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Spinning My Wheels In South America


Through the Andes from South to North- The Adventure of a Lifetime

16,371 km (10,172 miles) over 364 days from November 18, 2009 to November 16, 2010

Topic: Bicycle Touring  
Categories: Tour diaries, Custom bikes, Equipment lists, Road bikes, 6-12 months
Locales: South America, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia
Years: 2009, 2010
Keywords: Ortlieb Tubus Schwable MSR Marinoni Bicycle Touring Argentina Chile Bolivia Peru Ecuador Primus Schimschal South America

Permalink: http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/SAtour2009

Copyright © 2009-2014 By Tyson Schimschal - (contact)

Status: Completed Feb 2011Featured Journal #391
Last update: Saturday February 5, 2011 15:01 (US/Pacific) (edited Sat 29 Dec 2012 00:10 (US/Pacific))
224,992 hits since October 15, 2009 (hitcounts updated nightly)
1,815 pics

Click here to see this page

A big line up of bizarre looking buses crammed full of passengers inside and out.


Table of Contents

Introduction: How I became a "crazy guy on a bike"
Equipment List: Revised 11-18-09
The Route: If you don't make plans then you can't break them right?
Preparation: Useful Information for the would be traveler

Argentina: (Buenos Aires Province)

Finally Arriving in Buenos Aires: 3 Days of Playing Tourist in the Big City
The First Day Spinning My Wheels: Buenos Aires to La Plata
A Costly Wrong Turn: La Plata to Magdelena
Back on Track: Magdelena to Veronica
Camping in the Campo: Veronica to Esquina de Crotto
I Finally Made it to the Beach!: Esquina de Crotto to Las Toninas
Time to Rest Up!: Las Toninas at the Hotel Petit
Another Day of Lounging Around on the Beach: Las Toninas and Another Day of Rest
A Day of Extremes: How the Wind Can Be Your Best Friend or Your Worst Enemy: Las Toninas to Sta. Clara del Mar
Arriving in Another Major City- The First Milestone: Sta. Clara del Mar to Mar Del Plata
Taking Advantage of the Sand, Surf and Hot Sun...and the free WIFI: Day off in Mar Del Plata
The Combination of Rain and Laziness Make For a Short Day: Mar Del Plata to Marimar
Leaving the Beach and Returning to the Campo: Miramar to Necochea
Water, the Liquid of Life or Beware of the Blue Moon Hotel: Necochea to Tres Arroyos
Staying Plenty Hydrated Today: Tres Arroyos to the Quechen River
A Perfect Day for a Bicycle Ride: Quechen River to just outside Bahia Blanca
The Last Few Pedal Strokes into Bahia Blanca: 20km's Outside Bahia Blanca to Bahia Blanca
Spending Nearly a Week In Bahia Blanca: The Misadventures of Trying to Catch a Bus to Rio Gallegos
A Quick Tour of Eastern Patagonia: Crazy guy on a bus...!?
Final Stats for the Argentine Pampas

Chile: (Far South- Tierra Del Fuego) Region XII

Phase Two Begins With a Setback: Rio Gallegos, Arg. to Manantiales, Chile
Chile, Gravel, and Bottles of Urine: Manantiales to Cullen

Argentina: (Tierra Del Fuego Province)

It is Getting Crowded Around Here: Cullen, Chile to Rio Grande, Argentina
Riding Through Forests and Staying at an Actual Campground: Rio Grande to Tolhuin
Climbing and Descending my First Mountain Pass to Arrive at the End of the World: Tolhuin to Ushuaia
Giving my Bike and Myself an Early Christmas Present: Day off in Ushuaia
Now it is Time to Back Track: Ushuaia to Camping in the Woods Not Far From Ushuaia
The Scenery for the First Half of the Day was Interesting...: Outside Ushuaia to Past Tolhuin
The Wind Decides to Get Nasty: Past Tolhuin to Rio Grande
Christmas in Rio Grande
When the wind decides to blow, it blows: Rio Grande to San Sebastion

Chile: (South Western portion) Region XII

Gravel+ Head Winds = Good Times: San Sebastion to Not Far From San Sebastion
It Gets Chilly in Chile: Near San Sebastion to Near Povenir
My First Big City in Chile: Near Povenir to Punta Arenas
Running Errands Followed by a Short Ride: Puntas Arenas to 20km's Outside of Puntas Arenas
A Productive New Years Eve: 20km's Outside of Puntas Arenas to Va. Tehuelches
A Great Way to Kick Off the New Year, No Wind!: Va. Tehuelches to Morro Chico
The Wind Returns With a Vengance: Morro Chico to Puerto Natales
It is Confirmed, I'm on the Gringo Trail Now: Rest Day in Puerto Natales
I Discover Just What I Need When I Needed it Most: Puerto Natales to Near Cerro Castillo
Back In Argentina With a Bit Of Tail Wind for a Change: Near Cerro Castillo to Ea. La Correntina

Argetina: (Santa Cruz Province)

The Transformation into the Night Rider: Ea. La Correntina to near El Calafate
The Zombie Reaches El Calafate: Near El Calafate to El Calafate Campground
Making the Journey to See the Perito Moreno Glacier: El Calafate to Los Glaciers National Park
Making the Most of the Detour Off the Main Road: Los Glaciers N.P to Lago Roca
I Caught My First Fish!: Two Days Off at Lago Roca
Time to Start Making Forward Progress Again: Lago Roca to Calafate
The Wind was Mild so I Make the Most of it: El Calafate to Lago Viedma
I'm Nearly Done With the Wind for Awhile: Lago Viedma to El Chalten
Mo' Money Mo' Problems: Days off in El Chalten
Get Me Out of Here!: Trapped in El Chalten for Way Too Long
Finally Leaving El Chalten for the Road Less Traveled: El Chalten to Lago Del Desierto
Final Stats for Southern Patagonia
The Infamous Trek to Lago O'Higgins: Lago Del Desierto to Lago O'Higgins

Chile: (Carretera Austral) Region XI, X

A Day to Enjoy the Remoteness of My Surroundings: The Final Kilometers to Lago O'Higgins
Leaving the Wind for the Wet: Lago O'Higgins to Villa O'Higgins
Racing to Make the Last Ferry: Villa O'Higgins to Punto Yungay
Another Day of Steep Climbs: Punto Yungay to Rio De Los Ninos
More Rain: Rio De Los Ninos to Cochrane
Hanging Out on the Carretera Austral: Day Off In Cochrane
A Day of Steep Climbs and Decents: Cochrane to Puerto Betrand
A Short Day of Recovery: Puerto Betrand to El Maiten
Lots of Lake Views on the Carretera: El Maiten to Bahia Murta
Another Day of Rain: Bahia Murta to near a refugio on ruta 7
Pavement at Last, Pavement at Last,Thank God all Mighty Pavement at Last: Near a refugio on ruta 7 to Cerro Castillo
Riding in the Snow: Cerro Castillo to near Coyhaique
Aimlessly Riding Around Coyhaique: Near Coyhaique to Coyhaique
When Animals Attack and The Laundry Incident: Days off in Coyhaique
On the Road Again, It Feels Good to be on the Road Again: Coyhaique to Villa Manihuales
The End of the Pavement...Or is it?: Villa Manihuales to Lago Torres
The Classic Carretera Returns: Lago Torres to Parque Nacional Queulat
Quitting Early Due to Heavy Rain: Parque Nacional Queulat to Puyuguapi
It 's All About Perspectives: Puyuguapi to La Junta
The Ripio Takes a Turn for the Worse: La Junta to near Puerto Ramirez
Just When I Started to Get Into the Groove in Chile, I Return to Argentina: Near Puerto Ramirez to near Futaleufu
Final Stats for the Carretera Austral

Argentina: (Chubut, Rio Negro, and Neuquen Provinces)

The First Decent Size City in Awhile: Near Futaleufu to Esquel
Heading into Parque Alcerces: Esquel to Lago Futalaufquen
My Big Day Off Plans are Foiled by Rain: Rest Day at Lago Futalaufquen Campground
The Worst Campground Ever: Lago Futalaufquen to Cholila
A Beautiful Day to Arrive in a Beautiful City: Cholila to El Bolson
I Made it as Far as Across Town!: Unplanned day off in El Bolson
A Jewel of a Lake All To Myself: El Bolson to Lago Guillelmo
Sometimes the Best Spots Are Discovered by Accident: Lago Guillelmo to Villa Cathedral
The Infamous Scenic Loop: Villa Cathedral to Petunia
Back in the Steppe for a Few Kilometers: Petunia to Huemel
A Nice Little Village on the Lake: Huemel to Villa La Angostura
My First Long Day in Quite Awhile: Villa La Angostura to San Martin de Los Andes
The Last Big Town and Earthquakes: Days off in San Martin de Los Andes
Tailwinds, Gravel, and Climbing Mountains All in the Same Day: San Martin de Los Andes to Pilolil
Remote Riding, My Favorite Kind: Pilolil to Alumine
Riding in Sand: Alumine to Ruta 23
An Awesome Valley in No Mans Land: Ruta 23 to near Las Lajas
Sick!: near Las Lajas to Loncopue
Vegging Out Watching Movies in English: Day Off in Loncopue
The Perfect Size Town: Loncopue to near Cavihue
Hot Springs!: Near Cavihue to Copahue
Redefining Crazy: Copahue to near Malla Malla

Chile: (Central Chile) Region VIII,VII,VI,V,IV

Chile: It's a Love/Hate Thing: Near Malla Malla to near Ralco.
Final Stats for Northern Patagonia
A Major Contrast: Near Ralco to Santa Barbara
Back to Civilization: Santa Barbara to near Chillan
A Different Style of Riding: Near Chillan to San Javier
It was Supposed to be a Day Off: San Javier to Talca
Playing Hermit: Day Off In Talca
A Bizzare Encounter: Talca to near San Fernando
Getting Off the Freeway, for Sanities Sake!: Near San Fernando to near Rengo
Renewing my Faith in the Human Race: Near Rengo to Rancangua
Entering Metropolis: Rancangua to Santiago
Exploring Santiago by Bike: South Santiago to North Santiago than back to Central Santiago
Hikes, Museums, Art Gallerys, and Relaxing: Days off in Santiago
Stepping Back in Time: Days Off on Easter Island
Back in the Saddle Again!: Santiago to near Tiltil
Crossing the Cordillera De La Costa: Near Tiltil to Quilpue
I'm Getting Spoiled from all the Hospitality: Quilpue to Vina Del Mar
The Coast, Heavy Traffic and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: Vina Del Mar to near Zapallar
Reacquainting Myself With Ruta 5: Near Zapallar to Los Molles
Heading Back East: Los Molles to Km 16 of Ruta D85
Back in the Central Valley: Km 16 of Ruta D85 to Reservas Nacional Las Chincillas
I Climb the Same Group of Mountains Again, Twice: Reservas Nacional Las Chincillas to Combarbala
Screwing Around Looking for a Campground That Didn't Exsist: Combarbala to Embalse Cogoti
Busted!: Embalse Cogoti to Monte Patria
Overdosing on Yerba Mate: Day off in Monte Patria
Getting Off the Beaten' Path: Monte Patria to near Pichasca
Riding Through the Hurtado Valley: Near Pichasca to Paso Elqui
At the Base of the Andes: Paso Elqui to Vicuña
The Best Breakfast Ever: Days off in Vicuña
A Great Climb: Vicuña to Juntas Del Torro Chilean Aduana
The Most Amazing Scenery I Have Ever Seen: Juntas Del Torro to La Colorado [Paso Aqua Negra]
Wind Chill: La Colorada to 4,375 meters altitude [Paso Aqua Negra]
Reaching a New High!: Paso Agua Negra to the Argentina Aduana
Final Stats for Central Chile

Argentina (Northern): San Juan, La Roija, Catamarca, Tucuman, Salta, and Jujuy Provinces

The Pros and Cons of Argentina: The Argentina Aduana to San Jose de Jachal
The Dude: Day Off in Jachal
Tailwind!: San Jose de Jachal to Guandacol
A Relatively Flat Day: Guandacol to the Base of a Pass
Red Dirt: The Base of a Pass to Chilecito
Kids on Motorcycles: Day off in Chilecito
Desert Landscapes: Chilecito to near Pitull
Scenery Begins to Improve Again: Pitull to Km 4036 of Ruta 40
A Little Bit of Rain: Km 4036 of Ruta 40 to near La Cienaga
Headwinds and Gravel, Am I Back In Patagonia Again?: La Cienaga to Santa Maria County
Any Old Wind That Blows: Santa Maria County to Amaicha Del Valle
Welcome to the Jungle!: Amaicha Del Valle to near Tafi Del Valle
Finishing the Descent of the Andes: Near Tafi to San Miguel de Tucuman
Expieriencing the True Argentine Culture: Days off in Tucuman
Ruta 9 Will Make Ya Jump Jump: Tucuman to Km 1386 of Ruta 9
Head Winds Make My Head Spin: Km 1386 of Ruta 9 to Rosario de la Frontera
Time to Update the Journal: Days off in Rosario de la Frontera
Keep Rollin' Rollin' Rollin': Rosario de la Frontera to near Lumbreras
Into the Wild: Near Lumbreras to Somewhere on Ruta 48
Muddy Road: Somewhere on Ruta 48 to Salta
All I Want is a Milenasa: Days Off in Salta
Time to Quit Dragging My Feet: Salta to El Carmen
In Good Spirits on my Birthday: El Carmen to Fraile Pintado
Grey Skies and Humidity: Fraile Pintado to near Pichanal
Last City Before the Border: Near Pichanal to San Ramon de la Nueva Oran
This is it!: Oran to Bermejo, Bolivia
Final Stats for Northern Argentina

Bolivia

There is no Supermarket Here!: Days off in Bermejo
Is it Deja Vu?: Bermejo to near Nogalito
The Tunnel of Love: Near Nogalito to near La Mamora
Instigating Change One "Hello" at a Time: Near La Mamora to near Padcaya
Living the High Life: Near Padcaya to Tarija
The Oil Rich East: Day off in Tarija
I Came, I Saw, I Conquered: Tarija to near Iscayachi
The Pay Off: Near Iscayachi to near Las Carreras
Side Show Freak: Near Las Carreras to near Camargo
Finding a Great Spot to Camp: Near Camargo to near Jacahuito
The Follower: Near Jacahuito to near Puca Tambo
The Highest City in the World: Near Puca Tambo to Potosi
Child Labor Laws Unenforced: Days Off in Potosi
What Goes Up Must Come Down....Right?: Potosi to near Belen Pampa
Why Did the Cycle Tourist Cross the Pass? To See What´s on the Otherside: Near Belen Pampa to near Ventilla
The Temperature Continues to Drop: Near Ventilla to near Pazña
Food Hygiene: Near Pazña to Oruro
A Bit of Delay: Days of in Oruro
Back on the Road: Oruro to near Lauchaca
Regional Differences: Near Lauchaca to Villa Loza
The March to the Capital: Villa Loza to La Paz
The Casa: Days Off in La Paz
10,000 Kilometers: La Paz to near Tiahuanacu
The Mysterious Ruins: Near Tiahuanacu to Tiahuanacu
Bienviendos al Peru: Tiahuancu to near Pomato, Peru
Final Stats for Bolivia

Southern Peru

On a Mission: Near Pomata to Puno
Enroute to Ruins: Puno to Pucara
The Plaza Hotel: Pucara to Ayaviri
Leaving the Altiplano: Ayaviri to Sicuani
Blatant Racism: Sicuani to Urcos
A Warm Welcome: Urcos to Cusco
The Navel of the World: Days Off In Cusco
A Perfect Ride: Cusco to Ollantaytambo
The Sacred Valley: Making the Journey to Macchu Picchu
Returning to Normal Peru: Ollantaytambo to Urubamba
Freedom: Urubamba to Abra Hillque
Freezing Hot Descending Climb: Abra Hillque to Curahuasi
Another Day, Another Climb: Curahuasi to Abancay
Why Me?: Day Off in Abancay
Back on Gravel: Abancay to Near Abra Cruzccasa (3,400m)
Tire Trouble: Near Abra Cruzccasa to Andahuaylas (2,900m)
Is This Insanity or Am I Building Character?: Andahuaylas to Near Uripa (4,160m)
Dusty Deja Vu: Near Uripa to Near Orcos (2,200m)
Climbing Pass #4 On Dodgy Tires: Near Orcos to Near Matara (3,900m)
The Road Goes From Bad to Worse: Near Matara to Ayacucho (2,760m)
Getting Poked: Days Off in Ayacucho
Dust Bowl 2010: Ayacucho to Mayocc
Rollin´ Up the River: Mayocc to near La Esmerelda
Cycletouring in Peru is Detrimental For Your Hearing: Near La Esmerelda to past Izuchaca
Cruising for Comfort: Past Izuchaca to Huancayo
Take Me To Your Shower: Day Off in Huancayo
Paper Boy: Huancayo to La Oroya
Don't Believe The Road Signs: La Oroya to Cerro de Pasco
Red Light Special: Day Off Cerro de Pasco
Going Down Isn't Always Easy: Cerro de Pasco to Huanaco
Final Stats for Southern Peru

Northern Peru

A Differnt World: Days Off in Huanaco
A Short Day Up a Long Hill: Huanaco to 40km´s from Chavinillo
Getting High and Coming Down: 40km´s from Chavinillo to near Pachas
Stumbling on a Picture Perfect Camping Spot: Near Pachas to near Huansala
Setting a New Personal Height Record: Near Huansala to a spot high in the Cordillera Blanca (4,500m)
The Beginning of A Multi-day Descent: High in the Cordillera Blanca to Huaraz
Mostly Just Lounging Around: Day Off Huaraz
Easy Rider: Huaraz to Caraz
It Takes Two: Day Off in Caraz
Cañon del Pato: Caraz to near Chuquicara
The Coastal Desert: Near Chuquicara to Chao
The Panamericana: Chao to Trujillo
A Cycling Institution- The Casa de Ciclistas: Days Off in Trujillo and the Bus Ride to Pacasmayo
Century: Pacasmayo to Jayance
A Change of Landscape: Jayance to near Limòn
Climate Changes: Limòn to Pucarà
HOT!!: Pucarà to Jaèn
When it Rains it Pours: Day Off Jaèn
Where the Pavement Ends: Jaèn to San Ignacio
Last Day in Peru: San Ignacio to La Balsa
Final Stats for Northern Peru

Ecuador

Easing Into Ecuador: La Balsa to Zumba
Beating the Heat: Zumba to Palanda
Get Down With the Steepness: Palanda to Yangana
Now Entering the Twilight Zone: Yangana to Vilcabamba
Time to Relax: Days Off Vilcabamba
A Change Of Weather: Vilcabamba to Loja
The World´s Biggest Roller Coaster Ride: Loja to Saraguro
Going Batty: Saraguro to La Paz
Front of the Pack: La Paz to Cuenca
Lead Legs: Day Off Cuenca
Doored: Cuenca to Cañar
Shine Your Ever Loving Light on Me: Cañar to Alausi
Seeing a Different Side: Alausi to Guamote
Nearly Flat: Guamote to Riobamba
Not the Nicest City in Ecuador: Day Off Riobamba
More Traffic Than I'm Used To: Riobamba to Ambato
Going Blind: Ambato to near Machachi
BIG City: Near Machachi to Quito
Laptop Love: Day Off in Quito
Celebrate Diversity: Quito to Cayambe
Trail Angels In the Northern Hemisphere: Cayambe to Ambuqui
Spotted Leper: Ambuqui to Huaca
Bienvenidos a Columbia: Huaca to Ipalies, Columbia
Final Stats for Ecuador

Columbia

The Plan for Columbia: Bus to Popayan and Days Off
The First Day of The Rest of The Tour: Popayan to Santander de Quillchao
Flat Landers: Santander to Buga
Welcome to The Cyclists Paradise: Buga to Cartago
The Climbing Begins: Cartago to Periera
Getting Back into the High Country: Periera to Manizales
A Rest Day to Prepare for the Big Climb Tomorrow: Day Off in Manizales
Cresting the Cordillera Central: Manizales to Padua
Drop it Likes it´s Hot: Padua to near Guaduas
Narrow Road Full of Trucks: Near Guadas to Villeta
Climbing Then Riding in the Dark: Villeta to Facatativa
Reaching the Capital: Facatativà to Bogotà
Exploring the Capital: Days Off in Bogotá
Rain, Rain Go Away: Bogotá to Fusagasugá
The Pay Off: Fusagasugà to Saldeña
Down in the Valley: Saldeña to Aipe
Cooler Temps Result in a Longer Day: Aipe to Gigante
Gaining Ground: Gigante to Timanà
The End of the Road: Timana to San Augustine
Hanging Out on the Finca: Days Off in San Agustine
Southbound Again: San Augustine to San Juan de Villalobos
Halloween: San Juan de Villalobos to Mocoa
A Change of Plans: Days Off in Mocoa
A Day to Remember: Mocoa to The Top of the First Climb
Back to Civilization: The Top of the First Climb to Sidbundoy
A Beautiful Day: Sidbundoy to Pasto
Headed for the Border: Pasto to San Juan
The Return to Ecuador: San Juan to Tulcàn, Ecuador (with side trip to Las Lajas)
Final Stats for Columbia

Ecuador: Backtracking to Quito

Resting Up and Drying Out: Day Off in Tulcán
A Miserable Day: Tulcán to San Gabriel
Glad to be Back in Sunshine Again: San Gabriel to Otavalo
When The Musics Over- The Unceremonious End: Otavalo to Quito
The Two Faces of Quito: Preparing to Depart

The Wrap Up

Trip Stats and Map
Bike Stuff
General Info About Cycle Touring South America: What to Expect Regarding Dogs, Weather, Traffic, etc...
Final Thoughts


Show links to this doc


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