February 14, 2006 GMT
A Tale of Two Rides

I've started the right-wrist-stripe again. All riders get this. For some reason your right cuff rides up a little and you end up with a brown stripe around your right wrist from the sun.

And I have to remove the sheep from the seat if the car park has a guard dog. Generally the dog wants either to eat the sheep or shag it. Dunno why, as it's already getting pretty disreputable. It really is very comfortable, though, even when it's hot.

Actually, lots of the animals here are rather interesting. I've seen lots of guanaco and ņandu, a few armadillos, various unidentifiable and flattish dead things being eaten by birds with which I'm unfamiliar, peregrine falcons stomping around hungrily, and rather strange large black beetles legging it across the road from time to time. They're quite large - you can spot them a hundred yards away. The ņandu are funny creatures. The chicks - if you can call them that as they're three or four feet tall - are looked after en masse by one of the dads while the rest of the dads and the mums go off foraging. They hang around at the side of the road looking for stray motorcyclists to leap out in front of.

So, yesterday was 440 miles, from Rio Gallegos to Caleta Olivia. A great ride. The wind was generally behind me, the bike's going really well (moving average for the day was 60mph), both fuel stops were there (Piedra Buena and Tres Cerros). I know the distance is right as I did it southwards with GPS. Mind you, it's pretty boring, as the pampa/steppe makes Norfolk look positively mountainous. A lovely ride, though, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Today I rode 282 miles from Caleta Olivia to Trelew (oh no, not Welsh cakes again). It was horrible. The legendary Patagonian wind was doing its worst, mostly from the left. No wonder the tyres wear strangely as you're hardly ever upright on a perfectly straight road. Every time a truck passes in the other direction, flashing and waving in the usual friendly fashion, you hunker down to mimimise cross-section, and still have your goggles and specs nearly blown off as you wrestle with the bike to keep it vaguely in a straight line and generally on the right side of the road. The temperature rose to 37C. On the approach to Trelew the oil pressure warning light kept coming on at low engine speeds (< 2000 rpm). Trelew is death by traffic light (felt just like Thatcham) so I kept the revs up to keep the oil pressure up. I knew the oil level was OK (I check that and the tyres every day), so it must have been the heat. The bottle of water on the pannier lid went from very cold to scalding in one hour, as I found to my cost when I stopped and poured some over my head. Ouch. I decided I'd better a) let the engine cool down a bit and b) buy some oil. The first two petrol stations in Trelew were closed, but then I arrived at a crossroads full of car dealers. On the fourth attempt the Renault dealer supplied a 4l container of 15/40. Good enough (I had to explain it's not a bike, it's a BMW, the engine oil doesn't bathe the clutch and gearbox as well, it's really a car, you know, all that stuff) so I waited a little longer, put about half a litre in and checked the level. Looked high to me, but there you are.

By this time I'm soaked. I've had to walk around in my suit carrying my helmet in this heat. So I went to find the hotel I was in before, mainly because I know it's secure shady parking and I know where it is. And as many such horrible days do, it ended well because the receptionist remembered me from two months ago so I didn't have to check in and could ride straight into the garage and then go straight up to my room. And have a hot shower and a cold Quilmes. And then come and tell you lot all about it.

Posted by Cynthia Milton at February 14, 2006 04:23 PM GMT
 
 

NEW! HU 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar is now available! Get your copy now for some terrific travel inspiration!

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!

Horizons Unlimited 2015 Motorcycle Adventure Travel Calendar.

"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 Eventscalendar

See all events

 

HU DVD Autumn Special!

Take 40% off Road Heroes Part 1 until October 31 only!

Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers Peter and Kay Forwood (193 countries two-up on a Harley); Dr. Greg Frazier (5 times RTW); Tiffany Coates (RTW solo female); and Rene Cormier (University of Gravel Roads).

The first in an exciting new series, Road Heroes features tales of adventure, joy and sheer terror by veteran travellers."Inspiring and hilarious!"

"I loved watching this DVD!"

"Lots of amazing stories and even more amazing photographs, it's great fun and very inspirational."

"Wonderful entertainment!"

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



Scottoiler automatic chain oilers. The most important accessory for your next motorcycle adventure!


Renedian Adventures


Renedian Adventures

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!