My Little Bimble Around Paraguay, Bolivia & Argentina

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Bovino, Oct 8, 2019.

  1. Bovino

    Bovino Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    725
    Location:
    Spain
    So, on the 28th of October we'll be heading down to Paraguay for 7 weeks. We? That'll my wife and my 6 month old baby son. We had planned to spend the winter in Sicily, but then the wife wanted to go and see her family. We had literally just been over, while she was still pregnant.
    I wasn't all that keen, so she told me to book the flights and buy a bike in Paraguay. I get two weeks off for the the bike trip to the salt flats of Uyuni we always wanted to take. Just on my own then. After that I'll have an allowance for the odd two to three day trip, that'll probably take me to the Posadas area, some nature reserves and whatever else pops up in my mind.

    Flights were booked, and that little bugger was delivered to her parents house last week:

    12dedba2-2eed-4f0e-a55f-45e7b6e3ed30.jpg

    It's a brand spanking new Kenton TRX 150, basically a copy of the old Honda XL 185. All Chinese, though assembled in Paraguay. They are supposedly pretty tough, but we'll find out about that. The choice to buy was very easy - there is literally no 2nd hand market for larger bikes. Japanese or Euro bikes are very expensive when new, even the Brazilian made Hondas are crazy expensive. All you can find 2nd hand in the more affordable price range looks like it had hit a landmine. Also, there is no way you'd find parts for anything but Chinese stuff in Paraguay, most of Bolivia and northern Argentina. Renting a bike is no option either, it's only BMW and there you are talking about 1.000 USD a week.
    The Kenton was about 900,- Euros all in. That includes full paperwork, a 6.000 km warranty, a hi viz vest & helmet, a liter of oil plus the first to oil changes. It has a sturdy rack and sort of a bash plate too. Add sleek and plain sexy looks and you have yourself a winner.

    Here's the rough itinerary for my first two weeks:

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    I'll be heading out on the ruta Transchaco, NW through the Paraguayan Chaco:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaco_(Paraguay)

    I am not planning on doing crazy stuff, just sticking to the actual road. Even so, the tarmac will stop 150 km or so before the Bolivian boarder. There won't be much of tarmac all the way to Uyuni, after it it will be a mixed bag until entering Argentina. Or so I heard.

    Next up I'll tell you about my (minimal) preparations, and about that beautiful little Paraguay.
    #1
  2. yokesman

    yokesman Long timer

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    2,030
    Location:
    SW. Idaho
    the bash plate looks abit small , might want some more coverage.
    #2
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  3. TeeTwo

    TeeTwo Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2013
    Oddometer:
    182
    Location:
    VA
    That route is going to deliver a lot of variety enjoy your new Dad solo adventure!

    I crossed the Argentine Chaco in May this year on route 81(as you are doing on your return)....which was a decent road for the most part. But on the western/middle end there was a 10-15 mile stretch that was horrendous, blacktop that had evaporated leaving a road that was like an unmaintained backwater trail. Taking it slow, weaving a path and dodging trucks, buses and cars doing the same got me through it, though it cracked both tool tube mounts, the tube cap came off and the tools were disgorged on 81. I only found out when I stopped for a rest and it was pointless to go looking for them. It will definitely test the ruggedness of your moto.

    BTW, Formosa, on the banks of the Uruguay River, was a great town....and only a few miles more than taking the cutoff on the more northerly route. For me the town was the best part of the crossing the Chacho. Maybe a lunch stop before your return to the Paraguay border.

    I enjoyed my few days in Paraguay a lot.

    Cheers T2
    #3
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  4. Bovino

    Bovino Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    725
    Location:
    Spain
    I will try to address stuff like that once I've seen and tried the bike in person. There is pretty much naught you can buy there upgrade wise, maybe some handguards and the odd handlebar. So it'll be me and the welder taking care of things.

    Thank you!

    I've been out fishing in Formosa before, the Rio Paraguay it is called there, the Uruguay is a tad more south. Either ways, the river is a gem. Absolutely stunning views, once your are on a boat. Decent fishing too, as there is little pollution (for South American standards). For a few Pesos or Guaranies, depending on what side, you can just join the locals on their little boats. Highly recommended for anyone passing through.

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    #4
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  5. Cal

    Cal Long timer

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,057
    Location:
    Calgary
    Can you tell us about the registration of the bike, is it in your personal name or a family member? Thanks
    #5
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  6. Bovino

    Bovino Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    725
    Location:
    Spain
    I have indeed "used" a local for the registration. It was just the easiest way, as I want to use it right when I get there. I don't know what you need to register it in your own name, but from what I've heard you only need to register yourself in the townhall with an address. Don't quote me on that though, I would need to have that confirmed.
    When the bike isn't in your name, and you want to cross boarders, you will need a permit from the owner - validated by a notary. So that is a additional pain and 100,- USD you need to cough up.

    As it happens, all Mercosur members the have changed their number plates last year, to something that resembles the Euro-style system.

    matriculas-mercosur.jpg

    Now that doesn't change much but one little detail: At the moment you pretty much cannot get insurance for small and cheap motorbikes in Paraguay. That won't matter crossing into Bolivia now, according to the locals.
    If somehow possible I will of course get some sort of insurance.

    Buying the bike itself was pretty easy they told me. You call and tell them what bike you'd like. An hour later a truck shows up, dumps the bike incl. the number plate and a temporary registration. Two weeks later you rock up at the townhall, pay your taxes and pick up the permanent registration.
    #6
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