March 24, 2007 GMT
¡Argentina, Otra Vez!

"Whats this thing called love?" - Fuel Pump Mod

We secured a new battery form a nearby repuestos and the following morning, keen to move on, hit the starter, only to find the engine would start, cough and then cut out. On further inspection we found the outlet pipe from the fuel filter pump to be leaking.

Quickly removing the fuel pump, from the tank, it was discovered the fuel pressure valve to have worked loose. A snappy modifcation to the bracket, involving a trusty electrical cable tie, and voille... on our way!

Marcello & Carolina

Esquel teemed with summertime vacationers, a forboding omen of the towns to come along the Ruta 40 and our journey north. With the help of a Buenas Aires couple, Marcello & Carolina, on the biggest 250cc cruiser we have ever seen, they led us to a guest house that was economical and had vacancies.


At the turn off to Cholila, 70kms north of Esquel, we sadly parted company with our dear friend Ming, hoping to see him again on the road somewhere, someday.

High Tea

The good dirt road to Cholila was covered quickly and we partook in High Tea at Casa de Piedra surrounded by photos of famous folk including Michael Palin.

Stuffed to the brim with cakes, pies and tea, we ventured on to visit the small farm and hide out of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid who lived there from 1901 to 1907 with Etta Place. The infamous trio maintained a quiet life while the locals remained unaware of thier escapades. After leaving the farm they headed to Bolivia where they were ambushed and killed in a shoot out with the police.

Butch Cassidy Farm

Paragliders floated seductivley upon the rocky mountain ridge, gaining height with the numerous thermal air currents as we lunched on the sundeck of the trendy cafe amoungst hordes of holiday makers. With full stomachs Grant had an epiphany and decided it was time to get back into the air as a birthday present!

Jules working up the courage to fly - El Bolson

We reserved two flights for the following day, only to find the weather had changed and to coign a phrase from Grants hang gliding days "Its Off!"

Ruta 40 Scenery

Staying with our tradition of avoiding 'check point tourism' destinations we by-passed Bariloche. Seeing it from a distance, it appeared dusty, busy and expensive. Choosing to head away fom the mountains we stopped at the small town of Piedra del Aguilar (Eagle Rock).

Carving of Mother & Child at Piedra de Aguila

After two days of hiking through the interesting and unusual rock formations absolutely nothing in the guise of an eagle shaped rock appeared. It was all a crock we declared!

Piedra de Aguila

However, it was a nice stay and the wee local history musuem was quaint and interesting.

Watch Out!

Along the route towards Neuquen the signs warned us of the impending presence of dinosaurs. This was intriguing and somewhat amusing. El Cholcon is set on a man made dam that provides water for the hydro-electric scheme and is home to one of the largest fossil collections in Argentina.

Petrified Trees

Camping for three nights in a gloriously quiet (by Argentine standards) Las Flores camping ground we took the time to visit the museum that houses the remains of the worlds largest discovered carnivorus dinosaur Gigantasaurus Carolinii.

Gigantasauras Carolinii

The enourmous dinosaur was discovered on the outskirts of town with the surrounding hills being full of fossils of plants, animals and dinosaur footprints from an ancient era.

Gigantasauras Carolinii

A spur of the moment decision and we were off to Buenas Aires, once again, returning to Dakar Moto to check out the alternator and replace the fork seals.

Guachito Gill

Javier performed a test on the alternator output, which appeared fine and assisted greatly in changing the fork seals as the fork retaining bolts were as stubborn as hell. We left him to it as much swearing eventuated, returning several hours later to find all being well.

General Pinto

Camping Neuquen

A night with the boys and Jules fantastic lamb stew and we were off again, leaving the capital, still not seeing anymore than the inside of Javier & Sandras workshop.

The Lads (l-r) Grant, Justin, Hugo, Sam, Sam - Dakar Motors

Other than a very nasty accident involving a truck and a car the journey to San Rafael was uneventful, however very pleasant.

Cleaning up after the accident

Scooter - Who says you need a big bike to travel?

We even crossed paths with the Marvellous Ming somewhere out in the pampa.


So our casa for the next three months appeared and a welcome with open arms from Theresa and Soledad of Cabañas Calderon made us feel instantly at home.

Happy Birthday Piggy

Posted by Julie Rose at March 24, 2007 04:42 PM GMT

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