Category: Great Motorcycle Rides

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Touring South America: Out of the Frying Pan and Into the Fire

Chapter 20: April 21st, Sarmiento, Argentina. I woke up feeling almost at 100% thanks to last night’s giant dinner. Since we had negotiated our room without breakfast (which were two pieces toasts and a cup of coffee), I whipped up something generous for myself. I didn’t want to leave any uneaten food behind so I fried four eggs and four sausages, and ate them with the rest of my loaf of bread. Not even Michael Phelps eats breakfasts that big....

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Touring South America: Getting cold, getting sick

Chapter 19: April 21st, Esquel, Argentina. The day we left Bariloche, we went for a ride around town and headed to Cerro Catedral before actually leaving the city. Cerro Catedral is one of Argentina’s largest ski resorts. Once we made it to the top we walked around the village that is no doubt teeming with people wanting to hit the slopes in the winter. To us, the whole resort was a ghost town but that didn’t take away from its...

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Touring South America: In for Repairs in Bariloche

Chapter 18: April 20th, Bariloche, Argentina. The nocturnal winds eventually died down at our campsite in Las Lajas and we were able to get some well-needed rest. Nothing had been knocked over during the night so that was a relief. We spoke to the campsite’s owner and he kindly offered us some coffee to get our morning going. He told us that we were the last people to arrive and with our departure the camping season was officially over. Had...

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Touring South America: Rugged terrain on the road south

Chapter 17: April 17th, Las Lajas, Argentina. The last time I had ventured on a long unpaved road was in Oxapampa, one year before. Back then, it had been about 20km of uneven paths full of loose rocks and holes. It served as great learning experience because this time, Fernando and I were barreling down the Ruta 40. It was all very lovely riding until we ran out of asphalt. We stopped to take a deep breath before crossing into the dirt. Once we started...

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Touring South America: The Start of Something New

Chapter 16: April 16th, Mendoza, Argentina. My last night in Mendoza I went out with Piojon and his brother to continue our consumption of Fernet. The strong bitter taste of Fernet Branca isn’t really my thing but this time I was able to graduate from the frowned-upon (by local men) Fernet Menta to the potent Fernet Classic. It’s an acquired taste. One that I won’t be pursuing. Walking down Aristides Avenue, where the nighttime fun in Mendoza begins, we ran...

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Touring South America: Meeting Friends, Old and New

Chapter 15: April 15th, Mendoza, Argentina. A few years before embarking on this motorcycle adventure, I had ended up traveling by myself around South America due to some tension with a close friend. What was interesting about it was that I was never completely alone. I always ended up befriending someone that was headed in my same direction and would end up traveling together. As soon as I was saying goodbye to one fellow traveler, I was already meeting someone else to...

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Touring South America: Crossing the Andes

Chapter 14: April 14th, Andes Mountain Crossing, Argentina. To leave Santiago at rush hour is not something I’d recommend, especially if you’re in a residential area and have to weave through an entire city’s worth of cars trying to get to their jobs. I left my aunt’s house at 8am but it wasn’t until an hour later that I was getting on the highway. I also briefly lost my way because I failed to read some signs properly and ended...

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Touring South America: Evolving Gloves

Chapter 13: April 14th, Santiago, Chile. The hostel where I ended up staying after nearly sliding down a steep hill in the city was the Hostal Acuarela. It was one of the most charming and cozy places I had stayed at until that moment. The interior had a unique design and you could feel that it had a personality. Whoever had designed the place had quite an original creative process. Lucky for me I got to enjoy it in solitude...

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Touring South America: Marathon Sessions

Chapter 12: April 9th, Valparaiso, Chile. When I awoke there were still stars out but the sky wasn’t black anymore. It was a deep shade of blue. The sun was coming. I changed and just as I was putting my things away, a ray of light spilled over from behind remote desert dunes. It came just in time to bring a little warmth to the cold emptiness of the desert. I packed up the tent, loaded everything back on the...

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Touring South America: Starry Night in the Atacama Desert

Chapter 11: April 7th, Atacama Desert, Chile. I spent the morning of April 6th in the hotel where I ended up the night before. I made good use of the WiFi and figured out my route for the day. The plan was to reach Chañaral taking the Ruta 1 that runs along the entire coast. I ended up leaving Antofagasta at around 2pm but I estimated that I would still have plenty of time to make it there and set up camp...