Target – Argentina


I am very much wanting to go to Argentina next winter. On a more honest note I’ve missed more of my saving targets than I’ve hit so far on this dream, but there is time to make it work. And since I really want to, it’s just a matter of making the effort.

Apart from the coolness of just going to Argentina there are some specific things I want to see and do while I’m there. It was one of the countries I wanted to visit while I was in South American and didn’t (I am thinking about a blog on that too), and really the only place I didn’t get to. While I have spent a lot of time thinking about stuff I wish I did differently on my trip (hence the future blog), today I want to think about the stuff I plan to do next.
For a general plan I want to fly into Buenos Aries. I have thought a few times about flying into Santiago, and might when the time comes, so I can continue my trip from where it ended. It means another border crossing, which I have mixed feelings about, but would also feel more right. BA, however, has a traveler support system in the form of Dakar Motos, which helps overlanders ship into and out of that city as well as providing a place to stay and do some simple work on the motorcycle. Since I would be shipping back, this means I would (potentially) have somewhere I could store my crate.
Yes, I am definitely crating the bike this time. After the disaster that DHL did last time with boxing Curiosity it seemed like a good idea to just crate it first and be done. This will, I hope, also help reduce the shipping cost. I will probably use DHL again, despite the crate issue, since on the whole I have no complaints about their service. Even when I had issues they were pretty decent.
The crate might have been a little too big.

The crate might have been a little too big.

My plan, totally vague, is to arrive in BA, head for the Horizon’s Unlimited meeting before riding to Ushuaia. This was the target of my last trip, and one I didn’t reach. Making it there will, I hope, clear some personal demons I’ve been struggling with the last couple months. The HU meeting is just because I love the HU community, and I think I didn’t spend enough time with other travelers when I was in South America last time.
After Ushuaia I want to head north to see Iguazu Falls, which are on the border with Brazil. This wasn’t really on my list last time, and I’ve added it only because it’s one of the things to see while in Argentina. Since this trip will have an end-by date, if I spend too much time in the far south I might have to skip the falls but am going to try and make it work. It’s a matter of time budgeting, and I think I’ve gotten better at that, though it’s hard to tell from the rest of my life.
So, pay attention to this space and Blue, Curiosity, and I start prepping for the next adventure!

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3 Responses to Target – Argentina

  1. Dachary says:

    Argentina is excellent. I think this is a great idea! Dakar Motos is spectacularly helpful. Plus it’s a great place to meet other overland motorcyclists. For us, though, we didn’t crate the bikes when shipping – we just rode up, took the front wheels, windscreens and mirrors off, they ratcheted them down to pallets, shrink-wrapped them and that was that.

    Horse, strapped down.

    Re: Iguazu Falls – you might want to do that before you ride south, as it’s a 14ish hour drive north of BA. You could even bus it to Iguazu Falls on an overnight bus and bus back again, maybe while you’re waiting for the bike to arrive, etc. Or maybe fly in a day or two early to bus to the falls. I’ve heard that there are sometimes problems for bikers who take the road to Iguazu Falls – some extortion schemes, and you’re almost guaranteed to get stopped by cops at some point hoping to write you a ticket for not having Argentinian insurance on the bike. (Sometimes there are checkpoints to catch people in this, since Iguazu is such a big tourist thing.)

    And border crossings? If you’re going to Ushuaia, you’ll have 4 more to deal with – crossing from Argentina into Chile for ~150km, and then back into Argentina for Ushuaia. And the same, in reverse, on the way back. These are pretty routine crossings as this is the only road down to Ushuaia, so it’s pretty much “stamp, stamp, yer done” – but lord help you if you happen to hit it just behind a bus full of tourists heading down to Ushuaia. We managed to hit one of these crossings after a bus and waiting for all of the people to get checked in took ages.

    Also, Patagonia is a bit dull. Going down, it wasn’t so bad. Coming back again, over the same landscape (empty steppe) fighting the wind all day and stopping at the same 3 spots along the way was a bit monotonous. But the park near Ushuaia is beautiful, and it’s pretty cool to be at Ushuaia – I would do it again if I were making the trip, even with the days of monotony in Patagonia.

    If it’s not on your radar, check out Perito Moreno glacier at El Calafate. There are some places you can camp if you don’t wanna pay crazy tourist hotel rates. There’s also a site whose name I can’t recall that’s a couple of hours north of Perito Moreno, and it’s really impressive (a particularly fantastic section of the Andes), so if you’ve got a little time in your schedule, I highly recommend swinging by these places.

    Have fun! I’ll be following along, a little bit envious, whenever you head down that way 🙂

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    • Andrew Pain says:

      I have some notes on the Moreno glacier, but haven’t decided for sure if I will stop. Glaciers are cool, but they are also cold and I have very mixed feeling about my time with them in Alaska and Canada.

      When I was shipping home I tried the wrapped on a pallet thing, that was the last view I had of Curiosity in South America. But when I got home it was crated and the price had gone from $1000 to $4500. I was able to get it back down, but I would still rather not go through the process again.

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      • dachary says:

        Perito Moreno wasn’t terribly cold when we got there. I wandered around in just my Gerbing jacket liner, and eventually took it off when I got too warm. El Calafate was warm enough to camp comfortably. I don’t have a basis for comparison in Alaska and Canada, but I think unless you’re actually trekking on the glacier, a visit needn’t be cold. On one hand, if you’ve seen glaciers maybe it’s not as impressive. But I still think it’s pretty cool because it’s one of the few glaciers that’s growing.

        Sorry to hear about your pallet experience! That sucks. We had zero trouble with ours, arranged by Dakar Motos. I could see why you’d want to crate after an experience like that. We ended up paying $1350 per bike to ship from BA to Boston, and we felt that was totally reasonable when we were literally able to drive up and get the thing on the plane in under an hour. But if we’d had a negative experience like yours, I doubt we’d be so quick to try it again!

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