Return to Buenos Aires
We landed in BA the morning of the 14th September and got a taxi ride to Dakar Motos. Javiar was not yet there so we had a little wait. But soon got the Buell out of the storage line and began making repairs and changes. I had brought down new hand guards, new latch for drawer, new mirror, new kick stand and inserts for mounting frame for boxes.
The mounting holes for the boxes originally had been ¼ inch but when they broke I had them drilled out and taped to what was available, metric. Not all were the same and I wanted to go to better bolts so I brought drill and taps to put in 5/16 inserts. These were ½ thread on the outside steel inserts that should hold. Also brought down Allen head 5/16 bolts that are stronger than grade 8 bolts. This along with a support strap to the rear should prevent failure, time will tell.
Replacing the kick stand was not easy as the muffler had to be dropped down. But we made it only to find that new style kick stand would not bolt up right so had to put washers under it. About midnight I woke up thinking about that fix and determined that it would not work so the next day we tore it back down and put on the old kick stand. When I get it back home and have a milling machine I will fix and install new kick stand.
Took a run down town to banko and Harley dealer for a small part. Went across the street to McDonalds for a bite to eat. While there Jackie came along and asked if she could speak English with us. She was a lot of fun and introduced us to her twin sister. Then back to the shop.
Wednesday we packed up and headed out by 10 on Ruta 9. Stopped for lunch and had really good Asado (BBQ) beef and chicken. Traffic came to a stop on the freeway and after about an hour we got to the front and found a demonstration blocking the freeway and all traffic exiting then getting back on. I found this very interesting as I have advocated we do the same back home where we have had the liberal, urban, elite cram zoning rules down are collective thoughts that will destroy commercial agriculture. Made many mental notes on how to do it, just need more people than local jail space.
The agriculture here is mostly grain crops. Would be much more interesting later in season, but right now (early spring) not much is happening. A few have started tilling yet most fields are brown with the residual of last years crop.
Spent the night in Marcos Juarez, an interesting town with many businesses devoted to the local agriculture. Lots of modern equipment dealers, so they must be doing ok.
Woke up this morning (Thursday) to rain and wet streets. Road all morning in the rain then went into a town for gas and lunch. On leaving I made a wrong turn and ended up on a dirt street, (well was dirt before rain now mud) and went down with foot under right box. Felt my knee snap and ended up stuck with foot under box. Good thing Martha was there cause I could not get foot out and might still be there. Knee hurts and is swollen.
Went on to Ojo de Agua and found a nice hotel for the night. Everything is wet, new rule no paper in pockets when raining. There was a hair dryer in the room which helped out some in drying stuff.
The agriculture has changed from crops to desert livestock. Many goats and sheep flocks along the road. Looks much more like parts of Mexico than what I have seen of Argentina. Far more native people in this area.
Headed out in the morning with some difficulty making knee work right. Went to about 11:30 and stopped for gas. Pulled back on to the road and it was like transmission popped out of gear. Broke the drive belt, This is the new super-good belt that is suppose to take anything and is so good that they no longer make an emergency belt that can be laced together. Could have been much worse though, we were right across the road from a hotel with internet access.
Once we got a room, I got on the internet and emailed Harley shop in BA for help. These guys are great as they have put a belt on a bus headed this way. Belt should be covered under warranty but normally you need to return bike to dealer to get coverage. They have emailed factory and think they can get it covered if not they will contact me latter for payment. Most would want payment or credit card before shipping. Now we wait and explore the small town of Loreto.
We are still moving, just been awhile since the last entry due to my computer being down and maybe out. so will be no pictures this time but will update with pictures when I can.
We were told that the drive belt would not get to Loreto till Wed. or Thur. so on Monday we took public transport to Santiago Del Estero, big city about 60 k north. We walked through the park and to a couple of Museums then hiked to a car rental place and drove back to Loreto for the night.
On Tus. we drove to Termas de Rio Hondo (tourist spot with 160 hotels). Got a real nice room for 690 pesos that included all meals, drinks and all the hot springs minneral water you could soak in. Not use to this fancy of a place real fancy food, truly a place for the wealthy to come. But we could not afford to spend too long there and drove back to Loreto on Wed.
Belt was there when we got in so I walked to the bus station, picked up the belt and had it on in about two hours. We are mobel again.
From Loreto we rode to Salta. The landscape changes dramatically as we travel through this area. To the south much is just waste land, very dry, and what is farmed is subsistance farming with very poor inhabitants. To the north we started seeing some very nice farms and signs of prosperity.
Salta is a large city where we were able to find someone to work on fixing my computer so I can get back on the internet and fix my pictues for the web. We also bought Martha a ticket bact to BA on the 29th so she can get her filght home.
Next we decide to ride to San Padro Chile, looks like a day ride. Took 10 hours and I was exausted and cold by the time we got there. Paso Jama is at 4200 mt. Then we traveled the Alto Plano (high plain) for 400 K at 4200 to 4835 mt. (mulitply by 3.28 to get feet). The wind was brutal at m/l 100 with gusts as you changed directions or came around a hill or road cut. Temp was close to 0C with ice on some springs. Went past severl salt flats some where they were mining the salt. Got to San Pedro at a little after 8 in the dark. took the first hotel we found and colapsed.
The next day we got to see San Pedro. The town is a tourist town where they are trying to keep it like it was in the past. Many shops selling tourist stuff and many restaurants and hotels. Cost were high as the dollar has fallen against the Chilean peso. We did the tourest thing and went for a horse ride, if Martha has any pains when she gets back it is because her horse through her off. That night we went to restrante Blanco for the best salmon I have ever had, it had a sugar glace.
The next morning we headed out a little earlier in hope that the winds on the pass back to Salta were in the afternoon. False hope as the winds were more intence on the way back but we were a little better prepared for the cold. Did not try to go all the way to Salta this time and stopped in Pamamarca where there were many hotels and clearly a tourist stop. Was a beautiful hotel that had just opened with a good view of the valley from the deck.
From there was an easy 200 k to Salta. When we came up road signs told us to take Ruta 34 north yet the map shows staying on Ruta 9 to be the shortest way. Ok I found another goat path. Was paved all the way but about 60 k was one lane and twisted through the mountains with some very steep drop offs. Average speed was around 20 mph. Very beautiful ride but it was drizzling most of the way into the back side of Salta.
That´s the report from the out back, pictures (I hope) latter.
Will add pictures below.
They do know how to make a hambuger
In park in Salta
Where we stayed at the Hot Springs
Church at night in Salta
View out side of San Padro
Our guide on horse ride in San Padro
View on the Alto Plano
Stopped to take pictures and Martha stayed with bike because the wind was so strong we were afraid that it would blow over
View on the Alto Plano
This is the east view down Jama
Martha on the balcony of our room, nice place we stopped on the way back over Paso Jama
Ruta 9 back to Salta, one lane. would have been great if it had not been trying to rain.
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