Riding dirt roads is all about confidence, it took me 15 hard months and numerous crashes to work that one out!! The last dirt road of the trip was probably the easiest for me, although I probably would have not have thought so a year ago.
Ruta 23 is the most direct road from Bariloche to Viedma its gravel, but like most Argentine gravel roads, in pretty good condition. Lucky for us really, our knobbly tyres had knobbles no more and we were praying that we wouldn’t get a puncture.
After 50kms or so of curves, the road straightened out and we were able to blast along at 80kph. Occasionally there would be a patch of deep gravel and my front wheel would weave violently from side to side nearly throwing me off. The first time it happened I was terrified, but just kept going. Each time after was a little less frightening and with the help of a tail wind we rode the 600 km’s easily in 2 days and no punctures!
It was great to be back in Viedma again and meet all the friends we had made there 9 months ago. We arrived at Oscar Knechts place, in the early afternoon and in no time we were drinking maté and catching up with all the news.
At Oscars, chatting over a maté
We stayed with Enrique and Marie-Luis on their campo (small farm) just outside the town. Here we were really made to feel at home and we spent a good week recharging our batteries. We took the opportunity to wash our dusty kit as well as the bikes and Arno was kept busy making apple strudel and other delicious cakes.
A real treat was a traditional Patagonian Cordero, where a whole lamb is staked out and barbecued, then what seems like the whole neighbourhood is invited to demolish it and a mountain of salad.
This a what you call a barbeque
All too soon however, it was time to head north, this time along the coast towards Mar del Plata, where we wanted to visit Marcelo, a guy we’d met almost a year ago in Azul. It was a shame that the actual coast was always a good 30kms from the road, our first sight of the sea was in Monte Hermoso a surprisingly large seaside town, where we spent the night in a crowded campsite.
The city of Mar del Plata, Argentina’s most famous holiday resort was even more crowded, on one of the many beaches just a stones throw from the city, you could hardly see the sand for bodies.
We stayed at Marcelo’s place, again the hospitality shown to virtual strangers in Argentina is a lesson to us Europeans!
We spent a day doing bike stuff, making the most of Marcelos fully kitted out workshop, and also visited another place in town where he works. This place was really the bees knees of workshops, probably the best we have yet seen since leaving Germany.
Once the bikes were sorted, we could then spend the day riding around the city and its many beaches. There is also a huge harbour to see, with a sealion colony, fishing boats and a graveyard of rusting ships.
Its not all lying on a beach in Mar del Plata
After a few days by the sea it was time to ride inland for another reunion, this time in Azul. Our last ride there, we remembered well - it rained the whole way! This time it only rained for the first 150kms, at Tandil, we left the dark clouds behind, and by the time we reached La Posta we were almost dry.
Jorge had made a few changes since we were last there, but it was still the welcoming place everyone raves about! Martin and Jo from Australia were already at La Posta and the next day Claudia and David from Switzerland on 2 KTMs arrived. Of course this meant Asado!!
After a couple of days, we had to go to BsAs to sort out the shipping of our bikes and buy a flight back to Europe, but promised Jorge we would be back!!
Ruta 3 was dry but boring, we decided to try the old road into the city instead of the autopista, big mistake!! It was really busy, with trucks and buses and of course traffic lights every 50 metres or so.
The constant stop-go, stop-go was frustrating, the bikes began to overheat and so did we. Stopped at the side of the road for a break hoping we were not in a dodgy area, got some strange looks, but no-one bothered us. Once in the city we made our way to where we had arranged to pick up our new tyres. This time the arrangements had gone really smoothly, no waiting around for 10 days!! Two sets of shiny new tyres were waiting for us along with t-shirts and the obligatory stickers.
Another set of tyres from Metzeler
After stacking them on the back of the bikes, it was time to get onto the autopista and try and find the way to Villa Martelli.
We found the right neighbourhood and almost the right road, but how to get across that railway line.
Parked at a junction, map in hand, a Transalp rider came to our rescue and led us to where we needed to go. And so we met another link in the HorizonsUnlimited chain.
Next HU Events
- Brazil: Feb 22-23
- Germany: May 29-June 1
- HUBB UK: June 19-22
- NEW! Canada Maritimes: July 4-6
- USA Colorado: July 11-13
- Ireland: July 18-20
- Canada West: Aug 21-24
- USA North Carolina: Sept. 4-7
- Canada Ontario: Sept. 11-14
- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
- USA California: Sept. 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 14-16
Horizons Unlimited DVD Special - it's time to Get Ready!
Northerners! The weather outside is frightful, so what better time to start planning your next adventure! To help you get started, for February we're taking 30% off the Get Ready! DVD in the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'GETREADY' on your order when you checkout.
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
New to Horizons Unlimited?
New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!
Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.Read more about Grant & Susan's story
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
Books & DVDs
All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.
Membership - Show you're proud to be a Horizons Unlimited Traveller!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events such as this one (18 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.
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!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!