Monday, March 15, 2010

Onward and Upward, Iguazu Argentina

Dan, Claire and I standing with the bikes at the Park gates to the falls.

After 6 days hanging out at Dakar Motors, learning how to use subways, trains and city maps it was time to head out. While at Dakar motors I had the pleasure of meeting quite a few great people from all over the world who were travelling by motorcycle. A couple that I met at the Torres del Paine, Ben and Karla from New Zeland were already at Dakar Motors when I showed up and another guy that I met on a KLR 650, Mark from Washington showed up the day that I was leaving. Jan was a fellow travelling around on a 1943 Harley Davidson that he picked up in Holland which was originally a Canadian World War II bike that was left behind. Dan and Clair were a couple of Canadians on Yamaha XT 250´s that will be travelling around the world for the next 2 years. There were several more riders including Justin who arrived from Texas and was waiting for a bike that got lost in transit and Gus from Watson Lake BC. In all it was quite an amazing group of people who I loved hanging out with.

The morning that I rolled out of Buenos Aires was a relief from the late nights and early mornings as every person was on their own sleep schedule. I was inside sleeping on a set of bunk beds while there were several others who had pitched their tents in Javiar´s and Sandra´s back yard at the shop. I rolled out in tandem with Ben and Karla and we split ways when I headed north east and they, north west towards Bolivia. I had my sights on reaching Iguazu Falls within the next 1400km well prepared with fake driver´s license´s and a fake wallet to hand over with laser photocopied registration to the corrupt cops that have become infamous on several motorcycle travel sites. I however did not see a single cop despite being so well prepared not to pay any bribes.

I managed to cover 750km and pulled into a small town called Paso Del Libre just before dark. I stopped at the first hotel that I saw and pulled into the drive way and through a gate. The woman inside came to the back door and scoweled at me for not stopping out front. I figured that I wasn´t welcome there and other places would be better. Besides, this place was definately looking suspiciously like one of the ¨love Motels¨ that dot the highways where you bring your friends wife for a few hours. Every hotel after that one was more sketchy than the previous and to my suprize I ended up at the Brazillian & Argentine border. I could go no further and darkness was closing in fast. I noticed a low lying area with tall grass and a few palm trees just off the road. I rolled the bike through a field and down a small hill out of sight from the main drag and figured that it was as good of a place as any to hunker down for the night. I crawled into the tent and it was relaxing and I didn´t feel at all unsafe as I have met several Argentinians now and have become relaxed in their country.

It was a good sleep and now that I´ve covered 4000km since Ushuaia the palm trees are back and the days, not so long any more. Morning came and I loaded the bike and continued onward to Iguazu Falls National Park. The day was long and at about 200km before my destination the clouds rolled in and the skies turned black. Lightening streaked the sky and the rain down poured making my left foot very wet as there is a hole in my shifting boot now after 32,000 km. I pulled into a gas station after the first one that I stopped at informed me that they were out of gas. I just happened to meet up with the fellow Canadians, Dan & Claire. Together we rode the remaining 95km into Peurto Iguazu and found a Hostel for the night with 5 beds in one room.

That night we headed out for a grill and setteled in for the evening as we were all pretty fatigued from our stay at Dakar Motors. I really can´t believe how tough my friend Chuck Weaver is for staying there for 3.5 weeks (

In the morning we got up early to head to the falls. The Iguazu Falls have been deemed a World Heritage site and I was excited to see them first hand. At the site there is a little train that commutes you to a few of the trail heads and from there one can access the grated boardwalks and dirt trails to various views points along the falls.

The falls were immense in their width and the amount of water going over the falls was mind boggling. The water drop, I´m guessing was more than 200 feet and the water was slamming so hard into the plunge pool at the bottom that a coarse mist was floating all throughout the air which warrented a rain jacket at some sights.

We spent all day walking around the site in the 34 degree humid weather taking in the sights, wildlife and surrounding jungle. I was so happy to again be stopping and seeing things that I´ve previously only heard about or seen in National Geographic.

Tomorrow I head to Brazil.


  1. Are you going to Paraguay too? Being as it is right there at Iguazu?

  2. Getting closer to NB! Great that you are playing tourist so well without co-pilot. Great photos... thanks... keep it up and safe travels.

  3. WOW!... WOW!... WOW!... WOW! Just kept saying that as I scrolled to each picture!