After Buenos Aires, where did you continue your trip to Latin America?
I leave the city of Buenos Aires in the morning freshness, the objective of the day: crossing the immense Pampa to Santa Rosa, then Neuquen. Despite its apparent monotony, the Pampa, sometimes covered with flowers, sheltering a unique fauna, sometimes desert is still inhabited. I rolled whole days, like a meditative experience on the straight tape, as far as I could see, towards Patagonia.
Tell us about an anecdote that marked this stage of your road trip in South America?
In Villa El Chocn, in the province of Neuquen, near a lake with milky blue, I observed six dinosaur footprints beautifully preserved, this discovery had the effect of a detonation in my imagination and it is the spirit full of images of Creatures that I pursued my way into the Pampa. In the distance the first Andean mountains are drawn and I climb gradually on high plateaus, the first corners remind me of the joys of flying, the landscapes are spectacular, I stop, my eyes wide-eyed.
On my motorcycle trip to South America, I noticed that the petrol stations are rare in this part of the country and a comfortable autonomy is strongly recommended, nothing to fear on that side with my little Vstrom who can browse 500km with a full of 17 Litres. The price of the super is about €1 per litre. The temperature is variable and can pass in the same day from 40 to 9 degrees Celsius with altitude.
Tell us a little about Bariloche
The arrival in Bariloche, with its immense lake, its chocolate shops, is reminiscent of Switzerland, an incredible variety of landscapes, the velvety blue of the lakes and a cross sign in the woods, some wild Pumas inhabit the region. I take the mythical Ruta 40 in Bariloche and go back to Mendoza, crossing long portions of sandy slopes where it is better to be equipped with crampons, in landscapes always as varied as enchanting, I crossed a region populated of Chiquillanes natives, who live quietly in the isolated foothills of the Andes.
Did you meet on this motorcycle trip to South America?
It is in the midst of one of these deserts that I met three Argentine bikers whom I nicknamed the Angels of the road because they arose out of nowhere… We went all the way to Mendoza, sharing our water supplies and taking a trail that does not exist on any map… Great Adventure!
How would you describe the city of Mendoza?
Mendoza is hospitable, a beautiful province, with its streets planted with trees where the wine is at the center of the discussions and the bodegas are numerous to make you test their delicious Malbec. In the background, the drawing of the mountains of the Andes, with surprising colors, red, green, blue, golden, I do not know any equivalent in Europe. And suddenly, at the turn of a bend, there amid the oversized mountains, sovereign, the Great Condor passes, then in a few seconds, disappears in the skies.
I continue my motorcycle trip to South America. The Aconcagua stands there, in the middle, with its 6960m, it is the highest peak of the Americas, visible from Route 7. At the bottom of a high Andean valley, a red earth track, an ancient path taken by the Incas, leads to the Christ Redeemer, the one from Argentina, located at more than 3800m of altitude. The crossing of the Chilean border takes place without difficulty, the crossing of the Andes continues on more than 200km in the direction of the Pacific.
Descent of the laces, I double trucks with overheated brakes and I arrive in the heart of valleys planted with large cactus longiformes, the vegetation has changed, the grass is more rare and the heat is intense. On the hillsides, lines of tamarugal, an indigenous varietal reminds that are produced on this terroir conducive to the great wines of Chile.
What was your next step in this trip to Latin America?
Direction Valparaiso, verbatim “Valley of Paradise” by a superbly paved road that leads to the Pacific blue. Valparaiso is to enter again in another dimension, another culture, with its lifts, its superb view on the heights, and especially its houses with a thousand colors overlooking the harbor. When the evening comes, the ships respond to the Horn of Mist, giving rise to a strange maritime symphony. The colorful houses illuminate, as if a constellation of stars had lain on the hill. The road to my road trip in South America, it continues, promise of turns, new discoveries in the Andes, in the direction of Salta La Belle.