 7 on December 11th.
The border crossing is a bit particular and a little different from the previous crossings. Here, the offices of Chile and Argentina are gathered in the same building, which greatly simplifies the procedure. This is very useful because the residents of each country frequently transit between them by car and although the importation is always necessary, it is greatly simplified.
Well, this simplification of the procedure does not mean that it is simple! We are in Latin America after all.
I stop at the first installations I see, park the bike and get enter (good idea, because we are almost at 3000 metres, it is cold and the windy!). I am then told that, in fact, even though the services are under the same roof, there are two border crossings, one in the east, going out of Chile and entering Argentina, and another on west, for exiting Argentina and entering Chile. Why do things simple when it is possible to make them complicated? So I continued a few kilometres east to get to the right place!
It’s not so bad, because the scenery is breathtaking!
Once in the region of Mendoza, I decide to stop about 20 kilometres from the city, in a small campsite where I am warmly welcomed and, since it is a week day, I am offered a cabin with Hot water (good, let’s say lukewarm), fridge and even air conditioning! And all this, for $10.
The many vineyards around the site are very beautiful and I take advantage of these days to do some jogging and wine tasting!
The sommeliers from the superb winery Achaval Ferrer are very intrigued by the big Canadian motorcycle!
Perfect kit for a perfect night in Argentina!
And the motorcycle is secure!
The Mendoza region also offers a serious contrast with Chile for 2 things. First, there are dogs everywhere. It was very difficult to sleep at night and even to run in the morning, because I was constantly stopped not by a dog, but by dozens of animals making it their mission to take turns running after me and barking with all their strength. Quite unpleasant and pathetic.
The other thing, a little less aggressive, but still unpleasant, is the presence of several old vehicles on the road. I met Carlos in order to insure my motorcycle for the next few months, and this chic guy explains that the presence of old cars and trucks is due to the fact that the owner of a vehicle must pay about 1500$/year for the registration fees, and this, for all types and sizes of vehicles. It’s astronomical! However, after 15 years, these charges no longer have to be paid, so people keep their car for very long! It is not uncommon to see very old Renaults or Valiants, with a long trail of smoke behind them.
This bike path made me laugh! Barely wider than a bike! The cyclists must stop when they cross, because the cement is several centimetres higher than the base, and as the track is too narrow, it becomes dangerous!
The rest of General San Martin Park is however large, very beautiful and peaceful.
One of the pleasant things in the centre of Mendoza is the presence of large trees on just about all the boulevards, which allows walking without being cooked by the powerful sun!
After a few days in the region of Mendoza, I slowly return to Santiago to store my bike for the holiday break. I stop in the village of Uspallata (Argentina) where I spend a relatively quiet night in the free municipal campground.
Arriving in Santiago, I spend a night at Hostal Casa Mate, a well-known spot to the motorcycle adventurers community. I took advantage of the workshop available to the visitors to do the maintenance on my motorcycle (engine oil, transmission and final drive, as well as the replacement of the spark plugs and air filter). The bike is ready for its next mission, which is to take me to Patagonia!
Quiet evening with road veterans who obviously had good stories to tell!
On December 18th, I leave my motorcycle at Hernan’s, the owner of the condo that I rented for several days in the centre of Santiago. What kindness to have offered me to take care of La Gorda for a few weeks.
It is with a little pinch of the heart that I leave her behind, but with enthusiasm that I fly to Montreal to join my girlfriend, family and friends!
Happy holidays to everyone! I thank you for your cheering words during the last months and we’ll meet again in January as the task before me is not small! Patagonia is waiting for me with a firm hand with its hundreds of kilometres of gravel roads, sometimes in very bad condition, difficult weather, its navigation challenges, high winds, but also, I hope, it’s incredible landscapes and other nice encounters!
Until then, even if the south offers incredible weather, there is nothing like a beautiful white Christmas in Montreal!
I've enjoyed this ride report immensely so far - looking forward to Part II. Thank you for the excellent narrative and great pics!
Thanks Dan! I really appreciate it! I'm also looking forward to the second run. The break proves to be helpful to plan my route into Patagonia and maybe, back north! I'm looking forward to riding again!
Bonjour mon ami de Montréal! Well, I'm living in California for the past year now, but came from Montréal. It took me awhile but I was finally able to catch up on your adventures! They have been fantastic. Thanks for sharing and all the great photos.
I've also been dreaming of this trip for over 10 years as well - I tried to make it back in 2005 but only ended up doing 5 weeks through Mexico (from Montréal). I just didn't have the financial capabilities at the time - and now that I do I just don't have the time! ;-) But my turn will come soon enough! I also ride a R1200GSA which I just bought now that I'm in California and riding some fantastic roads.
Glad to see you were able to get back home for the holidays. I didn't go this year or I'd be offering you a beer in person right now. But possibly some visit in the future! For now, I look forward to reading more of your journey. My wife is from Argentina (and was looking over my shoulder during the Mendoza parts in particular - she hopes you enjoyed the wine!) so let me know if you want any advise or suggestions. She comes from Cordoba. We've been all over Argentina though and may have some insight for you. Let me know if you're passing through Cordoba, Carlos Paz, or those regions!
I can't believe you read the whole thing?! Ending up in Mexico isn't that bad! And being in California now with the new GSA must be a blast! No excuses now, you must take the final step and go all the way south! As you can imagine, I'm really looking forward to continuing my adventure. The break is a good thing and I'm taking advantage of it to rest and prepare the final leg to Patagonia, and maybe ever more!
I've been to Argentina many times in the past, and although I have a bit of an idea of what to expect from Buenos Aires, Mendoza, Cordoba and some places around Salta, I'm alway open to suggestions!
I promise to post many pictures of Patagonia for your girlfriend! My plan is to make my way south mostly in Chile, but I might explore Northern Argentina afterwards, as I misted most of it because of a my broken suspension, which forced me to go strait to Santiago. So I'll definitely try to make a stop in Cordoba!
Looking forward to hearing the next adventures in Patagonia! When are you heading back down? Also I'm a bit curious to know if you had any special complications leaving Chile with your motorcycle parked there - did you have issues exiting without the vehicle being exported?
To be honest there's not much in Cordoba city itself (where my wife is from). It's a fairly large, messy, crazy, hot city (I think they're seeing temperatures of 40C right now). But the surrounding country is beautiful! If you do happen to stay in Cordoba for whatever reason, let me know and I'll see about getting you sorted out with free accommodations!
This whole area is really nice to drive around. They're all close together. Very scenic, nice roads. A favorite vacation spot for the locals
Carlos Paz (Dakar passes through it in a couple of days from now)
Villa General Belgrano (very German!)
Also La Cumbrecita
Villa el Dique (if you stay here my wife's family has a beautiful campground on the lake - so we can let them know you're coming!
Otherwise.. Buenos Aires is a trip all on its own, and I'd imagine you've probably already been? If not let me know and I'll give you some tips. Iguazu Falls is also quite spectacular if you end up going that way.
And yes, I read all your postings ;-)
No complications leaving Chile at all... I wasn't asked about the bike nor mentioned it.
I'm planned to start my way south on the 15th of January. I'm still waiting for the front suspension to arrive (I would really like to change it before this leg of the trip).
I've been to Cordoba a few years ago. Indeed a big city. I will definitely contact you when I get to this area but I don't think it'll be before the end of February or even March. You should post the campground Google Maps link here to help out other fellow riders!
Merci encore une fois!
Here's the campground. It doesn't appear to be on Google Maps but it's right next to Club Ime
Give me a heads up a couple weeks in advance if you end up wanting to go - summer time things can get booked up
Thanks, I'll keep you posted!
I am in!! I am half way, but all this is the 2nd rr I read today and your is special!!
Thanks for sharing!!
Great to have you on board!
Enjoying your writing style and pictures. You should be moving South as of yesterday right?
Hi! YESSSSSS, I'm back on the bike. I arrived in Santiago a few days ago and FINALLY was able to start my way south! I'm working on my next blog entry as we speak!
Day 99 and 100 – Chile – Back to South America!
2017-01-16 – Day 99 – Montréal, CA to Santiago, CL
2017-01-16 – Day 100 – Santiago, CL
I am back in Santiago, Chile, after a well deserved but a bit too long break.
It was nice to spend time with my girlfriend, my mother and my friends, but I realize, while sitting on a terrace in front of a nice cold beer, that I must now make an effort to get back into the dynamics of my trip and adventure.
I feel completely disconnected and as though I was imprisoned for 6 weeks in this city.
I got used to the luxury and to the easiness of life in Canada, and even, to a certain degree, also to the easiness of life in Santiago, in spite of the high cost of living.
I made the decision to have my front suspension replaced as well. Carlos of motoring.cl offered to do the work on January 16th, because he had holidays planned and it was necessary to import the part from Germany.
I therefore recovered my motorbike from Hernan (thank you, Hernan and Rudolf) in the morning in order to cross the city and drop it into the right hands of my mechanic. What happiness it was to get reunited with La Gorda and, even if it was only for just a few kilometres, to drive it.
While waiting, I, of course, walked a lot, but I felt as though I was going in a circle, without really having any interest in the place.
I was nevertheless took time to deepen my affection for streets located around the intersection of Santa Isabel and Condel streets (https://goo.gl/maps/jaACviiZnMo) where a multitude of small bars, restaurants and boutiques with a district ambience are found. Several streets are have cycle paths and nice trees creating an atmosphere relatively quiet in such a colossal city.
These streets are both in the Providencia and Ñuñoa neighborhoods. Few tourists come here and I strongly recommend taking the time to discover this small hidden treasure.
My last night in Santiago was spent in nice company with Carlos and Ricardo, two gentlemen then met to San Pedro de Atacama more than 10 years ago! We always kept in touch and I am very pleased about it, because the time spent in their company always allows me to understand things better, with a local perspective. It is sometimes surprising to realize to what extent one knows nothing about a place which they think they know! Thanks to my buddies for the great insights!
My initial plan was to grab my motorcycle at the end of the day on January 16th in order to leave 17 early and try to get to Pucón, located 10 hours south of Santiago, but the mechanic still had not finished his work, therefore I left Santiago early in the afternoon.
It is difficult for me to describe the liberating feeling that I had to setup my luggage on the motorbike, to get going on highway 5 and finally to begin my journey southward.
In spite of all the affection I have for Santiago, I simply had enough of this big city which was starting to change all the dynamics of my trip.
My suspension issues really changed my calendar. I should, in theory, have ended my trip in Patagonia by now!
But there is a good side to it all.
I’m now filled with a new energy.
Also, the change of the front chock was made in a preventive way, but finally, by taking the part off, we saw that there was a bit of an oil leak.
Therefore it is very probable that if I had not undertaken the work in Santiago, I would have had serious problems in Patagonia.
The time spent in Canada also allowed me to reflect on my trip and I realized how fast I was! I am therefore going to try, for the next few weeks, to take my time a little more and to visit the most places possible.
Besides, I bought my flight back home for March 29th. I therefore have more than 10 weeks of freedom and of adventure left.
So, it is with a renewed energy and a motorbike in perfect condition that I attack the last portion of my trip, the mystic Patagonia which I have wanted to visit for more than 10 years!
Very exciting! Happy to see you're back on 2 wheels. And besides, someone has to keep us entertained from our couches ;-) (definitely appreciate reading your journeys!)
Out of curiosity, where do you plan to fly out from? (March 29th) Did you book your bike on the same flight?
I'm flying back from Buenos Aires.
The bike will be on a different flight. I'm getting help from Dakar Motos for the shipping. Basically, the bike will fly to Montreal around this date on the first available flight! I do hope it leaves before I do.
Welcome back! Been following your adventure from the beginning
Yes, I too have been onboard since the start. Marcoue, glad you enjoyed your holidays and are back on the road! Good luck and safe travels!
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