Arno and Sian are on the road again, this time together and this time both on motorbikes. Heading south from Los Angeles, with 12 months to fill, should give us plenty to write about - Planning, preparation and paperwork included!!
Why Big Trip 2? Well riding around Central and South America is a pretty big trip, there are 2 of us, this is our second trip, and we couldn't think of anything more original!!
This trip was originally planned for 'Sometime in the Future' something to do when our new start in Australia was no longer so new. However, as it took the powers that be such a long time to sort out our migration application, we decided to get on with things and in October 2001 made the decision to leave Europe before winter 2002.
We took our time leaving Cajón Grande, but we were still quickly back onto the Ruta 40, which according to our information, was paved but with lots of potholes. There were more potholes than tarmac in fact and riding in the gravel that lay at the sides of the road was preferable to the rim-wrecking road surface.
Volcanic landscape south of San Rafael
In contrast, the scenery was again spectacular, rocky desert suddenly gave way to a valley filled with lava, at one point the river, which had previously meandered, shallow and wide through the valley, was forced through a narrow gap in the lava which had all but blocked its path. In the distance, the source of the lava flows, we counted 6 or 7 volcanic cones, all now dormant, having spent their energy a long time ago.
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
Sandra and Javier are the HU community in Buenos Aires and go out of their way to make sure any travellers that arrive there are well taken care of.
The first thing we had to do was change the worn out tyres on our bikes for the shiny new ones we had picked up on the way into town. Javier knew a place nearby where we could get them changed quite cheaply, so we loaded up the BMW and he took us over there.
Transporting the tyres to the Gomeria
Everyone once in a while along the roads in Argentina, markers appear telling anyone who is interested how many kilometres away the Capital, Buenos Aires happens to be, almost a year ago it was quite interesting to find ourselves more than 5000kms away, down in Patagonia. Now however, riding back to Buenos Aires from Azul, one last time, I wasn’t too pleased to see the marker for 100kms, not far to go before our journey ends.
We had spent yet another week in Azul, filling up on asados with a variety of travellers that regularly turned up at La Posta. While we were there, we started the long job of getting the bikes clean enough to get past the pickiest AQIS man in Australia.
Here it is, the book to accompany the trip!
Written by Arno, with contributions from Sian and others, this book is in German, and follows our 18 month trip of 55,000kms, from the beaches of California to the most southerly city in the world. As we ride down Central America, past Mayan ruins and steaming volcanoes, read how we then cross into South America, battle through the endless Pampa in Patagonia, along the Altiplano to the heart of the Inca kingdom, ending after 18 months in the city of tango.
At almost 340 pages and with over 150 photos, both colour and black and white, the book really gives you a feeling of participating with this journey, even if you cant read German!
Some photos have been used previously in Sians blogs, but most are brand new.
The cover of our new book, yours for just 14.95 euros.
HUGE, 11.5 x 16.5 inches, beautifully printed in Germany on top quality stock! Photos are the winning images from over 600 entries in the 9th Annual HU Photo Contest!
"The calendar is magnificent!"
"I just wanted to say how much I'm loving the new, larger calendar!"
We share the profit with the winning photographers. YOU could be in the HU Calendar too - enter here!
Next HU Events
- Thailand Mini: Jan 9-11
- NEW! USA Virginia: Apr 9-12
- NEW! HUMM Morocco: May 13-16
- Germany: May 14-17
- Canada Ontario: Jun 18-21
- Ireland: June 26-28
- Colorado: July 17-19 TBC
- Canada West: Aug 20-23
- USA California: Sep 24-27
- Aus Queensland: Sep 24-27
- USA North Carolina: Oct 8-11
- Aus Perth: Oct 9-11
- Germany: Oct 22-25
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
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!
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!
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
Membership - help keep us going!
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 (22 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.
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.
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!