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Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, At the foot of the Bear Glaciers, eternal ice, British Columbia, Canada

Adventure is what you make it

Photo by Bettina Hoebenreich, at the foot of the Bear Glaciers, British Columbia, Canada.



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  #1  
Old 25 Mar 2016
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Ushuaia is closed, don't even bother

We reached the entrance to Ushuaia 2 days ago and found it blocked by government protestors. I was cold and wet, an English girl took pity on me and told me of a secret route off road and around barriers. I made it but my mate decided it was too hard and turned around. The next day I needed to leave and found the road block still in place. I, along with 4 other riders from around the globe were being held hostage. The route I took the day before was blocked even tighter. A local citizen told us of another way around. That turned into a 4 hour ordeal and caused us some bike damage. We met some BMW riders from Germany on the way to the ferry and told them and of course they were highly disappointed.
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Old 25 Mar 2016
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Yesterday, March 24th, was the national day of remembrance here in Argentina and Obama was visiting Patagonia as well so there is a lot of tension. I'm sure things will settle down after the weekend.
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Old 26 Mar 2016
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I'm in Rio Gallegos right now. I'm with a young couple on ktm's that wanted to make the trip until I told them what happened to me. We're hoping for an update on the situation. The protest has crippled this town. No traffic in or out. The locals don't like what's going on and have been a great asset to adv riders.
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  #4  
Old 26 Mar 2016
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Thing is that if it wasn't a protest, it could have beeb a flood or landslide or a bridge down, and all of those reasons, including protests, are quite common in parts of Mexico, Bolivia and Peru as well, so if you are going to travel you must have the resources and patience to sit them out.
Ushuaia might be closed today and tomorrow and even the next day but I doubt whether people should just give up because of temporary setbacks.
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  #5  
Old 26 Mar 2016
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And parts of the US, or Belgium, or France, or Syria, or wherever...
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  #6  
Old 26 Mar 2016
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Talking of bridges down and the like

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Originally Posted by Fernando Costa View Post
And parts of the US, or Belgium, or France, or Syria, or wherever...
England also; twenty bridges were washed out a few months ago in one county and most of them are still out of use.
A major road between two towns in the same county was also closed and remains closed - it might be up and open again soon just in time for the tourist summer season. The detour route adds about 60 miles to that journey.
Another road in a different county has been closed by subsidence for about 3 years and was opened again a couple of days ago - it's all adventure travel in the wilds of the UK!
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Old 26 Mar 2016
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I stopper several riders after leaving Ushuaia. Most had never been there and it was a life long dream to make it to the Southeran most city. I was one of those riders and luckily I got support from the civilians to break through. A natural disaster is one thing but a protest is another. We're at the very end of the riding season down here and all riders making this journey need to be informed.
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Old 26 Mar 2016
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One other good bit of advice is that while it is quite ok to try and sweet talk your way through a protest roadblock, it isn't usually a good idea to try and "break through"
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  #9  
Old 26 Mar 2016
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony LEE View Post
One other good bit of advice is that while it is quite ok to try and sweet talk your way through a protest roadblock, it isn't usually a good idea to try and "break through"
"Break through" as in the locals let me ride through their land, across pastures and back yards. I am greatful for their help. Problem is if the protestors find out they'll block it with shipping containers.

If your a capable off road rider go for it or get help.
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  #10  
Old 26 Mar 2016
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It's all part of the fun

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Originally Posted by memo-p View Post
Yesterday, March 24th, was the national day of remembrance here in Argentina and Obama was visiting Patagonia as well so there is a lot of tension. I'm sure things will settle down after the weekend.
I had a similar experience quite a few years ago; I think it was Clinton who was in town and everyone was locked down for some hours in the airport while he was in the vicinity - I was locked in an aircraft that was not permitted to "pushback" from the terminal and taxi out etc.
I learnt from that to stay well away from the politicians and their entourage.

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Originally Posted by BlackdogGS View Post
A natural disaster is one thing but a protest is another.
If you ever get to France, look out for the farmers' tractors and the fishing fleet trawlers in the roads and the entrances to the ports respectively.
The farmers' specialise in using their muck spreaders to good effect, especially against their banks.

The French air traffic control also like to join in now and again especially during specific holiday periods.

It's a world wide phenomena but some places are more prone than others and France has a long history of protest - this is all part of why we travel, but I will be entering mainland Europe via the Netherlands in the immediate future because of these planning factors of adventure travel and I wish to get to a particular rendezvous (there's a good French word) by a specific date.
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  #11  
Old 26 Mar 2016
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Same thing (protests, blockades, getting stuck for a few days) has happened to me in Italy and France, among other places. It's worth spreading information and it's worth discussing bypasses, but it's silly to think this only happens in disorganized or "primitive" Second or Third World countries.

Most of the best travel adventures involve times when a stack of credit cards and secret stashes of hard currency no longer provide comfort and security. Just listen to the stories we share, long after the trip is ended--they're about the days where everything went belly-up. The OP will be entertaining his grandchildren with tales of biking through farmers' fields, one step ahead of the protestors. That's how great stories are made.

Me, I'm still describing the time our train de-railed in Mozambique just after the war ended, requiring hungry days on foot through the mine-fields and little villages, culminating in a memorable night hoping a decrepit old freight train and (finally) arrival in a ramshackle city where food was for sale and money could be exchanged. It may have been uncomfortable at the time, but it sure gave us some vivid experiences.

I'll add that I found South America disappointing at times precisely because it was too easy, with not enough "adventure" to suit me. For the most part I rode a reliable bike around on predictable highways, purchased currency using plastic cards I brought from home, found lodging and palatable food wherever I went. What's the use of that, really? Most of the funnest times involved blockades, strikes, foul weather, misinformation, bad roads, mechanical failures, and more along those lines.

Edit to save someone the trouble of lecturing me: Yes, I understand that it's easy enough to get off the beaten track, if desiring the unknown and uncontrollable. I've done my fair share of that, including in South America.

All IMHO, of course.

Mark

Last edited by markharf; 26 Mar 2016 at 20:39.
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  #12  
Old 28 Mar 2016
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Originally Posted by BlackdogGS View Post
I stopper several riders after leaving Ushuaia. Most had never been there and it was a life long dream to make it to the Southeran most city. .
Maybe you all need to check your dreams, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puerto_Williams :-)
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Old 28 Mar 2016
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I was on my way to Ushuaia last weakened and worked my way try blockade by showing some international insurance papers and receipt from visiting doctor for respiratory problems in Punta Arenas telling them that I need to visit a doctor as sun as possible as I am emergency case.... making my face grim,like I am gasping for air ...they let me pass immediately...spend a night in tow,took mandatory photo in the harbor and next morning went back to the blockade....told them that I visited doctor and they are not accepting my insurance so I must go back to Punta Arenas for a respiratory treatment and main person from the syndicate
order them to let me go ...all this took about 5 min.

If I did not haw this paper with me ....probably photo shop could produce one.....
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Old 28 Mar 2016
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Does anyone know: Are these "government protestors" residents of Ushuaia or have they been bussed in from elsewhere to the outskirts of Ushuaia to blockade the town?

Are these the same people who were bused in to throw rocks and intimidate the Top Gear TV crew in Tierra del Fuego a while ago? (When speaking in January this year to an Argentine friend living in Rio Gallegos, he told me about the this "rent a mob").

I imagine it's the rent a mob, as the citizens of Ushuaia are unlikely to want to turn off the money stream that comes from the tourists.
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  #15  
Old 28 Mar 2016
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Why didn't I think of that? Good for you!

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Originally Posted by kawazoki View Post
I was on my way to Ushuaia last weakened and worked my way try blockade by showing some international insurance papers and receipt from visiting doctor for respiratory problems in Punta Arenas telling them that I need to visit a doctor as sun as possible as I am emergency case.... making my face grim,like I am gasping for air ...they let me pass immediately...spend a night in tow,took mandatory photo in the harbor and next morning went back to the blockade....told them that I visited doctor and they are not accepting my insurance so I must go back to Punta Arenas for a respiratory treatment and main person from the syndicate
order them to let me go ...all this took about 5 min.

If I did not haw this paper with me ....probably photo shop could produce one.....
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