November 30, 2005 GMT
29th Nov 2005 - Mendoza + Catheuta, Potrerillos, Vallecios (ski)

Mileage - 152 kms

THAT CONDOR MOMENT...

Well the first job today was to get Nik's bike to BMW Mendoza for the allocated service. very dissappointing lack of fresh coffee, donuts or croissants...not like the UK at all !

I guess they must get a few travellers through as they plainly didn't have any interest in the bikes or where we had been. Mind, if you've got a garage full of BM M5's and the like they're clearly not going to get much from us.....well if you exclude the price they've quoted Nik for a rear tyre.

They had a nice range of bikes in the showroom, obviously an affluent area as there were two 1200GS's and an 1150GS in the service area too. Mind the 1150 was in bits, and the 1200 had been the day before for whatever reason. Seen a couple of old airheads around town too, nice old R75/5 particularly. Anyway, not an inspiring place to be really, just necessity. Nik tried to make sure he was getting what he wanted before we had to leave. I'm used to having Bev on the back but it's weird having a different pillion, it's not that Niks heavy, it's that Bev's light. But at least we're able to help each other with the two bikes and so we came back and had a late breakfast.

As Nik was planning updating his blog (see www.theadventuresofboz.blogspot.com for more piccies and tales of the three of on the road) we checked it was OK for Bev and I to pop out for a spin for a couple of hours. When you've ridden together so much it seems odd to go out alone, and it seems right to seek approval.

Anyway, part way up the road to Chile was an off-shoot that looked interesting. It was spied on a cartoon type map on the apartment's wall, not detailed on my map Although it meant we would cover some ground all of us will do soon, it was the only means to get to the side road.

Within 10kms we were back on the plains with the Andes looming high above through scattered clouds. The view was surreal, as there is a huge petrol refinery there too. So basically it was Teeside dumped in the desert with the Andes behind. Odd, flare stacks and snow capped mountains.


12teesside2.jpg

Teeside?


The road after the bit of plain wound round behind the closer lower hills and onwards towards the real Andes themselves. I have to admit to a touch of sentimentality at this point, as when the Andes loomed into view so close I could feel my emotions well up and my eyes dampen. Daft old fool !


9andestruck2.jpg

The Andes!


Now, here, this was our adventure.

The plains etc are all well and good, but this was what we came for, and here we, and it, were. Such a good feeling riding on well (generally) surfaced roads winding upwards towards gigantic snowy mountains. The adventure is unfolding.


11gatedaccess2.jpg

Gated Access


We took the minor road and gained some exellent views, and then took an off-shoot of that towards the ski slopes. The road got worse, the tarmac ended and the gravel track was quite hard riding. We stopped to drink in our surroundings and marvelled at the variety of alpine flowers blooming....well it is spring up there I suppose ! Many recognisable types, but many not.

Our final bit of excitement was Bev spotting two huge birds circling the sky ahead. They weren't too close but not too far away either, but plainly huge. With the binoculars they were clear enough to be confirmed as Condors. I'm sure we'll see more, and closer, but that was a sight to treasure as it was.

Back down to base as we didn't want Nik thinking we had either crashed, got lost, or buggered off. I took Nik down the road to show him the view, the one with the refinery. He grew up with his parents around Redcar and Saltburn so knew he's appreciate the contrast. I wouldn't tell him why he had to see the view - apart from in case the weather came in and it wasn't there again, but I knew he'd got the joke when I heard him laugh as the refinery came into view....

Posted by Simon McCarthy at November 30, 2005 10:49 AM GMT
 



Renedian Adventures

HU DVD Summer Special!

Now that summer is here, get On the Road! Take 30% off the Achievable Dream - On the Road! 2-DVD set until August 31 only. Get On the Road! Learn the tips to staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure!

Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.

"A fantastic, informative and inspirational DVD."

"It's brilliant - thank you very much!"

Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'ONTHEROAD' on your order when you checkout.

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

contest pic

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!

HU 2014 T-shirts now in!

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, WORLDwide evacuation services for EVERYONE

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.

Susan and Grant Johnson 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

amazon

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.


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!

Story and photos copyright ©

Sorry, you need a Javascript enabled browser to get the email address and dates. You can contact Horizons Unlimited at the link below. Please be sure to tell us WHICH blog writer you wish to contact.

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!