This blog started when my good friend María Donapetry suggested that I write about a motorcycle trip that my brother Adrián and I were planning. We wanted to follow the Andes of Argentina from the border with Bolivia down to Tierra del Fuego. On Saturday January 28th, 2012, we left our little town of Las Heras in the Argentine pampas in two bikes, Adrián’s 2003 BMW R1150 GS Adventure and my 2012 Kawasaki KLR650. A month later I was back in Las Heras with a broken leg. After reaching Bolivia, we made it almost all the way down to the southern tip of Patagonia. It was a wonderful trip full of adventure. We rode the bikes at altitudes of 4,500 meters (14,700 feet). We ventured into the waters of the Belén, normally a mere trickle turned into a raging torrent by the summer rains. We got lost many times (blame Mrs. Garmin) and our butts hurt most of the time. We met fellow travelers with amazing stories, both cyclists and motorcyclists following their dreams. My accident was silly but the fracture was serious. I had to have surgery so the doctor could implant titanium plates on my right tibia and fibula. I survived the slow recovery under the care of two remarkable women: my sister Mariel in Argentina and my friend Michelle in the US. I owe them both immensely. During the three months I spent drugged and bedridden in Argentina I was asked many times whether I would ever ride a motorcycle again. My answer at the time was “I don’t know; I cannot make that decision now.” The day before Adrián and I embarked in our trip, I repeatedly heard in my mind this verse from the poem Ewigkeit by Borges: “… el horrendo dictamen de que todo es del gusano”. I translate the verse as “at the end, everything belongs to the worms”, and equate it—very liberally—to “life is too precious to live it in fear”. I don’t thrive on danger but I love life too much to stop riding motorcycles. So this blog will hopefully become the repository of stories and photographs about my motorcycle trips.
Below is the description I wrote about the Andean trip a month before our departure. It turns out that we accomplished most of what we wanted to do; only Tierra del Fuego remains untouched by our motorcycle tires. We covered most of Ruta 40—the original goal of our trip—including some new sections that are only real in maps and that can be hardy called roads. It was an amazing trip. We are planning the next one; and the one after that.
Ruta 40: The Andean Adventure
This blog is about a 11,000 kilometers (~7,000 miles) motorcycle trip in Argentina. Two brothers, Adrián and Daniel, and two adventure motorcycles, Adrián’s BMW R1150 GS Adventure and Daniel’s Kawasaki KLR 650. The plan is to ride from Las Heras, our hometown near Buenos Aires, to the city of La Quiaca on the border with Bolivia. From there we will follow the famous route RN40 all the way down to Rio Gallegos at the southern tip of Patagonia and the American Continent. Ruta 40 is the longest route in Argentina and one of the longest in the world covering over 5,000 kilometers (3,107 miles). This is more than double the millage of Interstate 5—the main interstate highway on the West Coast of the US which runs parallel to the Pacific Ocean from Canada to Mexico and covers 2,223 kilometers (1,381 miles). Route 40 follows the Andes mountains, traverses 20 national parks, and at a given point climbs up to more than 5.000 meters (16,400 feet) above sea level. If time permits, we will ride from Rio Gallegos through Chile into Tierra del Fuego to visit Ushuaia—the southernmost city in the world. From there we will travel 2,398 kilometers (1,490 miles) back to Buenos Aires following the Patagonian shore. The trip is scheduled to begin in early February 2012. Preparations are taking place in two hemispheres (I, Daniel, live in California and my little brother Adrián in Argentina). Follow us for some great photographs and stories.
¿Por qué en inglés? Por que la mayoría de mis amigos argentinos pueden leer en inglés pero muy pocos de mis amigos yanquis pueden leer en castellano.