Head'n North, But First
A couple days ago I turned the corner on my journeys and started heading north to Buenos Aires. But before I tell you about my ride so far to Buenos Aires, I wanted to give you an update on a couple items.
If you remember one of my early posts where I wrote about our stay at the home of Ofelia and her daughter Kenya in Torreon, Mexico. The morning we left to continue our journeys south, Kenya give us a pretty picture she had drawn and a very nice note in perfect English. In it she said “Hope you have fun trip on your motorcycles.” We promised to carry her drawing all of the way to the end of the road in Ushuaia, Argentina. Well, the drawing made it to Ushuaia!
Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the actual drawing before Omar left with it side case on his Chilean dog rescue mission. So, I had him take a photo of the drawing, and send it to me in an email from Chile. Attached is a selfie I took of it on my laptop in front of my apartment in Ushuaia.
Note To Kenya.........
Your drawing travelled over 10,000 miles, visited 11 countries, and negotiated many border crossings. It is currently on its way to the United States, the 12th country it will have visited. That is an impressive list of accomplishments. It certainly was an inspiration for us, keeping us going when we were tired and questioning whether or not we would ever get to Ushuaia. Just goes to show that a child’s good thoughts and warm wishes doesn’t need a passport to travel around the world. Thank you, Kenya, for being a part of our journeys.
Pegaso Passed Away
After weeks of loving attention by Edita and several unsuccessful attempts to drain the massive hematoma on Pegaso’s neck, Edita had another veterinarian examine him. They decided that it would be best to surgically remove the hematoma, since it was not responding to the attempts to drain it. During the surgery, however, the veterinarian discovered that in addition to the hematoma, Pegaso also had cancer. After consulting with Edita, they decided that the humane thing to do was to put Pegaso to sleep. That was a very difficult decision for Edita, since she had such a special relationship with Pegaso. But, if it wasn’t for her, the dog may never have experienced any loving kindness from a human being during his life. Thank you Edita for being so kind to Pegeso when no one else was there for him.
Special Thanks to Ana
While we were in Ushuaia we stayed at an Airbnb owned by Ana Li. It was a very nice place, but what really made the stay special was the kindness shown to us by our hostess. Ana loaned us her car so we could visit the national park. She researched options for my trip to Antarctica, which was one of the best adventures I have ever experienced. She also let me store my motorcycle in her garage while I was on my Antarctic expedition. When I left Ushuaia, she encouraged me to give her a call if I had any difficulties on my journey to Buenos Aires. Ana, thank you! You were awesome!
Future Travel Plans
Back in October, when Omar and I started our Latin American adventures, I had every intention to ride to the tip of South America and back to the States. As we were riding through Southern Argentina I started to have second thoughts about riding all the way back. There were many sights I still wanted to see and new friends I wanted to visit along the way. But, the thought of riding for another five months and all of those frustrating border crossings got me to thinking that it would be best to end my trip in Buenos Aires. And that is what I have decided to do.
I have arranged through an expeditor in Buenos Aires to crate and air ship my motorcycle to Los Angeles around the 4th of April. I have also purchased my tickets to Los Angeles. If all goes as planned, I will get there about the same time my motorcycle arrives and will ride it back to Phoenix. That will officially end my Latin American journeys. Since I still have almost a month left before I return to the States, I am trying to fill the remaining time with a few more adventures.
Since Omar is in Chile, he is making similar arrangements to leave from Santiago.
Ride to Puerto Madryn
I left Ushuaia on the morning of March 4th, crossed Tierra del Fuego and headed north along the Atlantic coast towards Buenos Aires. After the first border crossing back into Chile I wanted to head to the ferry landing that connects the island of Tierra del Fuego to the continent. Much to my surprise Google Maps routed me on an 80 mile remote dirt road. During most of the ride there were no other vehicles, which concerned me a lot, but I trusted Google to point me in the right direction. Fortunately, the skies were clear and the road was mostly dry. Otherwise, it would have been a really, really bad day. Once I rejoined the paved road a few miles from the ferry landing, I knew I was on the right route and was much relieved.
At the ferry, I met four other motorcyclists, two from Argentina and two from the UK. The two guys from the UK had very exciting stories to tell about crashes they had had on their ride from the USA to Ushuaia. Chris rode his Ducati off the road and down a 25-foot embankment and into a tree. It took three hours with the help of several other motorcyclists to get the bike up the embankment and back on the road. John, who is actually from Scotland, had the front wheel baring on his Ducati seize as he was riding along. This caused him to flip over the handlebars and crash. Both guys walked away from these accidents with no serious injuries. Just as remarkable, their Ducati’s were still rideable. Amazing!
In another minor mishap, John broke his clutch lever. The attached photo shows the replacement he rigged up using a pair of vise grips. Although Chris has a spare lever he could have used, John was determined to make it all the way to Montevideo, Uruguay using the vise grips as his clutch lever.
Our paths crossed a couple more times on our way north along the coast. We shared dinner, a few more stories, and a couple of beers.
The territory north of Tierra del Fuego is a vast stretch of flat open grasslands with no trees and very few towns. In one section I traveled over 100 miles between gas stations, and there was absolutely nothing in between. Glad my BMW is so reliable, as I would have hated to have broken down in this Argentinean version of the Outback.
So far, I have ridden 1,100 miles since leaving Ushuaia, which has gotten me to coastal town of Puerto Madryn. I have another 830 miles to Buenos Aires, where I will spend three weeks dancing the tango, touring the city, and preparing for my return to the USA.