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Archive for the ‘Argentina’ Category

Day 113 – Beautiful Bariloche (San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina)

24 Jan

We spent the day walking around the town and beach front.  Vadim lost his tire cap on the rear wheel so we had to stop by a local bicycle shop that gave us a plastic cap, which worked for us.  Later in the afternoon, we went to our pebble beach and layed enjoying the sun and the beautiful views.

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Routes taken: None

Miles ridden:  None

 
 

Day 112 – Back to Argentina (San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina)

23 Jan

Spent over one hour at the Chilean border to check out of the country – long line of people.  Beautiful ride – lakes, mountains with snow on top, twisty road with many trees. 

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Upon arrival to Bariloche, we had some wonderful chocolate at a place called Mamuschka (Russian name, by the way).  Our hotel is located on the water front with a beautiful view of the lake and mountains with snow hats.

Routes taken: 5, 215, RN 231

Miles ridden: 227 miles (363 km)

 
 

Day 107 – Welcome Back to Chile again, Burning Bus (Santiago, Chile)

18 Jan

In the morning, we picked up our bikes from a BMW dealership in Mendoza.  Our tires were replaced with new ones and each bike received an oil change and a change of the air filter.  We departed towards Santiago, Chile straight from the dealership.  It felt good to ride the nicely washed motorcycles with brand new tires.  The ride was beautiful and we enjoyed the beautiful mountains with snow to top. 

We hit the Chilean border without realizing it.  We just saw a sign “Beinvenidos a Chile.” 

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We expected to first see the Argentina customs office before the Chilean border but both were combined on this border.  It was kind of nice to have both offices within walking distance from each other.  We had a few issues of not receiving enough stamps on our vehicle permits which required both of us to return to the same offices that did not give us enough stamps on our documents.  We took the whole thing with a big smile as nothing could surprise us after going through 13 borders. But not complaints here as this border was a breeze compare to hell we had to go through in Honduras.

On way to Santiago, we saw a burning bus on the road.  The smoke was black with flames.  All passengers lined up along the road with their belongings watching their bus burn to the ground. 

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Vadim was lucky enough to get through the police blockade before they shut down the road.  Gintaras enjoyed the fire scene for one hour, which included the fire team putting out the fire. About 60km before Santiago, Gintaras was stopped by a motorcyclist from California that we met at the Mendoza BMW dealership yesterday.  He was traveling with his wife on his BMW GS800 from Mendoza to Santiago.  His engine got overheated and motorcycle could not be started.  Upon reaching Santiago, we learned that we could not get a room for the night at a hotel we though we would stay at.  Vadim, while waiting for Gintaras to arrive, walked around the area and found a different hotel where we ended up booking two nights. 

Routes taken: RN 40, RN 7, RN 60, 57

Miles ridden:  218 miles (349 km)

 
 

Day 106 – Wineries and olive oil plant (Mendoza, Argentina)

17 Jan

We took a tour visiting the plant producing olive oil. It was very interesting to see all the equipment (some of which was quite old) used in olive oil production.  We were taught to differentiate the different types of olive oil.  This portion of the tour was very educational. 

In the second half of the day we visited two wineries – a large one and a boutique one.  We learned about the different types of wines (both red and white) produced in Mendoza…from fermentation to aging to bottling and storing.  Each tour ended with wine tasting.

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Routes taken:  None

Miles ridden:  None

 
 

Day 105 – Parking Garage Police and Another 700km hike (Mendoza, Argentina)

16 Jan

In the morning, we went to get our bikes from the underground parking garage that was across from our hotel.  We wanted to go down the ramp as it was a quick way to get to our bikes but were told that we had to go around the building to get into the garage.  We went around the building but could not find the entrance to the garage.  It was early in the morning and all doors in the building were locked.  Vadim was frustrated because of the heat and went back to the garage and just went down the ramp (there were no cars).  The garage police started screaming at Vadim and told him to return.  Vadim did not listen.  In the garage, Vadim was met by another policeman and the manager of the building.  They scolded him that he violated the building rules. Vadim told them “No comprendo, senior” and they all calmed down. 

We left around 8:30am.  This was another day of lots of miles to reach Mendoza.  We rode separately as Vadim got ahead of Gintaras as we were passing through heavy traffic in the mountains.  The last 400km consisted of straight road which allowed us to go fast. 

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We met each other at the hotel and had a nice dinner together.  Tomorrow, we need to go to the BMW dealership to change our oil, get new tires, and replace our air filters.  We will also ask if the dealership would be interested in purchasing our bikes at the completion of our trip.  This would save us on shipping costs and allow us to potentially get brand new bikes upon return to the United States.

Routes taken: RN 48

Miles ridden:  432 miles (691 km)