Riding Through Argentina

Riding Through Argentina
Months ago, I was sitting in a comfy cafe chair, pushing pie into my face. We were in Ushuaia, southernmost Argentina. I was reading a folk tale about a revered gaucho who robbed the rich to give to the poor, congruent with our Robin Hood tales. Currently en route to Caviahue, a mountain village in southwest Argentina, a modern-day gaucho emerged, riding over the plains with his cattle, donning a dusty beret and bombachas. He greeted me warmly as he stopped atop a hill.

A Slice of Argentinian Pie

The guy for whom I’d been seeking subliminally was as stalwart as he was hardy. It made me wonder what he thought of us, straddling our steeds in this unforgiving environment. Urban cowboys, probably.

Cowboys and Monkey Puzzles

The gaucho is one of Argentina’s most enduring icons. Their tradition began centuries ago, herding cattle on the grassy Pampas. We’d since seen scores of these lone cowboy-like figures traveling north through Argentina. I mused at the parallel between them and us, as the nomadic cowboys once lived by breaking in horses, herding cows, and drinking the caffeine-rich herbal drink known as mate.

Riding Through Argentina
Spiky shrubs poked through all around us as we made camp in a field of cacti facing the formidable Andes. Insects droned in their daily work, and a milk-blue sky hung calmly above us.

Motorcycles & Gear

Lisa and Jason used the following motorcycles and gear on their tour through Argentina.

2008 BMW F 800 GS
2001 BMW F 650 GS

Helmets: Touratech, Shark
Jackets & Pants: BMW Rallye, Hein Gericke Womens
Boots: Sidi GORE-TEX Adventure Boots
Gloves: Gerbing 12V Hero and 12V Vanguards

Riding Through Argentina
Having reached this point on RN 40, early on in the Americas, I let the light fill me up, buoyed by a pure, unadulterated joy cartwheeling out of me.

Meanwhile, us Brits broke in our motorcycle boots, hunted down the best beef asados in town, and drank tea until the cows came home. I was intrigued by the mate beverage (pronounced mah-teh), the only cultural practice that truly transcends social barriers. Alas, its bitterness dominated the palate even with six sugars stirred in, but at least it keeps you warm.