Animal Encounters and Great Helpfulness
We say goodbye to Gaston, the owner of the hostel where we stayed the last days, and drive towards a Loberia. This is how the places are called, where you can see sea lions. A little dirt road leads us to the destination. As soon as we get off the bike, we hear loud burps, and actually we get quite close to the colony. Besides us, there are countless tourists who were brought here in large buses.
A few photos later, we continue our journey direction south. The road leads us countless miles straight along the coast. Every half an hour, there is a curve that is announced as if it was the most dangerous curve ever. But this and the Patagonian crosswind don’t change the boringness of the ride. Riding along the coast makes me tired.
Chillin with the Lobos
But then, we don’t trust our eyes: right next to us, on the beach, we see countless sea lions. No tourist buses or viewing platforms. We can approach the lobos up to 3 meters without disturbing them. We could sit here and watch these exciting animals swimming, cuddling and belching for hours. No comparison to our previous sea lions encounters. But at some point, we have to keep going, because we don’t know where we are going to camp at night.
Suddenly, I feel the motorcycle is getting restless. We stop by the side of the road and get the tiger on the main stand. Quickly, I figure out that the rear wheel wiggles in the swing. Just in the moment I get the toolbox, an argentinian with a motorcycle trailer stops. He introduces himself as Leonardo and asks if everything is okay. I show him our problem with the rear wheel. “Peligroso” is his analysis and without hesitation, he unloads his Kawasaki from the trailer to make some space for our tiger. He wants to take us to the nearest garage, which is 200 kilometres away. Because there’s only room for one motorcycle on the trailer, he gives me the choice if I rather drive the car with the trailer or his bike. I don’t hesitate for long and put the helmet on my head. Nicki gets on the passenger seat next to Leonardo. His little son Bruno is in the back. I’m riding behind them. It is a pleasant change to drive a small, light 250 ccm motorcycle instead of the heavy loaded tiger. In curves, however, I quickly notice that you have more fun with the big Tiger than with the rather small Kawasaki Versys.
At the garage, we are welcomed by a “Triumph service” sign. I didn’t expect that. Triumph motorcycles are a rarity in Argentina. Leonardo even takes the time and explains our concern to the mechanic. After we say thank you and exchange contact information, Leonardo drives back home. We are delighted with the seemingly self-evident willingness to help us. He does not even accept money for the gasoline. Since it’s late, and the garage finishes work and we have to sleep in an expensive hotel (the price seems to be completely excessive in regard of the hotel room, but we do not really have a choice).
The next day, we make a plan about what we’ll do if it takes longer in the garage. Whether we should rent a vehicle and where we can stay. We don’t want to spend more nights in the overpriced hotel. But to our surprise, we just have to wait for an hour in the workshop. After that, we can continue our travels. The rear bearings where broken. Perhaps they was very old and overwhelmed by our weight.
Just about 200 kilometers later, we find a non-fenced place in the wasteland where we can build up our camp. Although the scenery is very good, we can’t sleep here very well. The place is too windy and the ground uneven.
A Little Birthday Party
On the next day, we wake up by the sound of raindrops on the tent. Since we’re in the middle of a field, we quickly pack everything up to ride away before the underground gets too muddy. By now, we’re have some routine, the fast packing works well. It’s our first rain since we arrived in South America. Again, it goes on Ruta 3 further south. On a river, there is a particularly beautiful wildcamping place waiting for us. A good place to toast with a bottle of Patagonian vine and cake on Nickis birthday. Who needs wineglasses? It also tastes good out of our plastic cups.