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