Day 148 (March 13, 2013)
El Chalten, Argentina to Gobenador Gregores,
Day's Ride: 185 Miles
another frosty night in El Chalten, we packed up our gear, said our goodbyes to
our hiking friends, and set off for Gobenador Gregores, a small town in the
middle of nowhere off of Ruta 40 where Dylan had been stranded for three days
due to a gas shortage during his ride south. We crossed our fingers hoping that
they would have gas this time as the next fuel stop was beyond our maximum
Leaving El Chalten, Fitz Roy loomed majestically in the background
as a strong tailwind propelled us to the east and the turn off for Ruta
reaching Ruta 40 and the small pueblo of Tres Lagos, we stopped at the last
gasolinera to top off our tanks. Immediately outside of the service station, the
road devolved back into it's natural primal state: ripio!
section between Tres Lagos and Gobendador Gregores had been rumored to be one of
the worst stretches. However, it appeared that a grader had been along recently
and we were able to fly! There were also several long stretches that had just
been paved or were about to be paved. Dylan commented that the road had improved
markedly since he had been here a few weeks ago.
Below you can see one of
the freshly paved sections running parallel to the old road on the
XR650L felt like it was back at home in the gravel and the dirt and I found
myself flying along faster than I normally would ride on the pavement with
Metallica cranked in my headphones. Dylan tooled along at a slightly more sedate
pace for the most part; however, on the final stretch into town, he cranked it
up and rode alongside of me.
outside of town, Dylan stopped and emptied his reserve into his tank in the hope
that there would be fuel.
then we hauled ass down the remaining stretch of ripio. It was actually pretty
nice and Dylan made a little movie with his GoPro:
We arrived in town and found a fairly long line
for gas at the service station. We pulled in behind another motociclista riding
a Harley with Italian plates.
was extremely impressed! When I had first decided on doing this trip, I had
thought about doing it on my Harley but had been talked out of it by several
people. In retrospect, I'm kind of sad that I didn't. Seeing someone like this
guy who has literally ridden his Harley around the world is very inspiring! I
didn't catch his name and I'm sorry I didn't. He was on an older Fat Boy with
the 80 CI EVO motor. So cool!
actually put so many miles on this bike that the odometer has rolled
impressive! He said he gets a little cold while riding down here and that the
ripio is a real bear, but other than that, he was having a good
Since it was my birthday, I convinced Dylan that we should spring
for a hotel. After stashing our gear, I headed to a Parrilla and treated myself
to some Asado. This was overseas birthday number two for me; last year's was in
the Sandbox formerly know as Afghanistan. Argentina is a much better place to
spend your birthday.