My year of Motorcycle Vagabonding Part B: Mexico-Central America-South America

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by MotoAdventureGal, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. WarLlama

    WarLlama belligerent cameloid

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    44,966
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    twixt & tween
    [​IMG]

    Love it. You know you are on an adventure when you see roads like this. :clap
  2. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    Gearing up to ride...
    yup, it pretty much sux.
  3. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    Gearing up to ride...
    May 8, 2010

    Believe me, I was eager to get everything all set and get out of <em>Posadas (Paraguay) </em>after being robbed. Big Bridge separating the two countries.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-001.JPG " alt="" />

    One of the MANY things I enjoy abut traveling on a motorbike is all the, er, liberties you can take.

    Take this line, for instance...loooooooooooooooooooooooooong. With a motorbike? PASS THEM ALL! Ha! Shaved an hour off my border crossing, and at that point I was just feeling ornery enough to not give a hoot...

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-004.JPG " alt="" />

    Well, here's a darned civilized way to cross a border...nice orderly lines (except those crazy motorbikes that pass everyone), everyone waiting their turn rather than cleverly cutting each other in line, etc.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-005.JPG " alt="" />

    Welcome to Argentina! Welcome to order. Welcome to a funny accent that takes a bit to train your ears to. Welcome to high prices!

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-006.JPG " alt="" />

    Welcome to flat, straight roads.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-010.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-012.JPG " alt="" />

    Welcome to.....................

    .........................................................................PARILLA!

    Parilla is loosely translated as Bar-B-Que (although without the BBQ sauce).

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-014.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-015.JPG " alt="" />

    Oofa, I did not realize that this on was all-you-can-eat. I got STUFFED!!!

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-016.JPG " alt="" />

    No more pics that day, I was in a just-been-robbed funk.
  4. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    Gearing up to ride...
    May 9, 2010

    Breakfast! (Included in the spendy room rate)

    Get this: the waitress comes by and asks if I want coffee. of course! (Although I never exactly know the country's customs with regards to coffee--it's always an experience the first few days figuring out how to achieve strong, yummy coffee. Home run on the first Argentinian morning...the waitress has a pot of steaming black coffee in one hand, and a pot of steaming hot milk in the other. Hot Milk? I think I like Argentina!

    OK, so I am basically just passing through Argentina...I consider whether to take 2 days and ride up to Iguazu Falls...and because I am having some irregular email correspondence With Sandra at Dakar Motos (who is supposedly going to help me ship my bike back to the USA), I decide to be safer than sorrier and just

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-018.JPG " alt="" />

    Apparently, Route 14 in N Argentina is known for the police scam...unfortunately I fell into it. I'd been so proud of my <em>mordida</em>-evasion (<em>bribe</em>-evasion) techniques in Peru, I was caught completely off guard and didn't realize I was getting stung!

    So they flagged me to pull over, saying I was riding without my front headlight. Now, for anyone who has traveled in Latin America *everyone* travels without their headlight!!! I mean, in every other country, people were flashing me that my headlight was *ON*!!! Apparently it's the law to ride with your headlight ON and technically, at that moment, my headlight was NOT on, because it was cold and I was running my heated hand grips. I was having problems with the Denali lights--the fuse box had a loose connection and they'd flicker on and off.

    Anyway, good cop makes nice nice with me, I think I am getting off the hook, then he refers me to bad cop. Bad cop never takes his dark sunglasses off. bad cop is ALL bad cop, telling me how horrible I am for breaking the law, etc. Tells me that I should know to ride with my lights on since I am from the USA. basically, he goes round and round with me. The are doing a whopping business here, lots of folks with no headlights or other terrible sins.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-020.JPG " alt="" /> writing th

    I tell him I want to see the book, where it is in writing that drivers need to operate a vehicle with their headlight on. I make a big production of taking a picture of it (I'm a journalist after all!)

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-019.JPG " alt="" />

    Next he goes into this elaborate fine calculation, punching numbers like crazy into a calculator. The numbers seems steep, but I still think if I am patient and act dumb enough (my latest trick since I'm well past the point where I can pretend not to understand him).

    Well, he finally touches on my Achilles heel...I can pay the fine here, roadside, or they will tow the bike and I can pay an ever larger fine wherever they tow it to.

    Two days ago I was robbed, and I'm making a beeline to Buenos Aires to end my trip...and this dude tells me that they are going to tow my bike. ARGH! I FELL FOR IT!!!

    They got me for $100.
    (When I got to dakar Motos in Buenos Aires other travelers told me they'd gone through the same deal with the same cops, and basically they just waited for the cops to get tired of them. they refused to pay roadside, waited for the bikes to be towed, which never happened, and finally got the cops to write them paper tickets and ride away.)

    I am told they are not allowed to collect fees roadside, bt evidently these particular cops make a handsome living at it. They are so well set up that they even have a briefcase full of money so they can make change. Such effective businessmen, you can pay in US dollars OR Argentinian pesos.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-021.JPG " alt="" />

    I stood there for quite some time taking pictures of other people passing through without lights, and there were plenty. The cops preyed on obvious tourists and old people, from what i could tell of the people they pulled over. I stayed a while and even took pictures of what they were doing, but when I started talking to someone else that got pulled over, they got really upset. I just wanted to see what the other guys' fine was. Never did find out.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-022.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-023.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-024.JPG " alt="" />

    Bummer. Bummer Bummer. Hindsight (which is usually 20/20) says I would have been better off of they'd impounded my vehicle...I ended up paying $1500 to get my bike back to the USA.

    &lt;&gt;

    I cut my losses and moved on. More flat and straight highway to Buenos Aires.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-025.JPG " alt="" />

    Here's a pic of me trying to get the Dakar Motos way-point into my GPS.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-031.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-032.JPG " alt="" />

    It's almost dark as I enter the City. Sheesh, My Garmin 60 Cx doesn't calculate quick enough, and i miss my exit. It was an absolute nightmare trying to get to Dakar Motos. I finally stopped at a taxi stand and asked for directions. I despise cities.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-033.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-034.JPG " alt="" />

    But I roll in (coming the wrong way down their one-way street) and get a nice welcome from the man himself--Javier.

    Justin, the fellow that zip tied my broken fingers together in Cuzco, is there waiting for him BMW to arrive (the shippers sent his 800GS around the world without him!) There are also two Swedes Jonas and Roberto (Swedes are the BEST! the joke became).

    Ah. Nice to be in the final stretch.

    10 days before my flight.
  5. byways

    byways byways

    Joined:
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    Idaho
  6. Arte

    Arte Pata de Perro

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
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    Tijuana, BAJA
    The book states that the headlights must be ON, when the Natural Daylight would not be enough for visibility.

    Hope that bad episode of the robbery don't mess your journey.
  7. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    Gearing up to ride...
    Darn it!!!!


    Of course! I was so rattled I did not read it correctly. They nailed me for nothing...NOTHING.


    ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHH!.

    Hindsight says I should have just offered them up the bike and waited in the shade with a bottle of water until they got bored of me. Other travelers told me they tried the same scam on them, for other minor issues, and they just waited without paying until the cops got tired of them.


    GRRR!

    Yup, I was just so rattled after being robbed the dayy before.


    GRRR!!!
  8. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    Gearing up to ride...
    May 9-18, 2010

    Well, let me tell you, 10 days is a looooooooooooooooooong time to sit in one spot after traveling for over a year (and 7+ months of it in Latin America for me)!

    Let me tell you, 10 days is a looooooooooooooooooong time to stay in a city when you are not a "city" person!

    Let me tell you, 10 days is a looooooooooooooooooong time to sit in one spot after traveling for over a year (and 7+ months of it in Latin America for me).

    Let me tell you, 10 days is a looooooooooooooooooong time for someone used to being alone to be c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y in the shared company of others.

    Let me tell you, 10 days is a looooooooooooooooooong time to be with a bunch of guys, not many of them very neat, OR very considerate, sometimes 10+ at time, living in a motorcycle repair shop with 4 bunks and a shared kitchen in it!

    And, let me tell you, 10 days is a looooooooooooooooooong time to sit waiting for a flight back to the USA to be reunited with your boyfriend that you have not seen in 7+ months!

    &lt;&gt;

    I entertained myself by going downtown with Jonas and Eduardo.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-036.JPG " alt="" />

    ha! This is INSIDE the Burger King! (NEVER in the USA!)

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-038.JPG " alt="" />

    Swedes are the BEST!

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-039.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-040.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-042.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-045.JPG " alt="" />

    Jonas enjoying the free internet (Swedes are the BEST!)

    <a href="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/SA_Trip_Argentina-047.JPG"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-6014" title="SA_Trip_Argentina-047" src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/SA_Trip_Argentina-047.JPG" alt="SA_Trip_Argentina-047" width="600" height="800" /></a>

    The Swedes (who are the BEST) and Justin bring their bikes to the airport the day before I do. The Swedes are on Dakar 650's they shipped over and rode in Argentina and Chile for 6+ months, and Jeremiah is pictures here with his Triumph Tiger. He shops his motorbike to the States the day after I do. Busy week at Dakar Motos I guess. They help all motorbike travelers who request their services coming into and out of Buenos Aires. Sandra helps with import / export and Javier is a great mechanic. They've developed quite a business and a good reputation there in the outskirts of BA..

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-048.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-050.JPG " alt="" />

    <a href="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/SA_Trip_Argentina-051.JPG"><img class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-6013" title="SA_Trip_Argentina-051" src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/SA_Trip_Argentina-051.JPG" alt="SA_Trip_Argentina-051" width="600" height="800" /></a>

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-052.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-053.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-054.JPG " alt="" />

    Here's Justin shipping his interim KLR back to the States:

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-056.JPG " alt="" />

    Eduardo.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-057.JPG " alt="" />

    Jonas (Swedes are the BEST) (the reason I developed the irritating "Swedes are BEST" habit)

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-058.JPG " alt="" />

    Justin.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-062.JPG " alt="" />

    Yes, now there's more room in the workshop to admire MY ride...

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-063.JPG " alt="" />

    So while they are at the airport, I go and bet my bike cleaned for travel. They charge me $8 and it is s-p-o-t-l-e-s-s!

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-064.JPG " alt="" />

    Next day, here's my pre-airport beauty shot...

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-066.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-067.JPG " alt="" />

    Last ride in South America...BA freeway!

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-068.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-069.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-079.JPG " alt="" />

    ...and I gauge my gas usage perfectly...the bike runs out of gas in the cargo area!!

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-080.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-081.JPG " alt="" />

    I wasn't supposed to take pictures inside the airport, but I snuck a few...I took the front wheel off in order to make the bike "smaller" and hopefully cost less money in shipping, since they measure actual weight and cubic weight, and charge you whatever is more.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-082.JPG " alt="" />

    After the bike was secured, battery disconnected, riding gear thrown in,and "inspected" by Argentinian customs,

    they shrunk-wrapped the bike...

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-083.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-084.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-086.JPG " alt="" />

    Then they put these labels on it...

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-087.JPG " alt="" />

    Whoops! Bike's not going to Denver, it should be going to Seattle!!!

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-088.JPG " alt="" />

    Then the guys took me to this crazy office where all the customs brokers work...

    From here I called one of the fellows I'd met in Bolivia (see <a title="On the Way to Uyuni" href="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/2010/05/uyuni/" target="_blank">THIS </a> post) that invited me for Parilla when I got to Buenos Aires. I met them for lunch at the airport--turns out that two of the four <em>work </em>at the airport.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-089.JPG " alt="" />

    Then made my way back to Dakar Motos, and the Swedes, since they are the BEST!

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-090.JPG " alt="" />

    And for some reason Justin decided to do some bike maintenance after dark (I think alcohol was involved, too!)

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-091.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-092.JPG " alt="" />

    Javier working late fixing a traveler's bike...

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-093.JPG " alt="" />

    Next day, I went back into Downtown BA to pay for the shipment. I tell you it was VERY nerve-wracking to be walking around with $1500 in my pocket! I felt like a target the whole time.

    Here's the famous obelisk.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-094.JPG " alt="" />

    7 lanes going one way? Eek?

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-095.JPG " alt="" />

    I ended up taking myself to a Hollywood movie, "Robin Hood" with Russell Crowe.
    (Countdown to seeing Edward: 8 days)

    It was after dark when I re-emerged from the Cinema, so I took a leisurely stroll along the pedestrian mall (holding tight to my camera and wallet!)

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-097.JPG " alt="" />

    Next Day, Parilla with the Argentines!

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-103.JPG " alt="" />

    It was kind of a blustery day, but that did not stoop the wind-warriors on the lake.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-104.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-105.JPG " alt="" />

    A powered bicycle!

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-106.JPG " alt="" />

    My friends. Sheesh, they are so fun, such good friends with each other, and so hard to understand! Even a week in Argentina and I am still having trouble with the Argentinian accent. Usually "ll" is pronounces "y" but in Argentina it's pronounced "J". Oofa.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-109.JPG " alt="" />

    Then it's back to Dakar Motos.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-110.JPG " alt="" />

    And Jonas the Swede (who is the BEST!)

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-111.JPG " alt="" />

    And sometime in all of this Marty shows up. Marty is this cool kid (I can say this because technically I am old enough to be his mother) and is larger than life. Literally, at 6.4 I met Marty in Cali, Colombia, where he was just starting his trip. He'd ridden with Ben (<a title="Ben Slavin's South American blog" href="http://www.afewmoremiles.com" target="_blank">www.afewmoremiles.com</a>) who I'd met up with in Central America. Marty had an incredible adventure in the <em>Salar</em>, barely getting out alive, and here he shows up at Dakar Motos at the same time as me.

    Marty tells me about a zoo he's heard about where you can pet the tigers. I'm in!

    And that's tomorrow's adventure...
  9. Super Suz

    Super Suz N00b with B00b

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,558
    Location:
    alrededor de la bahía
    :lurk~!!!!!
  10. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    Gearing up to ride...
    Welcome to the Coolest Zoo I have ever been to.

    I walk past this at the entry...

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-113.JPG " alt="" />

    And go straight to the Tigers!

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-114.JPG " alt="" />

    Tigers!

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-119.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-120.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-122.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-127.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-128.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-132.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-134.JPG " alt="" />

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-137.JPG " alt="" />

    Is this cool or WHAT!

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-160.JPG " alt="" />

    I was in with the elephants all of about 1 minute when they broke out (see the tine electric wide holding them in place?) and the guy shouted for me to get out of the elephant area. I wasn't too concerned for my welfare, as the poor beasts really just wanted some fresh grass an trotted away. Pretty cool, but being underfoot would not have been.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-177.JPG " alt="" />

    Next I visited the camels. I declined a ride on one, instead I opted for petting and feeding them. Thanks, Carolyn, for the introduction to them in Texas. I wasn't scared when they sniffed me real up close and personal.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-179.JPG " alt="" />

    No too much excitement here...so I didn't go in.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-185.JPG " alt="" />

    Ducks bathing in the buffalo water...

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-187.JPG " alt="" />

    This gal cracked me up...a little disheveled are we?

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-194.JPG " alt="" />

    The on to the BIG tigers!

    These are the two year olds...6 tigers with 1 lioness thrown into the mix.

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-202.JPG " alt="" />

    Seems innocent enough in the picture...

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-206.JPG " alt="" />

    But then the female lioness started growling and rubbing on me like a house cat. Now unlike a house cat, this lioness rubbed on my HIPS and not my ankles...further, I did not understand the grumbling noises she was making...Further, the handler kept telling her to knock it off.

    OKAY, ENOUGH FOR ME! I asked to be let out of the cage before some instinct of mine, or worse, theirs, took over and things got ugly.

    But dang! Talk about a once in a lifetime experience!

    OK, so on to the bears:

    <img src="http://motoadventuregal.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/SA_Trip_Argentina-213.JPG " alt="" />

    I took a whole bunch of pictures of them, but mostly had fun feeding them raisins.

    What a day!

    If you ever get to Buenos Aires, make it a point to go to the Lujan Zoo. It's an hour and a half out of town, but there's a bus, and it is so worthwhile. Try to hit it on a weekday, too. I was able to spend an hour in with the 6 month old tigers, whereas marty went on a weekend and spent 5 minutes in with them.

    <a title="Lujan Zoo - Outside Buenos Aires" href="http://www.zoolujan.com/" target="_blank">http://www.zoolujan.com/</a>
  11. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    Gearing up to ride...
    May 18, 2010

    Wow. Return day is finally here.

    How do I feel?
    Nervous, excited, ready.

    There's a momentum that is created when you travel and you sort of get caught up in it. I've been going through the motions of coming home without thinking about how I *feel* about it too much.

    Mentally I've been "done" with this trip the whole time here at Dakar Motos. I've been on the internet lots reconnecting with old friends, catching up on the blog, and making arrangements, connections, and plans for once I am back in the USA.

    I booked an overnight flight may 18th, which gets me into Seattle Wednesday the 19th at 10:30 am.

    The morning is spent visiting with some other motorbike travelers that came in late yesterday, a little bit of internet, and a bunch of packing. I don't have much stuff, but it's heavy (I am carrying an extra chain and sprockets Joanjo brought to Buenos Aires for me from Quito). I leave for the airport about 3:00 since I have to take a series of trains, buses and shuttles to get to the International Airport.

    Up, up and away the flight leaves more or less on time, and wow. I am really going back.
  12. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    Gearing up to ride...
    May 19-23, 2010

    My flight from Buenos Aires stopped in Houston, where I cleared myself through customs. I'd been out of the country 7 months, had 26 extra pages tacked into my passport, and they only said "welcome home". I DID ask for a stamp :-)
    and I got it.

    Karen picked me up at the Sea-Tac airport, and brought me back to her place in Snohomish, North-West of Seattle. It was a sunny day, cool-ish, 70-ish, and I remember thinking it was a lot nicer here than in Buenos Aires. That night we went to an ADVrider meet & greet some nice folks had set up, and I got to meet lots of great motorbikers, Seattle locals. Timmer was going to help me at the airport, but Continental Cargo took their sweet time in getting the bike to Seattle even though it left BA 1 days before I did,

    I remember being tired and wired at the same time, and I remember starting all my conversations in Spanish rather than in English. It was shocking to be back, but that only lasted about the three days I was here in Seattle waiting for the bike to clear customs.

    I'd been offered lots of help with the bike, with things to do in Seattle, and even got to see a hand specialist for free thanks to ADVrider John Eicherman. Karen's husband Burt brought me to the airport when I finally got the call saying the bike was here, and he helped me re-assemble it since I'd unbolted a whole bunch of stuff to make it "smaller" for transport.

    By the time I hit the road Friday to ride to Idaho Falls and meet up with Edward, the weather had turned. Cold and getting colder, typical north-Wet weather. Everyone was telling me it was about 90 degrees the week before, and I was bummed. I had 890 miles to ride, it was CRAP weather, and I was exhausted and COLD.

    I made it as far as Yakima the first night, arriving after 9 pm. I had an incredible stress headache, and I was staying with friends of friends, and basically landed on their doorstep, wilted on their couch, then shuffled off to bed.

    The next day I rode around 500 miles on that little dirt bike, and finally stopped in Boise when it started to snow. enough was enough. I was soaked through, and knew I had a high pass to ride through and would stay at elevation for the rest of the ride (Idaho Falls is at 5000 feet) which was about 250-300 more miles...

    I stopped at the first hotel I could find (see through the foggy visor and snow) and negotiated the rate down to $60. ugh. Wow. Back to expensive everything I guess. I took full advantage of the hotel room and turned the heat up to 85, dried everything out, did laundry, and tried to take the world's longest shower. There was a TA Travel center next door and dinner there was advertised "second one free: so I had a roast beef open faced sandwich (the cheapest thing on the menu at $8) and then had another. I waddled back to the hotel and passed out.

    I woke Sunday very early, but it was about 30 degrees out...even with the heated gear, 50 is my limit. I waited until 10 or so, doing internet, an rolled out when it was around 40 and I was still seeing my breath.

    I got to Idaho Falls mid afternoon. Edward's company had given us temporary housing at an airport hangar, and let me tell you I was impressed. When he told me that we'd be staying in an airport hangar I imagined pitching the tent in the middle of a big building, showing at the gym, or whatever. Nope, it's NY loft meets tarmac central. There's no windows, but it's a great (posh!) space and we even have a kitchen.

    Gosh, it's great to see Edward again, and good to have a nice place to settle for a couple of weeks. Thanks sweetie for waiting SEVEN months for me to come back from my wild adventure...

    Hm.
    So what's next?

    Guess you'll have to tune into "Questor and MotoAdventureGal go Dust to Dawson" when we write it up.
  13. olebiker

    olebiker Old buzzard bait

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,075
    Location:
    Kingston ON Canada
    Thank you I have enjoyed every post. Feels kinda like I went along. I love traveling but I always love getting home. No matter how long I have been away.
  14. mr. matteeanne

    mr. matteeanne Bender can pass him Supporter

    Joined:
    May 24, 2004
    Oddometer:
    14,664
    Location:
    Dualsport Paradise, Olympics
    Odd. The older I get, the more I look forward to the adventure, and the more I look forward to getting home. Odd really.
  15. riverman

    riverman Life is great !

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Oddometer:
    277
    Location:
    New Brunswick, Canada
    MotoAdventureGal,

    I have really enjoyed following your trip. I especially like the way you interacted with the locals as opposed to just "passing thru". Did you have an engine failure? I seem to remember a reference to that and was waiting to hear the details but did not notice any further talk about it.

    Glad that you made it safe and sound.
  16. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    Gearing up to ride...
    Well thanks for following! You are right, it's delicious to plan a trip, equally delicious to come home!
  17. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    Gearing up to ride...
    Hey Riverman, thanks for following! PEOPLE are the best part of the trip for me. It helps that I could speak the language (mas or menos). We'll see how easy it is for me to interact with folks in my Slovenia-Croatia-turkey trip next year.

    My timing in this RR was a little off...I actually returned May 19th, met up with Questor, rode to the Yukon, and now have settled in Idaho, and now am packing in Connecticut before I actually got the last post up.

    We *thought* my engine failed in BC coming back from the Yukon. After much assistance from the ADVrider community, it turned out to be the valve cover not being tightened down properly after the valve adjustment. The Twisted DR still leaks oil, and will require a good deal of engine maintenance this winter, but she's still going. If you know anyone in the Idaho Falls area who is a whiz at taking engines apart and giving them some love, please let me know!!
  18. dwj - Donnie

    dwj - Donnie Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    19,099
    Location:
    North Carrollton, MS - Traveling on the Moto
    Thanks for the RR! :clap I have told all my ridding friends that are afraid to ride out of their very small comfort zones about you! Thanks Again! :clap


    Donnie
  19. MotoAdventureGal

    MotoAdventureGal Motorcycle Vagabond

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2006
    Oddometer:
    997
    Location:
    Gearing up to ride...
    Thanks Donnie! It's not always that I am completely UN-fearful...it's about learning to follow my heart irregardless of whether I am scared or not. It's also my personality: I DO like challenging myself. It's how I grow as a person.

    I'm actually presenting a workshop I call "Ride Your Dream" at the International Women Rider's Congress in Ontario this weekend...it's not just for women--it's about how to get your mind and your practical matters aligned so you can take off and ride that adventure you've always wanted to do but always made excuses about NOT doing. Should be fun!

    Thanks for following.

    ~MAG
  20. olebiker

    olebiker Old buzzard bait

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    6,075
    Location:
    Kingston ON Canada
    Where in Ontario? And the date and time?