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Ride Tales An easy way to post your ride reports, whether it's a weekend ride or around the world. Please make the first words of the title WHERE the ride is. See the announcement in the forum for details on posting. Please do NOT just post a link to your site. For a link, see Get a Link.
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  #91  
Old 11 May 2012
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The Adventure Begins... An Ounce Of Prevention


I woke up this morning and heard raindrops on the tin roof. A pleasant sound if you're planning to stay under the covers. Not such a pleasant sound to hear if you want to ride some miles on a motorcycle.

My boots have not proven to be waterproof despite being marketed as waterproof with a gortex liner. I've tried protecting them with creams and waxes, but nothing has proven to work completely.

I thought that I'd make my own provision using duct tape.

I think it looks pretty diesel...what do you say?
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  #92  
Old 11 May 2012
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The Adventure Begins... Escaping The Cold


It started to snow in Puerto Varas. It was already cold. It was already raining. I should have known that snow could not be far behind. I've been chasing Spring, but Winter has been chasing me...and it caught up.

I had to make a decision. I could travel north via Ruta 40 in the snow or travel north by water ferry on the Navimag.

Ruta 40 is a famous road which stretches south and north in western Argentina. It has a similar mystique as Route 66 in the states. However, the southern part of Ruta 40 is famous for having loose gravel and strong winds. Not such a great combination to ride on bike when you mix in a little snow or ice.

The Navimag is a water ferry that travels from Puerto Natales to Puento Montt in southern Chile and passes through picturesque fjords. It's a relaxing way to see southern Chile, but not exactly exciting.

While I was walking around Puerto Natales trying to make a decision, I saw a sign.

I saw what looked like a new yellow BMW800 GS, a motorcycle that typically costs about $16,000. However, this bike had a broken windshield, scrapes on the side and was being trailered. I can only guess that it was a casualty of Ruta 40. I've heard many stories from riders whom have ridden the southern section of Ruta 40 and regretted it. Some recount days of torture. Some recount stories of wipeouts. I was not feeling up to Ruta 40. Maybe if I had a riding partner, but not riding solo.

I decided to take the Navimag.

I booked my ticket in the morning and I boarded that same evening...escaping the cold.

Emi had some company in the cargo area. There were two BMW1200 GSs along for the ride. One GS was being ridden by Andrew and Cathy a couple from South Africa. The second GS had a sidecar and was being ridden by Matt and Kristen a couple from Texas.

There were also a few trucks and a flock of sheep down below.

On deck we had nice views of the fjords.

Clouds obscuring the mountains.

Mountains obscuring the clouds.

And when the light lined up correctly with the clouds there were rainbows.

The sunrises could be spectacular.

But they were sometimes overshadowed by the sunsets.

I'm not exactly sure how these colors were produced.

Even when it was cloudy and gray there was some dramatic scenery.

We eventually reached Puerto Montt.

See Video
Here's a short 30 second visual of the Navimag experience.
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  #93  
Old 11 May 2012
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The Adventure Begins... New Tread

I had a little over 14,000 miles on my bike. About 7,000 on the current tires. It was about time to put on some new tread.
I inquired around Puerto Varas and no shops seemed to have a tire in the size I needed. I was told that there was a shop in a town called Osorno that might have the right size.
I looked it up on the Internet and sent the shop, MotoAdventura, an inquiry by email. They responded back that they had the tire that I needed and that they could hold it for me.

In Osrono, I found MotoAdventura.

They had a nicely equipped store and were a retailer of BMW bikes.

They helped me put on a new Perelli MT60, the same tire that I was currently riding on.

The front tire seemed to still be in pretty good shape so I opted to leave it on.
New tread for some new adventures.
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  #94  
Old 11 May 2012
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The Adventure Begins... The Seven Lakes

I left Puerto Varas and once again crossed from Chile into Argentina.

I traveled through Parque Peyuhue and over the Andean Mountains. It was a rainy and cold day, but the route was scenic. I was heading toward an area known as the lakes district and specifically a picturesque route called The Seven Lakes.

The first stop was a town called Villa de la Angostura... nothing special.

From Villa de la Angostura I would ride to San Martin de Los Andes and then to Junin de Los Andes.

This is what I passed along the way.

The route was 110 km...40 km of which was gravel.











Finally arriving at San Martin de Los Andes.

I took a short break for lunch in San Martin then headed on to Junin.

See Video
Here is a short 2 minute video about the experience of traveling the road along The Seven Lakes.
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  #95  
Old 11 May 2012
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The Adventure Begins... Gaucho

After arriving in Junin de Los Andes I decided to ride around a bit to scout out some fishing locations.

As I was riding down this one road in the middle of nowhere I saw this gentleman.

His name is Estuardo... and he is a genuine gaucho. I stopped to talk to him.

In Spanish, I said, "I'm looking for a river to go fishing." He said, "You need to keep following the road for another 10 km to the river."

I said, "Are you a gaucho." He said, "yes." I said, "Do you ride a horse?" He said, "yes." I said, "Do you work with cattle?" He said, "yes." I said, "Cool."

Estuardo wasn't real talkative. I think that he may have been a little surprised to see a guy on a motorcycle wearing a space suit riding around in the middle of the pampa.

I said, "Can I take a photo of you?" He said, "yes."
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  #96  
Old 12 May 2012
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Howdy from Central Texas Troy! Rock on dude-enjoy life!
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  #97  
Old 14 May 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mudclod View Post
Howdy from Central Texas Troy! Rock on dude-enjoy life!
Cheers! I'm sure the weather is perfect for riding in Central Texas right now. Enjoy it while it is good!
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  #98  
Old 12 Jul 2012
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The Adventure Begins... Paso Del Indios

Wow... it's been a long time since my last post. I'll try to bring y'all up to date.

From Bariloche I wanted to travel to Puerto Madryn and the Valdez Peninsula. I planned to split the journey of about 620 miles (1000 km) into two segments. From the map you can see that there really was not much in between the two locations. There was one town called Esquel in the west, one town called Trelew in the east, and in-between... there was whole lot of nothing...except pampa.

Supposedly, about half way between these locations there was a town called Paso Del Indio (The Indian Pass). It was on a road map that I had, but it did not show up on google maps. Paso Del Indio would be my resting place since it was about the mid-way point. I searched online to see if there were any hotels in Paso Del Indio, but came up empty. Well... in a worse case scenario I could camp.

Gas would be another issue I had to consider. I generally can travel about 250 miles (400 km) on a full tank of gas. I was pretty certain that I could make it to Esquel and would be able to fill up. I hoped that I could then make it to Paso Del Indio, that there would be a gas station, that there would be gas and that I would be able to fill up. Then, I could make it to Trelew and would be able to fill up. From there I could make it to Puerto Madryn. A few months back, there were reports online that there were shortages of gas in the area. To be on the safe side I filled up my spare 10 liter gas tank... and said a little prayer that there would be gas in Paso Del Indio.

I headed down Ruta 40 to Ruta 25. It was a long and flat and straight asphalt road all the way. After a full day of riding I pulled into Paso de Los Indios.

In Paso Del Indio, I would estimate there were no more that 50 houses in the entire town. Exactly two hotels. One hotel had about 6 rooms. The second hotel had exactly 2 rooms. I stayed in the hotel with 2 rooms. The one restaurant in town wasn't open, so I went to a small tienda (store) and bought some ham and bread and made a sandwich for dinner. And, one gas station with gas! Not exactly a tourist destination. However, the people were super nice.

I bedded down for the evening.

The next day, I would continue on my way. I was not looking forward to the ride, because I anticipated that the road would be long and flat and straight and boring... and it was.

For a while... then I came across a beautiful pass...The Paso Del Indio. There were dramatic bluffs lining each side of the road, rock formations the size of skyscrapers and the road snaked between them. It reminded me of Big Bend, Texas or Sedona, Arizona. I was amazed.
See Video
Here is a short 1:30 minute video that shows some of the ride. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera mounted and ready to roll when I was passing through the really scenic areas.

I continued on my ride and came across these... Patagonian wild horse. I had read an article many months ago about Patagonian wild horses, but wasn't really expecting to see any. I believe that these were wild horses because they reacted to me and my bike as wild animals do... they ran away. All of the domesticated horses that I passed along the road never reacted to me...they simply stayed still. Cool!

It was just one of those days when I had to pinch myself... and be thankful for being in the moment. It was one of those days in which I was expecting the worse...but was blessed with something unexpected.
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  #99  
Old 12 Jul 2012
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The Adventure Begins... Puerto Piramides and Peninsula Valdez


My intention for riding to Puerto Madryn was to visit Puerto Piramides and the Peninsula Valdez. The Peninsula Valdez is known for being a prime location to observe marine life such as sea lions, elephant seals, fur seals, southern right whales, dolphins and orcas.

All I really wanted to see was the orcas.

In March and April the orcas are known to hunt sea lions and elephant seals in an area of the Peninsula Valdez called Punta Norte. At times, they beach themselves on shore to attack their prey. Pods teach their young how to hunt in this manner. It is the only place in the world where this style of orca hunting occurs.

It was the first week of May, so it was rather late in the season to observe this behavior. It was late in the sea lion breeding season and late in the orca migration season. I still thought that it was worth the effort to ride across Argentina for the chance to see this phenomena. I was hoping that everything would come together.

I arrived in Puerto Piramides and planned to stay for a few days. It was a pretty small town made up of two cross streets. The population of Puerto Piramides is supposedly around 200 people. The population of the entire Peninsula Valdez is supposedly around 400 people.

On my first full day on the peninsula I thought that I'd take a ride around the area to familiarize myself with the roads. The roads were all ripio (gravel). The peninsula may not look so big, but it is about 1,400 square miles.

See Video
Here is a short 45 second video of riding the ripio on the Peninsula Valdez. About 30 seconds into the video I pass some sheep on the right and some guanacos on the left.

Along the road I came across quite a few guanacos.

Also, I came across this pond in which there were a few pink flamingos.

I reached Punta Norte after about an hour and a half of riding. It was already mid-day. Looking out over Punta Norte I caught a glimpse of the beach at low tide.

Carved into the coast were these channels. During the low tide the channels appeared to be like hundreds of little islands.

Some sea lions and seabirds were playing among the channels and looking for food. There were no signs of orcas. I had been told that they only approach the beach at high tide.

So I hopped on my bike and rode south along the peninsula. Not many people around.

I caught a glimpse of something splashing in the water. It was too far away to discern what it was. It could have been a dolphin, whale or orca. I took this photo. Later when I looked at the photo on my computer and zoomed in I could tell that the dark object in the water was the fin of an orca.

I continued on my way. After an hour and a half of riding I reached Punta Coleta.

There were elephant seals lounging on the beach. Not much else going on.

It was getting late in the day, so I headed back toward Puerto Piramides. It would be another hour and a half of riding. The sun was starting to set in the west. Again, I had the road all to myself.

I made one last stop at a cove where a fairly large colony of sea lions were sunning themselves.

They were just doing what sea lions do...lying around doing nothing.

There was this one point jutting out from the cove. When the waves crashed into the point it made a dramatic splash.

This sea lion decided to go for a swim.

It slowly approached the edge of the cliff which was about 10 feet high.

Then plopped into the water.

It made a little splash and disappeared into the sea. It wasn't fancy, but effective I suppose.

It was getting late, the sun was almost over the horizon, so I returned to Puerto Piramides. In total, I rode about 130 miles (210 km) of ripio. I believe that the whole day I only saw three other vehicles on the road. I definitely felt like the peninsula was an isolated area.

It was the off-season for tourism and much of the town shut down pretty early. There was only one restaurant open. It only had six tables, a staff of two, but made really delicious pizza.

For a chance to see the orcas I would need to be at Punta Norte at high tide. I checked the tide charts online and high tide was forecast to be at 9am. It took 1:30 hours to ride from Puerto Piramides to Punta Norte. So, the next day I got up at 7am and left the hotel at 7:30am to ride back to Punta Norte. It was dark when I started. Luckily it was not too cold. It was a little tricky riding on the gravel in the dark, but I got accustomed to it. After about an hour there was sunlight. I arrived at Punta Norte at almost exactly 9am... just in time for high tide. And then I waited. I was surprised at how high the tide reached up the beach.

Looking south, this was low tide from the day before.

This was high tide.

Looking north, this was low tide from the day before

This was high tide. All of the channel islands were covered with water.

I waited and waited, but didn't see any orcas. I got a little bored, so I starting taking pictures of some little birds.

There wasn't anything else to do. I had been waiting around for about two hours... it was 11am. I was afraid that it was too late in the season.

Then off in the horizon I saw a spout. I used my zoom lens on my camera to see what it was.

Orcas! They came from the south and swam north along the beach. They were approaching the beach.

There were three orcas... an adult and two adolescents. They were cruising amazingly close to the beach...hunting. I believe that the adult was teaching the adolescents how to hunt sea lions in the shallows. The adult would chase a sea lion, then the adolescents would mimic the behavior.

This adult sea lion stayed in the water and appeared to be watching the orcas pass by until her pups could get out of the water.

It was intense. I don't know why this sea lion stayed so close to the water. The seabirds started following the orcas. I suppose that they knew that if the orcas were feeding... they might be able to pick up some scraps.

And it happened. I believe the adult caught a sea lion and chewed it up.

The sea birds dove into the water and picked up the pieces.
See Video
They passed right by a number of sea lions. Occasionally the orcas would go under the surface, chase sea lions and thrash about. This is a short 1 minute video showing the orcas hunting for sea lions. The sea birds are following the orcas hoping to pick up the scraps. 20 seconds into the video one sea lion is seen surfacing on the beach narrowly escaping. Another sea lion was not so lucky and became prey.

I watched the morbid spectacle for about an hour. The orcas made four passes along the length of the beach. They went north, then south, then north, then south. Then as quickly as they appeared... they disappeared into the deep water. Wow... did I really just witness that.

When I returned to my bike, this little critter was hanging about.

It's a Patagonian armadillo. Cute fellow... in a prehistoric kind of way. We have similar, but different, armadillos in Texas.

I also caught a glimpse of this Patagonia grey fox.

All in all, it was a pretty memorable experience.... traveling to the peninsula, scouting the area, riding the ripio, spotting some unusual wildlife and observing the orcas hunting. I definitely felt like I was out there. One park ranger said that I would have about a 3% chance of seeing orcas hunting so late in the season. Well, a slim chance is still a chance. Glad I took it.
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  #100  
Old 12 Jul 2012
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The Adventure Begins... Things To See In Mar Del Plata

I traveled along the coast to Mar Del Plata.

The countryside reminded me of Texas.

The city by the sea.

It was both modern

And old


Old house made into a museum

Ship compass

Postcard



Old water tower made into a museum

Water tower

City view

Old hotel

Door knocker

Door latch

Stained glass window

Park merry go round

Park pooches

Food sign

Food

Theatre

Theatre

Fiat

Statue

A like mind
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  #101  
Old 12 Jul 2012
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The Adventure Begins... Husqvarna TE310 bike review

Here is a review of the Husqvarna TE310 dual sport bike. I'm liking it.
See Video
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  #102  
Old 12 Jul 2012
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The Adventure Begins... Adventure Motorcycle Review

Here is a video reviewing big adventure motorcycles. Pity that they left out the Suzuki DR650... they don't know what they are missing.
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  #103  
Old 12 Jul 2012
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The Adventure Begins... Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay...Doors, Windows and ...


I took a little trip across the Rio de la Plata to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay. Uruguay is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to about 3.3 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo. An estimated 88% of the population are of European descent.

Colonia (formerly the Portuguese Colónia do Sacramento) is a city in southwestern Uruguay, by the Río de la Plata, facing Buenos Aires, Argentina. It is the oldest town in Uruguay and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a population of around 22,000.

It has an interesting history. Founded in 1680 by Portugal as Colónia do Sacramento, the colony was later disputed by the Spanish who settled on the opposite bank of the river at Buenos Aires. The colony was conquered by José de Garro in 1680, but returned to Portugal the next year. It was conquered again by the Spanish in March 1705 after a siege of five months, but given back in the Treaty of Utrecht. Another attack during the Spanish-Portuguese War, 1735-1737, failed.
It kept changing hands from crown to crown due to treaties such as the Treaty of Madrid in 1750 and the Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1777, until it remained with the Spanish. It then transferred to Portuguese control again, being later incorporated in Brazil after 1816, when the entire Banda Oriental (Uruguay) was seized by the government of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves and renamed the Cisplatina province.
Now part of the independent country of Uruguay, Colonia del Sacramento has expanded to the north and east, but the original Barrio Histórico (historic quarter) retains its irregular, terrain-fitting street plan built by the Portuguese, contrasting with the wider, orthogonal calles in the newer Spanish area.

The town has some colonial style buildings like the municipal hall.

And the cathedral

With a rather simple interior.

It has a waterfront that runs along the Rio de la Plata.

But, what I really enjoyed about this town was walking around the old town and viewing the doors, windows and passageways... they are simply beautiful.

Many of the doorways were quite ornate.







And the windows, as beautiful to look at, as to look out.








And the cobblestone passageways were quite inviting.









This little corner garden hid a secret.

A little nook for San Francisco.


I walked down by the waterfront.

And spotted these two fishermen enjoying the afternoon.



The town seemed to have an appreciation for old cars.



http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-fVV7JuZCD3...guay+-+038.jpg




And a few old motorcycles as well.



Little details








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  #104  
Old 12 Jul 2012
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The Adventure Begins... Buenos Aires, Argentina...In Summary



For me, Buenos Aires was truly a breath of fresh air. Some travelers do not really enjoy big cities. But for me, big cities are often a chance to unwind, clean up a bit, eat good food, visit museums, check out a show and soak up some culture. Since much of my time traveling around Argentina and specifically Patagonia was spent exploring outdoor activities and small towns, I was ready for a big city. Buenos Aires did not disappoint.

A little background... Buenos Aires is the capital and largest city of Argentina, and the second-largest metropolitan area in South America, after Greater Sao Paulo. It is located on the western shore of the estuary of the Río de la Plata, on the southeastern coast of the South American continent.

People from Buenos Aires are referred to as porteños (people of the port). Buenos Aires is a top tourist destination, and is known for its European style architecture and rich cultural life, with the highest concentration of theatres in the world.

My adventure in BA started with exploration of the various neighborhoods. I visited the neighborhood of Belgrano and the Barrio Chino (Chinatown). I caught a glimpse of the street culture admiring the graffiti and checking out the market of San Telmo. A highlight was definitely visiting the neighborhood of La Boca, impersonating a local and watching a Boca Juniors football game. The nightlife scene in BA kicked off on Monday and the percussion group La Bomba attracted a lively crowd. A walking tour of the downtown area provided me a better understanding of some of the historical elements of the government of Argentina. While the museums proved to be world class. I really enjoyed the Bellas Artes and MALBA museums. The Cemetery of Recoleta had some amazingly photogenic mausoleums. I found some little treasures in the upscale neighborhood of Palermo. And strangely enough it was in the same neighborhood of Palermo where I had my first encounter with a pickpocket. I was happy to score some free tickets to a recital at the Teatro Colon, but the real treat was simply sitting in and marveling at the wonderful architecture of the space. I soaked up some of the gaucho culture at the Feria de Mataderos. And relaxed under the frescos and between the aisles in the amazing theatre turned book store El Ateneo. Like many big cities, there is nothing subtle about Buenos Aires. Everything is in your face and turned on around the clock. Nothing exemplifies this more than the Milonga dance halls and Tango.

Ahhh... a breath of fresh air... Buenos Aires!

For the full story with photos and videos click on this link.
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  #105  
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The Adventure Begins... Rosario

From Buenos Aires I headed north and west to Rosario

The countryside was green and flat. The area is considered the bread basket of Argentina and is responsible for much of the agriculture and ranching of the country.

Rosario is noted for this huge obelisk called the Monumento Nacional de la Bandera.

It depicts the struggle for independence.

And the city claims fame to the building in which Ernesto "Che" Guevara was born.

Renowned architect Alejandro Bustillo designed the apartment building at Entre Ríos 480 where, in 1928, Ernesto Guevara Lynch and Celia de la Serna resided after the birth of their son Ernesto Guevara de la Serna, popularly known as El Che.
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Motorcycle Express for shipping and insurance!

Motorcycle Express

MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!




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