Friday, April 22, 2011

Borrowing a dirt bike for some fun in Patagonia! Motorcycle Club, 16 Kilos of Argentinean beef! The coolest guys in all of Patagonia!

So as you know, I spent around 2 weeks in Rio Gallegos Argentina with a broken motor.  In that time I was mostly in the mechanic’s shop hanging out.

Apparently it’s the cool place to be. Since I was there every day I got a chance to meet lots of people.

Marcelo aka the mechanic, is part of a huge motorcycle-enduro-motocross club with all his friends, and they all stop by the shop throughout the week to talk and drink lots of Matte-aka tea, while Marcelo and his other mechanic Jose are working. It’s a super cool hang out environment I’ve always wanted to have myself with a garage.

So throughout the week I got a chance to meet some of the 30+ members of this club.

I had to tell my story more times than I can remember. Every time somebody came in they always asked where are you from, what happened to the bike, how long have you been traveling etc.

So everyone got to know me pretty well. I eventually made friends with them and I was like one of the gang drinking matte and chatting about motorcycles everyday at the shop.

They even invited me to hand out with them on Friday night; apparently they have a cook-out- aka carne asado every Friday.

So obviously I went and got a chance to meet everyone.



And had some amazing beef. Sheep aka-Cordero in Spanish.



This huge sheep cost $200 dollars that weighed 16 Kg.  It was delicious.



All the food was fantastic!





I even had this thing called Ferrnet, although it was quite tuff to drink it reminded me of something I had a long time in Taiwan.


It was also Yo- Yo's birthday.


Birthday boy is the one in the hat


There was even Karaoke.



And lots of silliness.



Needless to say these guys were awesome; they were all like brothers to each other and had lots of fun together and made me feel  like I had been part of their circle for years.

As I was about to pitch in for my share of the food they denied my money and told me not to worry about it. I tried to pay but they wouldn’t let me! It seems the kindness of the Argentineans continues. I never in my wildest dreams imagined the southern Argentineans being so nice and generous.

As the fun night went on with lots of drunken singing and laughter, they decided to invite me to motocross aka –Enduro with them on Sunday, something they do every weekend. I said that would be great but that my motorcycle might be quite heavy for what they do on their small dirt bikes.

They said no problem, they would lend me one. I said what!? You’re willing to just lend me a $14,000 dollar dirt bike for me to use. Man, this kindness is going too far!

Something I always wanted to do was dirt bike and off-road in a dirt bike in the Patagonia, and this was my way of doing it. So kindly I accepted and offered any help and such to get the bike along with paying for the gas and oil.

I guess something good finally came from the bad luck of the engine.

So Sunday approached, they even offered a helmet, chest plate protectors, special motocross boots, gloves and more.

I kept my helmet but took everything else to use, I needed my helmet to capture the adventuring on my helmet camera.

Never in my life have I ridden a dirt bike like this and this was my first time doing such a thing. But knowing the skills and abilities I have acquired throughout the years with experiences and such I knew I was capable of doing such a crazy trek.

So we started the trek by driving these bikes through the streets of Rio Gallegos, it was 5 of use at first, noisy as can bike blurring down the streets doing wheelies and such like a bunch of hooligans, it was awesome!
I love Argentina, no lights, turn signals or brake lights on the bikes and no problems, just drive on the street like nothing.

We arrived at the gas station and waited for few more guys.



As we did I kept seeing more bikers pass by waving and kept going. I was told they were going to the same area as us.

Did some minor repairs for Nino, and we were off!



Now were at least 10 crazy bikers with super loud dirt bike barring downs the streets like hooligans, it was awesome yet again!

We arrived at the river and started.








Going from a 212 kg bike to a 50 kg bike was difficult to say the least. The entire mentality and physical riding was completely different than what I was used to.



I of course stated off slow, getting to know the bike. Plus, it was lent to me, and didn’t want to drop it or damage it. Which would prove to be quite the challenge when your off-roading!





After some slow driving I got the hang of it and caught up with the group. We met up with 15 more from the club that were waiting for us further up ahead.






We were quite literally in no man’s land; it was gorgeous, just in the middle of Patagonia enjoying the amazing, things to do in life check!

We all tried going up this huge hill.



Had some lunch, and drove back.



I had some nice flying off the bike, so did others as well.



We started at 11am and finished by 7 pm, it incredibly awesome to have the opportunity of hanging out with such a great group of people.



The view and scenery was awesome and will never forget the crazy trek.



Definitely on awesome things done on this trip.



The next day I was finally back on the road after 2 weeks without the bike. It felt quite odd at first, after 4 months of uninterrupted adventure and then a mandatory 2 week stop, it was a crazy feeling.

But regardless the adventure continues! On to Ushuaia and the End of the World!