Written by Ed Tarleton.....
it´s early march and matt and i have been back on the road here in argentina for about a week and a half. we flew into buenes aires on feb 13, eager to be reunited with our bikes that we had sent down from colorado to resume our south american adventure. the first few days were spent wading thru the usual sea of beaurocratic sewege that goes along with importing foreign vehicles into latin american countries. all of our old friends that we made down here two years ago were more than a little surprised to see us reappear. the next several days was a whirlwind of last minute motorcycle preparations and partying with our argentinian amigos. a week after our arrival, we finally rolled out of buenes aires accompanied by two fellow motorcyclist friends for a quick trip to the nearby coastal town of pina mar, the host that weekend of the annual summer national enduro championships. the first day was spent on the beach soaking up some rays and swimming in the frigid waters of the south atlantic. sunday was race day. it is incredible how many motorcycle enthusiasts there are in argentina, as the entire 5 mile circuit was lined deep with spectators. monday, the journey began in earnest. we decided to take a trip out to the western side of the country to see a bit of the andes again and to visit the highest mountain in the americas, Aconcagua (23,000 ft.) needless to say, it was a pretty awesome sight. the first two days of riding were two huge days that involved about 900 miles of some of the flattest, hottest landscapes imaginable. by the third day, we made it into the desert canyons of valle grande and canyon nihuile. the next day, we made it to mendoza, a very clean city of a few million people and luckily a nice cycle shop and a lively street scene. from there, we took an incrediby beautiful dirt road that wound up thru the steep desert mountains toward our eventual destination at the base of aconcagua. we spent that night at a converted railway depot that now plays host to the myriad climbers who come from all corners of the globe to summit the massive peak. a day later, and it was time to head north towards san juan. this turned out to be the most scenic day of riding thus far. the first half of the day we were again traversing the high desert and salt flats accompanied by spectacular views of the 20,000 foot peaks off to the west. after stopping for lunch in the little oasis town of barreal, it was time for one of the most incredible stretches of ¨road¨ that i´ve ever seen, routa 12 into san juan. in the midst of this narrow, winding goat path of a road, there is a stretch that reportedly contains 1320 curves within only 60 miles. whew......, i believe it. after catching some sleep in san juan and a brief morning of moto- maintanance, we rode on toward our present location, the historic colonial city of cordoba. along the way we took a real nice 60 mile dirt road ¨shortcut¨ that wound its way thru some beautiful, tight little canyons and old argentinian ranch lands. throughout it all, all the people we´ve encountered have shown us nothing but extreme kindness and overwhelming generosity. every day we find ourselves shaking our heads in amazement at how nice everybody is. i had my subframe reinforced yesterday with some thick steel bar that involved quite a bit of cutting, bending, and welding. when all was said and done, the guy who did it was offended when i asked him how much he wanted me to pay him. ¨nada, un regalo de argentina¨. in the end we were able to convince him to join us for a nice dinner at a local parilla ( restaurants that grill numerous varieties of meat, much like an indoor BBQ, but much better). in a few hours, we will continue making our way toward the famous iguazu falls on the argentinian/ brazilian border, where we will be joining up with our good friend flavio, the owner of the cycle shop in buenes aires who helped me out so much last time. until next time....,
tu amigo eduardo, viajando en moto otra vez en sud america.Posted by Matt Stackpole at March 04, 2003 04:35 PM GMT
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