South America: Until our Luck or Money Runs Out

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

  1. Eduardo

    Eduardo Eduardo

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    Hola Amigos, Great photos and commentary. Loved to see the tent in some photos. I am lugging one too and have not used it yet. However, once I get to my village in Guatemala, it will be my home for a 3 weeks or a month.

    Hey Joe, I am not surprised you liked my DR, looks like yours, except yours is probably cleaner. I heard from home and they said the last few days it has been -20/-30 and a nasty wind. So the weather has to be better where we both are at. Saludos, Eduardo
  2. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

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    We made a tough decision today. We decided to turn around and start heading north. Neither one of us was in any hurry to hit the road this morning... in fact it seemed like we were both avoiding it. Truth be told the last couple days (other than the trip from Junin to El Bolson) havent been very much fun at all. When you are on a motorcycle trip, and you arent having fun riding, and just plain dont want to ride in the morning, something is pretty wrong. When Chuck dropped his bike on account of the wind and then kicked his tank in frustration I knew it was a mistake to keep going. We were pissed off and the wind was only going to make it worse. When you ride exhausted and pissed off your chances of getting into an accident sky rocket... when you add wind that must have been over 40mph... maybe even 60 at points... thats a recipe for disaster.

    Taking the wind into consideration going to El Calafate would have added 4-5 days round trip. Of which all but one would have almost certainly been a miserable, exhausting slog ridden while increasingly more pissed off about the wind and slowness of the pace. Even if we had made it, that much time (it wouldnt have taken more than 2 days without the wind and some other stuff) would have broke the budget, even despite the overwhleming charity of the ADV community. Patagonia has simply been chewing a hole through our pockets.

    This trip has never been about getting from point A to point B at the expense of a good time. Yes it would have been nice to make it to El Calafate, or even Ushuaia but if we went there we wanted it to be on our terms. Since that is quite obviously no longer an option due to budgetary constraints, and more importantly sheer exhaustion and road weariness we are heading back up to Buenos Aires with a stop to see some penguins on the way. Three months was the most I ever saw myself traveling comfortably in one stretch. By the time I get back it will have been 5 months, and by then it will be high time for me to be home.

    :robin
  3. JourneyRider.com

    JourneyRider.com Long timer

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    You are not missing out on much. The Southern half of Argentina looks like Nebraska. Had I known what it was going to be like I would have skipped Ushuaia/El Calafate/Perito Moreno too.
  4. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

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    From El Bolson we went south to Esquel, and then east towards the coast. The ride south until Esquel was just as amazing as the ride the day before. Here are some shots...

    There is a relatively good alternative to the expensive hotels in Patagonian cities. Pretty much every city has a municipal campground or three. They are expensive as far as camping goes (about 6 bucks per person) but much MUCH cheaper than the hotels. They have good shower facilities and lots of good shady spots. Most are right on the edge of the city so you can walk to where ever you want to go to eat or get online. This is our site in El Bolson. We stayed up until midnight talking to some high school age Argentinians about all sorts of things. Good Spanish practice.

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    Although the mountains in the Lakes District can look huge, they are all relatively small on the Andean scale. Only the tallest of the tall reach heights of over 10,000 feet, and its not much more than that. The last hurrah of the really tall Andean mountains is Aconcagua outside of Mendoza. After that as you go south the tree line drops dramatically.

    You drop out of the Altiplano about 400kms from Esquel, and when you do its back to Argentina as usual... nothing but flat Pampas and wind. We rode over 400kms today of straight flat Pampa, and nothing but. Nothing to take a picture of whatsoever.
  5. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    Sorry guys for the bad moments in Argentina. I'm originally from there and I flight pretty often (This time I'm riding :evil) and I saw how the prices were getting higher every year.
    Argentina had a foreign touristic boom a few years ago but now with the new prices people will stop going.
    The behavior of some people like the one that tried to charged you $20 for the bikes while the cars were paying $6 doesn't help to bring more tourist.
    In Argentina the people have a very short term vision about business. They try to get as much as they can in the shortest period of time.
    I hope you can enjoy the rest of your journey in Argentina.
  6. Nata Harli

    Nata Harli Accidental Tourista

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    I wrote that before I knew their decision was final. I'm disappointed they won't make Ushuaia, but for selfish reasons. I fully understand their decision and am behind them 100%.

    I like the kind of rides where you have a destination "in mind" and if you make it, fine, and if you don't make it, that's fine also. It's the journey, not the final destination that's important.

    Just to have made it as far as they did is a monumental accomplishment and I appreciate them taking us along for the ride.

    So, I guess these are "updated" words of wisdom from an old geezer. :evil
  7. bananaman

    bananaman transcontimental

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    I completely understand your frustration- risk, fatigue, wind, assholes-

    You can up to Buenos Aires after you photograph some penguins, and you can continue up to Uruguay and Brazil, or you can come home, and you can think your ride is over, but you're not riders anymore. You guys are travellars, overlandars, and something I never heard of before in real life... I think you're heros?

    The only way to make this thread better would be to add photos of hot food and babes. Wait- you're going to BA! :clap
  8. Nata Harli

    Nata Harli Accidental Tourista

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    To quote Bananaman - Respect, mon, respect :super
  9. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

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    Id like to set a few things straight about Argentina. First, the riding here, has been, imho, really crappy. Also the prices are through the roof, as bad or worse than US prices in many cases. The parts of Argentina Ive seen have led to me believe that this is simply not a place for cheap motorcycle travel.

    On the other hand the culture here is great. The people seem almost European, but humbler. We passed one night in El Bolson passing around a cup of Yerba Mattè with some kids just out of high school. They were great examples of the kind of people that I love to meet, serious people, but very friendly.They listened with attention to our travel stories, and shared their stories with us. We discussed a little history and politics. The whole conversation had an air of curiousity, patience and respect that is so often lacking in the world. I think and hope that this generation of Argentines will have a lot to offer their country and probably the world.

    There are people out travelling this country on a scale and in a manner which I have never really observed. Their are droves of hitch-hikers, and backpackers, not of the arrogant, spoiled, drug addled sort weve seen north of here either. But, rather, people out discovering their own country for themselves, just, as Joe said earlier, as people must have done in the US in the 60s and 70s. The people here are also very friendly, everywhere we go we people are giving us the thumbs up and making with freindly conversation. Gone however is the overbearing sort of Latin American friendliness that seems to demand your immediate reciporical enthusiasasm. Here, perhaps, there is more of a sense of personal space, I find this refreshing.

    So, although the riding has been utterly enjoyable for the most part, and the prices are nothing short of horriffic, I will leave with a great impression of Argentina.
    :clap
  10. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

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    I think some of our predecessors may have torn that dirt track up on their motos leaving the owners a little wary :dunno Still that was probably the rudest Ive ever been to someone down here, asking her why they didnt like motos, and telling her no I wouldnt move my bike, because there was plenty of room, and just generally taking a tone with her.

    Good to hear from you Neil, but Im starting to think well never see those pics :lol2

    Unfortunately no, no Portuguese and no money.
  11. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

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    I doubt it :lol3, but if you managed to get it that dirty my hat goes off to you.
  12. milk budda

    milk budda Been here awhile

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    Always enjoy checking in on your world.
    Sorry to hear you've (for lack of a better term) "hit the wall" , just know that it is temporay. At certain times things always seem better some where else, doing something else. Shit thats why I am reading about what you guys are doing wishing I was there.
    Hey you could always be waking up tomorrow too early, from some damn alarm clock just to join the ant parade in a 10 mph stop and go, to some lame job that you totally hate just to pay for some place, so that you can do it all over again tomorrow ....if you know what I mean.
    ENJOY THE MOMENT Travel safe.
  13. bwalsh

    bwalsh Long timer

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    Hats of to you two! I too just recently found this site too. To busy with other adventures you know. This was the second thread I got "caught up" in. I spent close to ten hours(Dial up connection:cry) over several nights reading through the entire thread. Best book I have read in awile! Just couldnt turn away. And the pictures have been nothing short of fantastic. thanks for letting all of us share your trip. National Geographic's got nothin on you guys.
    Now I am inspired to take a long trip similar to yours.... Well maybe not quite that long. :lol3

    Like bananaman said! :thumb

    Best of luck with the rest of the trip!
    Now wheres that darn smilie with the popcorn box......:lurk
    Bob
  14. Martincito

    Martincito Adventurer

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    I'll be arriving to Buenos Aires tomorrow. I'll stay there for a week befroe heading south. If you guys are in BsAs at the same time pm me.
    I'd like to show you the city and do some beers. I used to live in BsAs and I know the city quite well. :freaky
  15. RUGGER64

    RUGGER64 COMMUTER

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    I do not see the reason to fight the pampa to go south to TDF, it is windy and boring. A much better route it is thru Chile:freaky no wind, lots of dirt if you want to use it. The coast and the Andes right there, then you cross into Argentina near Puerto Montt and ride south with more energy and money.:ricky
    Maybe you guys should try go up north and fly out from Santiago, shipping your bikes thru Valparaiso.
    my 0.2 cents:deal
  16. Nina

    Nina Been here awhile

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    Your lakes pictures are amazing, Joe. I was hoping we'd be there today but we are stuck in Chos Malal waiting for gas. Apparently there isn't any for 170 KMs! The tankers actually arrived 2 hours ago, but they are still not pumping gas :cry Hope to make Bariloche tonight - if they manage to fill the 30 people in front of us any time soon! Looks like we will fly out of BA on Friday the 13th, so hopefully we'll catch you on the way back up. Until then, have fun. Still loving the RR. :clap
  17. Bluebull2007

    Bluebull2007 Adventurer

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    Ag no....:huh Are you telling me you still cant see them?? I re-uploaded them and everything.

    What the heck is going on?:cry
  18. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

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    Wow that sucks. We´ve been places that only have one grade of gas... and no non-diesel oil... but not totally out. That sucks.

    Screw Bariloche! Spend the night in Junin de los Andes and then ride down and around to Bariloche and further south.

    I don´t know if I (we) will still be in Buenos Aires when you get there, however I was thinking today (thats all you can do riding the pampas) there is a good chance I will be in the Bay area sometime this spring for Teach for America, if so I will look you guys up.
  19. j_seguin

    j_seguin Been here awhile

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    Not a lot to add today. The penguins were a bit of a let down. You ride almost 200kms out of the way to this little fenced off area with Penguins around it. They are cute... but it wasn´t what either of us was expecting. Other than that... we rode the pampas. Flat. Straight. Hot. Two more days of this until we are done.
  20. Charles Seguin

    Charles Seguin Noob4Life

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    :thumb we`ll be there in 2 days. I`ll send a PM tomorrow.

    We don`t either anymore. We were told that this was the more interesting route by a couple of people. The boredom is killing us.

    My only advice is to not go any further south than BA. Suerte!

    We`ve definitely hit it. I am excited for BA but dreading the next 2 days ride up there in the hot, straight and boring.