Luxury rides again

We enjoyed a warm lazy morning at the Puyuhuapi Lodge before catching the 12:30 boat back to the parked motorcycles. The prescribed route had us going only 140 miles for the day to Coyhaique. It was an easy day of riding on mostly paved roads south through the southern reaches of the Andes mountain range.

Beautiful roads and nice weather. We stopped at this overlook with a look back at Ruta 7 hanging on the side of the mountain as it snaked along the rio Maniguales.

We made a short stop at the Cascadia Virgen, one of many waterfalls along the way.

All too soon we were at the Dreams Hotel & Casino in Coyhaique, Chile. The hotel seemed rather new and was in the style of any casino hotel in the US. Nice, but… I don’t know, it wouldn’t be my first choice of a hotel. The four of us went into the casino to get a beer and snack since we didn’t have lunch. Security was really tight, we needed special passes from the front desk that needed to be scanned, it didn’t work. We waited and the hotel manager had to come over but he couldn’t get it to work either. The armed guards weren’t going to let us in but eventually the scanner beeped green and then we could go through the airport style metal detector. Even with everything out of my pockets it kept beeping. Finally they wanded me down and let me in. We repeated this for all four of us and eventually we found a seat away from the clanging machines and managed to order beers and some snacks.

Lucky for us we had entertainment – sort of. The evening’s headliner was a group of three girls that sing along with music tracks. They came in to do their sound check. I checked… yes, it was really loud. (oh my – I’m turning into that guy… ) One of the girls was recording herself selfie style the whole time, I thought it was funny so I took this picture.

We finished our beers and decided to walk into town, we should have done that first. Across the street from the hotel was a cool outdoor restaurant with a small jazz band playing some standards. We listened as we walked by mentally contrasting the two styles of music. I vote for the live music.

The town was really nice, as is typical there was a lively el centro with a closed off street turned into a pedestrian mall with lots of shops and restaurants. There was what appeared to be a local high school dance team performing on the street with proud parents all around taking pictures with cell phones. On a regular basis little kids would run and join in for a few of the moves. Probably little brothers and sisters. We sat on a bench and just watched the activity for about a half hour before going back to browsing shops and eventually making our way back to the uninspiring hotel for the night.

Well rested and getting a little restless from the short days riding on the guided route we left Coihaique plenty early. Again, the weather was beautiful which is highly unusual for this part of Chile. The construction Deby and I had endured two years prior was mostly finished and we had fun riding the perfectly paved new road surface. With clear sky we could enjoy the surrounding mountain views.

Nice, nice riding. I knew how rare it was for us to have clear weather and was enjoying every minute of it. I just had to pull over to take this next picture. Pretty much sums up the morning ride.

We didn’t see any of this last time with the low clouds and rain.

One thing Deby and I have learned is that when the road is too nice or too new or you come to a place where it’s so new the lines haven’t even been painted….beware… that means the good is about to end.

Sure enough that was the end of the nice road and into construction. Come-on through, just go around the loader coming towards you.

The rest of the day was loose gravel requiring full concentration and lots of dust with the dry weather. Despite the tricky riding I managed to ride with one hand so I could take some pictures with my left hand.

Deby is still right behind me.

Beautiful scenery, clear blue lakes, wow.

The carretera austral must be one of those bucket list things for bicycle riders, we saw a lot of them along the way. I tried to get a few photos as I rode by.

Seems kind of crazy to me.

We stopped for lunch in Puerto Rio Tranquilo home of the famous marble cave boat tours. Deby and I stayed there two years ago, it was cold and wet and seemed almost deserted. This time the city was packed full of people and it was sunny and HOT. We chatted up the young lady pumping gas and she said they expect the road to be paved all the way to their city by the end of the year. Wow, I’m sure that will be a huge change for their town. I could just imagine the lines of tour buses that would then have access to the natural marvel of the marble caves. We didn’t take the time to visit the caves but here is a picture from the last trip.

It was another 45 miles to our destination for the night, Hacienda Tres Lagos. The gravel seemed even deeper and dustier while the afternoon temperatures kept climbing, I’m sure we were into the 90 degree range. Still, the scenery was stunning and we were enjoying the day. I took this picture as we dropped into the last valley before our stop for the night.

Overall it was a relatively short day at 166 miles but it seemed longer because of the construction stops and long gravel stretches. For some reason Deby likes to follow me which has it’s pros and cons. On the positive side I can call out road conditions in our helmet radios, potholes, loose sand, tight turns and oncoming traffic around corners. The downside is that during dusty conditions she ends up with a cake of dust on her and the bike. I took this picture when we arrived at the hacienda.

What does Deby say? “The one with the dirtiest face had the most fun?” Ok, no question here.

Hacienda Tres Lagos more than made up for the uninspired lodging the previous night. Since the cost was included in our tour package I don’t know how expensive it would be to stay there but it was nice. And, this was one of two pre-planned layover days on the trip. Even better, we would be there for two nights. Cool. The only downside is the long and dusty ride back to Rio Tranquilo if we wanted to tour the caves. Deby and I had already been there and Michael and Chris didn’t want to tackle the tricky road so we stayed put. No complaints from me. Deby and I had a whole cabin to ourselves. These are buildings with four units but we were the only ones in our building.

Here is the view from our deck.

Michael concluded the cost of beer was too expensive at the resort so he jumped on his bike to the next small town for a beer run. After some adventure and maybe a wrong turn or two (even though he doesn’t like to admit it), he came back with cervezas and we were glad he was willing to share. Here is his makeshift cooler in the bathroom sink.

I was glad for two nights in the same place for the first time in our trip. I realized that the tour company includes these as catch-up days in case anyone is delayed for mechanical or weather reasons. Seems to make sense. Luckily we didn’t need it for that reason and used the time to rest, wash some clothes and read books. Nice.

After the day of rest we were glad to get back on the bikes and tackle the route ahead of us. The ride-book showed us the next night was in Los Antiguos, Argentina which meant another border crossing. Total mileage for the day…. 85. Really? Geesh, Ok, there was a border crossing that would take some time but that was short. The route took us along the southern shore of General Carrera Lake as it is called on the Chilean side or Lake Buenos Aires on the Argentine side. It’s the biggest lake in Chile and the fourth largest in Argentina. We would be spending the whole day riding the gravel road along this lake.

Deby and I had ridden this section on our previous trip and despite the short day we knew it was a fantastic road with stunning views. The weather held with no rain and not as hot as we headed east towards Argentina.

No complaints from anyone on this beautiful day.

Managed this mirror shot while riding with one hand – fun!

The road ahead….

The road behind…

We stopped at a scenic overlook spot and a van full of teenage girls on a road trip took our picture, one of the only ones with all four of us.

All too soon we were in the town of Los Antiguos, Argentina where we had to take a taxi from the hotel into town and find something cool to drink.

Los Antiguos is a small town and out hotel was a nondescript place just far enough out of town to require a cab ride. We had a nice meal in town and walked around watching as the city was getting ready for a celebration of some sort. I asked the cab driver who didn’t speak English and I thought it sounded like the anniversary of the city. I presume because of the heat they were waiting until night fall to get the party started which in this part of the country was after 10:00, too late for us old people. The city had a stairway to a viewpoint that we hiked up for something to do. I took this picture of what is probably most of the city.

Back at the hotel I was looking at the map questioning why the tour had such a short day and stopped in Los Antiguos. After some thought it made sense. The next few days would be tough. We were entering the part of Argentina where Ruta 40 has long stretches between gas stops and famously the gas stations don’t always have gas. In addition, the route would be subject to dangerously high cross winds and a gravel stretch that is well known for sending people to the hospital. Deby and I had rode that route in 2017 and experienced it all, closed gas stations, dangerous high winds and the famous gravel section where Deby lost her bag and we had to go back looking for it. (Read about it by clicking HERE, I thought it was an amazing story)

How would we fare this time? We meet some riders on the ferry in Chile that were so spooked they were not even going to attempt this route and he was an ER doctor from California. Other riders warned us to be careful and regaled us with antidotes of friends who were seriously injured in this stretch. Huh? I’m thinking how hard can it be? Did something change since the last time we rode it.. three times? I didn’t want to get cocky about it so I felt it my duty to warn Michael and Chris about the potential danger ahead. They are two of the most competent motorcycle riders I know so I wasn’t too worried but still. What does the Bible say in Proverbs? – “Pride cometh before the fall.” It seems appropriate to remember that on a motorcycle trip.

More to come!

Donn and Deby

Dr. Science Rides South

This is officially Part 2 of the trip, the “guided” trip that Michael won in the drawing. For this part of the journey, the company, Ride Adventures, organized the route and made all the hotel reservations. This was a new thing for us. For the first half of the trip we had a few hotel reservations but mostly played it by ear and made reservations as we entered a city or maybe the day before. We were generally content with more “economical” accommodations that were nice but not necessarily the most expensive places in town. The day we took Dee Dee to the airport we moved from our nice but… cozy.. airbnb in downtown Pucon to a swank resort hotel 15 km west of town on the shores of Lago Villarrica. Hmmm, nice for Deby and I but I’m sure not as romantic for Michael and his new room mate Chris a.k.a Dr. Science.

Dr. Science and his first ham and cheese sandwich in Chile

I have to interject here…. Michael corrected me and said he refers to Chris as Mister Science and not Doctor Science. However, I found the science moniker is well deserved because of Chris’ technical career at Boeing and his general interest in technology and vast knowledge. So – for the purpose of this blog, I’m staying with Doctor Science. We had great fun discussing all manner of esoteric technical topics during the trip especially about center of mass and its importance to the physics of motorcycle maneuvering among other things.

We picked up Chris’ motorcycle, a Honda 500X just like the one Deby was riding. Even though Chris is six plus feet in height he said he really liked the smaller 500cc twin and was quickly riding it like the pro rider he is. We pointed the bikes east for our first stop, the border crossing into Argentina. This border crossing was easy like they all have been on this trip. While we were waiting in the short line with our paperwork someone called out to Chris and invited him to another window. Cool, they opened another window to speed us through faster. I thought that was nice until I noticed the blue placard on the window above Chris’ head. We didn’t say anything but I snuck a picture.

The road turned to gravel when we left Chile and rode a mile or so in the no mans land between exiting Chile and entering Argentina. We had to stop for a picture at the welcome sign. Wait, who put a Norton and a Dos Motos sticker on the sign?

Not these people… I’m sure of that.

The tour-route took us back down the seven lakes route to San Carlos de Bariloche, the same route and city we visited with Dee Dee only a week ago. I’m sure it was fun and new riding for Chris but for us the traffic seemed almost as bad as last time and the big touristy city of Bariloche even more crowded. We did stay in a nicer hotel but were glad to get up early and leave the big city for some more rural routes. The paved road south was getting less crowded and we were enjoying the warm weather and nice riding. On the advice of Ride Adventures we stopped in El Bolson at the Patio Cervecero restaurant. It was outdoor dining with a live band to entertain us. They were called the Boogie Makers. They sang all familiar songs in accented English which was nice for us but the chatter between songs was in Spanish except when they kept calling out their name, Boogie Makers! I wanted to talk to them between sets but it didn’t work out. I wonder if they knew the name of their band in English would too easily sound like Booger Makers… oh well.

Well fed and watered and having avoided the great temptation to have a beer in the beer garden we were off to the south. Just out of town the road split and we choose the more adventurous western route through the Parque Nacional Los Alerces . It was a great gravel road with lots of view points.

Deby was loving the Honda 500X.

Winding roads, sunshine, warm weather, lake views, all the makings of a fantastic day riding.

We ended up in Trevelin, another city we stayed only a week ago with Dee Dee. After checking into another nice family run hotel we waited until the appropriate late time to look for a restaurant. Since none of them open until 8:30 we didn’t want to look too much like the gringos we were and waited until 8:45 before we went into a classic Argentina Parilla restaurant. We ordered a platter of meat for four and were not disappointed by the quantity of food.

The quality?? Well, not as good as we hoped. Deby and I had these dishes before in Argentina with good results but this meat was too chewy and some of the parts were obviously intestines that none of us could get past more than a bite. The night was saved by some most excellent Argentine wine that was only $15 a bottle. A few bottles later all was well and we cautiously walked back to the hotel.

Thursday January 31, 2019

We had been having really excellent weather but as we left Trevelin the sky was overcast and threatening rain. The route took us back west over the Andes mountain range yet again into Chile. By this time we knew the route, being the same route we did with Michael and Dee Dee. After we crossed the border we were on the same gravel road as Dee Dee’s happy dance video a few posts back.

Soon we intersected with the famous Ruta 7 a.k.a the Carreterra Austral. At that point we turned south and left the route we had been on with Dee Dee for good. This was new territory for Michael and Chris, Deby and I rode this route south to north in 2017. Back then the road was mostly mud and a series of construction stops, now much of it was nicely paved and the rain held off to make for enjoyable riding. For the first time we started seeing a lot of other big adventure motorcycles. We all seemed to converge at the only gas stop along the way in La Junta.

As much fun as we were having it was a relatively short day at 161 miles to the next pre-arranged hotel. But this next hotel was a good one, oh boy.

I know this is supposed to be a motorcycle blog about motorcycle travelling and the trials and tribulations involved in remote adventure travel over rough terrain. You know, man and machine, blood and guts, triumph over adversity, facing the raw elements of nature. Taking what the road givith and through sheer determination surviving the daily challenges and adversity. Ummm forget all that. This was luxury.

We had to be at the boat launch for the Puyuhuapi Lodge in time to catch the 3:30 boat to the lodge. We left our motorcycles in a locked parking lot and squished into the boat for the 15 minute ride to the lodge.

Deby and I were immediately in luxury mode, Michael and Chris.. who?

It was just a little cool outside so we were forced to sit in our room with a private deck and sip wine and look at the view. This is what it looked like from my chair.

Here is a picture of one of the hot springs from the hotel website:

I like this one better – same spot.

In the morning the sun came out so we choose to take the 12:30 ferry back to the bikes, plenty of time for more relaxing.

Took this picture of Deby with the big plants.

But, all too soon it was time to leave.

And, back on the bikes for points south.

This sounds like a good place for a break. More to come! Mountains, glaciers, wind, wild animals and um…. maybe more luxury.

Remember this picture from our 2017 trip?

Right… should I be glad there was no more of that???

Donn and Deby

Northern Patagonia

I’m not really sure where Patagonia starts but for the next few days we would be riding towards the top of my Patagonia map, so I’m calling it Northern Patagonia. Here is a map of the whole route with Dee Dee.

North of San Martin the countryside is a little less traveled and more remote. Almost as soon as we left town the road turned to gravel with some deep and loose sections.

We were heading to a section of Argentina and Chile we had never been to before called Araucania home of the famous Araucania or as we say Monkey Puzzle Tree. This is a strange shaped tree that is so slow growing that they get really old and are described as living fossils. Click HERE for the Wikipedia page about these amazing trees. Here is a picture.

There are some of these trees in the Pacific Northwest, my own sister has a fantastic one in her yard. Here are a few along the road.

And then we came to huge forests of these trees.

Overall, a fine day of riding although a bit dusty but we were now away from the traffic and tourists of the main routes.

Around mid-day we started looking for something to eat without much luck. I still had a few pastries in my pannier but after three days of cooking in heat we thought the best thing to do was to throw them away. Not finding a restaurant we decided on the next best thing – Ice Cream!

It was hot so we had to eat it fast but who cares.

We didn’t really have a destination for the day other than to cross the border back into Chile where we would make our way back to Pucon. Here is a picture of the bikes at the border.

These are easy crossings, we park the bikes and go inside with our paper work going from window to window collecting stamps in our passports and paperwork for the motorcycles. Generally, everyone is really polite and helpful, way different from many of the other borders we encountered further north.

Once back in Chile we were riding towards the steaming Lonquimay Volcano Click on the link to read about it on Wikipedia. Not sure where to stay and without cell service I pulled over to the side of the road to confer with Michael and Dee Dee. Just when I stopped I looked up and there was a giant billboard for the Corralco Resort and Spa, definitely a classy space. I didn’t even get off my bike but turned around and pointed to the billboard. Deby was saying yes in my helmet, Michael just stared at me through his helmet, I could read his mind but it didn’t matter. Dee Dee was almost jumping up and down on the back of the bike, waving her hands with big thumbs up. Ok, that settles it and off we went 10Km down a dirt road towards the resort.

I always wonder what people think when we pull into a nice resort in our filthy riding gear and stop in their nice lobbies with our big boots with caked on dirt. Oh well. We didn’t get run off from the lobby but they could only find two rooms and they each had two single beds. Ok, could be worse so we booked it, unloaded, changed and were sitting outside looking at the volcano within minutes.

Not much else to say, we were tired after a long day’s ride and this place was super relaxing.

Sunday January 27, 2019

The last day of riding with Dee Dee. Here is a map of our actual GPS track for the day.

We rode from the top of the map south to Pucon. We (actually I) decided we should ride 5Km up a gravel road towards the volcano and visit a place called Crater Navidad. It is the little in and out spike on the top of the map circled in red. The road started on smooth volcanic sand up the side of the mountain.

But soon turned into really loose volcanic sand that was grabbing the front tires on our loaded down bikes. It was tricky but I got to the crater and decided not to continue any further.

I turned around and saw Michael stopped on the side of the road. They got caught in some sand and had a slow speed tilt over. Nothing bad but his pannier popped off. I started stopping to help and when I pulled over my front wheel got stuck in the deep sand at the side of the road and just slid out from under me. It was a classic slow speed tip over. Very slow in the sand… I’mmmm goooing dowwwwwwn. thump. My forward motion was less than walking speed so the tip over only hurt my pride and nothing else. Michael helped me pick up the loaded Honda and soon we were down the mountain and back on the pavement riding West.

We needed to be back in Pucon by 5:00 to meet Chris (Dr. Science) who was flying in from Seattle. If you look at the map you might notice there is a main road that goes west and then connects to a highway south to Pucon. You might also notice that is not the route we took. We decided to take a “shortcut” through Parque Nacional Conguillo. Partway down the road going south we came to the proverbial fork in the road. Looking at our paper maps, the big map on the road sign and my GPS we decided to take what looked like an even shorter shortcut although a much smaller road. Yes, the road was definitely less traveled. Eventually the road became less and less traveled, skinnier and skinnier and steeper and steeper until finally it disintegrated into some steep uphill ruts. Michael was in the lead and came to a complete stop. I was behind him and no discussion was needed, we were going back.

Time was running sort as we backtracked to the main road that in itself was challenging in spots and has sections of construction and loose gravel. After some miles we came to the entrance to the park. It was on a steep gravel road and manned by a guard. There was an entrance fee of about $10.00. We asked about the road conditions in the park and was told the road we were on was “typical.” Michael seriously debated going back to the paved road to the highway. Deby and I decided we would continue and meet back in Pucon. That tipped the decision scale for Michael and Dee Dee because soon we were entering the park.

I didn’t take too many pictures because the road was tricky with very narrow sections and plenty of oncoming traffic that we would need to stop for.

We did stop at a beautiful viewpoint along a lake.

That’s where I took this picture of Deby – yes, she gets the Dirty Face Award for the day.

After what seemed like a few hours we came out of the tight part of the park and crossed this huge expanse of a lava flow. We rode on this for probably 10 miles, it was huge.

Finally we came to the end of the park.

It was still over an hour to Pucon but we arrived just after 5:00. Chris’ flight was delayed so we had plenty of time to meet his shuttle at our Pucon Airbnb.

So… in the next installment we exchange Dee Dee for Chris who will be riding a Honda 500X like the one Deby is on. Michael trades his Africa Twin for a nice new BMW F700GS and we embark on the second half of the journey that will take us much further south into much more remote places and tougher roads.

More to come as the internet allows. Thanks for following.

Donn and Deby

Gravel Travel and Dancing

Wow, sorry for the delay. Finally….. bandwidth. I’m writing this from Colhaique, Chile. We are here, and so far, safe and sound and having too much fun. Our route is the bottom magenta line.

I’ll pick up where I left off with Michael and his wife Dee Dee riding two up on the Africa Twin. We left Chiaten for the south along the northern part of the famous Carretera Austral. It was another beautiful day for riding with nice roads and views behind.

And nice views looking forward.

Eventually we came to the cutoff to the east where we would cross the Andes at the low pass of Futaleufu, it’s only about 1,000 feet in elevation. I found the road and the pass listed on dangerousroads.org. Ha, it didn’t seem that dangerous to us…

Of course in some of the construction sites there were no flaggers and we just needed to dodge the construction vehicles. I should be riding with both hands but I wanted to get a picture using my camera in my left hand.

Still, great riding with spectacular views and challenging but fun roads.

We stopped along the way for a short break and to check on Dee Dee on the back of Michael’s bike. She was having a great time didn’t know I had my camera on while she shook out the stiffness in her legs. Go Dee Dee!

More nice views along the road.

We rolled into Trevelin about 4:30 and found a nice Cabana to rent with two bedrooms. As usual, one room had a double bed and the other had two singles. It was our turn for the single beds. I tried setting up on the picnic table outside to write a blog post but the internet was so bad I couldn’t even upload pictures so I gave up and we went into town to look for some food. It was recommended that we checkout a place called Mikamor on the edge of town so we walked there and it looked not only closed but really abandoned.

We walked back towards the hotel and asked about food at a few other small places we passed and were told they don’t open until 8:30. Hmm, dumb gringos wanting to eat at 6:30, what’s up with that?

Hungary, we stopped into a Casa de Te, or tea house. We figured we could get a cup of tea or coffee and maybe a pastry to hold us over. Immediately we recognized this was a proper tea house and rather formal with cloth tablecloths and nice place settings.

Somehow in the translation we determined they serve a plate of pastries for four with our coffee. Ok, sounds good, so we ordered that. A few minutes later this is what showed up.

Wow, that was a small snack? We did our best but only put a dent in that plate and took the rest away carefully wrapped in a plastic bag. The brownies, apple kuchen, cream bars, some kind of raspberry bread lived in my pannier for the next few days and we snacked on them at gas stops. Needless to say we didn’t care about the restaurant any more.

Before we got back to the hotel Michael and I went to the ATM at the bank to get some Argentinian pesos. Michael was busy looking at the receipt and didn’t pull his debit card out fast enough and it got sucked back into the machine. One card down.

Thursday January 24, 2019

We got a relatively early start on another beautiful day. It was clear but a little cool so I started with my heated liner on low. No one else had theirs on so I guess I’m just the wimp of the bunch. Our first stop was the bank to see if we could get Michael’s card back. I didn’t think it was possible but went inside to help in case my slightly better Spanish skills would help. To our surprise after we took a number and waited a few minutes the teller reached in a drawer and pulled out his card. All Michael had to do is show his passport and we were on our way. Hmm, didn’t expect that, but glad it worked out.

It was a easy day riding north to our destination of the resort city of San Carlos Bariloche.

Easy paved roads all day and beautiful views of the jagged peaks of the Andes along with crystal blue water.

We stopped int eh small town of El Bolson and found a great place for lunch.

We rode into Bariloche and stopped with the bikes along the waterfront in the center of town. I pulled out my phone and the Booking.com app and located the closest hotel to where we randomly stopped. It was the Tres Reys hotel across the street. $75 USD, not a bad deal.

Bariloche is one of the biggest tourist towns in Argentina but we had never been there so we changed and walked about town. There was plenty of shopping opportunities.

Yea, yea, touristy stuff. I wasn’t that impressed but we wandered until 9:30 when it was appropriate to seek a restaurant for dinner. Somehow we stumbled into a fantastic place where we got one of the last tables. By the time we were done it was late so we wandered back and called it a night.

Friday January 25, 2019

Bariloche is crowded. I wasn’t loving the traffic and was looking forward to getting out of town.

We eventually made it out and found our way north towards another touristy city, but one of my favorites, San Martin de los Andes. The route I picked was the famous Seven Lakes route. A beautiful section of twisty road through mountains and many lakes. Deby and I had gone this way twice before, in 2016 and in 2013 on the original MotoRaid trip. Both times we loved it, not this time. The end of January was the peak of the tourist season and the word was out about the grandeur of this route. We spent all day passing, dodging and avoiding cars, trucks and more cars towing campers than I ever remembered seeing in Argentina. I don’t know, it wasn’t that much fun.

We did stop for a nice lunch of …… guess what…

Yes, day two of the pastries for the Casa de Te.

We arrived in San Martin and without reservations, took a chance on getting rooms at the Plaza Mayor Hosteria. This was a special place for us. When Deby and I were there two years ago we needed to stay for a few days while we waited for a part for her motorcycle. The owners of Plaza Mayor, Mercedes and Able along with their son were very helpful with anything we needed and helped us getting the part when it finally arrived at the bus station. Able is a motorcycle rider and when we were there the first time proudly showed me his collection of motorcycles. I wasn’t sure they would remember us but they immediately did and gave us a warm welcome. Yes, they had two rooms left and before we knew it we were checked in and sitting by the pool with cool beers, on the house!

We spent the evening enjoying the much cooler vibe of this smaller tourist town and enjoyed music in the park, walking through the craft fair and another fantastic dinner.

In the morning we said goodbye to our hosts. Abel brought out his BMW F800GS that he recently bought for us to admire. It is a perfect motorcycle, I know because I used to have one exactly like it, even the same year. That was the motorcycle I rode from Seattle to South America in 2013. I gave Abel one our our stickers and he immediately stuck it onto his windscreen! A true place of honor, indeed I felt honored.

We said our goodbyes and I took a picture of Abel, Mercedes and Deby.

What great people and an excellent place to stay if you are ever in San Martin de los Andes.

I’ll pause here. Here is the route so far and we only have a few more days before we have to send Dee Dee home and pick up Dr. Science.

I’ll try to post more soon.

Thanks for following, Donn and Deby