Places Beyond: California to Argentina on a G650X Challenge

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by advFord, Sep 5, 2013.

?

Should I finish my RR and tell the rest of the story?

Poll closed Mar 3, 2016.
  1. Yes

    93 vote(s)
    93.9%
  2. No

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. Sure, but I really just look at the pictures

    5 vote(s)
    5.1%
  4. No offense, but I probably won't read it.

    1 vote(s)
    1.0%
  1. Scubalong

    Scubalong Long timer

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    :superGreat report Dan...! Love all the photos and video
    Hope to see you around OC :freaky
    advFord likes this.
  2. advFord

    advFord Long timer

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    We're working on getting all the posts back up so the photos and videos can be seen again. Are you going to the Horizons Unlimited event this weekend in Yosemite?
  3. Scubalong

    Scubalong Long timer

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    Hola Dan
    I just return from Alaska so no more time off.
    Text me when you have time we can hang out and have a cold beverage :)
  4. advFord

    advFord Long timer

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    I just returned from the Horizons Unlimited California Traveler's Meeting in Yosemite. I'll be making more progress fixing all the posts so photos and videos can be seen. It's a blast reliving this adventure as I fix each post. Cheers!
    ddennis669 likes this.
  5. advFord

    advFord Long timer

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    In the meantime...

    enjoy this vid of desert riding in Colombia!

    CanuckCharlie likes this.
  6. OnTheWay

    OnTheWay Rock Liu Supporter

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    Bravo!Enjoy ur pics and video sooo much.Thanks for sharing and hope for more.
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  7. CanuckCharlie

    CanuckCharlie Been here awhile

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    Excellent work! Thanks for keeping this RR alive :clap
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  8. advFord

    advFord Long timer

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    Another two pages of posts fixed. Check out the adventure I had in the Colombian desert.

    The posts about La Quajira start here on page 11

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  9. advFord

    advFord Long timer

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    Only 25 more pages of code repairs to go!
  10. advFord

    advFord Long timer

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    Fixed a few more pages of the RR today. Including the ADV Rider Christmas party in Medellin. Check out that here.

    Hey @JDowns where you going to spend christmas this year?
  11. advFord

    advFord Long timer

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    Finally the RR has been restored!

    What a tedious job to fix code but it was a blessing in disguise. It allowed to go back through each and every photo and sentence to relive my adventure.

    Stay tuned as now I'll be working to tell the rest of the story! Including my final weeks in Buenos Aires where I danced the tango till dawn, and how I ended up back in a certain Mexican town and got into a lucha libre fight.

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    ChicoProf likes this.
  12. NSFW

    NSFW basecamp4adv Super Supporter

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    :clap

    we're live again!

    good job dan.
  13. advFord

    advFord Long timer

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    Gran Premio Republica Argentina, Buenos Aires

    So a new post on some of the experiences from my final days in Buenos Aires.

    Wandering the streets of Palermo in Buenos Aires one Thursday afternoon I happened upon a horse race taking place at the Hipodromo Argentino de Palermo. After watching from outside the fence I decided to see if I could get in. To my surprise the event was free to the public. And it was not just any regular race. This was the biggest one of them all. Welcome to the races.

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    As I entered, a man was hawking programs for the race. I picked up my copy and made my way through the masses up to the edge of the track. It was 1 in the afternoon on a Thursday and the stands were full with more than 50,000 people. This is Argentina's Kentucky Derby. Before the race started two skydrivers jumped from military aircraft and floated to the racetrack with an Argentine flag the size of house in tow. The fans went nuts.

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    The jockeys were introduced over the loudspeaker as they warmed up their horses. As the riders made their way to the starting gate, the crowds at the betting offices were buzzing. I'd never bet at a horse race before so I threw down a few pesos on a couple of the horses. With my bets in hand I leaned over the track and waited until the horses came down the home stretch to cheer them on. I usually cheered for the underdog. Not only for the bigger prize if I won but no one wants the champ to win all the time

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    There were so many horses in each race that the ground shook nearby as they charged past. The announcer on the sound system spoke louder and faster as the horses came to the finish line. Mystery Train, an Argentine horse, crossed the line to victory. Unfortunately, I picked another horse to win, but I only lost $5 and left feeling lucky to have stumbled upon the event in the first place.

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    Mystery Train brought home 1st place

    The Hipodromo in Palermo Buenos Aires has races several days a week and all are free to go see. The track and especially the stables are worth just having a look at. Check the calendar for more information.
  14. advFord

    advFord Long timer

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    San Telmo, Buenos Aires.

    A couple of months earlier I received a message from a friend that I grew up with. "Dan, where are you going to be in May? I have some flight credits and I could use a little South American adventure right about now" I was a few months and several thousand miles away from Buenos Aires at the time but I knew that I would be wrapping up my journey there in May. Perfect, I hadn't hung out with anyone I've known in 7 months.

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    After two and half weeks Couchsurfing at Deni's in Villa Urquiza I moved across the city to San Telmo, the oldest barrio in Buenos Aires. The cobblestone streets of the neighborhood make for a bumpy ride on the moto. I found a nearby parking garage to keep my bike before I shipped it back home. When I arrived to ask the attendant about rates he greeted me, yerba mate in hand, and offered me a sip. It has to be friendliest city I've ever been to. Can you think of another place where a parking lot attendant would offer you a sip of their drink? And yes, I had some yerba mate with him.

    So now you know the people in San Telmo are amazing, the neighborhood is as well. Along streets are a mix of well preserved historic spanish colonial homes and others more neglected covered in street art and graffiti. The neighborhood has become a cultural hotspot known for tango dance halls, cafe's, art galleries, antique shops, and the most popular street market in Buenos Aires. Pretty good considering a century or so earlier the place was deserted when yellow fever plagued the neighborhood killing 10,000 of it's residents.

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    My friend Kelli arrived and after dropping our bags at an Airbnb flat we were off to experience San Telmo. Of course the best way to start a day here is with coffee. When Kelli's order came I laughed out loud. I had not seen a coffee cup that large in months. This is Kelli and her American sized Americano.

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    [​IMG] American size vs. normal. After months of being in South America, I've adapted to their coffee culture.

    One block away is Plaza Dorrego, the most touristy part of the neighborhood but I can see why. It is a quintessential European plaza with cafes shaded by trees and performers dancing tango as painters tell the story in oil on canvas. It's a postcard perfect plaza.

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    We walked over to the San Telmo Market on Denfensa and picked up a few sandwiches to go from the deli. Along the way we passed this painted on the building.

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    I never found the homebrew but if you're there for a few weeks you could enroll in one of their instructional brewing courses. It's clear San Telmo is now internationally known. People from all over the world have settled down here opening businesses of their own, adding to the revitalization and popularity of the neighborhood.

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    Just a short walk from the market is a bicycle rental shop. After 2pm you can rent a bike with a lock and return it the next morning for $10. Off we went riding the cobblestone streets, crossing the bridge to Puerto Madero and in to the ecological reserve. It's a beautiful scenic ride along the bay. Except for a few moments where the trees clear and the city high rises are visible, you are seemingly lost in a wilderness.

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    By late afternoon it was time for another round of coffee and to have Kelli try to best sweets that Argentina has to offer. Note: If you are on a diet, traveling in Argentina would be difficult. San Telmo has no shortage of delicious desserts to try. Each day of the week we would visit another spot. Dulce de leche con brownie is a must.

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    Like myself, Kelli travels around the US quite a bit and it seems at least once a year or so we'd be in the same city and meet up for dinner. She is always on the look out for delicious restaurants and we managed to have a lot of amazing meals in Buenos Aires. I would recommend doing some research and find where you want to go. While there are many great restaurants there chances of you just walking into one are slim as we found out after one night of walking block after block in another barrio. We used the popular english food blog, Pick Up The Fork.

    One of best meals was at Jueves a la Mesa. It's one of many closed-door restaurants that make Buenos Aires' restaurant scene unique. Set in regular homes these "restaurants" are communal dining experiences. Jueves a la Mesa as the name translates to, Thursdays at the table, is only on Thursday nights. With a set menu and price (around $18) you make a reservation and only after do you receive an email with the address. It turned out to be just up the street from Plaza Dorrego. When we arrived we were greeted by the chef, Sofi. No servers here. There were two tables that sat about 8 people at each. The other guests were locals, travelers, and people staying in Bs.As. for months. Each dish was presented by Sofi and the bottles of wine kept being poured. All of the meals are organic and mostly vegan. The conversation around the table made the experience even better. After finishing serving the courses, including handmade chocolates, Sofi joined the discussion.

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    Following dinner most of the guests at our table walked a few blocks to go salsa dancing. It turned out that half of the women I was with were competition level latin dancers. No pressure, Dan. And don't let Kelli's blonde hair fool you, she knows what she's doing as she competes regularly. A ten piece band was on stage and the dance floor was packed. Salsa isn't very common in Argentina and Kelli said it was apparent because the guys who asked her to dance weren't very good. So I fit right in. It was such a fun night out and I made new friends but we still hadn't experienced tango. We heard the next night there was a great place to go. We walked back under the dimly lit cobblestone streets. Tomorrow we tango.

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  15. OnTheWay

    OnTheWay Rock Liu Supporter

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    Wow, what a variety of cool places, people, and things!Thanks for sharing a great RR.
    advFord likes this.
  16. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

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    Glad you are finishing up the RR.. I will admit I am looking forward to Argentina's steak in few months..
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  17. advFord

    advFord Long timer

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    @WhicheverAnyWayCan I'm looking forward to seeing pics of your converted sportster in south america. :clap And there's way more than the steak to look forward to in Argentina. :beer
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  18. advFord

    advFord Long timer

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    For newcomers to the RR I've updated the first post to now include a table of contents to easily navigate the posts from each country. I've also update the gear and modifications to include links to the stores I found that had the best prices and customer service.
    WhicheverAnyWayCan and ChicoProf like this.
  19. HOTPASS

    HOTPASS F*ck cancer.

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    Hey I recognize that bike! We were camped right next to you at the HU meet up. Excited to start your RR.
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  20. advFord

    advFord Long timer

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    The tango, it is practically synonymous with Argentina. I had traveled throughout the entire country but there is no place as famous for the dance as Buenos Aires. You can't escape the performers in the plazas, the paintings, or the tango shows.

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    The Porteños (BA locals) know tourists love the tango so an industry has been built around the city's most iconic cultural export. Tango dinner shows sell from $100 to $250 per person. Obviously for a traveler like myself with a $30/day budget I had no interest in a dinner show like that. Plus I didn't want to watch from a seat as some other guy danced with a beautiful Argentine woman; I wanted to experience tango for myself.

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    To tango, just follow these steps.

    Every night of the week there are several places to tango throughout the city. A venue where tango is danced is called a milonga. Using the very helpful local blog, GringoInBuenosAires, I found a few options.

    La Viruta is a milonga in Palermo and like most others has a tango class before the night gets started. My friend Kelli and I arrived at the somewhat odd venue, the Armenian cultural center, which so happened to have an excellent Armenian restaurant upstairs and a grand dancehall in the basement. Another blog said this was the milonga to be at but that the night really doesn't get started until after 2am. By now, I am adjusted to the late night life of Buenos Aires. The bars are the busiest around 3-4am.

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    Entering the dancehall for the early lesson I was surprised to see how crowded it already was. After a quick demonstration, Kelli, myself, and 50 others lined up to learn the basic steps of tango. Men and women were lined up opposite eachother. I walked up to meet my partner for my first tango. Across from me stood a Porteña (woman from Buenos Aires). Long brown hair, beautiful eyes, a cute smile, and... a red flannel shirt and cowgirl boots. You're reading that right. And if you're thrown off a bit, now you know what ran through my mind. A cowgirl tango dancer. Why not? Back to the story. I reached out my left hand to hold hers and placed my right hand on her back. And 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Except it wasn't as simple as that. For the next few songs we struggled getting the steps, pacing, and maneuvering around the crowds of other rookie dancers. "Ok otra vez, otra vez" (again, again). Not to throw my Porteña cowgirl under the bus, but it's clear that just because someone is Argentine and from Buenos Aires, that they're naturally good at tango, it takes instruction and practice.

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    The night went on and we continued practicing, each time with a new partner. Soon the dancehall was packed and us rookies found our way to the bar where we watched in amazement as the regulars moved across the floor through the night. This night of tango was just the beginning for me.

    If line dancing is more your thing well you're in luck, my cowgirl tango partner informed there's a country line dance club in Buenos Aires. See for yourself.