(Note: Want to see our exact route?? CLICK HERE for the route on Google Maps. Click boxes on the left of the map to select days. )
Sometimes the best plan is no plan…. We only had a rough idea where to ride in Spain with the exception that we wanted to visit Deby’s friend Emily in Monpazier, France, a small town a “short way” over the border. We had 10 days so how hard would it be to ride to France and be back to Lisbon in time for the guided tour? Right….
I’m going to blame Art Bone and his wife Carol for being a bad influence. If you read my recent post from March in Mexico (HERE) you may remember Art and Carol from the Hacienda tour. During our time together Art mentioned that they had reservations for a Portugal “Premium Tour” with a company called MotoXplorers in Portugal. Carol asked Deby if we would like to go, and without hesitation (or asking me?) she enthusiastically replied YES!
Next thing I know we are enrolled for their 10 day guided motorcycle tour in the middle of September. Ten days? Well, that’s just not long enough to justify the long flight and travel costs. After some research we decided to fly to Lisbon, Portugal at the beginning of September and rent BMW motorcycles for our own tour of Spain to get “warmed up” for the guided Portugal tour.
Thanks for all the comments on my last post. Writing these posts is fun and a good way for me to relive some of the adventure we’ve had this past year. The other purpose is to jog my memory if I ever am asked about a certain trip or place, and hopefully, I put enough information about roads and hotels that should anyone want to re-create one of these trips (like me!) it can be done.
Just a little more before I get on with the trip report….. Thanks Richard for the note and mentioning our 2013 trip to South America with Keith and Dave (link here: http://advdonnh.com/motoraid-ii/). That trip was the basis of Keith’s book, “The Whole Story” available at Keith’s site: http://www.keithsrides.com/the-whole-story.html and that trip is what really launched Deby and I to feel confident enough to explore Latin America on motorcycles.
We had a reunion of sorts in November at the LeMay Museum in Tacoma. I’m glad to report everyone is doing great. Here is a picture:
From left to right: Jim (Doc), Janice and Dave, Michael, Deby and Donn, Chris, Ann and Keith
Yes, that’s Chris from our 2019 Patagonia trip. So, on with the adventure……..
I’m writing this on New Year’s Day 2020. A new year and a new decade ahead, wow. Last year at this time Deby and I were getting ready fly to Patagonia and ride with Michael, Dee Dee and Chris for another visit to some of our favorite places in South America. I brought my laptop and managed to live-post on that trip from the road. Since then there hasn’t been much activity on this blog but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy!
In 2019 Deby and I rode motorcycles in Chile, Argentina, Mexico (twice), Canada, Spain and Portugal. That’s five countries and lots of miles, smiles, fun and good times. We didn’t start the year with that plan but it sort of just happened. We’ve met many friends along the way, new and old and everyone keeps asking if I’m going to keep up the blogging about our trips. Well, Yes! Let’s get caught up.
Let’s ride south! Back into Argentina the roads flattened and the wind picked up. Our destination was the booming (not) town of Gobernador Gregores, 257 miles to the south. When Deby and I were there last time there was no gas at the only gas station and we participated in a big party in line. For some reason this is a recurring problem in this part of Argentina so we were sure to keep out tanks full. Nothing but big wide open spaces in this part of Patagonia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bandwidth, bandwidth, bandwidth….. Ok, that’s my excuse for not posting more often. Yes, it’s easy to upload the text of my posts but who really wants to spend time reading my blah, blah, blah?? The bandwidth intensive part of the post is uploading the pictures which just wasn’t happening in the last few stops. In a way it’s nice not having much connection with the outside world and we can enjoy the ride.
So far the trip has been amazing and all good. Yes, I know that travel trials and tribulations make for interesting and exciting reading in a motorcycle travel blog but so far it’s just been all good. I’ll try to recap a little here and add a bunch of pictures. The map below shows our days, each day in a different color.