Buenos Aires

It ain’t over till the fat lady sings!

Although our last post sounded as if it was the end of our trip, it wasn’t.

After dusty Dakar we got into Brasil to visit our friends in Santa Maria. No other tourist would ever understand why we visited Santa Maria…….twice. It was not for the city but for the people.  We arrived thursday january 20. It was really nice to meet everyone again.  A few hours after we arrived we already joined a bachelors party.

We went to this place where they have the finest selection of  Brazilian….eh…..beers.

Rudy's beer

We blended in their social lives again and were taken from poolparty BBQ to lunch, for a bike ride, bars, another BBQ…

BBQ at Arturs place

Santa Maria

asado at Arno

We had a great time.

We left Santa Maria on monday (24th) and were now really underway to Buenos Aires. We crossed the border into Uruguay. It was very hot.

resting in the shade

In two days time we drove to the Argentinean border. In Mercedes we were stopped for an extra day because of bad weather.

Time to start realizing…. It was the last of everything. We hoped we had our last problem on the bike the day before. Roels chain jumped from his sprocket, during our last ride on a dirtroad. Mercedes was our last stop before B-A. For the last time we packed our bikes on thursday 27th. We crossed the border with our bikes for the last time and started our last 230km to B-A.

final gasstation

Filled her up for the last time. Buenos Aires here we come.

We were glad the roads were straight to B-A, so we could let our minds drift away for a bit. Overviewing the last year, memorizing highlights, people we met, our friendship, things that happened…..big contrasts.

A feeling of gratefulness was what we felt. Grateful for being able to do this….in good health, grateful we actually did it, grateful to go back home and meet all our friends and family. Grateful in every way.

arrived in San Telmo

We arrived in Buenos Aires and found a hostel in San Telmo neighbourhood. Buenos Aires is a fantastic city. Great european architecture, nice plazas, parks, and lots of restaurants.

lunch in Buenos Aires

nice architecture

shopping!!!

Plaza de mayo

Plaza de mayo

Altough we went to some of the best meat restaurants we still think our own asados are the best. So we continued BBQ-ing. Steves solo check was a disaster, so he was set back to demo again. Meatknowlegde lessons and braaimeister demo…

Meatknowledge

We also had to make arrangements for our bikes. Selling or shipping? Shipping is incredibly expensive. Compared to the state of some bikes, maybe not worth it.

Besides that we are discovering the beauty of Buenos Aires. Strolling around through old neighborhoods. Napping in a park.

afternoon nap

La Boca

Colourful houses in La Boca.

La Boca

Watching street tango….

street tango

and showing that the Dutch tango is slightly different.

Dutch Tango

Watching the new Lionel Messi

the new Messi

We didn’t do any real touristy things…..

city tour

..like a citytour in an open bus.

Avenida 9 julio

We will enjoy our last days of warm weather, wines, meat and tango. Roel is the first to go home, followed by the rest. Roel arrives feb 8th at 18.30, Steve on feb 10th at 21.50 and Roger feb 12th at 10.30

street tango

We will soon post one final update with some statistics from this trip.

Hasta pronto. Hasta el Deugniet saturday 12 feb, 20.oo hrs, Amsterdam

un abrazo de Roel, Roger y Steve

Carlos Gardel – Por una cabeza

Alegreta

Dakar 2011, We were there!!

After we left Puerto Madryn, we really wanted to see the Dakar rally. We got on the 3 again and continued further up. Same shit, different day. Long straight roads…..

On the 3

on the 3

The only difference was that everyday it got hotter. We received a tip to go to Azul and visit “La posta del viajero en moto”, supposed to be some sort of campground. In two days time we reached Azul, not really knowing what to expect. There we stayed at La Posta. This place wasn’t  a campsite, it was someones home. Jorge, aka El Pollo (the chicken) was receiving motorcyclists for almost two decades. Camping in his garden and famous for his asado (bbq).

Pollo's garden

This place has been visited by hundreds of people over time and was breathing stories from all over the world. Everyone left souvenirs or just their name. We thought we had quite a trip, 18 countries, 40.000km….

pretty long trip

Pollo made us a great bbq with his friends and showed us what real hospitality is about.

pollo's place

We spent two days there and used his garden for maintenance on the bikes (fresh oil, new tyres, new gasket).

Reading his books with messages from all over the world.

two decades of history

click to enlarge…and read

messages from all over the world

We said goodbye Thursday 13th. Time to find the Dakar route.

saying goodbye to Pollo

After 40.000 km this trip (the circumference of the earth)we arrived in little village Perez Millan on friday. Not on our map, but according  to the internet, the Dakar should pass next day. Quickly we found the spot, a 90 degree dirtroad curve….Oh yes, that’s gonna be spectacular. Because we didn’t know how many people would come and from what time and because we wanted the best spots, we decided to camp along side of the route.

camping

Camping at Dakar

We were not the only ones. Beers and asados….we hardly slept.

asado and beer the night before Dakar rally

Next day we woke up early and had to wait another few hours. The sun was already burning at 9 o’clock and we tried to stay out of the heat.

front row Dakar

We had the best spot, a shaded area, with some nice neighbors who invited us for the afternoon asado.

best spot

afternoon asado

Proud Argentineans

The only bad thing about our spot was that it was downwind. It is gonna be a dusty afternoon.

Dakar and dust

First passing was Marc Coma on his KTM, overall winner on the motorbikes.

Marc Coma

Looking for the first to come

Dakar 2011

And here goes Frans Verhoeven (Dutchman) on his BMW. He won this last stage. Well done Franske…

Some great riding we saw…..from the top ten.

great steering

After that, we were pretty convinced that the Black Elephant was faster on his Ténéré ………with gear.

After the bikes came the quads, cars and trucks. Carlos Sainz in the VW.

Carlos Sainz

with a Tenere in the front

And ofcourse De Rooy “with the flame in the pipe” and other trucks.

De Rooy

Dakar and trucks

Kamaz

After eating all the dust, we felt dirtier like never before…..We drove to a river and went for a swim.

dusty faces

We spent the night in Zarate. On our way to Brasil now. Although we left the Ruta 3 since Azul, the roads are still straight. Getting hotter by the day, 35 degrees in the shade. And somehow we manage to drive during the hottest hours of the day. On Sunday we arrived in Gueleguaychu. A familiar place we knew from a few months ago. We arrived just in time for the thunderstorm. Pretty nasty….

thunderstorm

Black Elephant blown away

We spent two days in a riverside cabana and had some great BBQ’s.

nice view

Steve was ready for his pre-solo check on the BBQ. The Braaimaster Black Elephant was very critical (as you can read In the gradesheet), but Steve is ready for his solo braai check.

gradesheet braai (click to read)

pre solo-check environment

Today we crossed the border into Brasil and tomorrow we will go to Santa Maria. We are going to visit some friends we met a few months ago….and hopefully they will invite us for a Brazilian BBQ. It has been too long ago that we had a BBQ.

The end of our trip is very near now, so we are trying to double enjoy every minute. Some people already asked when our flight back home is booked. Well, due to some miscommunication, bad planning (never been our strongest  point) and choices we managed to book three different flights all arriving on different dates.

Roel arrives on feb 8th at 18.30, Steve on feb 10th at 21.50 and Roger feb 12th at 10.30

Let’s say we end in style…

See you soon and don’t forget about February 12th, De deugniet, 8 o’clock.

Saludos

Raul, Esteban, El elefante negro

PS: today we heard the terrible news that one of our yearmates died due to cancer. We were shocked….receiving this message. It was a long and silent ride after that. Our deepest condolences to his wife, family and friends.

Simon you will be missed.

Puerto Madryn

The only way is up!

We’ve traveled a lot of miles since our last (proper) post from El Calafate. Let’s see….

December 26th, we visited the Perito Moreno glacier. Very impressive.

Perito Moreno

Perito Moreno

We were lucky to see a big ice cube breaking of. Incredible sound and view.

breaking part

BE

We left El Calafate the 27th. We were now this close to Ushuaia, and wanted to celebrate new year there. We crossed the border into Chile again and drove to Puerto Natales.

The roads were very windy again,….looking for shelter everywhere

looking for shelter

And again, we couldn’t get gas. Well, there was just no one there…

no hay nafta

Puerto Natales

From Natales we drove to Punta Arenas, where we weren’t welcome on the ferry. Drove to another  little ferry crossing. Welcome to Tierra del Fuego was the first thing we read after leaving the ferry.

Tierra del Fuego

We could almost smell Ushuaia by then. Another 100km of gravelroad, the third flat tyre on Rogers bike since he joined us, a border crossing, another gasstation without gas and some more miles before we reached Rio Grande.

Tierra del Fuego

Tierra del Fuego

Black Elephant has a flat tyre

Our final stop before el fin del Mundo. December 30 we did the final part to Ushuaia. The Tierra del Fuego landscape changed from grassy hills with sheep into mountains with snowy tops.

To Ushuaia

To Ushuaia

Made it. We set up camp near the Rio Pipo river and celebrated new year on the campsite with a BBQ, a bonfire and some other bikers. We ended with watching the first sunrise of 2011 in downtown Ushuaia…..

A great start of 2011….hangover.

camp at Rio Pipo

New years eve

BBQ on new years eve

sunrise on january 1

January 2, we left Ushuaia with the nicest weather, probably one of the few in a year. We were lucky when we were there. It looked very touristy with the big Antarctic cruise ships.

Ushuaia

Ushuaia

Along our way up, we stopped again in Tolhuin at the best bakery in South America. Unbelievable that in this little village down south they make the best bread and cakes. It was so busy on sunday that the police was there to keep order.

bakery in Tolhuin

After a night in Rio Grande again, we continued north the next day. Crossing the border twice within 200km. Argentina out, Chile in, Chile out, Argentina in. Why didn’t they create some sort of no-mans-land for this little stretch of land? Would save a lot of people a lot of paperwork.

In Argentina we picked up the Ruta 3. This road goes from Buenos Aires all the way to Ushuaia, 3045km. There are basically two ways that go north-south in Argentina. The ruta 40 in the west, which we partially took down and the 3 in the east, which we have to take all the way up. You can actually count down to Buenos Aires cause every kilometer is indicated alongside the road. This must be one the longest and most boring roads in the world. You cross through a desert for days.

Ruta 3

Long straight roads.

Ruta 3

The only thing that makes it really interesting is the strong wind. They keep on warning you for this. We were lucky the last few days. We only had moderate winds.

Windy ruta 3

Entire Patagonia is windy.  Everyday and from the same direction. As Dutchmen, we just couldn’t understand that we didn’t count one single windturbine! We advised the locals about this. But if they don’t want to listen: “just beat our advise in the wind”. Because in Holland we always say: “from the wind we can not live” and after a few days of riding “we smell an hour in the wind”.

Anyway, everday we wake up, get on the 3, and head north for some hours. Even we did some great mileage, with a new record of 640km in a day. Not because we wanted, but there just isn’t any reason to stop, except for gasstations.

On our way up, we had one of the best asados (bbq) so far.

Black Elephant doing what he does best....

And for the last time this trip: Freddy Mercury

Roels final mo

January 6, we left the ruta 3 to visit Punta Tombo. One of the largest magellanic penguins colonies in the world live here.

Punta Tombo

Penguins everywhere….

penguins everywhere

Punta Tombo

living in harmony with guanacos.

penguins and guanaco's

Punta Tombo

After a few days riding north we arrived in better weather again and said “toedeledoki” to our wintergloves. Welcome back summer! Yesterday we enjoyed a morning beer on the beach in Puerto Madryn.

Monday we continue on ruta 3, counting down up north…. What’s next? Right now we are thinking of intercepting the Dakar on its last day to Buenos Aires. After that we might sneak into Brasil again and say goodbye to our friends in Santa Maria…..

We’ll keep you posted.

Saludos

the DDB’s

Ushuaia

WE’VE MADE IT: EL FIN DEL MUNDO

After 36420 km, 10 months and 19 days, we arrived in Ushuaia (dec 30), the most southern town in the world. El fin del mundo, the end of the world as they call it over here.

We've made it!!!

From here we would like to wish everyone a happy new year.

We only have another month left for this trip, ending in Buenos Aires in february.

The best way to finish this trip is probably the same as how we started it: with a party in Amsterdam. So, we would like to invite you to come to Amsterdam and have beer with us.

Date: 12 February at 20.00 hrs.

Location: Amsterdam, café De Deugniet. In front of the Heffer, where we had our farewell party (but not available this time).

Don’t think you are not invited for some reason. The fact that you are reading this means that you are. And besides, our budget is long gone, so we can probably buy you just one beer. We just want a lot of people to come and hope you will buy us a beer!! 😉

Cheers

El Calafate

FELIZ NAVID, MERRY CHRISTMAS, VROLIJK KERSTFEEST, GESEËNDE KERSFEES

Amigos, we made it to El Calafate for Christmas….on our last drops of gasoline.

The last week was for sure a highlight of this trip. Breathtakingly beautiful, the longest ride so far, all weather braai (bbq), severe winds, wildlife……

We left Bariloche december 16 after a day of maintenance. We drove the curvy route to el Bolson and from there the dirtroad national park route passing several lakes.

To Trevelin

We stopped for the night in Trevelin.

To the border

Next morning we crossed the border again into Chile, following the Futaleufu river. As usual, the Chileans were very strict with importing the very dangerous Argentinean apples, so they searched our bags.

The customs guy was  a bit surprised when he found the blond Bas-mullet in Roger’s bag….. Afraid to find some stockings and high heels as well, he let us through.

Bas mullet

A fantastic route along the Futaleufu river into Chile, bringing us to the legendary Carretera Austral. This gravel road built by Pinochet (about 1200 km long) connects the most remote villages in Chile.

Carretera Austral

Carretera Austral

We stopped for the night in La Junta and found a little cabana for the night. There we practised our all weather braai (bbq) a bit more.

Mmmmmmeat

The teacher teaching, the student making notes….

BE braai

The Carretera Austral is very beautiful and very green…..that means a lot of rain. So next day we had a cold and rainy start to Coyhaique. You can’t really wait for better weather here, cause mostly….there just isn’t.

Rainy start

But mostly, the sun will shine at some part of the day…and then everything looks colorful again.

With some sunshine everything looks better

For the ladies....

In Coyhaique we stayed two nights. We had to do some maintenance on Rogers bike. He had a major oil leakage…..that’s not a real problem….as long as you keep filling her up with oil. But all the oil was leaking on his rear tyre. So….he fixed the gasket as good as possible.

bike repair day

Monday 20th we continued. Some parts of the Austral are paved….and for bikers fun they added some hairpins.

hairpins

Roger was very happy he didn’t have an oily tyre anymore.

BE

We wanted to take the ferry at Pto Ibanez to Chile Chico and cross the Lago General Carrera (second biggest lake in South America). Because of the severe winds, the ferry didn’t leave.

Ferry

Next departure was in the evening. We decided to ride around the lake. It started raining. We continued on the gravel road. End of the story…we lost each other on the gravel road, problems on Roels bike, and one of the bikes had done too many kilometers to continue. So we had to turn around and go back to Ibanez again. We tried to take the evening ferry. Still too much wind. Spent the night in the little shitty village and tried the ferry again next morning. Still too much wind. Again we decided to ride around the lake. Flat tyre on Rogers bike….sigh… Somehow it really felt that we were not allowed to go around the lake.

Flat tyre

The route was amazingly beautiful. It is hard to describe the area here. At some points it looks like Canada meets Switzerland and Scotland. And at some parts where the lakes are turquoise colored, the Caribbean added some flavor as well.

Lago Gral Carrera

Carretera Austral

Austral

River Baker

In Cochrane it was business as usual: cabana and Afrikaanse braai.

Cochrane

Braai

Next day we crossed the border again. That ride was epic. On a 200km stretch we only met 2 other bikes and 2 cars. Fantastic scenery with wild horses and guanaco’s.

to the border

Border crossing

From the green Austral, we got into the dry Argentinean desert.

To the border

Argentina again

Hi Roel

Argentinean desert

Strong strong winds, blowing us almost from our bikes. It is good that there is hardly any traffic, cause at some points we really needed the entire road to keep the bike in upward position.

Beautiful Patagonia

Wow

Dead tired we stopped for gas and a bed in Bajo Caracoles….a tiny village on the Ruta 40, one of the longest roads in the world.

We woke up after a 10 hours sleep (tien punt nulletje). Let’s go to El Calafate. It would be the longest ride so far on our trip. But there is simply nothing in between. The Ruta 40 is partly paved / unpaved.

Ruta 40

Along the way we found a dinosaur

BE was hungry

A few hundred kilometers riding in gravel with severe crosswinds….again blowing us almost from our bikes. Somehow we missed a gassation (if there was any at all) and finally after 350km dirt we arrived in Tres Lagos.

for LK

To Calafate

We really needed some gas to make it to El Calafate. The strong winds must have influenced our fuel consumption badly, we know bikers who doubled there fuel consumption. No gas!!! the gasstation was empty. Now what? There was a pick-up truck with a dirtbike in the back. We asked the owner if we could use the fuel. The gasstation owner had a trike. In the end we sucked about 6 liters from the tanks and Roel still had a 5 liters spare. We decided to give it a go. Our helmet on the tanks, Steve up front, riding 5th gear optimum speed, the others slipstreaming at just a few centimeters.

160 km to go…..going like a train…….120km to go……body starts aching from the uncomfortable position…..80km to go…..still a lot of wind…..40km to go……all three using reserve fuel…….20km to go…..first bike out of fuel……shared the last few liters from the emergency jerrycan….10km to go….El Calafate in sight. We made it. We filled 75 liters of gas for three bikes at the gasstation. Christmas in Calafate and not on Ruta 40.  We will stay some days here, do an oilchange, visit the Perito Moreno Glacier and then it’s time to go to Ushuaia. The most southern city in the world…

But first enjoy the good weather in Calafate…

enjoying sun in El Calafate

BE thinking of LK

Amigos, this is our last post of 2010. We want to thank all of you who have followed our journey. Thanks for the great comments, emails and thoughts.

Thinking of all of you!

Special thought are with Simon, Sonja, Joris&Marlyn

To all: Enjoy Christmas and have the happiest new year…..

Don’t dream your life….live your dream!!!

Saludos

Raul, el elefante negro y Esteban

San Carlos de Bariloche

Bariloche….3 times in two weeks

Bas left us about two weeks ago from little Chilean village Melipeuco. Last night with Bas we had a meatfest on the BBQ. Because Bas couldn’t walk, Roel and Steve could eat all the meat.

Meatfest

The next day Roel and Steve hit the road and left the bike at Senor Pablo in Melipeuco. We didn’t get any further than Villarrica. Still not really knowing what to do with our time until Roger would arrive, we found out that Aldo (Dutch guy we met months ago) was in Bariloche. We decided to cross the border near the Lanin volcano and spent the night in San Martin de los Andes.

Bordercrossing

December 1 we drove via national park Nahuel Huapi to Bariloche.

to Bariloche

It was terribly cold, windy and rainy. Stopped several times to warm our hands on the engine. Still thousands of kilometers away from Ushuaia and already this cold….better invest in some warmer clothes. In Bariloche we had a great time with Aldo and the Irish Pub. But still, we had to wait a week until the black elephant would arrive. Still cold in Bariloche and with some beers in the irish pub we came up with the best plan…..

Friday (dec 3) Steve was in a nightbus to Mendoza and Roel to Cordoba.

Bus to Mendoza

We both spent our time a few days in the nicest weather and with friends we met before. Good times. By that time, the dangleberries were pretty spread out: Bas was in Holland, Roger in Italy, Roel in Cordoba, Steve in Mendoza, two bikes in Bariloche and one in Chile…..

On wednesday we both returned to Bariloche where it was still rainy, snowy and cold. Finally on friday 10 december The Black Elephant arrived, with a 26 hours delay. After 10 months Bas, we were used to the sight of Bas’ blond mullet dancing in the wind under his helmet. We came to the airport well prepared.

Welcome Black Elephant

We went straight to the Irish pub……

Wilkenny's

Next day we didn’t have an early departure. We had to get back into Chile to pick up the third bike. We left most of our  luggage in the hostel and went with three on two bikes.

poor bike

To the border...again

Taxi

A great ride over the mountains into Chile. Although almost summer here, there was plenty of snow.

white christmas

We spent one night in Osorno and met some people who could need some help along the way.

helping a hand

Sunday we drove to Melipeuco.

It was Roger’s birthday. We celebrated it with a South African BBQ. Roger teaching, Roel and Steve making notes….(“slachtpalen”, “twee-hoef, eenhoef nie goed nie”, “hard hout”).

Braai lessons

Quality!!

Black Elephant Birthday Braai

Next morning we woke up with sunshine! Did the ruta Interlagos to the Argentinean border again, this time with three bikes. Passing the beautiful Lanin volcano again and were in the promised land again.

To Argentina again

BE

Beautiful Patagonia

We spent the night in San Martin de los Andes again and next day (dec 14) we took the nice route through park Nahuel Huapi again. This time with the most beautiful weather. What a difference with last time.

National park

BE

lunch time

And for the third time we arrived in Bariloche…again.

TLC

Time for some TLC on the bikes and for sure it is time to drive south for christmas….

Chao amigos!

The Black Elephant

The Black Elephant

Introducing the new Dutch Dangleberry.

Bas is back home with his broken ankle. A surgery, 4 screws and a metal plate. His bike is still in Chile and we are in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentine. Although Bas broke his ankle, the Black Elephant was already supposed to finish the trip on Bas bike. But, who is the black elephant?

Black Elephant

The Black Elephant, a.k.a Roger, a.k.a. “de man die alles kan”. He handles aircraft, helicopters, cars and bikes. Is the fastest man on earth on a dirt bike and smokes the pipe like no one else.

Look Steve....this is what they call a "wheel"

Ok, serious. If it wasn’t for Roger, we might not even be in South America. We used his garage, tools and knowledge for over a year to get our old bikes ready. By then, the idea was born that he would come over at some point to join us. So…that is what’s happening now.

zullen we ermee stoppen? eh...nee

The only thing is, that we got quite used to Bas and all his habits. We decided Roger has to do everything Bas used to do.

Bas always navigated, maintained all our bikes, set up camp, inflated the airbeds, cooked, got all the beers, did the laundry and entertained us every time we were bored.

Ok…serious again. We are ready for the Black Elephant (BE).

Welcome aboard  Roger.

PS: Last news about the Black Elelphant. He was supposed to arrive thursday night, but is already delayed. Aircraft broke down and is now waiting in London. Nysh start…

PS2: Also check the “Guys” page to learn a bit more about BE

four dangleberries

Melipeuco

Unpleasant, unexpected surprise……: Bas is going home!

After three nights Valparaiso we really wanted to get on our bikes again for some days.

Finding our way

We stayed well clear of the big central highway going south, and picked up the little coastal route. Surprisingly beautiful! Green hills, pine trees, the smell of flowers, nice bays, lovely views….and most of the time there was absolutely no one on the road. We spent a night in Pichilemu (nov 20), known by surfers for its left-hand break.

Pichilemu

enjoying the afternoon sun

We practiced our Argentinean BBQ, Chilean style…. and got addicted to the 2 liter packs Gato Negro – Cabernet Sauvignon. Cheap, good and plenty…. We like.

BBQ and wine

Next day we continued on the beautiful coastal route. Great gravel roads along lakes and pacific bays.

Bay views

Enjoying it all with Nescafe and over lunch….

Nescafe

Lunch

In Pelluhue we found ourselves a cabana and had homemade pasta on the porch. We really enjoyed being on the road again….and away from cities.

El chef

Porch eating

Monday 22nd we had a short ride. Bas and Steve now really needed to change their rear tyres. So that’s what we did on a hot afternoon. We could need some grip the upcoming days riding the lake district.

changing tyres

 With some fresh tyres we continued our trip land inwards towards the lakes. Camped at lago …..eh…something and continued the day after.

along the way

Camp at lago....eh..something

On Wednesday we entered the national park around Volcano Llaima (one of the most active volcanoes in Chile, last active in 2008), the Ruta Interlagos. Because summer is still a month away here, we were the only ones riding this great gravel route, with fantastic views on the white topped Volcano and lava rivers.

Lava river

Ruta interlagos

 Late in the afternoon we found a quiet spot near a river to set up camp.

wildcamping

We cooked, drank, talked, enjoyed….

Gato negro

We really enjoyed being away from modern civilization for a while…back to nature.

Back to nature

Next morning we woke up with sunshine, giving us great views of the volcano.

Morning sun

Volcano Llaima

 After a quick morning shower, and a coffee, we continued on the ruta interlagos not knowing where we would end that day..…and not knowing what was about to happen.

Shower

shower

Ruta Interlagos

Then……on a rocky downhill part…..Bas had difficulty controlling his bike and hit a rock. His ankle got swollen quickly and we couldn’t drive any further. We gave first aid near a river to keep the swelling down and find a ride to the nearest village. Roel and Steve took care of all the gear.

Steve filling waterbag, Bas and his bike with a dent in the tank

Cooling the ankle

all the gear

That night we ended in a Melipeuco. Bas got a first examination on his ankle. We had BBQ and a wine, hoping it wasn’t all too bad.

BBQ

Next morning we went to Temuco to find a proper clinic. Bas’ ankle is broken. An abrupt end of our journey with the three of us……and also for Bas’ next trip with Janneke. Really sad.

Robocop shoe

Bad luck

Bas is going home now and we will wait for the Black Elephant who will continue on Bas’ bike.

Probably this is the risk of a trip like this. So, we will not complain. We will be thankful. We had the best times together the last ten months!

We didn’t just talk the talk. We walked the walk. Or even better, we rode the ride. Good luck healing…. See you in a few months.

Chao!

Bas

Roel, you want another fishermen’s friend? Pretty strong stuff….huh?

Valparaiso

Kissing the Pacific coast again…

We stayed a few nights in Cordoba. Did an oilchange on our bikes, enjoyed city nightlife and tried to stay cool in this hot place.

Tuesday november 9, we left and for the first time in weeks we enjoyed some twisty mountain roads again on our way to Mendoza.

pitstop

We stopped for the night in a little village, where we practiced our Argentinean BBQ skills a little more. Next day we crossed a desert.

straight roads

Resting

Long straight roads…leading to Mendoza, the winecapital of Argentine. What a nice city. Big plaza’s, long avenues, unlimited wine, beautiful people, great hostel…….All ingredients to stay some days.

Mmmmm Coffee

Plaza

BBQ

We enjoyed a hostels BBQ and had some drinking & guitar sessions. Saul played guitar like a pro and we drank wine like a pro….

guitar sessions

wine

We also met George and Chris, two lads from Scotland driving two Suzuki V-stroms all the way down from Alaska to Ushuaia and end in Buenos Aires. Doing it all in three months. After two months they have done more miles than we did in nine….. Great guys, and always good for a laugh with there Brittish sense of humor. Cheersssshh boysssshh

George & Chris

November 16, we left Mendoza to cross the Andes into Chile. Two epic days we had ahead of us. We took the old gravel route leaving Mendoza. Twisty mountain route without any other traffic.

Old route to Chile

Gravel road

To the border

From Uspallata we picked up the main road. No words to describe this great route, bringing us to Puente del Inca at 2700m where we stayed for the night.

Old route

To the border

Puente del Inca

The road to the border passes the highest mountain of the Americas, Aconcagua with an altitude of 6.962m

Next morning, we rode the last part to the Chilean border. For the first time in nine months, entering the 18th country this trip, the customs wanted to see all our luggage. Too bad, we just had our dirty laundry done… We were not even allowed to bring three Argentinean apples into the country.

Chile!!

Into Chile

After the formalities we continued and descended from 3.000m to about 1.500m. Almost 30 hairpins all the way down!!

Oh...YES!!

left, right, left, right, left, right, left, right, left....

Wait for me Bas!

It crossed our minds, to go up again and do it all over….left, right, left, right… But the thought of meeting customs again….

After the Andes pass we drove all the way to Valparaiso. This is a colorful Chilean coastal city on a hill, giving nice views.

Lunch at the plaza

Valparaiso

Colorful Valparaiso

Here we wanted to arrange a Chilean insurance for the bikes, which we need in case of police checks. But apparently it was not possible for us (non-Chileans) to get one….

Computer says no..  We were left but only one option: creativeness.

Creativeness

Tomorrow we will hit the road south, picking up the smaller coastal routes. The next few months we will cross the Chilean/Argentinean border a few times on our way to Ushuaia. We have to be in Bariloche beginning of december. From there Bas will leave the team and will join Janneke. But, we arranged the best Bas-replacement we can imagine: the Black Elephant, who we will introduce later. First we have to adjust suspension for the BE….

Saludos,

Los tres amigos

PS1: George & Chris, thanks for the insurance templates

PS2: Here is Aussi Saul playing the guitar…..And he could also cook damn well.

Cordoba

“El mundo es como un libro abierto, quien no viaja sólo ha leído la primera pagina”

We’ve moved along quite a bit the last few weeks. We found out that we are quite spoiled after months of mountains and the curviest roads. Last few thousand kilometers we had straight flat roads. So that’s one reason why we´ve driven quite some miles. No beautiful landscapes to shoot, so the only stops we made were at gasstations filling her up….

Sitting, waiting, whishing

Welcome to Uruguay

Monday october 25th, we crossed the Brasil/Urugayuan border and drove to Punta del Diablo. Supposed to be a highlight, but for sure we were in the wrong season. Along the coast there was this very chilly oceanbreeze, making us wear all our layers on the bike. So instead of a sunny touristy beachvillage, we found a desolate ghosttown.

Punta de Diablo

Next day we continued along the coast. But first we needed a welder. After almost nine months of not travelling light, Roels pannier rack got cracked and needed a professional.

Lasogen?

After that we drove to Punta del Este. A Monaco like city, with only villas and luxurious apartments. The greatest wealth….we didn’t expect that. The day before, we were thinking of staying in Punta del Este, but somehow our dirty old bikes didn’t really fit in. We decided to continue and drove to Montevideo, the capital.

Looking for a hostel

A pretty modern city, laid-back and just a stone throw away from Buenos Aires. A good place to find some new rear tyres and drink a beer in the local “Weber”. Unfortunately the hostel we stayed in was booked after two nights, so we had to leave.

Colonia del Sacramento

Thursday (28th) we drove to Colonia del Sacramento, a colonial town. Very touristy, because it is close to Argentine and because of its nice sunsets.

Nice

We stayed 4 nights, but didn’t really do anything, except for watching three seasons Californication, some top rated movies like the Simpsons and did a lot of sleeping. All three of us got a little sick there…..and we were just really tired. We think the nine months of travelling made us tired, …..or maybe we just really miss the mountainroads.

November first, we crossed the border to Argentine. At the border there was a sign with the (political) statement that the Falklands belong to Argentine. It still hurts apparently… We found a campsite in Gualeguaychu and had our first Argentinean style BBQ…

Camp

Jealous dad??

Mmmmmeat

Next day we drove to Rosario, a lovely city. Away from the oceanbreeze, temperatures were rising as well and before we knew it, we were enjoying fresh coffee on a sunny terrace wearing shorts, flip-flops and our glasses again.

Rosario

Rosario

Life is good here. But again….they wanted to remind us that the Falklands (islas malvinas) belong to Argentine. Yeah…we know by now.

Falklands

On our way to pick up the Andes roads to go to Patagonia and Ushuaia, we will visit Cordoba, Mendoza and Santiago. All supposed to be very nice cities. Yesterday we arrived in Cordoba and are now recovering from a proper Argentinean allnighter…. Thank god, we still feel like 18. Argentinean lifestyle is a bit different than we are used to…. They start their diner, by the time we normally would hit a bar and they go to a club, by the time we usually crawl back to our beds.

We’ll stay here for the weekend, do an oilchange on the bikes and just enjoy Argentina…..and its meat.

Saludos!!

Raul, Sebastian y Esteban

PS: aboves translation:

“The world is like an open book, he who doesn’t travel only read the first page…”

Amen.

PS2: Thijs & Els GEFELICITEERD!!!