Yep, I’m still catching up so prepare to get spammed. Neither of us have felt like engaging on social media much which is why I am so far behind!
Leaving San Martin we were, perhaps unsurprisingly still heading north and still getting baked in the sun. As we have travelled further we have really come into the Argentine high summer. Temperatures are into the thirties every day at this time of year and the area is known as the Patagonian desert.
We haven’t bumped into any brits for a while and although we often pass bikers we rarely chat. So we thought we would head back to Motocamp in Pucon for a couple of days. We thought there was a chance. In addition, we still had several days to kill before getting to Santiago for our return flights to the UK so it seemed like a good idea.
This meant crossing the mountain pass east of Pucon which apart from a horrible bit of gravel for 12km at the top is a nice ride. The Chilean side in particular was good and we had already come up as far as the border on a day out when we were in the area before. Knowing what to expect makes the ride more fun so we engaged in some swoopiness on the way down.
All went well apart from the Chilean customs. We normally go separately to the various windows to get stamped through because early on, we found that Clair being on her own bike was sometimes a difficult concept. This time though she was called to the first window with me. We explained we had two bikes and showed the guy our document s but he put my registration number on Clairs paper. He refused to correct it and at the next window it turned a five minute exercise into 90 minutes. We had a big queue behind us as the next person tried to sort the first guys mess out. Eventually though we passed through and headed down the mountain to Motocamp.
There was almost no one there! One guy was just leaving on a badly running old KTM as we set the tent up.
A bit later a few others arrived up and as it turned out we all had a good sit down meal together. It’s something Motocamp does very well, a four course meal with a bit of wine or beer served in the evening and it is quite popular. The other guys were Brazilian but a couple of them spoke enough English that we didn’t have to mangle their ears with our Spanish too much.
With the weather being so hot, we had planned a day of beach and a ride but when we got to the to Caburgua we hired an umbrella and a couple of deck chairs and spent the entire day in the sun. It was rather glorious and not something I normally would do, I get too fidgety after an hour. This time I was happy enough to read until my kindle battery eventually died by which time it was late afternoon.
The next day we were off again, back up the same mountain road again and into Argentina. Clair had a problem again, this time the Argentine customs gave her some stick. Normally when we get to the Aduana window, it’s a few minutes of pidgin Spanish and we’re on our way. This time, the agent at the window Clair went to was not happy with her V5 document. In big letters, on the front of the V5 it says it is not proof of ownership. So we had a fraught few minutes until the agents supervisor had a word with him and passed us on. We now have fake receipts as part of our pack of documents in case it happens again.
The Argentine side was hot and dusty and we made our way to Zapala where we planned to stop in a municipal campsite. It turned out it was a party day with lots of locals making a lot of noise with a mix of Latin American and western music at about 100db. The site was dry and dusty but we found a spot under some trees and got some shade to see the day off.
Hot and tired in Argentina is getting to be the norm for us.