Chasing Jayne, Covering Ground in Argentina

Chasing Jayne, Covering Ground in Argentina

 

Trying for an early start in Monteros, the rain not subsiding, in fact increasing in fortitude though the night. Joe and I kept glancing to the sky for any sign of let up. It soon became apparent we would be packing up and riding away in the wet. Where to? South. How far? As far as we can go, closing the gap between Jayne and I.

Hugo made us coffee and insisted on running to the store for some bread. Such a kind gentleman. Hugo had a little air of loneliness, and sadly also potentially the early stages of Alzheimer’s. He really bailed us out the night before, his kindness won’t be forgotten.

 

Moist morning, water running along the concrete and under the tent.

Moist morning, water running along the concrete under, and into, the tent.

 

Joe dodging rain

Joe dodging rain packing his soggy tent.

 

Joe and Hugo as we have our heartfelt goodbyes.

Joe and Hugo as we all have our heartfelt goodbyes.

 

Splashing down the highway, we managed to outrun the rain by lunch time.

We stopped for a bite and let the tents dry out while we ate.

We let the tents dry out in the parking lot while stopped for lunch. Clutch move.

 

By the way, who is this Joe? For starters, he’s an Australian. He rides a 2012 Triumph Bonneville (865cc). Joe worked in the construction industry before flying to California to buy his Triumph and ride down the continents. He looks much younger without a beard.

Joe Crashed his moto while he was in Bolivia. Came off on a sandy road and separated his right shoulder. I met him while working at the Loki in Salta, and we were “slung” together. With similar goals, similar timelines,  similar budgets and a similar appreciation for amazing sunsets, we got on great right from the start.

 

This day would take us to Cordoba, a 600km day that got drier and nicer as we rode. At one point we were pulled over by police for a checkstop. They seemed more concerned with the size of our engines than searching our bags, or that my license plate is fully obscured. Friendly chat and we were back on our way.

 

A few too many knocks has my gas can leaking and swinging around. Zip-ties, as per usual, to the rescue.

Also noticed that perhaps a few too many knocks has my gas can leaking and swinging around. Zip-ties, as per usual, to the rescue. For the swinging at least.

Police check stop. Friendly, take our plate numbers and we carry on.

Police check stop. Friendly, take our plate numbers (with a touch of difficulty) and we carry on.

Being the last big city on the way south, in Cordoba we had hoped to purchase some items for the cold weather to come. Gloves for Joe and replacement heated hand-grips for myself.  This idea would be rapidly squashed, as the locals reminded us that it was “feria” aka Carnival. No shops would be open for the next THREE days! A moto friendly hostel was also tough to find. One had space for the motos but not for us, eventually drinking my much-needed shower beer in hostal “Malibu”. They had space for us, and more importantly secure space for the motos. For dinner Joe cooked up some steaks, nice and rare. Argentina may have amazing meat, but I’ve found they really love cooking the hell out of it!

Used the big city opportunity to change more Dollars. Found a rate of 11.0-1 after a bit of a struggle searching. We lucked out and stumbled upon the “office” all the street touts were using. Even still the “blue” rate does indeed drop as you head south.

 

Money in hand, next up was a 615 km day to Santa Rosa. My dad has been following us closely watching as the SPOT tracker leaves its spots. Very closely. In fact I found a great way to see where I’d been and how close I was getting to catching Jayne was to check my dad’s Facebook.

 

dadmap1

 

 

Joe flows into Santa Rosa

Joe flows into Santa Rosa at sunset.

 

Public camping is free, complete with bbq facilities of course.

Public camping is free, complete with “asado” aka bbq facilities.

 

Didn’t explore much other than to find beer. As now standard: late evening arrival, street meet eat, and sleep.

How did we do with today’s ride dad?

 

Difference of a day!

As always met some great folks in each town we passed, a pleasant distraction from really our only daily tasks: filling with gas, eating, riding, sleeping.

 

After Santa Rosa was a 520km day of dead straight, dead boring riding to San Antonio Oeste. We rode dirt tracks through some kind of dumping grounds until we found a spot to camp on the other side. Got a touch stuck along the way.

Joe boycotts his kickstand while hunting for a camp spot.

Joe boycotts his kickstand while hunting for a camp spot.

Our first taste of camping in the notorious Patagonian winds.

Our first taste of camping in the notorious Patagonian winds. Unprotected, had to park the bike as a wind block for Joe’s tent. Vicious!

 

Our first (and only) attempt at an early start quashed by the common YPF gas line-up.

Our first (and only) attempt at an early start quashed by the common YPF gas line-up.

 

After a late start out of Cordoba and late-ish from Santa Rosa, our “early start” out of San Antonio was delayed 45 minutes waiting to fill up. Gas stations here in Argentina, when they aren’t out of gas, ALWAYS have a line up. The price does seem to drop as you ride south though, which feels great on the old pocket-book.

I knew I was getting close to catching Jayne though. She had been travelling slowly and we had been rocketing along. Long days on the bike made it tough to walk long distances, apparently…

Oops... A moto is a kind of chair with wheels right?

Oops… A moto is a kind of chair with wheels right?

 

While inadvertently being dicks (honestly!) we made use of the fact that most YPF stations have free wifi, and checked what my dad’s Facebook had to say about how close we were to finally catching Jayne…

 

dad map 3

 

 

 

Motorcycle micro Minute:

 

Setting up shop I noticed my sub-frame has a bit of a shift to the left, to the left.

Always something: Not sure when or how it happened, but I noticed my sub-frame has a bit of a shift to the left, to the left.