2017-09-10T11:39:06+00:00March 24th, 2016|2015-16 Ride|

We leave Victoria and have a scenic ride to the border of Argentina – we have included another 700 kilometres in this country to take in a loop of the lake district in Patagonia – and before we know it we are back! We “hoop” down the pass onto a vast, dry tussocked plain – a huge herd of sheep, goats and horses crosses the road and the stockmen wave out to us – emotions are certainly starting to run high as these images start to become our “last”!

We have been on and off the famous “Ruta 40” – one of the longest roads in the world – which stretches 5,000 kilometres from the top of Argentina to the bottom! In some areas it is paved, in some not and a lot of “overlanders” – especially North Americans – like to do it in it’s entirety.



Topping up the tanks from our bladders on a 300km stretch of Ruta 40 with no fuel!


The weather is perfect for riding – fresh without being cold – and the clear, “big” skies are just amazing – there’s not a cloud in sight!



Ruta 40 heads off west as we head for San Carlos de Bariloche.



The scenery takes on a whole new level as we come in to the Patagonia region.




We come in to San Carlos de Bariloche around a large, glacial lake – surrounded by the magnificent Andes mountains – a good place for a break from the bikes and do our last “planning”.



San Carlos de Bariloche across Lake Nahuel Huapi.


Bariloche is a popular ski and hiking destination – known for it’s Swiss alpine architecture and it’s chocolate – with lots of shops in the main street offering yummy free samples! It’s very early autumn, the colours are just starting to change and you can tell that the first snow “dump” will magically transform the craggy peaks!



Ruta 40 again from Bariloche to El Bolson, Patagonia.


We decide on a “day-ride” down to El Bolson – a “hippy” town known for it’s artisan market – and where most of the country’s hops and fruits are grown – the road both ways is superb!



Art in the park at El Bolson, Patagonia.



Selling boomerangs as “local” art at the artisan markets in El Bolson – even the painting on them looks Aussie!!



The largest and deepest clear water lake in the lake district of Argentina.



Now that’s what you call a BBQ – lots and lots of meat!!



Locals enjoying the warm Sunday.


We head out of Bariloche after a nice break – the wind is howling as we head round the lake – but it you get in it’s “lee”, it’s not so bad!



Beautiful little bays and islands as we head to the border.


The “pass” road between the borders is a beauty – although we are stuck in low cloud and a misty light rain – and there are lots of big bikes going both ways (all Argentinian and Chilean plates). This is the lucky last “land” border crossing on our journey – they are all a test of patience and endurance!! We head in to Osorno to sort out a loose wire on Paul’s bike.

Best Food


There are many things to like about Argentinian food – but especially the empenadas! They are very simple really – but often that is the best! We are most partial to the “carne” (meat) ones – a very basic recipe (sort of like a cornish pastie) – just so light and delicious!



In this shop we tried the roquefort empanadas – and took the cheese and onion ones on a picnic!

Best Sign


It’s definitely “a sign” of something when the beer in a country is more expensive than the wine!!



The excellent 2009 Santa Emiliana Malbec in this restaurant in Chile was cheaper than two stubbies!!

Special People


We are in El Bolson on a Sunday taking in the local markets when we are approached by Dawn and Gus (Gustavo) from N.S.W! They live 11 kilometres from the famous Robertson pie shop on the Macquarie Pass – we know it very well – and tell them how we “inhaled” our first pie there and went back in for a second!! Gus was born and raised in Bariloche and they are visiting family – we will definitely catch up with these guys again in Australia!



The delightful Dawn in El Boson, Patagonia.

Tip of the Day


It doesn’t pay to check in “first” to a hotel if you want to leave early – the morning becomes a waiting game and “musical cars”!



On Two Wheels


On the ride back from El Bolson to Bariloche, we overtake a solo rider on a BMW Dakar 650 – then he waves to us having a picnic lunch beside the lake. When we arrive back at our hotel, the BMW is also checking in – to the same hotel – we are destined to meet up! Marcus is from Berlin, Germany, has hired the bike out of Osorno, Chile, and is on his way back from a trip down to Ushuaia. We have a great night sharing stories with this like-minded individual and really hope our paths cross again some day.



With Marcus at Hotel Cottbus, Bariloche.


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  1. Ros Keay March 31, 2016 at 4:04 am

    Hi Lee,
    What an amazing year you have had and we have all had the privilege of travelling around the world with you. Thank you for the great stories and beautiful photos. It certainly has been the trip of a lifetime for you. I imagine it might take a while to “get back to earth” when you come home. Hope to catch up soon.
    Ros x

    • Lee March 31, 2016 at 12:58 pm

      Thanks Ros – glad you enjoyed it! Most definitely will catch up soon and looking forward to it xxxx

  2. chris March 30, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Love reading about your trip.happy birthday Paul and happy Easter to both of you
    cheers chris

    • Lee March 30, 2016 at 9:24 am

      Thanks Chris! Same to you! Nearly home…share a coldie soon bro! xxxx

  3. Hilda Pye March 29, 2016 at 5:39 am

    Happy Birthday to Paul!!! And what fabulous photos to finish with!!! The Argentinians certainly know how to do a BBQ and the red wine to match is superb!! Safe travels on your last legs and can’t wait to see you guys back in Oz!! We will come to you guys in Brisbane xoxo

    • Lee March 29, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks Hill! It was fairly quiet for a 60th – just loving the wines – you can’t get a “bad” one!! Home run up to Santiago now!! xxxx

  4. Raewyn March 28, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    Happy Birthday Paul. We are certainly going to miss your stories and photos. Enjoy NZ.

    • Lee March 28, 2016 at 5:30 pm

      Thanks Rae – special dinner tonight for the birthday boy!! Heading out tomorrow for the last “stretch” to Santiago…it’s all sinking in! The timing of us and the bikes getting to Brisbane is coming together. We get up to Whangaparaoa just in time for Speakers Night at the village – and we’re the Speakers!! Laurence has planned some gardening working bee with Paul so Mum will be “having kittens” with excitement!! All good!

  5. Dave March 28, 2016 at 9:27 am

    I hope you guys had plenty of Mendoza red while riding passed!! Happy Easter & looking forward to a catch up soon!! Happy birthday Kev!! Take care 😄🍷🍷

    • Lee March 28, 2016 at 5:26 pm

      How good is the Chilean wine?! Just loving it – night after night after night…..!! xxxx

  6. Beryl March 27, 2016 at 7:31 am

    Have a Happy Easter you guys.

    How many amazing people you have met on your travels????


    • Lee March 27, 2016 at 1:43 pm

      Hey McGreevy’s! Happy Easter to you and your clan as well! We’ve met some amazing people – that’s for sure – and it would be nice to think we meet up with some of them again. Can’t wait to see our friends when we get home – hugs and beers all round xxxxx

  7. Phil and Evol Prince March 27, 2016 at 2:17 am

    Hi Guys
    My RT would have made the stretch without fuel but I doubt it would have travelled the distance your KTM’s have done. KTM should sponsor your book. Worth contacting them about it. The pictures have been an eye opener to what’s out there. Have a great Easter and look forward to touching base with you when you get back to Aus.
    Phil and Evol

    • Lee March 27, 2016 at 1:39 pm

      Thanks guys! The KTM’s have been amazing – very reliable and glitch-free – but they are in need of a good tune-up and some TLC in Oz! They don’t have a big tank and guzzle the fuel but you just work around it. I will be contacting them on our return – cheers for the thumbs up – and you guys will have to grab PVG and come and stay a weekend!! xxxx

      • Phil and Evol Prince April 1, 2016 at 3:57 am

        It’s a date. I’m sure PVG won’t need any arm twisting.
        Phil and Evol xxxx

  8. Jill stonnell March 26, 2016 at 7:20 pm

    Awesome reading as usual Lee. How are you two Ever going to just sit still and get back to “the Norm” when you return!!!!! Have a happy Easter…I’ve been out riding last two days but weather is supposed to packin for the next two, so looks lorikeets house work n movies for,the rest of the break 🙂

    • Lee March 26, 2016 at 10:00 pm

      Thanks Jill – a big happy Easter to you too!! Sometimes it’s nice to sleep in when it’s raining! Minimal housework – it’ll always be there but the “holiday” won’t!! It’s going to be interesting to see how we go – lots of sleep to start with! We’re having a stopover in Auckland for three nights to catch up with Paul’s parents – his Dad is turning 93! We’ve been invited to “speak” at their retirement village on Speakers Night – should be interesting!! Hope to see you when we’re back xxxxx

  9. Mark March 26, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Another great read, thanks for the news, and sounds like you both still enjoying yourselves

    • Lee March 26, 2016 at 9:53 pm

      Thanks Mark – we are – but very tired and looking forward to home now!

  10. Paddy O'Connor March 25, 2016 at 11:04 pm

    So how many speeding tickets have you guys gotten on the entire trip?

    • Lee March 26, 2016 at 9:52 pm

      Good question Paddy! Actually, Mark and I got one coming in to Kyrgystan – way, way back in the piece – but they never wrote a ticket out!! We were just giving them “beer money” ($10 each)!! It’s interesting how the only place in the whole world that traffic police are watching your every move is Australia!! Second would be N.Z! We are nervous going back – to have them waiting round every corner to tell us we’re 5km over the limit or we didn’t quite “stop” at the stop sign!! The question will be “how many tickets did you get in the first year back?”

  11. Brian Johnson March 25, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Great blog as always. Really glad you took in the Chilean Lake District, it’s such a beautiful and relaxing place. Enjoy those last empanadas and have a great Easter.

    • Lee March 25, 2016 at 11:48 am

      Great to hear from you Brian! Sounds like you’ve been here!! It’s a perfect way to finish and we have all the ducks lined up to get home now! Keep in touch.

  12. Diane March 25, 2016 at 4:15 am

    Have a great Easter-I’ll be different over there -We have a BIG Easter Egg hunt with the grandkids on Sunday. Alfred has invited me down to sleep in his bottom bunk.

    • Lee March 25, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Same to you Diane – enjoy that bottom bunk!! xxxx

  13. Aunty March 25, 2016 at 1:20 am

    Those skies and views are to die for 😀😀.
    So looking forward to a big hug 😀😀. Love you

    • Lee March 25, 2016 at 1:27 am

      Absolutely!! See you soon xxxx

  14. alison morgan March 25, 2016 at 12:19 am

    Happy Easter Lee and Paul getting closer to being home .Lots of love Alison xx

    • Lee March 25, 2016 at 1:26 am

      Same to you Alison! Home is very close – lots to look forward to!! Hopefully a visit from you in the not too distant future!! xxxxx

  15. Annie March 24, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    Kisses & Hugs

    • Lee March 24, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      Have an awesome Easter my BFITWWW and enjoy the girls xxxxx (and Jamie!!)

  16. Lynne and Craig March 24, 2016 at 9:28 pm

    Happy Easter to you both,pleased to hear of your wonderful adventures😉
    ❤️ From🇦🇺

    • Lee March 24, 2016 at 10:14 pm

      Thanks Lynnie-Lou! Great to hear from you guys – hope to catch up on our return!

  17. Beverley March 24, 2016 at 4:53 pm

    Happy Easter to you also. It is springtime here….take care and much love. Happy Trails!

    • Lee March 24, 2016 at 10:12 pm

      Hard to believe we’ve moved so far south we’ve swapped over seasons!! Much love to you guys too – making a 3 day stopover for Kev’s birthday in Whangaparaoa on the way home…xxxx

  18. Dave March 24, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    What a fantastic trip and a great blog. Enjoyed reading about your travels since we met at the Horizons Unlimited meeting in VIC a couple of years ago. Love your work!

    • Lee March 24, 2016 at 10:11 pm

      Thanks Dave – I remember you!! Glad you’ve enjoyed it – next step is to write the book!! Not far to the finish now…keep in touch!

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