From the City to the Farm

Their grandson holding one of the chicks. A few tears in his eyes as just a minute earlier the chick pecked at his finger.

I said goodbye to the kind folks at Hostel Caracol and started riding. It had been a week of walking around by foot and time to pick up the pace. Ruta 5 south out of Santiago is a nice four lane toll road. That's about it. It's almost entirely straight for the first few hundred miles. I was just cruising and nothing really piqued my interest enough to take the camera out. Just imagine it. I'm sure the side roads are nice but I wanted to get to Patagonia. Other than stopping for gas and to pay a … [Read more...]

Santiago de Chile

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Santiago de Chile, the official name of the capital city, is home to 6 million Chileans. On a smog free day the nearby Andes mountains are visible from the busy city streets. The city's different barrios have their own vibes but just about everywhere I went it was lively. Except on Sundays when most stores outside of the city center are closed. I stayed in Barrio Bella Vista, a neighborhood where just about every wall along the sidewalks is covered in beautiful street art. Bars and restaurants … [Read more...]

Wines of Mendoza

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The uncommon rainstorms in Mendoza weren't enough to keep me from enjoying what myself and every other traveler visits Mendoza for, the wine. I read a great blog about doing wine tasting in Mendoza on a budget which meant taking a bus to the Maipu district south of the city. Paul, Ian, and I were meant to rent bicycles to get around but we missed the bus stop for the rental shop. Not wanting to wait in the rain for the bus to return we decided we'd do our wine tour on foot, in the rain. Welcome … [Read more...]

Salta to Mendoza on Ruta 40

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On a beautiful morning in Salta I loaded up the bike to continue south. Paul and Ian joined me and once again the three of us set off to discover what else Argentina had to offer. Not long after leaving Salta we started riding on one of the most well known roads for motorcycle travelers, Ruta 40. Ruta 40 in Argentina is one the longest highways in the world. It runs almost the entire length of the country covering over 3,000 miles. Until recent years most of the highway was still dirt but now … [Read more...]

Salta Argentina

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It was time to relax and enjoy the beautiful weather and all that the fine city of Salta had to offer. With a warm climate and no rain while I was there, Salta was an urban paradise. Trees and cafes lined the crowded streets. People were everywhere but it wasn't a chaotic NYC kind of crowding. Families hung out in the parks, old men sat at cafe tables talking loudly, vendors sold balloons on the street corners. After weeks in some rural and poorer regions in Peru and Bolivia, Argentina felt rich … [Read more...]

Black Market Money Exhange

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The first order of business in Salta was to exchange money for Argentinean Pesos. For a couple of years now Argentineans have lost faith that their peso will hold it's value. The preferred currency is US Dollars, which gives people with US Dollars a great advantage. It's called the Blue Dollar, it's the unofficial/black market money exchange. The official exchange rate for dollars to pesos is 1USD = 7.78. But on the black market the rate is as much as 1 = 12. The only problem is you can't get … [Read more...]

To Argentina

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Twenty-four hours was enough time for me in Chile's San Pedro de Atacama. The small desert town had outrageously high prices on everything. I'd rather ride than hang out in a desert town so I rode on. Paul and Ian were ready to get out as well so we headed east toward Argentina. We rode back up to over 13,000ft through more mars like landscapes. With sunny skies and no one else on the smooth paved roads it was a great morning. Less than two hours after leaving San Pedro de Atacama we … [Read more...]

Lagunas Route Bolivia

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The Lagunas route is a dirt route through the lake region of Southwestern Bolivia. It's 260 miles between Uyuni and San Pedro de Atacama Chile. My max gas capacity would get my about 215 miles at best, so I had to fill up empty 2 liter bottles. The good thing is there are empty water and soda bottles laying all over the roads so it was easy to find spare fuel bottles. Since it is such a remote region I wanted to ride with some other riders. It worked out that I caught up with Paul and Ian so … [Read more...]

Salar de Uyuni

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Years ago when I saw photos of the Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni Salt flats) I dreamed of riding on the someday. It's really the main reason for me coming here. With so much rain in Bolivia lately I heard most of the Salar was flooded with 10 inches of water. So when I checked the weather and saw there was about 3-4 days of sunny skies forecasted I decided I would skip the other places in Bolivia as head straight there. From Potosi I rode with Ian and Paul to Uyuni. It's a 2 1/2 hour ride on the … [Read more...]

La Paz to Potosi Bolivia

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The road out of La Paz was hectic, rainy, muddy, polluted, and slow. I crept along behind the buses and vans spewing their black fumes, trying to pass every chance I got. The road is under construction to create a four lane highway to Oruro but it's not finished yet. It took me two hours to go 85 miles on a completely straight highway. I'll be honest I spent the beginning of the ride cursing Bolivia's polluted highway, buses, but mostly the rainy weather. To my left and right I saw sunny … [Read more...]