Corporate Runaways - Boston to Ushuaia on 2 BMW F650GSs

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Dachary, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. outactrl

    outactrl Been here awhile

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    Just wanted to point out something that I have noticed the last couple of days. Have seen several posts here about the RR from people that have never posted before. I think that fact their first post was to comment on your journey says a lot and you guys should be so proud of what you have accompolished and how you have touched other people. You guys are living the dream! As others have said, keep it coming. Safe travels as you finish this thing up.
  2. trackpete

    trackpete Adventurer

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    Wicked "finish," Dachary and Kay. It's definitely been interesting and cool to see every part of your journey, the good and bad. I am impressed at how fast the southern part of the trip went, though I understand you were pressing for speed. I'm a bit jealous since I know I won't be able to go that fast (pesky 9hp doesn't quite get 'er done).

    I have the same issues with South American breakfasts - I don't understand how they function as a society eating crappy bread and jam for the most important meal of the day (somehow it seems to work though). I very much appreciate the heads up about dinner in Argentina, interesting tidbit of info to have. I'm also very excited to see how crazy cold it is down there in April/May, everything I've heard indicates it doesn't usually get much below freezing, but that's part of the fun - nothing like jumping off a bike to run up and down a road every twenty minutes to make you wonder wtf you are doing.

    Yes. In fact, the Indian hotel breakfast buffets are typically the best meal of the day, though you can end up eating way too much spicy food and regret it a few hours down the road...

    I hope next time you won't be so pressed for time (or money). I think it added an interesting reality-show style dynamic but 98 days is a long time to maintain that type of pressure.
  3. masukomi

    masukomi Been here awhile

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    We weren't going anywhere today. That was the plan at least.

    And, we did a pretty good job of sticking to it. There was talk of taking a taxi to the chairlift, and the chairlift to the "glacier"… but then we learned that it was kinda lame, as glaciers go, and there was like one to two miles of walking after tho top of the chairlift and Dachary was still hurting, so we nixed that idea. Plus, we're going to Perito Moreno Glacier, which is definitely not lame, as glaciers go.

    I wandered about town looking for a different restaurant for lunchtime sandwiches but no… choices were pretty limited in our part of town. So, I grabbed a Hamburgesa Estilo Club and Lomito Classico at Azul (where I'd gotten the pizza last night), brought them back and discovered they were, quite possibly, the best sandwiches we'd had the entire trip. Definitely the best hamburger I thought, and Dachary loved her Lomito Classico.

    There was discussion of maybe seeing penguins, but that takes all day, has to be booked one to two days in advance, and costs like $60 US per person to get on the boat, and that's two nights in a hotel here in southern Argentina and we've only got a smidge of money left. So we nixed that idea. Plus there's a chance for penguins on the way to Buenos Aires where you can drive to a parking lot on the beach with penguins right there… except they leave mid March so we may be too late…

    Which left us with a comfy bed, time, and each other. Alas, such hardship. ;)

    We read, we watched Torchwood and Top Gear. We were going to go out to dinner when Dachary remembered the work she needed to do for a client, so I went out and procured seconds of our delicious sandwiches, and we enjoyed them just as much even if the fries were lamer this time.

    It was good. Just chilling for a day. Enjoying the down time.

    Dachary's note: I really wanted a day off, and while I feel kinda lame for not wandering around Ushuaia more, it was a good day off. We haven't had a day off since our bikes were getting serviced in Santiago, and we've been pushing hard since then. So I don't mind too much that we were more-or-less vegetables yesterday… I'm sure our bodies needed the rest, which is evidenced by the fact that we slept in till almost 9am and were still drop-dead-tired by 10pm. I think we're going to be catching up on a lot of sleep when we get home. Or maybe while sitting around in Buenos Aires waiting for our plane.
  4. Dachary

    Dachary Been here awhile

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    We actually managed to get up, get some work done, have breakfast and still beat check-out time, which was a bit of a miracle since my panniers were torn apart… Kay had gone looking yesterday for a fuzzy for his Cardo microphone and that resulted in dismantling my panniers. They always take too long to put back together when we have to dig deep down for something.

    Got out just after 10AM, and we were sweating as we bundled up. This is one of the most annoying things about wearing all of these layers. When you're getting ready, you overheat in zero seconds flat… but we've both been riding in cold enough at this point to know that we'd need the layers, so the key is to get moving as quickly as possible. And sure enough, once we hit the road, I turned my electrics up.

    Rain was in the forecast today, and I remembered to put my feet in plastic bags before I put them in the boots… but I didn't realize until I'd already locked up my panniers that the plastic bags had holes in them. I have more bags in my panniers, but I didn't want to deal with unlocking them and taking stuff apart so I could find them, so I decided to deal with the holes. They were small holes, and I hoped that maybe the rain would be minor enough that it wouldn't matter too much.

    Hit an ATM on the way out for some more cash to tide us over on the road, and then off… north. It was strange to be heading north. I realized as we rode up to the police checkpoint on the edge of Ushuaia that we couldn't tell police we're going to Ushuaia anymore… the thing that has been our goal for 100 days is a place we've *been* now. Now the goal is Buenos Aires, which isn't anyplace either of us cares to go… but it's how we're getting home. And we're both excited to be going home at this point, so we're excited for that… but Buenos Aires itself, sadly, is just another city, and I think we'd both prefer to avoid it if we could.

    But I was looking forward to the glacier, and hoping we could spot some penguins at the penguin beach, so it's not all a slog back to a big city we don't care about. There's still some fun stuff along the way.

    So leaving Ushuaia saw us in an odd mood. By the time we'd left, the clouds had cleared a bit and we could see more than we've been able to see since getting here. We could see mountains on the other side of the water south of Ushuaia, and we could see the mountains to the north of Ushuaia quite clearly. They were beautiful. Riding along toward the mountain pass was lovely. Some of the mountains were snow-capped, and the lingering cloud cover made the whole scene more dramatic.

    The breathtaking scenery down here was a most pleasant surprise at the end of our road… much of the area of Patagonia north of Ushuaia is just flat plains with the occasional hill… beautiful in their own wide-open way, but we were simply not expecting the alpine landscape and beautiful snow-capped mountains that awaited us at the end of the road. So we were happy we were able to see more of it as we left Ushuaia.

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    Routa 3 near Ushuaia

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    Routa 3 near Ushuaia

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    Routa 3 near Ushuaia

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    Routa 3 near Ushuaia

    We enjoyed the scenery right up to the very mountain pass itself… and then we rode into a cloud so dense we could barely see 100 feet ahead of us. We've ridden into dense cloud cover many times now on this journey, but this time it was literally as sudden as riding around a corner and being confronted with a wall of cloud, completely unexpected. It was kind of surreal. And in just a kilometer or two, we rode out again, and could see more beautiful scenery under the cloud cover on the far side of the pass.

    We did run into a little rain at one point, but it was barely enough to qualify as rain… just enough to make us damp, but not enough to make us totally wet. It only lasted for a minute or two, although there was pervasive drizzle for a decent amount of the route.

    Stopped at Tolhuin for gas, and pondered the plan for the day. Riding to Rio Grande was going to be a *really* short day, but 80km north of Rio Grande there's the border crossing into Chile, 100km of dirt, some more pavement, a ferry, more pavement, the border crossing back into Argentina and more pavement before Rio Gallegos. Probably a total of something like 260km of pavement, 100km of dirt, two border crossings and a ferry crossing.

    Alone, any of these things would have been fairly trivial. But together, it potentially adds up to too much time (especially since the road was still wet, so we don't know what condition the dirt will be in) for us to get to Rio Gallegos before dark. Neither of us wants to ride in this region after dark because there are so many llama-deer (many dead on the side of the road, and packs of them hanging out near the road) and it's too dangerous. And I think, for the moment, we're still too far south to camp comfortably with our gear (the temperatures are too cold). So we agreed to ponder it when we arrived at Rio Grande, but I think we both realized we wouldn't be able to do the leg from Rio Grande to Rio Gallegos today.

    It was around 1pm when we rolled into Rio Grande, and the last 100km from Tolhuin had been a bit windy. My boots were soaked from the wet roads, and we were both a bit chilly. As always, the first order of business was to find gas. We've heard from two other sets of riders who have been here recently that Rio Grande has been out of gas, so we wanted to make sure there was enough gas for us to go on. There was, so then it was the question of how far we could make it today, or what to do next.

    After discussing our options, neither of us wanted to take a chance with the next leg today. So it was into the gas station for lunch (since none of the restaurants are ever open at this hour) which was, unsurprisingly, more ham and cheese sandwiches and chips. And while neither of us had been particularly cold on the bikes, sitting in the gas station we both got very chilly. Was probably a good call for us to stay here.

    We headed toward where we had seen a cheaper-looking hostel on a side road when we were through here a few days ago, instead of the expensive hotel where we'd ended up last time. We found it fairly easily (in spite of me getting turned around and insisting to Kay it was somewhere it's not) and Kay went in to check. 200 pesos for both of us - HALF the price of the other place. The room is a bit of a downgrade from the types of places where we've been staying (i.e. the sink doesn't even have a drain pipe, but instead just runs onto the floor and drains through the floor drain… and the entire bathroom is the shower… there's no shower curtain, so if we shower, the toilet and *everything* else in the bathroom is going to get soaked). But it's half the price.

    The thing is, if we'd had this room in some of the places in Central America, or Colombia or Ecuador, I wouldn't blink at it. It would even be fairly nice compared to some of the places we've stayed. But to be staying here paying $50 US for such a crap room, that's comparable to some of the rooms we've paid $7 for in other parts of Latin America… it's a hard pill to swallow. I really wish Argentina wasn't so expensive (this part, in particular).

    Chilled in the room for a bit, and then went out to walk around the town and see if there was anything to see. There wasn't. Kay spotted a store that had camping-looking stuff in it, so we walked a bit further, turned around and headed back, checking out the store that had the camping stuff on the way. It was a teeny section in the back of an upscale department store (think Macy's, but on a much smaller scale) and we didn't really see anything we needed.

    But just as we were heading out, I had a flash of brilliance… "I wonder if they have any waterproofing stuff for boots?" So I head back over to where I saw some spray bottle things to see what they had… and Eureka! They have spray waterproofing stuff! One of the ladies spoke a little English and recommended one of the products in particular to us, so we took it. Yay! If it works at all, I'll be thrilled because my boots were portable puddles again today, with soaked socks - even in my plastic bags - even without "real" rain - just from wet roads. Bah! So waterproofing spray totally made my day. I just hope it works.

    On the way back to the room, we stop by the wonderful bakery that had the delicious tasty treats last time we were in town (which just happens to be right across the street from our hostel… that's how I spotted the hostel when we were here last time) and brought some back to the room to nom. And then, bah, Kay ate one that we were supposed to share and I was sad.

    Kay's note: because I'm an idiot...

    Watched our last episode of Dr. Who that we have on the iPad (a two-part special that isn't in any of the regular seasons) and then puttering around on the computer. Alas, our cheap hostel doesn't have net - first time we haven't had net in probably a week - so maybe we'll get out of here at a decent time tomorrow morning.

    Now I am busy anxiously waiting for my boots to dry enough for me to spray them with the waterproofing stuff. You're supposed to let them sit for 24 hours after spraying, which obviously I can't do… and I somehow think I shouldn't spray them while they're wet. We'll see if my impatience gets the best of me and I spray them anyway. Even if the first coat doesn't work 100%, the bottle is big enough that I can re-apply.

    Keep your fingers crossed for the waterproofing stuff! It would TOTALLY make my day, week and probably the remainder of the trip to have boots that are waterproof again, especially with all the rain we keep encountering.
  5. masukomi

    masukomi Been here awhile

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    Breadfast initially consisted of yesterday's leftover rolls at the restaurant. I went and asked the lady if they had any croissants, since, while we may not be a fan of Breadfast we do enjoy the Argentinian croissants with a bit of sweet brushed over the top. "Oh, yes. I'll go across the street and get them." Across the street being the delicious bakery.

    Breadfast was much improved upon her return as neither of us was interested in the leftover rolls.

    We hit the road around 9:30, which is pretty good for us, and both hoped that maybe, with a good start, and a little luck at the borders, and dry dirt we'd be able to make it beyond Rio Gallegos today. Dachary was hoping for El Calafete, which is another 250 kilometers beyond Rio Gallegos, but I never really thought we'd be able to pull *that* off.

    We both agreed that while we'd ridden the same roads on Day 97 it was far more beautiful when it wasn't raining.

    More llamadeer, a couple more not-emus, and generally excellent dirt which Dachary went nearly 70kph on the whole way (except when the gravel got thick at the corners). Just after the Dirt began the Chileans insisted we fill out the same damn form for the bikes that we'd filled out the last two times we'd entered the country. So annoying. We don't understand why they can't just pull our info from the last time they entered us into the computer.

    We stopped for lunch at the same place we ate with Joe and Vern last time, and had some delicious roast beef. We also split the marrow from the bone Dachary got and both agreed it was very tasty. I, however, also decided that it was way to disgustingly jiggly and squishy for me to eat again unless i was reeeeeally hungry. But, I had to try it.

    Lunch wasn't quite the same without the boys though. And, the ferry charged us this time: 4,200 Chilean pesos per bike.

    Dachary's note: riding this route in the sunshine was almost like a completely different experience. It was overcast and raining last time, but the sunlight cast a completely different light over the scene and really highlighted the beauty of this part of the world. There are practically no trees - just short scrub - and it's a lot of flat with gentle rolling hills thrown in, but in the golden sunlight, the landscape really shines. Was a world different from the other day, and much more pleasant.

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    Tierra Del Fuego

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    Tierra Del Fuego

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    We got dusty

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    IMG_7039

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    Returning on the ferry

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    Amongst good Company

    Another long line at the border, but nothing compared to entering Costa Rica so it didn't really bother us, although we could have done without the six year old girl who, judging by the way she threw herself and her ball across the floor the whole time we were in line, was probably high on speed… or cocaine. It's hard to tell at that age.

    Entering Argentina again was slightly exciting in one aspect… it was our last real border crossing; according to Dachary "Airports don't count".

    But somehow all the borders and miles, and dirt added up to us rolling into Rio Gallegos a little after 7:00 PM. So… no going to El Calafete. The Hotel Paris which we stayed at last time had only one room left, which had no private bath, and after declining to subject herself to the "shower" in last night's bathroom (can't blame her) Dachary had declared that she wanted a shower and didn't want to deal with showing her bootie to the hall.

    So we went down the street. Same deal. So we went down the street. I'm not sure what hotel we're in but the twin beds are even smaller than the teeny ones we encountered before, and the whole place smells like old-people, cigarettes, and something we can't quite place, costs 220 Argentine pesos, and doesn't include Breadfast. Fortunately there's a window with a breeze in our room. Unfortunately there's a bidet in the shower… like IN the shower. I was sitting on the toilet, pulled back the shower curtain out of curiosity to see what we'd purchased for ourselves and felt like I'd suddenly interrupted the bidet just before it had finished.

    There is space to shower, but if you really really want to get clean fast you can use the bidet and shower at the same time.

    It didn't rain on us today, which meant that Dachary's boots were dry, which meant that she could waterproof them. So, like a gleeful little schoolgirl, she did. Or, she sprayed them with waterproofing spray… no telling yet if it'll actually work.

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    Waterproofing Her Boots

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    Waterproofing Her Boots

    We pondered Gas Station Dinner at the YPF across the street, but both feared the the hamburgers had been there all day and would be gross… so wandered back to the restaurant we ate at last time where Dachary accidentally got excellent steak and I got totally boring ravioli.

    Back at the room we got an e-mail from Naomi and Alberto saying that they're in El Calafete and shall be awaiting our arrival tomorrow. We can't wait. They're staying at a campground and it's hovering just below 40 F at night, which will be a bit chilly but we'll totally do it to hang with Naomi and Albert.



    For future Runaways:
    When you find yourself needing to stay in Rio Gallegos head for Centro. When you see the flags outside the Hotel Rio… something fancy looking take your next left (illegally). Go a block and a half and there's the Hotel Paris ( GPS is S 51 37.245 W 69 13.023 ). Parking is to the left of main entrance. Should that fail continue about a block and a half down and look for the hotel on the left which is a bit lower quality. Parking is to the right of the main entrance. Should that fail go two blocks down, hang a left, and just after the next intersection there will be a hotel on the left corner which is a bit lower quality. Continue to the far side of the building for the parking. Should that fail you're on your own.
  6. Merlin III

    Merlin III Long timer

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    Just curious, but what do old people smell like?
  7. mac inger

    mac inger Been here awhile

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    You havent smelled old people before ?
    Its a little pee mixed with old clothes and some dust.
  8. Big John0021

    Big John0021 n00b

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    great trip keep up the hard work so us cubicle dwellers can live through you.
  9. Merlin III

    Merlin III Long timer

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    Thanks Mac. Hmmm..........So, my parents are in their 80s; so I guess this is how they should smell? I am going to talk to them and try to ascertain what they are doing wrong.
  10. shojac

    shojac Adventurer

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    HI, You mentioned earlier about how much you were spending for gas. As gas prices have shot up here, was wondering if the same thing was happening where you are. Also , would you care to say how much gas is per gallon in the places you have went through, or country by country.

    Really great ride report and have been following along the whole trip.
  11. Dachary

    Dachary Been here awhile

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    We meant to track this along the way but that fell by the wayside. The short of it is that gas has ranged from probably $3 per gallon to as much as close to $6 per gallon in Chile. Ecuador was super cheap with something like $1.50 per gallon. In most places, we've averaged approximately $4 per gallon. It amuses me because people in the U.S. have been complaining about gas being expensive, but many of the countries in this trip have paid more than we do in the US for gas, so it really puts things into perspective.

    Glad you're enjoying the ride report, and feel free to let us know if you have any other questions!
  12. Dachary

    Dachary Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the kind words, trackpete! Glad you followed along through the good, the bad and the ugly.

    It wasn't so much that we were pressing for time in the southern part, although we were... but we totally dawdled our way through Central America and just picked up our pace down here, now that we've finally gotten to a place where it's possible to make more progress in a day and go faster on relatively straight paved roads. If we could have gone slower, I know we would have made time for Machu Picchu, the Salar de Uyuni and possibly the Carretara Austral, but I don't think there's a whole lot else that would have slowed us down. For the most part, we've seen the things we wanted to see and I don't feel that we were "pushing" most days to ride fast or longer hours than we wanted to.

    It's getting pretty chilly down here now, but we're very far south. If you're coming all the way down, from everything I've read you need to be prepared for snow and it's definitely colder, but probably not extreme. But I haven't researched it because we always planned to be done before then, so I can't say with any real authority. Hope you have electrics and good waterproof gear! We've found that it's the wet that makes us colder than anything else, so the combination of wet and cold temperatures is killer. Good luck with that!

    Good luck on your trip, and I'm looking forward to following along on your journey now that we're about to have more time for internet and leisure reading!
  13. masukomi

    masukomi Been here awhile

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    We got a surprise e-mail from Naomi with directions to the campground in El Calafete where we were headed, and they were staying.

    We were pretty bundled up against the cold and the rainclouds we saw off in the distance, and the road was a lot more of the same we've been seeing lately so there wasn't much to note from the early riding until I asked Dachary how she was doing and she responded that she was "… trying to figure out if I'm getting shocked" … "O… k…" That's not good. I'm imagining some intermittent little shock being delivered from her electric jacket until maybe ten minutes later she tells me to pull over. She never tells me to pull over so I'm pretty concerned.

    She says she can't deal with the shocks any more and describes it as a "… sharp stabbing pain…" and pulls up her shirt to expose a line of red unhappy skin on her belly. This is not good. We need the electric jackets to keep from freezing. Dachary grabs her lightweight Buff, folds it up and shoves it up under her shirt on top of the red aggravated area, which appears to be at the same place as where the wires come in to the jacket… hmm.

    We drive on and that seems to have done the trick, although neither of us is happy about it.

    Eventually we get to a gas station about 90 miles down the road, in the only town likely to have one between here and our destination. Of course, it doesn't have gas. We won't make it to El Calafate, or… we wouldn't if we didn't have our spare gas canisters, which, at highway speeds, will give us about 90 miles each… just about the amount missing from our tanks now. So, with some serious bitching at the safety devices in the spout we eventually get both bikes topped off and go in for some warmth and lunch… of course, the place isn't warm, and the lunch is cold ham and cheese sandwiches, but they're food… Dachary stops in the bathroom to put on a few more t-shirts to insulate her from the shocks instead of keeping a wodged up Buff under her shirt.

    We eventually get sick of not getting warm, head out, and finish gearing up when a guy swings around asking if his wife can take a picture of him next to us and the bikes, which we happily oblige.

    We then set off into the rain that finally caught up with us in force at the gas station, and then ride right out of it maybe fifteen minutes later… Oh yes. Joyous sunlight, getting stronger by the minute.

    Soon, we're approaching El Calafate and it's getting more and more scenic by the minute. There's a scenic overlook with a bird of prey hovering on the updraft barely even twitching its wings as it watches for prey.

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    Look at the big version for the bird

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    Scenic Overlook Panorama
    (Click through to the large versoin to see the full panorama)

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    Scenic overlook

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    Scenic overlook


    It gets better ever mile we go forward. The lake is fantastic and mountains start rising up in the background until we're turning down into El Calafate, where we stopped at the gas station (because who knows if there will be gas tomorrow), then pull over to unhook our gas cans for a refill when Naomi shows up on her way to find a new lock. Excellent.

    We chat for a bit then head off for lunch where we find a place that's a) open b) has good burgers and c) excellent cappuccino. Very nice.

    We head over to the campground, set up start chatting and are generally happy to have finally met Naomi and Alberto after so many emails back and forth. Naomi, Dachary, and I head out to the grocery store just down the block to procure some meats and veggies to grill for dinner.

    Dachary's note: I'm also sick of having cold arms on the bike, so I decide to look for a long-sleeved shirt, of which I have zero. I'll take a t-shirt, but a sweatshirt would be even better for its insulating properties. I'm pretty sure El Calafate will have something, because it's a big touristy town and I've seen someone wearing an El Calafate jacket at the Chile/Argentina border. So while we're wandering around town, we poke into a few shops, and eventually find one that has some long-sleeved thin sweatshirts…

    I find a gray Routa 40 sweatshirt and am ready to buy it, when Naomi and Kay spot a "waffle shirt" that seems to be made of the same material of the old-fashioned long johns. They both agree that the waffle shirt will be better insulated than the thin gray sweatshirt I want, and I lament that it doesn't say "Routa 40" and Naomi offers to draw the Routa 40 crest on the shirt. But I concede to wisdom and buy the waffle shirt instead, and immediately put it on - and comment repeatedly throughout the night that I'm so nice and toasty warm with my lovely waffle shirt. It was a great purchase, even at $63 US… I just wish I'd bought it sooner.

    Back at the campsite, grilling commences. Plates are filled, and the chewing commences, and continues for quite some time. It's a shit cut of beef and almost every piece I have involves chewing for two minutes then spitting out the unchewable remainder. The choirizo and onions decent though.

    Good to be amongst good people again.

    [​IMG]
    Naomi and Alberto
  14. Dachary

    Dachary Been here awhile

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    Didn't particularly want to get up this morning because it was cold and I just wanted to stay inside the sleeping bag, but Naomi and Alberto were heading out to the glacier and then off to Chile, so we wanted to ride with them to the glacier and didn't want to make them late getting to Chile. So Kay went off to shower while I wandered off in search of an ATM. One ATM out of cash, but five blocks further into town I found some money. Yay money!

    Back to the campground just in time for the restaurant to open, and the four of us go to have some omelets. One nice thing about being in a touristy town is you can find breakfast places that serve more than just bread. The omelets were a bit… odd… too salty, I think, but it was so nice to have eggs for breakfast again that we weren't about to complain.

    Breakfast took longer than expected, and Naomi and Alberto had to pack up their tent and everything since they were headed off to Chile afterwards, so we got on the road to the Perito Moreno glacier shortly after 10AM.

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    Naomi

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    Naomi and Alberto

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    Naomi Poses

    Luckily it was sunny and beautiful, so we were optimistic about getting good views of the glacier. $25 per person to get into the national park, and a 35k ride down a twisty, but paved, park road to the parking lot. From there, you board a shuttle bus to the glacier visitor center and can walk around on a multi-level walkway with lots of stairs and balconies to view the glacier from different angles. Unfortunately, along the way, the sun was hidden behind some clouds and there was a smattering of minor rain.

    When we walked out onto the walkways and could really see the glacier, it was immediately apparent that the glacier completely dwarfed any sense of scale we could imagine. It was massive. Beyond comprehension massive. At one point, Alberto observed that this glacier we were seeing was just the tip of the ice field spilling over, and was probably something like 1% of the total ice, and Naomi pulled out the map so we could look at the massive ice field. We all agreed that it was mind-boggling and really too large for us to wrap our heads around.

    We stopped at several different balconies on the walkway to get different angles of the glacier. Much of the ice had a blue-ish tint because the ice compresses over time and the oxygen somehow ends up getting… compressed out? I'm not sure exactly, but it had an otherworldly tint. The top edge was raggedy and you could see thousands of crevasses. It looked deadly and alien… and yes, like something out of a movie set. It didn't look real.

    [​IMG]
    Naomi at Perito Moreno Glacier

    [​IMG]
    Alberto

    [​IMG]
    Naomi at Perito Moreno Glacier

    [​IMG]
    Naomi and Alberto

    [​IMG]
    IMG_7119

    [​IMG]
    Dachary at Perito Moreno Glacier

    [​IMG]
    Dachary

    [​IMG]
    Dachary and Alberto shooting Perito Moreno Glacier

    [​IMG]
    Dachary at Perito Moreno Glacier

    [​IMG]
    Dachary at Perito Moreno Glacier

    [​IMG]
    Dachary and Kay at Perito Moreno Glacier


    We saw one spot where the ice was clear and had a deep blue tint, with a darker black around it… I have no idea why the ice did that but it was very distinctive, and seemed to draw the eye no matter where we were.

    [​IMG]
    Perito Moreno Glacier

    Moving around to different balconies, we eventually settled on one that was overlooking the right side of the glacier as we were viewing it, as that's where we'd heard all of the crashing sounds from (but hadn't seen much of the ice falling). We went over to that side and stood around for a while, taking gratuitous shots of us in front of the glacier (including some RevZilla love…)

    [​IMG]
    Revzilla at Perito Moreno Glacier

    … when some of the ice just started crashing off. It was insane. It was a massive chunk of ice, following a couple of smaller chunks. It turned out to be one entire part of the glacier face, from top to bottom - the scale is really difficult to understand but the splash itself was like an explosion. It was a really impressive break.

    Kay's note: I was ready with the good camera and got an amazing sequence of the face falling off in three sections with the whole splash. We'll have to upload it later though because it's another 200 Mb worth of images.

    We waited around a bit after that, but nothing else broke. So back to the visitor center for a quick bathroom break, and contemplate having coffee. Unfortunately the restaurant was super crowded and Naomi and Alberto were heading off to Chile, so we opted to skip coffee and get back to the bikes. We had to wait for a couple of shuttle buses to come as they filled up too quickly and there wasn't space for us, but we got on the second one and made it back to the parking lot where our bikes were stashed, only to find that it was still raining in the parking lot. At least it had gotten sunny while we were viewing the glacier!

    The surrounding scenery is quite nice, too, though…

    [​IMG]
    Mountain by Perito Moreno Glacier

    [​IMG]
    Mountain by Perito Moreno Glacier

    We told Naomi and Alberto not to wait for us, as we always take forever to gear up when we're wearing this many layers for the cold, and we knew they were pressed for time to get to Chile. It was already shortly after 2pm, and they had to head back to El Calafate for gas before riding roughly 250km and dealing with a border crossing. So off they went, and Kay and I took our time getting back to town.

    [​IMG]
    Naomi and Alberto

    We stopped for gas and then headed back to the campground that Naomi and Alberto had recommended (where we'd left our tent), as we'd decided to stay a couple more nights since we have time to kill and this seems like a nicer place to kill time than Buenos Aires.

    And much to our surprise, there were two fully-loaded F800GS adventure bikes sitting in the parking lot! Naomi and Alberto had gotten back to town, decided it was too late in the day to get a good start for Chile and decided to stay here another night. So we got to hang out with them more!

    Went back to the place Kay and I found for lunch yesterday where we had a nice, long, relaxed lunch. We got lomito sandwiches, which were super tasty, but the fries were sadly much more greasy than they were yesterday. Naomi and I ordered hot chocolate, which was wonderful… it was like real, rich, melted chocolate in a glass - not like some powder or the partially-melted chocolate flakes in hot milk I had the other day. It was glorious. Good food and good company made for a very happy meal.

    After lunch, Alberto headed back to set up camp again while Kay, Naomi and I went scouting grocery stores. Naomi and Alberto actually cook things and camp more often than we have, and they wanted something breakfasty (oatmeal is a good one they seem to like) but were having trouble finding. Two grocery stores and we found some oatmeal and stuff for dinner, and Kay and I finally got our Routa 40 stickers and we also got some patches. We've also deeded our egg holder thing from REI to Naomi and Alberto, because they might actually get some use out of it and we're almost done with the trip and have never taken it out of the yellow bag. Hopefully they'll get more use out of it!

    Back at the campground for updating the blog and looking at pictures of the glacier (far too many) and it's getting a bit chilly. Hopefully tonight won't be too much colder than last night! But it is nice to camp and chill for a few days… now that we've already done Ushuaia, we've still got almost two weeks to kill and no real "goal" so we have time to revisit some of the things we've skipped along the way and take our time dawdling back to Buenos Aires.
  15. masukomi

    masukomi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    217
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Naomi, Albeto, Dachary, and I were talking about epic ride reports.

    Here are three which I highly recommend checking out, whilst waiting for summer, if you haven't already.

    Nathan the Postman - Sydney to London on a Moped Called Dot
    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=460631
    huge so just read his posts and be sure to watch the videos.

    His web site. It's less details but links to his book which is an excellent complement to the thread; not the same information regurgitated.
    http://www.thepostman.org.uk/

    The Adventures of Wan - Rucking Across the US!
    A Korean Circumnavigating the US on a 50cc Ruckus
    http://totalruckus.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=12143
    huge, so just read his posts

    Democratic Republic of Congo: Lubumbashi to Kinshasa
    Traveling in a Land Rover through a country that is inhospitable and sometimes violent towards white people.
    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/hubb/ride-tales/democratic-republic-congo-lubumbashi-kinshasa-53285
  16. desmodab

    desmodab Oversized Canuck

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2009
    Oddometer:
    363
    Location:
    Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
    Hey, nice one guys - thanks for the recommended reads. I have been looking for some new stuff and will check these out.

    cheers, SS
  17. dirtymartini

    dirtymartini Shaken, Not Stirred

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,717
    Location:
    Harveys Lake, PA
    I have followed this thread from the beginning, and while I don't always agree with some of your posts (too much personal information sometimes:eek1) I have kept it to my self, after all it is YOUR ride report.

    I give Dachary all the credit in the world for taking on this magnitude of a journey with her limited experience.

    The reason for my post today is to let you know I have decided to buy an '03 F650!
  18. wanneroo

    wanneroo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Oddometer:
    42
    I remember when this report started out, honestly with all the little issues and inexperience, I never thought you'd make it and I just thought the trip would peter out.

    But it didn't and you guys kept with it, through it all and making it to that sign near Ushuaia is quite an accomplishment few ever will achieve. There is something to be said for riding all the way from Boston to one of the ends of the world.

    Thanks for documenting it all for everyone to enjoy, as I know it has inspired others.

    Best wishes and congrats:clap
  19. masukomi

    masukomi Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    217
    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    Congrats! May it bring you as many smiles as ours have. Just remember to bring a spare water pump if you go on a big adventure, and download all of the f650.com FAQ so you can read it if something breaks in the middle of nowhere. Amazingly great info there.

    Hmm, that sounds a bit "just wait 'till it breaks" but I don't mean it like that. It's a good bike, and I still contend that the problems we've had are ones that can, and do, happen to any bike.
  20. the darth peach

    the darth peach eats crackers in bed

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Oddometer:
    11,400
    Location:
    N.California
    Love the glacier pics…
    Been slowly catching up. Thanks to both of you for taking the time it takes to update and post the pictures …
    All good :)