Chilling out-2up-Antarctica2Alaska @Ecuador

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Lostmike, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    Mike
    Rio Gallagos to Ushuaia

    Hola Chicos. I’m typing this from an awesome apartment in Ushuaia we found on Airbnb, but I better go back to where we left off. Rio Gallegos. Apologies for any spelling mistakes I'm TUI (Typing under the influence) We had a pretty uneventful ride until we hit the ferry to Tierra del Fuego. Shortly after we pulled up a super friendly local stopped beside us on a late model Versys 750 kitted out for touring. He’s part of a local biker club based out of Rio Grande. Despite our appalling Spanish and his lack of English we had a great time. He offered to let us stay at his place but we had already booked a hotel that morning. While we were chatting, gesturing, and nodding at each other’s bikes, a few guys from Brazil turned up on a mixed bag on big beemers and a triumph tiger. Turns out they are part of the Argentinian Harley V-Rod club. Who would have known….

    Anyway, once we got to the other side the Beemer/Harley/Triumph group pulled over for photos, and we put the hammer down to make some miles, the weather was less than optimal rain/wind/fog. We were still managing to fang along at a pretty good pace until Marcelo (KLR) started shaking his head and pointing at his fuel tank, turns out he was running on fumes. We had about 100ks left of range so if worst came to worst we could have siphoned some out. Didn’t end up coming to that and we filled up just south of the last border crossing into Argentina. It was pretty bloody cold at this stage and Meg was pretty much frozen on the back. I claimed I wasn’t cold. Obviously. Once we filled up the rain let off and it was throttle pinned all the way to Rio Grande. With fresh concrete road and no markings it felt like we were on a racetrack.

    Once we got to Rio, Marcelo rode with us to our hotel and we said our goodbyes. He gave us a club sticker which I swapped for my last beer. (not a great sacrifice as there was supermarket a few blocks down) We warmed up and decided to go into town for a quiet meal. Unfortunately, we stumbled into a great bar and got extremely hydrated. Luckily at some point we got an sos message out to the hotel and booked another night. Things where extremely grim the next morning. I woke up at 6, turned on all the lights and declared I was fine to ride to Ushuaia. Luckily I was outvoted because by 10am I had sobered up and was about as good as tits on a bull.

    The next day we got a good start and hit the road, and it was awesome, I reckon as good as anything we had seen on the Austral. The low point was getting pulled over and harassed at a checkpoint because the police man manning it (great pun) (who looked about 17) thought we were British and in a mix of Spanish and English and google translate held us up for about half an hour. During the process, he bought up the Falkland war a few times for good measure. We kept smiling and nodding and eventually he decided it was okay for us to carry on…...

    So here we are in Ushuaia, we’ve got a bit of exploring to do before we abandon the bike and get on the ship to Antarctica. Thomas and Sandra are arriving on the 10th and I assume there will be some more updates before we depart to the 7th Continent. If anyone else is down this we would love to catch up for a beer. Salut!

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    #41
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  2. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    Dum de dum
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    #42
  3. flyhi2cfar

    flyhi2cfar Adventurer

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    I'm along for the compass pointing north!
    #43
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  4. KURT LAIN

    KURT LAIN loco

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    good friends routes I'm from Argentina and I'm glad you're enjoying our country.
    Hugs and keep traveling.
    #44
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  5. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    Thanks mate appreciate it, would love to catch up for a ride or a beer or both if possible.
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  6. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    Thanks mate. We go whatever direction our front wheel is pointing. Or sometimes I try and point the front wheel and the bike decides to go in a different direction. And then we fall over.
    #46
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  7. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    Hey Mike, so you two made it. Great. We should be there tomorrow. Found a good tap room allready? Beers (or diet coke) tomorrow?
    Let us know.
    Cheers Thomas
    #47
  8. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    Hey mate great stuff weather looks good for tomorrow as well. We've tried a few places but nothing outstanding so far. Got a good recommendation today from a local. It would be rude not to go and have a look. Safe riding.
    #48
  9. Thomas B.

    Thomas B. desert racer

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    we´ll get in touch as sso as we get there!
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  10. XR Valdeez

    XR Valdeez Been here awhile Supporter

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    Oh no, i see some late morning starts once you 4 get together! :jack :beer

    Glad you made it to Ushuaia! Enjoy!
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  11. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    MIKE
    Ushuaia

    G'day team, we have been based here for the last few days while we are waiting for our Antarctica departure on Tuesday. We've managed to fill in our time though, some great riding to be had on the side roads, we went and explored the national park and did a walk there, when we were leaving the most excited couple in the world from Northern Argentina turned up on a 650 Bmw, they were finishing a three months ride and having the best time of their lives. We had a few champagnes they produced from their top box to celebrate. Their enthusiasm was really infectious and we got pretty pumped as well.

    We also spent a day exploring the Jroad 30ks north that heads out to the coast and a naval station. The conditions weren't great out on the way out. Rain, hail and mud, but the sun came out in the afternoon and we had a great cruise back in the evening. I did manage to get the bike bogged in a swamp and had to push her over and drag her out sideways. A little bit undignified for the big girl. Definitely not the treatment that a lady of refined tastes enjoys. Ushuaia itself is a funny old place, if it wasn't for the cruise we wouldn't have stayed here longer than a few days, but we've found an awesome bbq/empanada/beer joint. Dieguito if anyone wants a cheap awesome meal. The young bloke there was managing a huge grill for the entire place which was packed with locals and the odd tourist. The rest of the staff where super friendly as well and you just purchase which meat you want by weight then choose your sides etc. Outstanding.


    We also met up with Thomas and Sandra as well who made it down, and a Canadian bloke who rode down a few months ago and hasn't left yet. Other than that, we've just been knocking around doing the tourist thing. Had another great night out with an Aussie chick Caz who was staying at our hostel, and I had a very undeserved hangover the next day which I wasn't too happy about. I only drunk 8 pints so the punishment was way out of proportion with the crime. Meg was happy as larry. Anyway, here’s a short video I put together of some of the footage and pics so far. It was made during the hangover so..... Ill chuck some Ushuaia/Antarctica photos up when we get back on the 25th.

    Ciao

    #51
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  12. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    MEG
    3rd February 2019

    Hola chicas!
    So it’s been a while since I posted so apologies – it’s been empanada eating good times since we last checked in!

    Antarctica!
    We completed our 10 day Antarctica cruise on the Ocean Atlantic which was amazing! We saw so many penguins, seals and whales up close – it was totally unforgettable! The boat itself was really impressive, we struggled with the beer prices initially but once we found the 6 beers for $25 we were away! The zodiac rides and the landings we did were incredible, we had lots of snow days while we were there which is apparently unseasonal but made for an incredible sight for us. I have fallen in love with penguins and now have a penguin theme song which Mike is really enjoying… it goes something like this, to the tune of "Wake up little Susie by Simon and Garfunkel." “Wake up little penguin wake up, wake up little penguin wake up, now you’ve had your rest, time to get out of the nest. Wake up little penguin wake up”

    Ushuaia - Rio Grande – Puerto Natales – Tres Lagos – Perito Moreno
    Once we arrived back on dry land in Ushuaia we headed north straight away to Rio Grande. It was a hectic ride with 90-100km winds battering us the whole way. We stop for fuel and get blown off the bike while stationary! I also picked up the Antarctic cough so was feeling a bit ropey but we made it and had a quiet afternoon. We then headed to Puerto Natales and enjoyed pottering around there for a day or so before riding to the national park with huge mountains, flat plains and lots of different colours in the landscape before a lengthy border crossing into Argentina. Once back in Argentina we felt the full brunt of the wind and had a long ride ahead to Tres Lagos. The road between El Calafate and Tres Lagos is very impressive, the really blue water, the yellow grasses and huge cliffs make for an awesome end to a long day of riding. Once we arrive in Tres Lagos we seek beer and meet an Argentinian couple who are riding a fully loaded 250cc bike and look exhausted! Unfortunately we are running low on Argentinian pesos so we end up paying an excessive amount for a tank of fuel in Tres Lagos as we need to use Chilean pesos. (edit by mike $80 AUD)

    We get an early start on the ripio (gravel) road between Tres Lagos and Gobernador Gregores and luckily the tail wind is with us and the sun is shining! Its quite a nice ride today, lots of llama herds, the colour of the very blue lake against the yellowy grass landscape. (Edit by mike. A organised BMW tour got blown off the road and got trailered out on the same days) We hit the panaderia when we get to Governador Gregores which is highly recommended! We keep going to Baja Caracoles and meet a couple on a 650cc BMW and a guy who just bought a second hand dr650 from Bolivia. It’s a tense moment when we realise they have no fuel in Bajo Caracoles and we have 7lts left in the fuel tank and 135kms to go to Perito Moreno. We start riding at 40kms per hour against the full force of a head wind. We stop for a sandwich break on the way and the bike blows over in the wind twice. It is seriously touch and go We meet another friend Daniel from Argentina and we agree en route that either of us will get fuel for the other and go back if the other runs out of fuel. Luckily we make it to Perito Moreno on the smell of petrol fumes and shortly after we are very happy to see Daniel at the fuel station at the end of a very long day!

    Perito Moreno – Puerto Rio Traquilo – Coyhaique - Chaiten – Puerto Montt
    We head out of Argentina, and this hectic wind, and cross the border back into Chile. The road between Chile Chico and Puerto Rio Tranquilo is absolutely stunning – a cliff hugging road, huge mountains, incredibly blue water, limestone covered rocks. It’s spectacular. Once we get to Puerto Rio Tranquilo we meet 3 Chilean bikers who are doing an 8 day ride along the Carretera Austral. Such happy fellows. We do a water taxi tour to the Marble Caves which are incredible. One tiny boat, 1-2 metre waves, 6 people, 2 drivers, a massive blue lake and amazing marble caves.

    Another amazing drive from Puerto Rio Tranquilo to Coyhaique today. Lots of tree tunnels, mountains and waterfalls that we can see from the road. We find ourselves in front and then behind a total kamikaze bus driver who is overtaking on blind corners, driving in the middle of the road, pulling up behind cars so they pull over. This is a driver on a mission! Luckily there are some road works and we pull in front of him. The road between Cerro Castillo and Coyhaique is amazing, lots of hairpin turns, huge views out to lakes and mountains. It’s incredible.

    It’s a rainy day on the bike between Coyhaique and Chaiten. We cross over a huge pass where the clouds come down to the road, it’s slippery and raining and the road is so pot holed it’s hard to find it! Luckily we have an awesome lunch in Puyuhuapi which sets us up for the rest of the ride. We see a organised group ride at La Junta gas station – one guy was hit by another member of the group and now can’t close his pannier! Guess that’s a risk of those tours! We stop along the Carreterra Austral to take in the sights. It will be our last day on the Austral so it’s nice to take a minute to appreciate it. We reach Chaiten and get ready for our ferry ride to Puerto Montt.

    The ferry from Chaiten to Puerto Montt is super easy. We meet Camilo, a Columbian guy riding a postie … He is also riding from Ushuaia to Alaska and it’s nice to have a brief communication with our poor Spanish and lots of gestures. It makes us appreciate our ability to go over 50kms per hour! We have an awesome dinner at Puerto Montt and a great sleep before hitting the road to Santiago. Its 1100km ride on the motorway so a long day. The temperature jumps from 13 degrees Celsius to 37 degrees Celsius so all the thermals are stripped off at the closest gas station before we keep going.

    Santiago
    We had a great day wandering around Santiago today. I find the Museo Cielo Abierto in San Miguel which is a really interesting open air gallery with all these street art murals on buildings. Our uber driver also warned us its a pretty dodgy area and was reluctant to let us out of the car. Luckily he also wished us good luck so we survived... There is a huge food and clothing market on too so there is lots going on. We also find Cerro Saint Lucia and walk to the top for panoramic views of the city before heading to Barrio Italia for beer and cocktails in the beer garden. It’s bike service time tomorrow so hopefully she passes with flying colours! She's getting treated to a set of a new shoes, pads, fluids, and a full check over.

    I promise next time won’t be so long between posts and the photos will come as soon as we download them from the camera! Gracias for reading x
    #52
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  13. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    One teaser. P1200183.jpg
    #53
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  14. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    10/02/19

    Captains Log (Mike)


    Well intrepid readers. Meg left us on a cliff-hanger in Santiago with the bike going in for a service so get ready for the next chapter... That turned out to be a full-blown disaster. I thought I was mentally prepared for the worst. Leaving the bike there even though it was supposedly the best Honda dealership in Santi was like dropping of your kid at school for the first time and listening to it scream as you drive away. They couldn’t service the bike the day we had booked it but assured us it would be completed the next day. I had quite a list of things I wanted doing. Tyres, oil change, clean my uni filters, give the start switch a clean and seal it as it was playing up, repair a small oil weep that has developed from the alternator output bung, replace my RSC clutch mount and lever with the standard one (as it doesn’t quite have enough throw to fully disengage the clutch.) standard fluid check, drain the breathers, and wrap some lagging around my exhaust pipe as has been doing a good job of ruining my bike pants.


    Well I went to pick the bike up at 6pm the evening before we were leaving Santi, and the first thing I noticed was that they had put TKC70’s on it. (I asked for another set of MOTOZ) and that they hadn’t replaced the clutch lever and there was no heat wrap around the exhaust. Ah well at least everything else was done I thought…. But was it? We got charged a huge amount of money and off we went. 10 minutes down the road I cracked open the throttle. And the cable snapped….. At this stage, it was getting dark and we weren’t in the best neighbourhood. I opened up the switch housing to see if I could bodge up a repair to get us home, but the cable had retreated down the sleeve and I couldn’t get at the other end without removing the tank.


    Luckily there was a little motorbike workshop called Johnny Motos that we managed to call, and they arranged a truck and trailer to come and get the stranded bike. We booked a few more nights at our apartment and attempted to buoy our damaged morale with some alcoholic beverages. (well mainly my morale, Meg wasn’t too bad)
    The next day we went to the workshop and stripped the bike. While doing that, I discovered they hadn’t cleaned the air filters either. In fact, the only thing they had done was change the tyres and oil, as well as spray some chain lube on the chain. (which they hadn’t cleaned first and I didn’t need because I have an automatic chain oiler….)
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    While one of the guys at the shop rode around Santiago looking for a throttle cable I wrapped the exhaust, cleaned the air filters, and drunk a few beers. Turns out there where no throttle cables to be had so the workshop owner made one up which so far has been fine but I will replace when I can find one…) I would name and shame the motorbike shop who originally serviced the bike, however they admitted they had stuffed up, incorrectly installed the throttle cable, and hadn’t done the things we had been charged for. They ended up refunding the labour cost and told me that they had fired the mechanic who had worked on the bike.


    So, we were left a bit poorer in time and money, but on the bright side spent a day hanging out with a bunch of fellow bikers and met a crazy Irishman named Desi of Wrong way down fame. He had stopped in on his overheating KTM990 to get some coolant. He was travelling to Mendoza the next day via the Paso los libertores which we were planning to do as well so we arranged to meet up in the morning and hit it together.


    What followed was an awesome days riding, topping out as 13000 feet. Once you get to the top of the seal there is a little dirt road that winds up to the top of the old pass. Desi’s steed got tired and lay down for a sleep while negotiating a particularly steep sandy rutted switchback. Forewarned we got around it and helped lift the bike up. My choice of places to stop wasn’t ideal and when we went to take off the rear slipped off the side of the road and we fell over as well. Desi had disappeared in a cloud of dust and coolant so we were left to pick the bike up ourselves.
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    We eventually made it to the top and had a celebratory beer before continuing east towards Mendoza. Hungry tired and thirsty we stopped for a bite to eat a little shanty on the side of the road. We stopped voluntarily Desi stopped because he had run out of gas haha. While we were there Alejandro a local bloke from Mendoza stopped in. He was riding a nice softail Harley of some breed. He invited us to ride back to Mendoza with him as he knew a few local roads to get there. I’m glad we took him up on it because it was pretty spectacular little diversion.


    By the time we got to the Air bnb we were all pretty buggered so a quick shower and a supplies run for beer wine and bread and cheese. We stayed up fairly late spinning a few yarns. The next morning was tough. Desis clutch had been playing up so we topped up the fluid and bled it. Things weren’t looking very rosy at this stage until I came up with the bright idea of a couple of breakfast beers. The guy at the craft beer place was a bit put out that we weren’t too interested in the history and description of every beer on the menu and it took a while but they eventually appeared. I think they were the key to our survival that day. After breakfast Desi headed back to Valparaiso as he was heading home, and we carried on to Rio Cuatro.
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    Once we got there we only had enough energy to find beer and barbeque before crawling into bed. The next day was a fairly straightforward ride along ruta 8 to Buenos Aires. What was interesting where the amount of modern abandoned factories and shut down towns on the way. Craziness. Some of them had just been locked up with all the vehicles and gear still in the yards.


    We are now in Buenos Aires for a few days, a friend is competing in the world female wakeboarding champs just out of town so will got and hang out up there. I need to find some new luggage straps because the Andy Strapz luggage nets we have aren’t working to well. Also, might have to do a thorough check of the local bars to make sure everything is up to standard. And here a few of the photos as promised. Until next time keep the rubber side down.

    Attached Files:

    #54
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  15. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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    And a few more GOPR0528.jpg IMG_4301.jpg GOPR0407.jpg GOPR0420.jpg
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  16. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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  17. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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  18. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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  19. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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  20. Lostmike

    Lostmike Cruising

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