Chris' 1994  R100GS/PDChris' new bike, a 1996 F650 ULTIMATE JOURNEY Erin's 1997  F650
Living a Dream . . . 2 Live-N-Ride

March 7th, 2002

Credit to together, in and around Bariloche

-- Story by Erin --

Friday, March 1st: White Rabbits!  We drive into Bariloche and find Liam at an internet café. We also knew he was in the neighborhood and planned to meet here. However in the meantime Liam had found himself working with a Brazilian film crew making a documentary for Brazilian TV about riding and meeting a Brazilian girl (all for the sake of moviemaking of course, since we know that he has a very serious girlfriend, Catriona in Ireland!) Liam introduces us to the film crew and we get a bit part in the film, pretending we are seeing Liam for the first time since India. All very fun and interesting, then Liam was off with the Brazilians for a night of camping. We run errands and check into the nice hotel where we stayed last time ($7/pp @ US$1 = 1.9pesos). Sebastian and Sofia meet us in town later that afternoon and stay in our hotel. A biker sees us in the central square and tells us about a motorcycle meeting in El Bolson, 120 kilometers south of Bariloche, on Saturday. There will be many bikes from both Bariloche and El Bolson and a free asado (barbecue). We decide to go. That night the four of us go to dinner at the Mexican restaurant from our visit before, and Annet joins us with a Belgian backpacker from her hostel. We have a nice evening drinking lots of 1/2 price margaritas during happy hour.

Saturday, March 2nd: Sebastian, Sofia, Chris and I meet Annet and another German biker in the central square for the ride to El Bolson. We are early and have to wait some time (Argentine Time) for the local bikers to show up -- (they said to meet at 1pm, and we finally left around 3:00). Eventually we all get on the road in a long caravan of bikers out of town. The locals come out of their houses with their children to wave to us.  We honk our horns and wave in return. The weather is gorgeous and the scenery is quite beautiful this day. The 120-kilometer ride is slow however, even for us, and we get antsy. Sebastian suggests we ride on, while the others stopped for the third time in the ride, to a place just outside of El Bolson which makes their own beer. We heartily agree and drive on to this lovely little beer garden. We enjoy our one beer and the peanuts as we watch the rest of the group drive on into town without us. We catch up shortly after to where they have stopped in a park in the center of town. The bikers are giving rides to the local kids. Chris and Sebastian gladly join in giving rides to 2-3 kids at a time. The smiles on the children’s faces (as well as the guy's faces) could not have been bigger and broader. After, there are "slow" races ---- who can drive the slowest without putting their feet down and crossing the finish line last. We all participate in this and have good fun laughing at ourselves.

This drags on a bit long however and we decide to find the campground where the meeting will eventually end with an asado and everyone camping overnight. We get there and pitch our tents. The rest of the group arrives about a half-hour later and soon the asado and live music begins. We are serenaded with a mixture of pop music and local folk songs while eating big sausage sandwiches and swigging wine.

Sunday, March 3rd: We sleep late and wake to find that a good many of the other bikers have already left. The meeting winds down quietly. The weather is good so we decide to move on south in the direction of Futuleufú, Chile for rafting. As we leave El Bolson around mid-day, Liam pulls up on his bike. We stop for coffee and end up staying in town for several hours more. With all the talking about rafting in Chile, Annet decides to join us too. We finally leave around 4pm. As we drive out of the protective mountains around El Bolson we are suddenly blasted with strong winds out on the open pampa. We all struggle to keep the bikes upright and in the right lane.   About halfway to Esquel there is a new museum, calledMuseo Leleque, which displays the local history of this part of Patagonia from the times of the indigenous Indians, through the wars with the Spanish, to the immigration and settlement of foreigners. It’s quite good, and for $US1 well worth the short detour.

We finally arrive in the town of Esquel at about 6pm, aware that we are tired and will not make it across the border this day. We search for a cabaña for the 6 of us so we can have our own kitchen. We find a lovely place outside of town and up the side of a hill, with nice views. While shopping for groceries in town, the local TV station spots our group and they want to interview us. With our limited knowledge of Spanish, Liam and I manage to make a few gaffes when asked about our opinion of Argentina, Liam saying that he thought Patagonia tasted delicious and I saying how much I really liked CHILE! Hopefully those were edited out before being shown on the local news!


WOW -- Is that Liam?  We haven't seen him in Years!

Our debut as actors -- it's for a Brazilian TV show

A quick stop for a reflective ale

photo by Sebastian
Sofia, Chris, Sebastian, Erin, y Annet

Rides for Kids

Slow Races:  First to cross the line looses

The ground was a bit soft, and the bike was tired

photo by Sebastian

The author rests while his loyal subjects watch over him

Preparing dinner at the campground

Inside the Leleque Museo

photo by Sebastian



Liam's first encounter with the "prickly" Arucaria tree


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