Sunday, 28 February 2010

I was the odd one out but not complaining

Arrived in Puerto Iguazu today and checked into a hostel. I was put into a room with 6 beds and 4 girls. I cannot say that I was complaining.

Nothing much to report

Left Buenos Aires on 26 Feb and travelled north towards Iguazu Falls.
A boring uninteresting road. Only photo I could think to show is of Graham blogging. He was there when I went to bed and he was there when I got up in the morning.
Stayed one night at Gobernador Ingeniero Valentin Virasoro. Surely it is long enough to be the name of a Welsh town.

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Answers to the nature quiz.

1) nine

2) four

3) green

4) lemon

5) hideously swollen

6) coati

7) butterfly

8) lepidoptera

9) spider

10) terrapin

11) flower

12) yes

13) camouflage

14) six

15) eighty eight

16) butterflies

17) yes

I hope you enjoyed it.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

BA that is not British Airways

Spent some time wandering around Buenos Aires and saw some views. A nice city but still a city.

and a few buildings

We came across a peaceful demonstration for workers rights. If it was planned to be peaceful why did 1 in 10 of the men carry a pick axe handle?

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Not the time to notice that you have worn out the waterproof lining in the seat of your bike trousers!!

The rest of the ride to Buenos Aires was uninteresting until we reached the centre of the city. The heavens just opened and we saw how floods have plagued the city for the last 4 days. The streets were awash and we were not even in a bad area.
We made a trip to Dakar Motors which is the magnet for all Adventure Motorcyclists in Argentina. Run by a couple of long distance riders it provides bunk beds, in the workshop and tent sites on a 10m x 10m patch of grass. Hopefully they will also be able to help me ship Maisie in a couple of weeks. Met up again with Frank and Philippe. Riding a motorcycle in South America is like belonging to one big family. That said riding a bike anywhere is like belonging to one big family. Power to 2 wheels!

In Azul the amount of rain overfilled a surface drain the man hole to which was right outside my room. I awoke for a pee to find 1" of water in my room. The next hour was spent wringing out clothes, praying that my laptop was sat on my shoes and escaped a wash by about 2mm and moving to another room.

Gluttony. One of the 7 deadly sins. Punishment - being turned into a toad

The rain had either prompted a beatle breeding cycle of caused the mass suicide of beetles. Either way this garage forecourt, as with many other places, was covered in thousands of dead beetles. Much to the delight of this toad who had simply gorged himself and now could not move. Bring on Dave the humanitarian. I rescued him and placed him next to a fence only to find that on the other side were 2 very hungry dogs. Luckily Mr Toad was too fat to go anywhere.

Just to show I have ridden Ruta 3

Graham and Sue spent ages planning this shot. These signs are every 100km and this is the last one that we would see.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

For those of you who are interested in kayaking. Anyone come to mind ? :-))

Currently on way north to Buenos Aires. Stopped in Viedma last night and read in a local pamphlet that this is where the longest kayak race in the world is supposed to end. So I was going to wax lyrical about the race but unfortunately Google could not find hide nor hair of the race. Bummer I was hoping to do it next week!
The heavens have opened in this neck of the woods. Half of Buenos Aires is under water. We found our own flood to play in.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

In the hope of beating the 3% odds

and so to Peninsular Valdes. For those of you that watch natural history programmes, remember the one about Killer Whales beaching themselves to take young seals off the beach. Well that was filmed here. Despite this being the correct time of year to see the spectacle there was only a 3% chance of seeing it. The sunsets were awesome and the hords of tourists that had the boat towed up the beach for them rather than walk were good enough to get bussed in for the day and leave by mid afternoon.

I thought 'red sky at night meant shepherds delight'. Well all night it bucketed down so that the dirt roads on the peninsular were turned to ribbons of mud. Tried to ride to the whales eating cute baby seals beach but it would have taken more than double the time allowed before the critical whale beaching high tide and that is assuming that there was not an accident on the way. So the executive decision was taken to postpone the whales to the next day. So we had to make do with this one.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Dry land

After getting off the ferry at Puerto Montt we said goodbye to some of the group and I headed SE with Graham and Sue. Our destination was Peninsular Valdes on the eastern coast of Argentina. It would take us 4 days to get there and on the way we passed through some stunning canyon scenary. On the 3rd day we followed a recommendation to stay in Dique Florentino Ameghino. This small town is set in the middle of the Pategonian Desert and is a bit of an oasis. Largely due to the abundance of water seeing that it is sat on the lower side of a dam.

As an aside. Everytime that I ride past a group of animals, be they cattle, sheep or llamas when I look behind me I see them scattering in every direction. Very chucklesome. The 'power' of Maisie. Shame that she cannot convert some of those decibels into horsepower.

and so some shots of that tongue twister Dique Florentino Ameghino.

Thursday, 11 February 2010


On returning to Puerto Natales from Torres del Paine I caught the Navimag ferry to Puerto Montt. Ten years ago I did the trip in reverse though then the poor weather stopped me from seeing too much. This trip started out exactly the same and the trip through the multitude of islands off the west coast of Chile did not provide many views.
The main purpose of the ferry is to transport road freight between the north and south of the country. This is essential since without travelling into Argentina there is no road link.
Old habits never die and I was soon checking the equipment. All I needed was my little green screwdriver.

The ferry is a great place to meet people and it was a good chill out time to be away from sitting on Maisie. As the weather improved there were some fantastic views to see and in places the channel was quite narrow.

At first light on the second day we visited the Pio XII Glacier which according to Chile is the largest glacier in the world outside of the Arctics. Argentina believe that the Perito Moreno Glacier is the largest. It makes no difference. Either way I have seen the largest.

On the morning of the 4th day we docked in Puerto Montt and the group then headed as a oner to Osorno where we split.

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Torres del Paine

When I was here in 2002 the views of the rock towers in the national park were clear of clouds. Unfortunately the same cannot be said of this visit. That said the dirt roads in the park were great fun to ride and the views that we still managed to see were stunning.

Whilst in the park I camped. Well as close to camping as the winds would allow. To help with the tents not being blown away there are windbreaks/shelters. Maisie was happy of a little shelter.
The couple one the far right and one on the far left are a pair of Germans on Suzuki DR650s that I first met whilst walking around Macchu Picchu.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Puerto Natales

We took a side road 0ff the sealed road between Punta Arenas and Puerto Natales to see some Magellan Penguines. The road there was a good and fast dirt track but we had to have a few words with a car driver that was totally oblivious to the fact that if he passes you at 100kmh he showers you with marble sized pebbles. Dohhhh!
Puerto Natales has little to shout about except that it is the base for trips into Torres del Paine National Park.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

A great gravel road

Yesterday took a great gravel road from Ushuaia to Punta Arenas (or somewhere with a similar spelling). Another border crossing and a ferry across Straits of Magellan again.

Oh yes Maisie is wonderful and probably the best motorcycle that an adventure motorcylist could own.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Time for a photo shoot

I just had to do it. Pay $10 to enter the Tierra Del Fuego National Park and have my photo taken in front of then end of Ruta 3 sign. Everyone does it but not everyone does it on a motorbike. Maisie was close to tears but I told her to 'pull herself together' and for the first time this journey she did as she was told.
So for me another milestone in the trip.