Argentina

What is it like to ride your bike in Argentina?? Good question.  For me it was a cycle trip through a country that needed much more time than I gave it.  Only twenty days in November of 2006 is not nearly enough time to see the whole country, probably having two or three years would be better, or at least six months…  But it was a great bike trip either way.  There were all kinds of different road surfaces, from new highways, to nice paved roads, dirt roads, dusty roads, roads with large reptiles in the middle etc…  Roads without anything for 50 km or more, no water for sale etc…   I was mostly riding in the Pampa, which is relatively flat, and for me it was very windy the whole time.  There was not any major dog incidents like I had in Croatia, nor were there any major close calls with drivers on the road.  No other dangerous situations besides an unintentional meander through the slums or Buenos Aires that scared the crap out of me.  How is the camping in Argentina you might ask? I dont have any answer.  Although I brought the tent and sleeping bag, it was never used.  Hotels and hostel were so cheap, that the decision was relatively easy each night what to do.  At the end of the day, I really need to go back to Argentina and spend more time there biking the whole country, there ar many different regions that I totally missed due to lack of time.  One day I ran into a couple travelling on bike together.  They had been on the road for about four months and had covered quite a bit of the country at that point.  They had only good things to say about the scenery and people they had met.  They really enjoyed the far south parts of the country.  Enjoy some of the pictures here and have a great day.

What is on this site?, links to the bike trip in Croatia, also some links to the bike trip in Argentina, which ended up being more of a little bike and lot of bus trip, but still fun. Also, there are some random photos from the past few years of me with some friends, an ostrich picture taken in Cabo, next to that is a photo of some Irish guys I met up with in the youth hostel in Buenos Aires, the Limehouse Youth hostel. Basically, the two big photos of the river rafting are from the mountains near Mendoza, Argentina. That river was a full day even planned by the youth hostel there, and it was quite a good time. The water looks brown, and it was, but it is real clean. The brown is from the mountains in that area, there are no people living up there to polute the water. Enjoy…

Lastly, if you really want to see some current photos, go ahead, www.czech.homestead.com has the current journey that is taking place in the Czech Republic, most in Prague. Some pictures of biking, camping, eating, picking blueberries etc… and much more. Below is a photo of czech republic near the polish border in the jesenecky mountain.

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Small Czech train, only one car, gas powered.

Snow everywhere in Eastern Czech Jan. 08

The bike, old Ritchey mountain bike, maybe 23 years old. Stole it from my dad. Touring tires but nothing fancy, some bungee cords and that’s about it.

Map of Croatia

Information on Obstructive Sleep Apnea

An awesome Cabo House Rental is waiting for anyone, at anytime. The beach is just a few steps away.

Just a friendly FYI to anyone out there wondering about heading down to South America right now towards the end of ’08. If you are coming from the United States, its is a perfect time to bike in Argentina regarding the exchange rates. When I was there two years ago, it was about 3.00 argentine pesos for 1 dollar. Looking at the current exchange rates, it looks to be up to about 3.4 peso for one dollar. So that means, get on down there and explore the nice place and good food, friendly folks, and hot weather they will be having right now. I am not sure how things are going down there politically at the moment, last time I read some articles there was some crap talking about America… but that seems to be the case just about everywhere depending on what decade it is. Nothing to scare anyone off though. In fact, if you look anything like me, they will think you are one of them, or an Italian or Spaniard, until they realize you can pretty much afford anything on the lunch menu since its so damn cheap. If someone happens to venture into Vedia, Argentina, write me back how the town is doing. I am super interested to know about how that place is. It was one of my thrid or fourth towns I stayed in, and had a great time. Found an excellent restaurant and hotel for cheap stays and great eats, and met some nice locals there too. Ended up catching the bus from there to Mendoza as well.

Road Conditions When Biking In Argentina:

In my opinion, the roads in Argentina were relatively safe to travel on. The biggest danger that I faced was the usual, trucks, wind, and the wind blasts from the trucks going down the road next to you. But as well, at other times, there were virtually no cars at all for twenty minutes or more. That of course was way out in the pampa and in Mendoza Areas, which were sparesly populated compared to closer to BA. But there is nothing to greatly fear about thinking of going for a ride in Argentina. Go for it.

River Rafting near Mendoza for a nice day trip:

Crazy Day of Rafting with Rios Andinos. Our guide Juan(crazy Columbian man) was a great guide, funny, and great person to be making way down river. This river looks to be dirty, but infact it is super clean. The water is filled with parts of the red mountains that make up a great bit of the Andes region, especially in the areas near Mendoza. The highest point in the Southern Hemisphere is about sixty miles away from where these photos were taken. And, this day, as you can’t really see was super super windy. If for any reason you are cycling in Argentina and need to take a few days off the bike, head to Mendoza and find yourself a river rafting day of some wild adventures you wont forget.

My first Day was in San Antonio De Areco:

Day One. Landed in Buenos Aires, and taxi ride to San Antonio De Areco. Ariel was my new friend. We both went to get lunch for my first parilla (bigtime grilled food) when we arrived. He also arranged through the tourist office a room for me with a local woman. She made a great breakfast the next morning, which was after a great meal the night before. It was hard not to get carried away with all the crazy waitresses working in that restaurant. Ariel was so nice, he allowed me to leave my bike box with him. I simply needed to call him when I was back in the capitol to get it back. He picked me up on my last day at the youth hostel Limehouse. He had the box and even had some tape for me. This was great and made it real easy to return. Then, he drove me to the airport, but not before stopping at his house for a mate.

At the airport, the first thing I did was take out 600 pesos from the ATM, that’s about $200 dollars. Then I went outside to get a ride out of there. I had my bike in a big box and saddle bags and one dry bag. So quite a bit of stuff. Within about two minutes, an older man came up to me and asked me where I wanted to go. I told him I wasn’t really sure, but that I had a big box for my bike. He acted like it was no problem, and within seconds his son Arial arrived on the corner. After getting the bike in the back, which was pretty easy for this hatchback, we were off. The photos above are from the first few minutes in Argentina. We made it to San Antonio de Areco and he immediately found a small tourist office. Once inside, Ariel arranged a room for me to stay with an older woman. He got the address from the young woman at the office, and we left. Our next stop was a restaurant. I was super hungry, and he was too so we ate at a rather nice place, and he ordered a huge amount of meat that was brought out in a small bbq still cooking. There was sausage, steak, chicken, pork and this one sausage called musstaffa. It is “blood sausage” and I did not like it. There was also a small amount of intestines to be had, which was real hard to chew. But all in all, the steak, chicken, and pork was real good. So were the french fries. And of course our first bottle of wine.

After the meal, he drove me to the house where I would spend my first night. It was pretty nice staying there, and I went for a several hour sleep once I got there. After waking up, I went along for a bite to eat, and made it to a pretty nice spot for dinner. Then, it was getting late for me, so I hit up a bar for one beer then went to bed. That was a great first day there. Day Two was to involve some bike riding, which I was most excited for.

San Rafael, Argentina

Great Pizza at Bony’s Pizza.  Great fun on the main street late on Friday’s and Saturdays.

I ended up staying in San Rafeal for about three days. It was really hot outside during the daytime and as I was somewhat in no mans land heading back to Buenos Aires, I figured it a good place to kick back for a few nights. And it definitely was a good place to stay at. I went for some bike riding trips during the days around the city limits and to some wineries which there are many in this region. I even met some local bike riding club. I guess many cycle clubs in Argentina go biking during the siesta period of the day. Since they are taking sometimes five hour siestas, not a problem to meet up with your buddies and go on a nice long ride between shifts I guess.

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