Songs of Argentina, a summary

Ever since I reached Buenos Aires, I have been posting songs on Facebook, songs that where related to the place I was or the ride I did, songs that I grew up with and are part of my cultural baggage. Here’s the retrospective, with the comments.

March 27th, arrived to Buenos Aires, I posted two songs

Record day: 1066km today. At 9:15am I was leaving Las Grutas, in the province of Río Negro. At 11:30pm, I was entering my parents apartment in Buenos Aires.
Can’t sleep now. Must be all that Coke and Pepsi and coffee flowing through my veins.
Here’s a song for you 🙂

That day I had started in Patagonia, crossed the Pampa Húmeda and finally arrived to Buenos Aires, going through 3 provinces and many different climates.

April 21st, I hit the road again and arrived to Rosario

I’m finally back on the road and I’m in Rosario. The birthplace of the Argentinean flag. It is also the birthplace of one of my favorite pop stars, Fito Páez, and of our most beloved comedians, Alberto Olmedo.
I also discovered today that the concert I thought I had missed one month ago was today. I did miss it after all… Here’s a song I could have heard tonight, a song Fito Páez dedicated to Alberto Olmedo. Enjoy!

April 23rd, I was already in Córdoba

There are places in Argentina where I’ve never been before but have always been in my mind through songs. I’m in Córdoba now and this one comes to mind. The rhythm is called Cuarteto and it’s typical from Córdoba. Enjoy!

April 27th, I left Tafí del Valle for Cafayate

I have left the rock region and I am now officially in the North, home of some of our most beautiful folkloric songs. Yesterday I spent the night in Tafí del Valle, a beautiful city in the province of Tucumán. Atahualpa Yupanqui, one of our greatest authors has written a very special song to the Tucumán moon. It is very difficult to choose a version to post but here’s one. Start at 2:49 if you want to skip the speech.

April 30th, I was in Salta after Cafayate

Yesterday I tried to leave Cafayate through National Road 40 (the famous Ruta Cuarenta) but after 5 km of sand, I turned back and took National Road 68. It reminded me of why this song was written 🙂

There it is, I hope you have enjoyed the songs of my country. As I leave Bolivia, there may be more posts if the internet connection gets any better. I leave you with one last song, a rock version of our national anthem by the greatest rock artist Argentina has ever seen and will, Charly García. In a way it’s related to any post that may come about Bolivia too but I will have to explain that in another post.

Copacabana, Provincia Manco Kapac, Bolivia

Rest

Oh boy! Have I been silent for so long?

Well, I have a good excuse. Since March 26th, I’m on a break. After a gruelling 14-hour day, I arrived to my parents’ apartment in Buenos Aires and I’ve been resting ever since, gathering energies for the next part of my voyage: riding all the way to North America (voluntary vagueness here, don’t know if I’ll end in Southern Mexico or in Eastern Canada).

Meanwhile, a quick flashback. While I was in Thailand, I stopped for a few days at that awesome biker’s place called the Rider’s Corner in Chiang Mai, managed by Phil Gibbins (KTMphil, moderator at rideasia.net) and his wife Som, they offer cozy rooms, great Thai and Western food and a great place to meet other riders. One afternoon, I came back and Phil introduced me to motorcycle legend Dr. Greg W. Frazier, a man who has circled the globe on a motorcycle four times by himself and a fifth one carrying a blind woman on his bike.

He told me he was profiling motorcycle travellers for an article and he interviewed me and took some pictures the next day. Here’s the article: Dr. Frazier: Profiles of Adventure Travelers. Most of what he says about me is slightly inaccurate but having seen his handwriting while he was taking notes, I can’t blame him. Plus, it’s an interesting read. Enjoy! I’ll resume normal posting when I’m on the road again.

In Chiang Mai
In Chiang Mai

Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, Argentina

A day in Patagonia

La pluie et le beau temps
La pluie et le beau temps

Sometimes I ride through ugly places.

No, not really.

I have been to the Southernmost city of the continent and to the very end of National Road 3 (a.k.a. Ruta Tres) and now I’m riding it to the North in a mad rush to reach Buenos Aires in the shortest possible time. Why? Because I like doing stupid things just for fun.

The landscape is quite bleak. It’s mostly steppe, very windy steppe with no trees and the occasional bush. Not much to see. Fortunately, the sky compensates and the clouds are a thing of beauty. Today’s sunset as I was arriving in Caleta Olivia can only be described as the orange version of the Northern lights. I didn’t take any photos for fear of not doing it justice and spoiling the moment.

Earlier during the day though, I got drenched. During 200km I could see a big patch of rain in the horizon and I kept wondering if the road would take me through it or around. Sure enough, the road went straight into it and it poured. I realised that my Spidi jacket is not waterproof anymore but I survived to see the amazing image that the photo on top of this post not even begins to portray. It just doesn’t do it justice. Once the rain moved East towards the sea, beautiful clouds were left in the West where the sun was starting to set and a mighty rainbow formed in the West over the (still) pouring rain. Simply beautiful.

A long day awaits tomorrow. Over and out.

Hello there!
Hello there!
Oh, and a song I could have listened to today but didn’t.

 

 

Mercado de la Ciudad, Municipio de Caleta Olivia, San Jorge Gulf

Deja vu

“It’s funny, I’ve just had the exact same conversation two blocks ago with a girl that, in a way, looks exactly like you*”. It’s like when they make a change in the Matrix and you see the cat walk past by the brick wall twice.

Every time I sneak away from a scam, I am left with a question: What was it this time? Many times I have let them talk some more just to see where it goes but today I am walking around with my passport, all my credit cards and 3000 yuan that an ATM has kindly agreed to give me. It is out of the question that I pursue any conversation with scammers with pockets full of *goodies*. It’s no use taking risks so I told her that I wanted to walk alone, twice and then she said “Oh! No me?” and went on to deliver her payload in a last, desperate attempt to not lose the opportunity. “Do you want massage?”. There you are! I should have thanked her for taking away my doubts but she had already stayed behind. I could only hear her congratulating me for my good looks or maybe something else, I don’t know, it was in Chinese.

I was also accosted twice by girls that asked me to take a picture of them together and claimed to be tourists from other parts of China headed for a traditional tea house and “would you like to join us?”. My short answer is a clear NO but I could also go on about how I grew up in Argentina and this kind of thing is every day life in Buenos Aires and even locals are targets of scams like this one. This one in particular, I had seen it in Argentina already but in the form of a guy that offers you a free or very cheap ticket to enter a very exclusive bar or strip club. You sort of develop a sixth sense for these things growing up in BA.


* Moderately good-looking Chinese girl elegantly dressed in 100% Western clothes (nothing looks Chinese except of course her) speaking quite good English but not so perfect that you would be suspicious

dianping.com, Changning, Changning District, PRC