Young Aussie biting off way more than he can chew : LA -> TDF

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by clumsy_culhane, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

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    Punta Arenas was a bit of a weird time, I really enjoyed my time there but not for the city itself, but the hostel I was at and the people within. I stayed at Entre Vientos which is on the outskirts of town, but it had amazing ocean views, a great kitchen and lots of good people which made it a fantastic four nights. I arrived late in the arvo on Christmas Eve, hoping that there would be a group I cook a dinner with. There was, in fact, a group but even better they were already cooking and they had extras. I brought some extra wine to the party (can't show up emptyhanded of course) and the eight of us had a great night. Most of us had met only that day! No photos, was too busy having fun. Side note - I need to stop falling for Europeans, my heart can't take seeing a someone for a few days/weeks then separating, never to be seen again!

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    I was in Punta Arenas for four nights as I needed to sort out two tyres and change the front sprocket back to the 16 tooth to get some extra speed. The Zona Franca had the tyres for almost the same price, if not cheaper than back home. I ended up with a road tyre for the front but its no issue as there's only 100km of gravel left for the whole trip. I met another overlander at the hostel who also needed work done - so we teamed up to search for parts.

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    For working on the bike in Punta Arenas I can't recommend highly enough the crew at La Guarida. Its a motocafe with a super lovely owner, a bit of a hub for the local moto scene.

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    Took the rite of passage on the ferry - a fairly boring two hour trip. Grey and rainy which is classic Patagonia.


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    Today I rode to Ushuaia. I can't believe it. I did it! I rode all the way to Ushuaia, Argentina! After 27,434 km and 165 days I've arrived at the southernmost city in the world after starting in Los Angeles, USA. Also, nobody ever mentions the last 50km of the ride includes some awesome twisties through the mountains, it was a super nice surprise after thousands of km's of straight roads!

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    I'm off for a steak and beer.. more thoughts later.
  2. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Saludos y felicidades! Never in doubt.
  3. Beenriding

    Beenriding Adventurer

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    Thanks for your commitment to posting. I enjoyed the trip every step (post) of the way. I cant wait for my time to get here and start this coming fall. It's because of people like you that infused this dream into my mind. Now I hope I can only do half a good a job as you when it's my turn.

    -Ben
  4. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys. I'm leaving Ushuaia tomorrow, there's not much of interest here for me and I sorta just want to be in B.A. and off the bike. I've been in contact with Dakar Motos about flying it home and although its pricey (~2500 USD) its looking like my best option, outside of a random guy who is interested in buying it but its not looking too certain. I'm not looking forward to the long days ahead, but at least now I can cruise at 120 km/h+ with the new sprocket!
    Turkeycreek likes this.
  5. SnipTheDog

    SnipTheDog Been here awhile

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    Congrats on achieving your goal and thanks for taking us along with you.

    I would seriously think about the value of the bike before paying that much to ship it. If it's 50% of the value, you're better off trying to sell it and buy something different in Oz.
  6. Raconnol

    Raconnol Long timer

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    We (I) tend to see most ADV riders divided two categories. The bitter and grumpy old guys, who have done their time, and perhaps a marriage or two, and now, have the means and desire to leave the BS of the 1st world problems in their mirrors.

    And the young riders (male and female) who, and I say this with full respect, are just too naive to know better, who just get on a bike and figure it out along the way. There is a third group, which a few and far between, and those are the middle age female riders who, for various reasons, leave it all behind and just want to get on the road.

    My son is one of those young riders, and well, I guess I am the old guy.

    What I have seen with almost all riders is the "Post Adventure Blues".

    Nobody seems to talk about this, that perfectly natural feeling that happens after the goals of the mission are met, and the initial celebration is complete. Going back to the world that now looks more boring and phoney than ever before is difficult, and for the younger people, they really seem to struggle. Yes, it is great to reconnect with family and friends, but after that, working 9 to 5 in a cube appears as death through slow torture.

    What I find that helps is starting as soon as possible on planning the next big adventure.

    "I need to stop falling for Europeans; my heart can't take seeing a someone for a few days/weeks then separating, never to be seen again!"

    Who am I to give anyone advice, however, "Never to be seen again" is a choice, and if your heart is telling you something, then perhaps it is time to listen.

    If you have found someone that your heart tells you, you can share a lifetime of adventure with; then I would respectfully suggest you need follow up on that.

    I thought my son was seriously off his rocker when he told us he brought home his girlfriend from REO, that special girl he met on his KLR trip to Ushuaia. Immigration, culture, work and funding are all big issues to work through. Hell, they even had a tough time talking to each other, they both have a basic working knowledge of Spanish, but he knew very little of Portuguese, and she spoke zero English.

    And yet, here we are three years later, she is living in Canada, taking English classes every day and she landed immigrant status is almost complete. Imagine that, a girl from Reo living through three Canadian winters on Ottawa. How bad can that be you ask, well check out this link?

    You can pick up another KLR anywhere, but a great partner in life, well, that is worth so much more and if you choose wisely, the best adventure of them all. :)

    Respectfully,

    Rick
  7. newcastlebob

    newcastlebob Adventurer

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    Yeah, now that you mention it, it does seem a bit cool here today:-)
    roadcapDen likes this.
  8. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

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    Yup, I'm currently thinking $2000 USD bike only, $4000 with absolutely everything including tools/GPS/accessories etc. If I sold just the bike for near that amount I would come out ahead compared to the shipping cost. Its just hard finding buyers! I'll be doing the rounds at biker spots and mechanics in B.A. thats for sure!

    Thanks for the insightful post Rick! I was definitely naive, and now just a little less so!

    I’m well aware of the post-adventure blues, and I have a few plans to keep me occupied. After Ironmans (long distance triathlon, years of training) you get super lost and demotivated, combined with the physical symptoms of the tough race it can be a really tough time.

    After years of debating back and forth, I’m going to pursue a career change into medicine (from engineering). This will involve getting home and studying hard for two months for an entrance exam, then going back to university the year after if I am able to get in. That’s another whole adventure to look forward to!

    Re the girls - I had heard many similar stories before I left and was quite determined for it not to happen to me, I can’t really articulate why. The comment was mostly in jest, I’m firmly in the belief that there’s plenty of people in the world to connect with, I’m not too worried about finding someone a bit closer to home!

    I feel travelling often provides a bit of a fake connection due to the cute accents, different histories and freedom of being on the road. The one that stung the most I was only travelling with for a few days but in that time I feel we covered a lot of ground - I feel pretty strongly about her now, but part of that is the nostalgia of travelling. There’s a number of things that probably wouldn’t work out if it had progressed into something proper! I have too much uncertainty in my future to latch onto someone now, it wouldn’t be fair on them.
  9. Raconnol

    Raconnol Long timer

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    "it wouldn’t be fair on them."
    And are you are deciding for both of you, and without her input?!?! The first serious GF will address that little issue! LOL!

    A career in Medicine is cool, especially within us commonwealth countries that have true universal health care. I have close family members with lots of funny little letters behind their titles, and I have spent the last 25 years working as an IT Geek leading great group of people on electronic health records for the BC Ministry of Health. I also volunteer for great medical teams that do emergency responses to major incidents worldwide check out GlobalMedic.ca.

    Medicine will suck the life out of you for 8 or more year, however, once on the other end you can successfully mix the passion for medicine with love for Adventure.
    And if you think you have problems with girls now, just wait till they find you at the last year of medical school!

    BTW to be fair, I should come clean and confess to talking about you in your absence. This summer, my son and I arrived in Banamichi and checked into the Hotel Los Arcos de Sonora we immediately started talking with Tom (@Turkeycreek) about the ride down and the high river crossings. We had no real issues and I mentioned to Tom I was following your thread very closely and was very aware of the high water problems you encountered during the rainy season.

    Tom can correct me if I don't correctly quote him, but as best as memory services, Tom did say something along the lines of:

    I knew the current river crossing getting into town where near impossible with the water moving high as fast. I look up, and I see this tall and lanky young (Ozzie) rider walk in, obviously in MC gear and perfectly dry and clean and the first thing I thought of was where the heck did you come from and how the heck did you get here?!?!

    Anyway, we had a good laugh and talked about your most resent posts, and though it was great, you were out doing what you are doing as it is following your posts and seeing you sucessfully achieve your goals. I am also impressed with your positive attitude. So many of these trip reports also including some rather bitter and nasty comments directed others when things go a little sideways. People get tired, frustrated and need to vent, I get that. However, your thread here is the type of positive information that vendors would have an interestin sponsoring. Should that need ever arise! :)

    Good luck with the medical books and good luck keeping the mind focused and from wondering back to these great days on your KLR!!

    Rick
  10. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    You are pretty much dead on quoting me. We were waiting on 20 silver miners who were stuck on the other side of the raging arroyo just north of us and here comes Chris. He looked calm. He said later it was the one of the craziest days of his life to that point.
    A real accomplishment done with wit, humor and and grace.
    clumsy_culhane likes this.
  11. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

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    Haha that probably came across less egalitarian than I would like, you'll have to take my word that I'm not like that!

    Thanks, I try to keep this positive as it's also my memory, I'm already forgetting things and I don't want to look back and see bitterness. There's definitely been frustrations and challenges beyond what I could have imagined, but I kinda enjoy that (we all do otherwise we would fly!).

    Hoping the same attitude will serve me well in medicine, we'll see how that goes, probably beyond the scope of this forum!

    I'm definitely going to send some of the nicer pics through to the various manufacturers of the kit I'm using, not because I want sponsorship (way too late for that now) but I think the teams behind them might get a kick out of it!


    Sent from my SM-G920I using Tapatalk
    chudzikb and bungen like this.
  12. purrretrog

    purrretrog Adventurer

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    Congrats on making it! If you find a buyer for the bike, what are your plans for transferring the ownership?
  13. BigKev72

    BigKev72 ANZAC

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    Well done mate. Thanks for being diligent and keeping up with your posts.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. Pete_Tallahassee

    Pete_Tallahassee Grampy

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    When I hit a goat this February in Chile I was faced with what to do with the bike. I was being transported back home in five days. Long story short... I had all my documents photocopied, (title, registration, passport). I then signed this paper in front of a notary stating I was loaning my motorcycle to said individual (The ER Doctor) for as long as he wished to use it. I also gave permission for the bike to leave the country. I left him my tag.
    I do not know how this worked out. He loaned me some money. :-)
  15. Raconnol

    Raconnol Long timer

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    " I also gave permission for the bike to leave the country. I left him my tag. I do not know how this worked out. He loaned me some money."
    :)

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  16. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

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    Melbourne, Australia
    Currently have a local who is interested in the bike just for parts, so no transfer required. Another guy is interested and is happy to go through the process of getting a PODER.

    ________________

    Oh boy. Whenever you think you have a cruisy ride ahead, luck always has something up its sleeve. Leaving Ushuaia I thought I was in for a relatively easy day up to Rio Gallegos. Sure it was ~585 km, and had two border crossings but the roads were straight and good.

    Well 20 km I got my first real puncture of the trip. Nice big screw right through the meat of the front tyre. No worries, there's worse places to change a tube (although I could have done without the rain!), and the front is a hell of a lot easier to change. Other than taking two shots to get the bead seated, I was pretty happy how it went, all done in about an hour.

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    Rolling into Rio Grande for fuel it was super windy, wet and apparently oily - as I was turning through a roundabout the bike disappeared from underneath me. It's my first fall on the road that's been entirely my fault, so it definitely bruised the ego. Annoyingly the mount for an aux light broke again but that was the only real damage. Walking back to look at the road there was a large rut/lump in the road, I didn't see it and turned into the side of it, slipping down the side. The remnants of WD-40 on the tyre (used to get the tyre back on more easily) probably didn't help things either...

    Caught the ferry (45 mins wait) and ended up arriving in Rio Gallegos at about 9:15 pm, a solid 12 hours after I had left! Determined to make today more successful, I set the alarm for 4am aiming to get to Puerto Madryn, some 1200 km away. The lack of sleep hindered progress, as well as the mind-numbingly boring road, leading me to pull the pin in Caleta Olivia. This means I'll get to Buenos Aires in five days ride, all between 500 and 700 km days which is more achievable. Probably was aiming too high to prove to myself I could still ride a bike after yesterday's embarrassment... not the best idea!
  17. Turkeycreek

    Turkeycreek Gringo Viejo

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    Gravity. Sometimes your friend, sometimes not.
  18. Addapost

    Addapost Adventurer

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    Massachusetts
    Great report of a fantastic trip. Thank you for sharing
  19. #1Fan

    #1Fan Been here awhile

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    Congrats on the milestone of Ushuaia!! And thanks for keeping us updated on your adventure!! :clap:clap:clap
  20. clumsy_culhane

    clumsy_culhane Been here awhile

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    Thanks guys! Only one day left of riding for a long time!!! 700 km to go! No real update as the road is horrifically boring and straight, its a real battle staying awake. Stopping every 100km for coca cola and to stretch. I have someone interested in buying the bike for parts which would save me a heck of a lot of money in shipping it back. I have 10 days to sort everything out before flying home.