Said good buy to Tom, Pat and Chris this morning and headed north out of BA. Tom & Pat wanted to work on finding shipping options for there motos back home.
Last night I worked till 10:00 to finish some fixes on the moto and pack up stuff. Have learned much about what to bring on a trip like this, the most valuable thing you can bring is empty space. So I will leave some stuff, mostly camping equipment, at Dakar till I return. In two weeks.
The road north is a fairly good road starting out as four lane then down to two. There is construction to make all of it four lane. But the trafic can be thick with many slow trucks and cars wanting to go 120k. Leaving space between you and the vehicle in front of you is a concept that has not reached here.
Spent the night in Concordia, a city big enough to have everything one would want but small enough I can find my way around. Got a room in a nice hotel for 80 pasos ($27), a third floor walk up. Went for a hike around town and saw a shop selling leather products with a guy working at a sewing machine, so I went back to room and got my tank bag which had ripped off a strap when I went down. Had been holding it together with a pull tie but did not want to put too much stress on that. The guy in the shop sewed it right up real well and then would not take anything for his work. I have found the people in Argentina to really good generous folks.
Went to a café and had a hamburger. The Argentine hamburgers are much better than the Chillan. In Chile they put so much mayo and "green guck" that it would squish out as you tried to eat it. Here it has much less goo, good bun, meat, tomato, lettuce, and a fired egg.
Went on line and bought a ticket home for the 15th.
This is "agroforestry" growing trees and crops at the same time. Have looked into this for our land but state regulations make it difficult.
Field of grain sorgum
Slept in till 8:00, then started putting pack back together, I had unpacked everything looking for a credit card. Reach conclusion that I left it in some stuff I left at Dakar Motos. It was a good day to ride as clouds kept the temperature down some for most of the day, but I was not feeling to well, (took some pepto and OK now), so only went about 400K. Made a couple of runs off the main road just to see what was there. Saw as sign that side Yapeyu 5 to the right, so off I go to have a look. That is where I am tonight as it was a neat little town with the main street in concrete but everything else in gravel, many with concrete curbs. There are some ruins from the Jesuit period 1600s into 1700. This is the kind of town where I could just hide for week and do almost nothing.
I walked down to the river that is over a mile across here. Real nice area to get down to the beach.
On the way up on Ruta 14 there were 7 check points, only had to stop and tell them where I was going once. I have no idea what they are looking for, maybe it is one of those make work projects. There were reports of police at K maker 341 stopping bikes and claiming they were speeding or did not have there lights on then demand that they pay them the fine. So I was ready to spend a couple of hours there till they got tired of me and let me go. The rule is never pay, do what you have to but don't pay police. It may just have been Sunday and they thought that stealing on Sunday was bad or the National Police may have got the bad apples out. So no fun in that regard, just have to wait for Lima.
Entry arch into town of Yapeyu
Church in Yapeyu
Central Park in Yapeyu, Horses were used to keep the grass mowed, have not seen any lawn mowers other than weed eater type.
The beach at Yapeyu, the river is very wide here. There are references in the park to the Navy which I think was based here.
Several ruins from the Jesuit period have been saved, including the governors house which is now enclosed in another building.
Waited till the banko was open in Yapeyu so I could exchange some money but they said they did not do that there. So went up to Santo Toma and found banko but they did not do exchanges ether and sent me down the block to a Cambio. Could not find it, so asked Casino which drew me a map. Even with that I had to try two places, no signs on the outside of building to indicate what is inside. They need marketing people. Got my pasos and on to the north.
Got up to Ruta 12, town of Capiovi where I filled up with gas. As I pulled out to get back on Ruta 12 I was waved over by two police. Seems I had made an illegal turn and I needed to pay them a fine. What little Spanish I have went away and they soon gave up and away I went. Only to be followed out of town be little police van. It finally passed me and waved me over this time (different set of police) said I had been speeding. Again no Spanish so one of them called a girl who spoke English and handed me the phone, she told me I had to pay them before I could leave. I told her that at the Border they said never pay police or I get in big trouble (not true but sounded good). Just kept saying "no pay police" and indicated that they should go ahead and write the ticket and I would pay at border, they do not want to actually write the ticket because then there is a record. One had removed his name tag (velcro) but the other had his, so I got out my note pad and pen. He now had to go to van then came back without name tag. Finally they gave up and let me go, was a lot of fun and better than dealing with the Washington State Patrol who no longer care what the law is and just want to shaft someone.
The Agriculture has continually changed as I have driven north from BA. The first day it was mostly cattle ranches with some crops such as sorghum, and corn. As I went north there started to be some eucalypts plantations mixed in, then some pine plantations. The farther north the more timber was planted. Went through an area with considerable rice production then an area where there were fields of tea. Have seen several roadside stand selling pineapple but not seen the fields. This whole area has tremendous agricultural capacity.
Splurged for a $28 hotel with pool for tonight as it has been real hot in the riding gear. I am in Eldoado which is 100k from the falls. Will go look at a big water fall tomorrow then cross into Brazil down to Uruguay and back to BA to fly home the 15th.
Cattle in what looked like intensive grazing rotation
Tea field, these were all very neat and trimmed
The Eldorado Hotel, life is rough
view from the hotel
There was thunder last night and I got up to wet roads but no rain. Looks like it rained hard over night. The only problem was that all the dirt roads connect to Ruta 12 so there is a lot of mud on the road. But no problemo, I ride on up to Iguazu Falls (map spells it Iguacu so not sure which is right)
My plan was to ride up view a neat waterfall, take a few pictures and be on my way. It would take two days to see all of the falls and walk the trails. Maybe I can come back some day. Took lots of pictures but there is no way to get it all, it is just enormous. Could tell that the flow is down but still a lot of water going over the edge. The trials and walk ways allow you to view from the top as well as the bottom. I stayed until 3:00 then headed south.
Part of the falls, Only way to get a picture of it all is from the air.
Falls looking toward the Brazilian side.
Falls from the top looking down.
Another picture of the falls.
Monkey up this tree
Raccoon like critter at the park.
I talked to a Brazilian at a fuel stop and he suggested I go in at a different crossing than I had planned. He said it was better road and I will not have to run the gauntlet of bad cops again.
At Eldorado I turned east on Ruta 17 for 120 k through some real pretty hills. The agriculture has turned mostly to subsistence farming with few cash crops such as tobacco. Also timber production in well organized plantations. Saw two sets of oxen being put away for the night. Many of the houses had no windows only shutters, must not get cold here.
Found a hotel in the boarder town of Bernardo de Irigoyen. It looked like I was going to get rained on as I got close but it must have seen me coming and quit for me. The water was flowing over the streets in many places and I rode through 8 inch deep spot. Did have a hard thunder shower as I eat pizza and drank beer. But was over by the time I finished eating, did not manage to finish the beer as they only had it in big (1000 cc) bottles, must be getting old.
Tomorrow I go in to Brazil.
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