Ok... I rode from Los Angeles California to the southern tip of South America, and back. I started out with a friend from Alberta Canada - Larry is a rancher whom I met when I rode to Alaska a few years earlier and had stayed in touch with. He had recently bought a new bike and wanted to go for a ride. So we set our sights on Tierra Del Fuego. But, he had to turn back in Colombia. Then I rode with Brian from England, Patrick from Ireland, and Damon from New Zealand, from Columbia to Santiago Chile. After that, I was on my own.

This was an exciting trip for a number of reasons. It was over 30,000 miles thru Latin America and the Andes mountains, and I didn't speak much Spanish. There was also the small detail of the Darien Gap. And, then there was "Death Road" in Bolivia - supposedly the most dangerous road in the world.

Anyway, I blogged about the entire journey right here.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

What Now? uh… NORTH!

After careful analysis of my options, being that I was pretty much out of roads to ride going south, I decided to head north with a couple goals in mind - I wanted to see some penguins, and I wanted to go to Buenos Aires : )

I still needed to replace my chain and sprockets as they were badly worn.  So, I stopped in Rio Gallegos and bought the parts I needed but decided to wait on installing them until later as I felt like riding and wanted to get some miles in that day. This proved to be a mistake as I later discovered the Suzuki Dealer had given me the wrong rear sprocket. Poop!  I was several hundred miles from where I had purchased the parts and had no desire to go back.  So, I forged on.  But my sprockets were worn to the point that the chain was slipping badly.  Riding very slowly, I made it to Bahia Blanca and found a moto shop where they offered to exchanged my sprocket for the right one. The owner also offered to take me to a shop where I could install may new parts. The first shop we went to was closing shortly.  So, he took me to small moto repair shop behind the mechanic’s home. He introduce me and made sure I had everything I needed before he left.  The mechanic was really nice guy.  He introduce me to his family and his wife and daughter brought me refreshments while his son help me install my new parts.  They also invited me to use their shower and even stay the night - I took them up on the offer to shower but didn’t feel like imposing to the extent of staying the night.  But, they made me feel very, very welcome.  After installing my new parts and showering, it was getting late. And, I wanted to get out of town and find a nice place to camp for the night.  But, I was unsure which way to go and stopped to look at my map.  A bicyclist stopped almost immediately to see if he could help.  And, he was giving me directions when a moto rider stopped and offered take me there.  So, I followed the moto rider for a mile or so and he took me to his house.  He started introducing me to his family and asked if I really needed to leave tonight as it was getting dark - he said I was welcome have dinner with them and stay the night. This all seemed quite strange to me as I am from the Los Angeles, California area where this kind of thing just does not happen. I was enjoying their hospitality but couldn’t bring myself to accept their generous offer as I still felt like I would be imposing. So, I bid farewell to another nice family and headed for the edge of town where I stopped to fuel up before heading off into the darkness. Then I started questioning what I was doing.  There seemed to be something special going on here in this friendly little town.  So, I decided to find a hostel and stay a couple days.

While I was there, I met a couple gals, Linsey and Natalia who were traveling the globe, volunteering on farms. We set out to see a bit of the town.  After wandering around for a few hours talking we discovered that none of us had yet experienced the cultural phenomenon known as “Mate”  So, we found a small café and tried to order some.  As it turns out, this is more of a ritual that is shared between friends.  And, it is not on the menu at any restaurant.  However, the café waiter talked to the manager/owner and they offered to let us use one of their personal mate cups to experience this small but significant part of their culture for the first time.  And, they acted as if it were a privilege to do so.

Ushuaia Argentina - the city at the bottom of the world

5 star camping spot right on the beach


1 star camping spot right next to the road

1 comment:

  1. BTW... I'm a bit behind on my blogging. But, I'll try to do better :)