On Friday morning, the 10th of February, we must get the BMW out of Chile, as the 90 day permit is about to expire. This was excuse enough to head to Argentina. We plan on relaxing in Mendoza, in western Argentina (about 600 miles west of Buenos Aries) for 3 or 4 days, and then head back to Santiago to join 40 other riders for a 4 day trip south of Santiago. This will be our 8th crossing of the Andes.
So we climb and climb and climb. The bike is jetted for sea level. The bike is way overloaded as we had just returned from home with too much garbage. The bike will not run unless I keep the RPM's above 3,000. Below 3,000 and motor dies. If I give it any gas at all the front wheel starts floating, making turning impossible.
We have ridden over 9,000 miles in South America and my clean record is broken. We biffed it. No big deal. Just embarrassed!
Sandy is a great sport. No big deal. It was only 750 feet down, over the berm!
Hey....... This is starting to be an Adventure again.
Now for a "Then and Now", and the reason we could not take the tunnel. We had to get to the "Redeemer". This picture was from Fireside Travels in South America, printed in 1948, by James Fitzpatrick.
The next "Then and Now" was at the same location. It was photograph in 1925, by Frank Carpenter and published in his book "Carpenter's Travels".
This is the dirt road we just completed to drop into Argentina.....
On Saturday, the 11th of February we arise in the beautiful city of Mendoza, Argentina. We are now about 600 mile West of Buenos Aries. Mendoza has nearly 1,000,000 residents and is located at about 3,000 feet. This is a big Wine area. And it is very inexpensive.
We park the bikes at the hotel, next to 2 other BMW's which are obviously travel around the world. They belong to Simon and Lisa Thomas. They have had a rough 2 months. He rode his bike across a narrow and rotted bridge in the Amazon, and flipped off the bridge and fell 12 to 15 feet and landed on his head. Lisa watched as he laid there unconscious for 15 minutes. He broke his neck. He rode for 23 days to Sao Paulo, were he had surgery and a titanium plate installed!
Here in Mendoza, he just got out of the hospital, trying to recover from Malaria.
Their excellent website is... www,2ridetheworld.com
Pictures of the accident site are located here... The Bridge and Accident
Post surgery pictures are here... Pictures of new "Neck" hardware
Simon and I have a few things in common.
1) We both ride BMW motorcycles
2) We both enjoy traveling
3) We are both lucky that our wives' travel with us
4) And we both have scars on our necks from Surgery!
5) And we both have "Pink" toothbrushes, but that is another story....
In summary, I was a little depressed and concerned that the "Adventure" aspects of our trip was over, and that the balance of our travels would be soft. But, as we travel South America in a counter clockwise direction, we learn from Simon and Lisa , traveling in the clockwise direction, that our Adventure is far from over......
For "Chile 7" hit the Next button... For "Chile 5" hit the "Back Button"....