South America: Until our Luck or Money Runs Out

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Charles Seguin, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    736
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    Superior CO
    Hey All-

    Pictures are going to have to wait another day Im afraid. The first place I went to had nice computers... but the first didnt recognize my camera and the second had a mouse that either didn´t click or double clicked each time. Given that Im pretty exhausted at the moment I got really pissed off and left. The mouse works properly here, but it doesn´t like my camera either. So tomorrow hopefully.

    We finally made it into Patagonia today. Two things happened when we passed under that sign... first the wind started blowing, hard... second the sky changed... its hard to explain unless you´ve been down here (or up in Alaska) but the horizon seems more curved... it looks like there is more sky and everything in it seems stretched out. The quality of light is different too.

    We´re going to ride the 7 lakes route tomorrow, the Argentinian side at least. And perhaps into a national park outside of Junin de los Andes where we are camping tonight. Yes camping... this place is like a ski resort town, everything is very expensive. The cheapest hotel in town is listed at 16 dollars in our guide book, and they wanted over 40 dollars when we got there. I guess it isn´t TOO expensive because they didnt have any rooms anyways. Our campground cost 7 dollars each, which is about 7 times what it says it costs in the book. If we didnt want to head into town we would have camped outside of town for free. We might end up doing that outside El Calafate since Im assuming its equally as tourist crazy at the moment.

    Argentina reminds me a lot of an image of America in the 1960s. We´ve been off and on Ruta 40 which is, in some ways, Argentina´s route 66. It runs the length of the country north to south. We´ve seen a million hitchhikers and a ton of different families and couples on summer road trips. Gas stations often have a restaurant attached to them, and some times a hotel... truly full service. They remind me of many of the long since abandoned service stations that must have played a similar role in the states many years ago.

    Its quite clear as well that this country is geared for tourism. In every city there is a well staffed tourist information office with a free map of the city and a listing of every hotel and restaurant you could ever want to visit. On their computers they are sorted by price and amenities. Give them a price range and they give you a place to stay (or 6) complete with directions. However unlike almost every other country so far tourism here seems to be mostly internal. Argentinians taking the time to get to know their country, which is a far cry different from many places we´ve been where people rarely leave a 50 miles radius outside of where they were born.

    Hopefully I will be able to upload some really great shots tomorrow. Our route is certainly promising. Thanks for all the encouraging posts guys. We´ve been riding to the point of exhaustion every day to get here, see what we want to see and get back to Buenos Aires to sell the bikes. Its pretty easy to psych yourself out of continuing on after days like these, but after I got on here each night Im ready for the next day. My hat is off to you ADVers :clap.
  2. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    HAHHAHAHAHHAHaaaa! Funniest thing I've read in ages...at least you limited your rage to a non-essential item!

    :clap :clap :clap
  3. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

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    It`s lucky I don`t have a garmin or some such expensive thing within reach.
  4. Scoop

    Scoop runs with scissors

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    Thunder Bay Ontario
    I've been watching the journey as it unfolds, marveling both in the stories and pictures and in the fortitude that it must take to do such a trip. Although you may be closer to your money running out than when you started, your luck certainly hasn't:D
    So my donation, such as it is, has been made. Continue your journey wherever it takes you. Enjoy every second.
  5. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

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    Ok so here are the shots leading up to today... there isn´t much because there wasn´t much to take pictures of! I think these are more or less in chronological order from Catamarca south through San Juan and Santa Isabel.

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  6. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

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    Patagonia is EXPENSIVE. Its the peak of the tourist season and everybody is jacking up their prices. Rooms here that would have cost 5 dollars anywhere else on the trip cost 30 or more... and they are all booked anyways. So we camped last night, and are camping again tonight.

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    We started the day with a little detour to the gate of a national park outside Junin. Big ol lake complete with volcano. At that point I knew we were in for quite the day.

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    From there we rode south to San Martin de los Andes where we went to a lookout the Lonelyplanet said was good. At the gate they wanted to charge us twenty pesos per bike (about 6 bucks) to ride to the view point. Cars only cost 6 pesos... We told the lady where she could put it and walked up.

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    The rest of these are from the 7 Lakes Route to Bariloche and then south to El Bolson where we are staying tonight.

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    Big fire outside of Bolson. I just missed a shot of a plane dropping water on the flames there.

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    Pushing further south tomorrow. Hope to make it to El Calafate day after tomorrow.
  7. Throttlemeister

    Throttlemeister Long timer Super Supporter

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    :eek1 Musk Thistle or some variety there off is the name of the purple headed plant in one of the pictures from your last post. I'm amazed at how many places this stuff has spread almost uncontrolled.

    I been dealing with this plant using herbicides and just digging them up and burning them on our ranch to remove that nasty stuff over the last few years. It's got super sharp thorns on it that peirce leather gloves like hypodermic needdles and make the cows stay far away and it spreads like wild fire, becuase the purple bloom's act like dandelions after they mature they turn all white and fluffy and are easily spread by the wind everywhere.

    I wasn't aware they were in SA too. They look pretty but they will invade and take over a pasture quickly if not controlled.

    Small world over and over. Nice photos
  8. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    What gives with the mc costing 20 pesos to a car's 6? Don't get that. Gorgeous lake photos!
  9. mikebikeboy

    mikebikeboy Adventurer

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    Aug 14, 2008
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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    its called:

    "The only crazie's to come here on motos are tourists" so make some extra money off them!

    good work on parking and walking up. i'da done the same. burn some of that bife de loma off your gut!
  10. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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  11. motorradrudi

    motorradrudi tourguide

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    Location:
    Sonthofen, Germany
    A lot of nice new pics!

    Thank you very much!

    Best greatings
    Rudi
  12. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

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    We are only riding 40 when its paved :lol3 . If we weren´t so close to the end and itching to get home we would probably be doing some dirt sections, but right now the prospect of going slow in the wind isn´t very appealing.

    There was some dirt yesterday on the 7 lakes route. Some guy cut me off when I went to pass a water truck and I ended up riding over a big berm of dirt (they were grading the road) and going down on the other side. Slowed the bike down enough before it went down that I was able to just hop off unscathed, but it was still a pretty stark reminder of how fast things can go south down here. Pun intended! :lol3
  13. pdedse

    pdedse paraelamigosincero

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    Obviously refering to your incident (glad you're OK!), but if the pun is intended then that means you guys are heading south...FAST?!?! You keeed us...we know what you're riding...
    :evil
  14. Nox

    Nox Adventurer Wannabe

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    Chicago
    Hey guys,

    Awesome read. i discovered this site about a month ago (new to riding this summer) and this is the first RR i've read. took a while to catch up, but up to speed now. Very inspiring, keep up the good work. i'll be lurking.
  15. JohnTM

    JohnTM I suck toes

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    Youse guys,

    Enjoy the wind. Bad news: It gets worse. Good news: it's worth it.

    Have fun!
  16. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

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    Jul 20, 2007
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    Location:
    Superior CO
    Hey all

    Safe and sound in some town just south of Comodoro Rivadavia. Long day today, about 800km or so. We´re pretty exhausted so this will be short. Should get into or near Calafate tomorrow. I thought that prices for lodging and everything else might go down a bit once we got out of the lakes district, but boy I was wrong. We just paid almost 50 dollars for what should have been a 15 dollar hotel. A can of fanta here at the net place cost me $1.30, they want $2.00 at the hotel. This has all come as a bit of a surprise to us since people told us repeatedly that Argentina is cheap. I guess its still cheaper than the states... but down here not by very much at all. I see a lot of camping in our immediate future :lol3 .

    Not tonight though... we both really need a shower.
  17. nicolascav

    nicolascav Been here awhile

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    ecuador, Quito
    thanks for the info. i will be riding to los 7 lagos from BA , then down to Ushai, did not know it was that $$$$.....be safe
    nico:clap
  18. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

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  19. Nina

    Nina Been here awhile

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    If you have any hotel recommendation that you did manage to find (sounds like they are few and far between), I'd love to have them :)
  20. DadRider

    DadRider Biker Traveler Specialist

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2007
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    Location:
    SP - Brazil
    Hi guys,

    Are you planning to visit Brazil?
    Besides been a huge country, it`s a worthwhile experience and will complete your impression about South America.

    DadRider