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South America Topics specific to South America only.
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Old 3 May 2007
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Question Camping in South America

Hi - What are people`s thoughts and experiences concerning camping in South America? We have enjoyed good camping so far in Argentina and Paraguay and expect the same in Chile but what about the rest of South America? We plan to cover Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela and Brazil and are wondering whether it is worth lugging our camping gear around these countries if there is not much chance of using it.
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Old 4 May 2007
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Arrow To Camp or not to Camp?

This is my first post. Thank you Grant and Susan for the Hubb and all you have done for us overlanders. As two expats USA and Spain, we bought our Hondas (NX400 Falcon and XR250 Tornado) 0 kilometers in Buenos Aires. We had excellent hand crafted racks custom made for our soft luggage by "Pato," loaded our gear and after a practice run throughout Uruguay and a 1000 k maintenance back in BA, rode across Argentina and crossed into Chile at Paso de Jama. We had to remove air filters at 3,500 meters alt. and still lugged, but by using most of our back up gas, crossed the Andes. We made new friends of the two British Sharon and Stuart (she is wholesome as a french farm girl) riding two 650s in San Pedro de Atacama. We saw them again in Cuzco.
We rode to Tocopilla and up "1" to Iquique, over to "5" and crossed into Peru at Arica/Tacna. After a side trip to Arequipa, we continued up the coast to Lima, inland to Huancayo, down to Ayacucho and over hundreds of k of very mountainous dirt, gravel, rocky, rivered roads to Albancay. There are a few villages along the way, but when roads are blocked due to earthquakes, banditos, cocalero protests, narcotraficantes or police roadblocks. for us, it was always TO CAMP, not backtrack. Actually camping aforded us the opportunity to know the local people, police and many animals, and their customs. We camped, when possible near corraled or hobbled horses, as they always alerted us to prepare for intruders.
Although our 2 Hondas performed without any mechanical malfunctions whatsoever under incredibly stressful situations, especially riding up to the "thermals" along ruta 40 (Argentina) we did meet other overlanders who had broken bikes "camping" until parts or transport out arrived. So yes, it is TO CAMP, or at least be prepared to camp.
After running up to Cuzco, yes there is a classic bike bar right downtown, and around Lake Titicaca, through La Paz and Bolivia and back to Buenos Aires, we stored our bikes, returned to Arizona and then drove a Ford Explorer from arizona to Panama and back. Yes, it is TO CAMP throughout Central America too. Now we have returned to Buenos Aires, our Hondas, and a new life as expats, she with an acting career and me, well, me? I am just waiting to hear from you.
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Old 4 May 2007
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Why bother!

I,m pretty well up to date on Peru Ecuador and Colombia and I would say that there,s a proponderance of cheap hotels in each of these countries,you can basically spend as much as you like,depending on how you feel,cheap place tonight,nice place for the girlfriend tomorrow.
Camping I think is a bit no-go in these countries simply because of the security aspect,I know I woundn,t do and I live,work and drive bikes in all three places,check out my in Ecuador thread,I hope you find this advice usefull
Cheers Alberto
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Old 4 May 2007
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Talking Camping !

Hi,

I vote for camping. Only in Colombia it would be much better to take a hotel.
But the other countries, camping is the way to go for me.
Ofcourse, sometimes I used hotels. It is nice to have a hot shower every once in a while, but what is better then cooking some pancakes in the morning-sun?

Often I would camp on small farms. Good thing about that is (No, not security) they have water to wash, water to drink, a flat piece of dirt to put your tent down and company in the evening.

On the other hand hotels offer: Noisy people in front of your room that mistake the hotel for a bar or disco. Back-packers that sometimes have problems about what is yours and what is theirs. Beds that did not see clean sheets for weeks.
And to think that you could have slept in your clean, cosy, and safe tent.


Go for it.

Maarten
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