Unfinished Business – Ancient Mariners are heading to Ushuaia – AGAIN

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by lakota, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Day D-5

    It's freezing cold in Maryland and my longtime friend and riding companion Jack (JAirlie on ADVrider) and I are headed back to South America. This will be the third attempt by the Ancient Mariners to get to Ushuaia. Our first real go at it was in the fall of 2016 when we went to Peru and bought 250 Hondas from Around the Block Moto Adventures http://www.aroundtheblockmotoadventures.com/ using their buy back program. However, bike problems and Peruvian paperwork proved to be obstacles too big to overcome. This being said, the riding in Peru was fabulous. You can read/reread about Peru at https://advrider.com/f/threads/beyo...ns-ancient-mariners-into-the-unknown.1176639/

    Last February we tried a different tact. Thanks to @blaster11 and @Dorito we were turned on to Ride Adventures https://www.rideadv.com/. They offer a number of tours around the world, some guided and some self-guided. We chose a self-guided tour that would take us to Ushuaia. They would provide the motorcycles, hotel reservations, do some advance stuff with regards to border crossing, and we could walk away from the bikes when the ride was over. This is not our normal way to travel but it seemed like a good plan for this ride. Some of you may say this is to soft to be an adventure but for this ride it works for us.

    We decided to start in Pucon, Chile. As it turns out our Naval Academy classmate John Volker and family were vacationing there at the same time as we were, and we had a great visit with John. Unfortunately, the ride was not so great. Jack crashed out on Day 2 of the ride with a broken foot (picture of the foot is in the link below. It is not for the faint of heart) and we had to come home, suffering all the expected monetary penalties. You can read/reread about this failure at https://advrider.com/f/threads/iso-...ng-for-where-the-sidewalk-ends-again.1280870/

    So now it's 2019. We are going back to finish the job. Jack is flying to Baltimore on February 4 and we will fly to Santiago on the 5th. In the mysteries of the airline industry, it is cheaper for Jack to fly from Pensacola to Maryland and then fly to Chile than it is to fly from Pensacola to Chile. Same rental company, same motorcycles (Honda CB500X), almost thesame dates. Only difference is at the start we have only 2 days in Pucon instead of 4. We will start riding south on Friday the 8th.

    The Spot link is at https://spotwalla.com/tripViewer.php?id=104c85706c5a7e1402
    #1
  2. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    Well, I’m in, of course. What fool wouldn’t be?
    #2
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  3. MarkMexico

    MarkMexico "A roving stove gratifies no mice!"

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    I'm in also. 3rd time the charm, let's hope. Keep writing!
    #3
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  4. ThirtyOne

    ThirtyOne I got my wings back. Supporter

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    Cool. Following along. Best of luck this time around!
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  5. blaster11

    blaster11 Still having fun!

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    In!
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  6. Dynamick

    Dynamick Not Available in Stores Supporter

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    In :thumb!
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  7. Richarde1605

    Richarde1605 Long timer

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    In.
    Please expand on the Ancient Mariners, surely they would try a different 'tack'
    Sounds quite the adventure, call me Ishmael :-)
    #7
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  8. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    if you are really Ismael then you would understand that Ushuaia is turning into our "White Whale". :lol3

    as for Ancient Mariners, we are both in our 70s and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1967. That should qualify as ancient.:-)
    #8
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  9. Dan Diego

    Dan Diego Long timer

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    You didn’t have to say you were in your 70’s...with an IBA # of 575!

    Very inspiring, looking forward to this one.
    #9
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  10. SuperChuck

    SuperChuck Been here awhile

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    Best of luck, keep us posted!:lurk
    #10
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  11. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    D-3 A day of airports

    The day started like a normal day. Up at 5 to finish packing, walk and feed the dogs, and throw the bags in the car for the run to the airport (BWI if you are asking). First stop after leaving home was the Double T diner for breakfast. Uneventful until Jack was using his phone. One of his hearing aids had the battery go dead so he took it out. In the car after we ate He went to install a new battery only he had no hearing aid. Called the diner using his good ear but no luck. Now I have to make sure I am talking to his right ear.

    We get to the airport and there are no lines so we get checked in in a hurry. TSA pre-check is closed at Concourse C so we wander over to B and get in line. Have you noticed that pre-check lines are longer than the regular lines these days? Get to the front and the TSA lady says you don't have pre-check so go to the regular line. Why didn't I get pre-check? It is in my profile. Love the airlines. So i head over and there is no one there. Jack is still in the" fast?" line and three or four back from the screener as I take my boots off and slide my gear to the x-ray machine. Meanwhile, the folks in Jack's line recognize the impromptu competition and guide him to the front. I am leading as the scanner looks me over. In my hurry i left some junk in my pockets and the netbook in the carry on bag. Now I am at all stop as Jack finishes up and hides his laughter as TSA runs me back and forth. Fun and games.

    We board and head to Miami. I flop in my seat and the lady by the window starts laughing. She was one of Jack's helpers.:-)
    Get to Miami 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Now we have an 8 hour layover. Why so long you ask. We originally had a plane that left BWI at 5PM so the wait would be about 3 hours but American cancelled that flight back in October and moved us back to noon. Thanks American.

    I have been upgraded to Business for the flight to Santiago so I can use the American lounges. There are two. However, my class of ticket does not allow for guests so Jack has to buy a one day membership for $59. This gets him into the basic louge but not the fancier one and I can't take him there either. C'est la vie. It is still infinitely more comfortable here than anywhere else. We will make do.

    IMG_1859.jpg

    IMG_20190205_151716.jpg
    #11
  12. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Day D -3 continued

    I was asked for food porn so we had sandwiches from the lounge snack bar

    EA19AF51-2D8E-4E25-B90F-5A0DC0B50197.jpeg
    #12
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  13. ShineySideUp

    ShineySideUp Long timer

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    N :beer
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  14. DKW1200

    DKW1200 Been here awhile

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    Best of luck. Looking forward to your adventure. Cheers.
    #14
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  15. KURT LAIN

    KURT LAIN loco

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    Lanus, Argentina
    Have an excellent trip and enjoy a lot, Ushuaia is a beautiful place, hugs!
    #15
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  16. Steve

    Steve n00b

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    The boys (Norbert, Manfred, Joe, Mike) and I are wishing you good luck. Jealous that we won't be in Pucon for the send off this time. Have fun!
    #16
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  17. poolman

    poolman Gnarly Poolside Adv. Supporter

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    Have an awesome trip and stay safe! :photog
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  18. borderlinebob

    borderlinebob Been here awhile

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    In to follow this one.
    Turn 70 my next bday and thought I was too old for this schitt; but now I see you guys are sure gonna throw that theory out the window
    Can hardly wait for the “real stuff”
    Plus after seeing your style I think I gotta go read your prior posts.
    Dang it anyway.
    —I read.
    —You ride.
    —Have to change this.

    Have fun guys
    #18
  19. GF-kam

    GF-kam Been here awhile

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  20. lakota

    lakota Geeser

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    Day D-2

    The flight from Miami to Santiago was uneventful. Slept some and watched the most recent Mission Impossible movie. Okay, I guess. Immigration and customs were what you would expect – long lines and mass confusion. But it gets finished eventually. The strangest thing was seeing bags X-rayed before they entered the country. And have no clue as to how they decided who would win the x-ray prize. We were not selected.

    Then it is upstairs to find Sky Air, the domestic airline we are using for both the outbound and return legs of the trip. But first find the ATM and get some Chilean money. I remembered where we found it last year so one at a time we go for cash. Then we try and figure the exchange rate. It is 694 pesos to the dollar so having 100,000 pesos looks like a lot but in reality, it is about $142. If you are traveling in Chile on Sky Air get the Sky Pass. About $7 per person. So instead of crawling along in a line of over 100 travelers, we have a special line with only 4 ahead of us. And when boarding Sky Pass gets on first. Baggage is checked and now we have 3 hours till the flight. Find a place to hang out. We use the restaurant we used last year.

    [​IMG][/URL
    ]

    It’s time to get on the plane. The heat in the jetway is borderline stifling. It’s been in the 90s here, which is 50+ degrees warmer than the last week in Maryland. We have exit row seats. Major leg room on this flight.

    [​IMG][/URL
    ]

    Things continue to go smoothly. We are off the plane, grab our bags, and head over to the bus. This is old hat again. We know where to go and what it costs. Not even an hour to the hotel. Volcan Villarrica is a major attraction around here.

    [​IMG][/URL
    ]

    We get to the hotel. It is right on the lake. There are good points and bad points about it. On the class scale it is an 8 where the hotel we used last year is a 2. On the activity scale this is a 1 and last year’s a 10. There is nothing special about the hotel other than it will be a shorter taxi ride to get the bikes. It's only saving grace (from my viewpoint) is that it does have a restaurant. Limited menu but the food is good (so far).

    Hotel

    [​IMG][/URL
    ]

    Main Entrance

    [​IMG][/URL
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    Lobby

    [​IMG][/URL
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    Room

    [​IMG][/URL
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    View from our balcony

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    [​IMG][/URL
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    View from the bar

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    [​IMG][/URL
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    Food porn – these are not burgers. One is a meat and cheese and the other meat, tomato, and avocado.

    [​IMG][/URL
    ]


    We are not sure how tomorrow will go. We have an email in to the rental agent and are hoping we can get the bikes tomorrow. That will simplify getting on the road Friday. And maybe we can Uber into town.
    #20
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