Go Back   Horizons Unlimited - The HUBB > Ride Tales, Trip Reports and Stories > Ride Tales
Ride Tales Post your ride reports for a weekend ride or around the world. Please make the first words of the title WHERE the ride is. Please do NOT just post a link to your site. For a link, see Get a Link.
Photo by Josephine Flohr, Elephant at Camp, Namibia

I haven't been everywhere...
but it's on my list!


Photo by Josephine Flohr,
Elephant at Camp, Namibia



Like Tree39Likes

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #31  
Old 3 Jan 2022
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Athens
Posts: 71
Argentina: Parks, rivers, lakes and a sudden u-turn

Argentina: Parks, rivers, lakes and a sudden u-turn




We were about to ride across a stunningly beautiful area, among National Parks, ancient forests, fast flowing rivers and transparent lakes...


We were still under the influence of our previous – unbelievable – day when we packed our stuff and started to ride towards the RN40. Someone on the border had given us a priceless piece of information regarding which route to take. Apparently, the obvious one was in bad condition and it was way better to turn on the RP6 and ride towards a village called Andacollo. From there, the road (RP43) was all paved. (*NOTE - to the person who gave us this tip: if you're reading this piece, we owe you a !)

The “smooth” ride lasted only a few miles, until we left the RN40 and turned on the RP27 towards two small but interesting villages: Caviahue and Copahue. However, before arriving at the villages, we made another turn just to see a waterfall (Salto del Agrio) that, according to what we had been told: it was worth visiting. When we saw the waterfall we realized that “worth visiting” was an understatement. It was springtime and nature was at its best. The snow-capped peaks were in stark contrast to the green grass carpet that stretched across the plain, with orange and yellow patches of flowers scattered on its surface. The sound of the waterfall was like a thunder in the distance and as we were getting closer it became louder and louder. When we rode to the end of the narrow dirt road the view was amazing! We didn't care about the strong freezing wind anymore. We just spent the night in our tent next to the waterfall and when we woke up the next morning we were rewarded with a rainbow emerging from the water.

















We were riding towards Copahue (the most secluded of the two villages) and the area was gradually turning into a weird otherworldly scenery: black volcanic rocks, wavy turquoise lakes, lazy geysers letting out little clouds of steam and the smell of sulfur around. When we took the last turn to the village, the scooter's brakes screeched. We had to stop for a moment and take our time to realize where we were. The spring had completely forgotten this place. Huge rocks of frozen snow that had fallen from the sloping roofs, were blocking most of the houses' entrances and only few signs of life (mostly smoke coming from two or three chimneys) were apparent. The most weird sight though, were the two pools – one with steaming water coming from the hot springs and the other filled with clay mud – in the middle of the village. The whole place owes its existence to the thermal waters of the area, but it was too early and everything was still closed. The visitors would start coming in two months, when the cold wouldn't be that unbearable (high season starts late December – early January). There wasn't any place to stay and with that cold, the tent wasn't an option, so after a short walk in the village we hopped on the scooter and headed towards the other village.















Caviahue was beautiful, but with a more conventional kind of beauty. So, we continued to the next destination, Las Lajas. We avoided the RN40 because we had been told that that part was painfully dull, so we rode on the RP21 and we went directly to the municipal campsite of the town. Not long after we had set up our tent, we saw Joe and Susie, the two British cyclists we had met some days ago coming towards us. Our pace is more in line with that of a cyclist than that of a motorcyclist. We spent 2-3 more days together doing barbecues, drinking local wine, sharing our stories from the road and laughing – a lot!

One option was to continue on the RN40, but – guess what – we didn't. We took a turn and went to see another beautiful village: Villa Pehuenia. When we got there, it wasn't the place itself that made our jaws drop, but the stunning nature around it. So, instead of heading directly back to the main road and continue south, we got deeper into the ancient forest of araucarias (araucaria araucana), found a secluded spot next to a transparent (and icy cold) stream, set up our tent and spent another magic night in the absolute peace of the forest.

We would happily agree to erase the following day from our memory, if this was possible! Starting a few miles from where we were and all the way to Junin de los Andes, the road was an endless construction site. Our trip had became a nightmare of trucks, dust, traffic jam and all kinds of heavy machinery. And the icing on this disgusting cake was that we arrived late at an overpriced campsite where we had to stay for two days in order to wait for the shops to open and buy a new battery for Kitsos.

















Fortunately, the RN40 was not dull anymore. We headed towards San Martin de los Andes, a tourist town by the lake Lacar. This is where the famous Road of the Seven Lakes (Camino de los 7 Lagos) begins. As its name implies, it is a scenic road – part of the RN40 – that crosses among 7 main lakes, some rivers, lagoons and various streams. The end of this route is the town Villa la Angostura, but there are a lot of options for other, shorter routes along the main one. It was one of those routes we chose: the RP63 towards Paso Cordoba, a mountain pass in an almost untouched natural landscape and from there (after one night in our tent, at the confluence of the Limay and Traful rivers) back to the RN40 via RP65.

The next part of our trip had a completely predictable course, which resulted in a unpredictable decision – which was not that unpredictable though, but we didn't know that back then. It seems a bit confusing but I'll try to make things more clear: the places we had seen all the previous days were stunningly beautiful, but our trip at some point started repeating itself. Each day was the same as the previous one. We needed to check on our maps to be sure whether we were next to the right lake and refer to our calendars all the time in order to see what day it was. Our cameras were full of nice pictures, but our journals were empty of stories and soon, we realized why. We were traveling across one of Argentina's most touristic areas. Seeing travelers from all over the world was not interesting for the locals anymore. They were all polite, but our conversations were short and the subjects the same: How much does it cost to camp here? What's on the menu? This side of Patagonia may be ideal for holidays, for an escape from the everyday life of the cities, but after a short while it could contribute very little to our kind of travel.

We didn't even enter the famous city of Bariloche, Argentina's Switzerland as some tourist guides call it. Kitsos carried on covering as many miles per day as possible, with us traveling in silence, lost in our thoughts. Another night in our tent under the starry sky, next to a river with crystal water (river Villegas) and from there, directly to the small town of Trevelin. Our crossing through the National Park Los Alerces was a really fast one – camping there for one night would cost us the total budget of a whole day. Fortunately, it was still low season, so the park rangers just let us cross it without paying the entrance fee (under the condition that we would exit the park on the same day).

Our initial plan was to continue on the RN40 until Los Antiguos and from there, cross into Chile (Chile Chico). In 2015, we had done the same but following the opposite direction. This time we were thinking of riding across the southern part of Carretera Austral until Villa O'Higgins – the end of the road. However, the days we spent at the peaceful campsite in Trevelin helped us relax, clear our heads, talk and finally make up our minds. We were now sure that we didn't need more lakes, more rivers and forests. What we needed was more people, more stories to remember, more unpredictable situations. So, four days later, when we packed our stuff and started Kitsos' engine, we knew what we had to do.

To be continued...









__________________
RTW 2-up on a Vespa scooter
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 3 Jan 2022
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Athens
Posts: 71






__________________
RTW 2-up on a Vespa scooter
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 3 Jan 2022
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Athens
Posts: 71
Back to the famous Carretera Austral, at least for a while

Back to the famous Carretera Austral, at least for a while




It was in 2015 when we first rode across the Carretera Austral, the famous scenic road in the south of Chile, and four years later, we couldn't wait to do it again. However, things were a bit different this time...


We were full of confidence and really relieved after our decision to change completely our route and instead of going further south, go towards the north. We crossed the border to Chile (Los Cipreses) and immediately after the first turn, we experienced the abrupt change of climate between the two countries. The pleasant Argentinian sunshine turned into a moody Chilean mist and just when we left Futaleufú, the first village after the border, the rain started. We were not at all surprised though, as this part of Chile has the most amazing greenest green and constant rainfall is the price for it.

The 47 miles from Futaleufú to Villa Santa Lucia, the place where the small dirt road meets the Carretera Austral (R7) reminded us why we were so excited riding across this area four years ago. The thick forest, the small wooden cabins, the rivers and the lakes... Everything was so beautiful that neither the continuous rainfall nor the cold could spoil our good mood. However, when we finally reached the Carretera Austral, a surprise awaited us. The scenery had changed so much over the last few years that we couldn't recognize it! In 2015, there were roadworks almost everywhere and when they finished, the result was a drastic transformation of the area. A wide tarmac road is way more “invasive” than the narrow dirt road and though we understand why this kind of construction was necessary, the truth is that we were a bit disappointed. We opened the throttle on the black tarmac road and headed directly to Chaitén, a small town by the sea where we had spent a night the previous time we were in the region.













The town hadn't changed that much, so we easily found the grocery store and the gas station. What we couldn't find though, was the municipal campsite. The coordinates we had kept the last time led us to a place that was completely different from what we could remember and there was absolutely no space to put a tent. So, we went back to the town and looked for a cheap place to spend the night. The cost of living in Chile is significantly higher than that of the neighboring countries, so we had to be very careful to keep our expenses within our budget limit.

It was already late in the evening when a polite but slightly cold man opened the gate of his backyard and showed us the “campsite” – that was his backyard. A place with some basic amenities. A really small business that worked well since tourism had become the main source of income the last few years (and since the municipal – free – campsite wasn't an option anymore). The owner informed us that there are so many tourists that he could now choose his clients.







From the moment we crossed the border, there had been various hiccups slightly messing up the smoothness of our trip, and apparently they had come to stay. First of all, we couldn't get cash from any of the ATMs and the majority of the small businesses in the town wouldn't accept cards. Moreover, the campsite owner seemed very anxious to get paid and he kept coming to our tent and ask when we could pay. Finally, when the bank opened we felt relieved – but only for a short while. Their official reply was “Sorry”, so we had to come up with another plan. I don't remember if it was our idea or if we read it somewhere, but since there was no other way to get some cash, we went to the gas station and with a big smile we approached a car waiting in the queue. We offered to pay with our card, so that they could give us the amount in cash. And it worked! At last, we had enough cash to pay the impatient campsite owner.

The other issue was the boat itineraries. What boat? The one that would take us to Chiloé Island. I forgot to mention it: when we saw the changes in the Carretera Austral – one of our favorite routes in South America – we made a decision. We would keep our memories of this place intact and we would take a different route this time, to make new ones. The departures towards the island were not very frequent that time of the year and as if this was not enough, when we arrived at the travel agency to book our tickets, they informed us that the ship had literally just departed. So we had to wait patiently some more days until we finally sail.

To be continued...







__________________
RTW 2-up on a Vespa scooter
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 3 Jan 2022
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Athens
Posts: 71
SOLO travel RECORD times & EXPLOSIVE tires (video)

SOLO travel RECORD times & EXPLOSIVE tires (video)




Don't forget to turn the English subtitles on!


In this episode I’m visiting Paraguay to receive a very important package.
__________________
RTW 2-up on a Vespa scooter

Last edited by s_gogos; 4 Jan 2022 at 16:39. Reason: spelling mistake
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 4 Jan 2022
Registered Users
Veteran HUBBer
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 828
Many thanks to let us travel virtually with you - so comfortable here at hubb!

A lot of work!

Surfy
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 4 Jan 2022
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Athens
Posts: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surfy View Post
Many thanks to let us travel virtually with you - so comfortable here at hubb!

A lot of work!

Surfy
Thanks for coming along virtually Surfy
__________________
RTW 2-up on a Vespa scooter
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 29 Apr 2022
Registered Users
New on the HUBB
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Posts: 2
Such a great journey !
Thanks SO much for taking the time to post it.

It was a most enjoyable read ...
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 30 Apr 2022
Registered Users
HUBB regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Athens
Posts: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bent Taco View Post
Such a great journey !
Thanks SO much for taking the time to post it.

It was a most enjoyable read ...
Thank you for reading our story
__________________
RTW 2-up on a Vespa scooter
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
africa, rtw, scooter, south ameria, vespa


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 Registered Users and/or Members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Vespa World Days 2020 Stefano Trip Transport 0 3 Nov 2019 10:02
Hello from La Vida Vespa Germany LaVidaVespa2018 Welcome to HU 1 17 May 2018 15:19
3 Vespas around the world s_gogos Travellers Seeking Travellers 64 24 Apr 2016 15:36
Around the World in 80 Movies jopos Ride Tales 0 17 May 2012 08:45
Texas to Costa Rica... by scooter. fintip Route Planning 17 25 Mar 2012 22:17

 
 

Announcements

Thinking about traveling? Not sure about the whole thing? Watch the HU Achievable Dream Video Trailers and then get ALL the information you need to get inspired and learn how to travel anywhere in the world!

Have YOU ever wondered who has ridden around the world? We did too - and now here's the list of Circumnavigators!
Check it out now
, and add your information if we didn't find you.

Next HU Eventscalendar

HU Event and other updates on the HUBB Forum "Traveller's Advisories" thread.
ALL Dates subject to change.

2024:

2025:

  • Queensland is back! Date TBC - May?

Add yourself to the Updates List for each event!

Questions about an event? Ask here

HUBBUK: info

See all event details

 
World's most listened to Adventure Motorbike Show!
Check the RAW segments; Grant, your HU host is on every month!
Episodes below to listen to while you, err, pretend to do something or other...

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

2020 Edition of Chris Scott's Adventure Motorcycling Handbook.

"Ultimate global guide for red-blooded bikers planning overseas exploration. Covers choice & preparation of best bike, shipping overseas, baggage design, riding techniques, travel health, visas, documentation, safety and useful addresses." Recommended. (Grant)



Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance.

Ripcord Rescue Travel Insurance™ combines into a single integrated program the best evacuation and rescue with the premier travel insurance coverages designed for adventurers.

Led by special operations veterans, Stanford Medicine affiliated physicians, paramedics and other travel experts, Ripcord is perfect for adventure seekers, climbers, skiers, sports enthusiasts, hunters, international travelers, humanitarian efforts, expeditions and more.

Ripcord travel protection is now available for ALL nationalities, and travel is covered on motorcycles of all sizes!


 

What others say about HU...

"This site is the BIBLE for international bike travelers." Greg, Australia

"Thank you! The web site, The travels, The insight, The inspiration, Everything, just thanks." Colin, UK

"My friend and I are planning a trip from Singapore to England... We found (the HU) site invaluable as an aid to planning and have based a lot of our purchases (bikes, riding gear, etc.) on what we have learned from this site." Phil, Australia

"I for one always had an adventurous spirit, but you and Susan lit the fire for my trip and I'll be forever grateful for what you two do to inspire others to just do it." Brent, USA

"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the (video) series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring!" Jennifer, Canada

"Your worldwide organisation and events are the Go To places to for all serious touring and aspiring touring bikers." Trevor, South Africa

"This is the answer to all my questions." Haydn, Australia

"Keep going the excellent work you are doing for Horizons Unlimited - I love it!" Thomas, Germany

Lots more comments here!



Five books by Graham Field!

Diaries of a compulsive traveller
by Graham Field
Book, eBook, Audiobook

"A compelling, honest, inspiring and entertaining writing style with a built-in feel-good factor" Get them NOW from the authors' website and Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk.



Back Road Map Books and Backroad GPS Maps for all of Canada - a must have!

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 R80G/S.

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 all over the world with the help of volunteers; 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, or ask questions on the HUBB. 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.




All times are GMT +1. The time now is 22:11.