20 Dec South of the Border; From Patagonia to the Emerald Way!
South America is one of Bikers favourite places to explore, and for good reason! Motorcycle touring in South America offers incredible scenery around every corner, diverse local culture, and some of the best motorcycling routes on the planet. Did we also mention it’s really special place, the food is to die for, and the local hospitality is unparalleled! How do we know this, you think?
If you know Armadillos then you definitely met Russel! Rusty, our workshop technician has been a biker his whole life and he is lucky enough to share this passion with wife, Adri. A wonderful lady from South America! Despite living in England for many years, her heart never left her home country of Venezuela!
Over the past few months our wonderful bike couple decided to combine their love for family and love for two wheels in a adventure of a lifetime – South of the Border; From Patagonia to the Emerald Way!
We love to see their adventures and you should see it too! Expect regular updates from Adri & Rusty on our social media and website but also give them a follow! Track their progress, see the wonderful views and learn about the expected and unexpected issues the Husband & Wife duo overcomes on a daily base 😉
South of the Border adventure started in November 2023 and here’s few things to know about their adventures so far directly from Adri and Russel.
What motorcycles are you riding on?
RUSTY: 2020 Royal Enfield Himalayan 400cc
ADRI: 2019 Honda CB1 TUF 125cc
Both bikes bought in Santiago, Chile and therefore with Chilean plates.
How many and what countries have you visited?
Only two countries; Chile and Argentina. We’re doing ‘slow travel’ as we want to see as much as we can and connect with the people we come across!
How many miles have you travelled so far?
Rusty: His Royal Enfield had nearly 29,000 km when we started. So far he’s at 34,009km.
Adri: Her Honda bike had just under 500km when we started. So far she has done 5,028km.
Did you run into any issues so far?
You can ask that again!
Rusty’s bike didn’t even have the battery charged when we first saw it in the flesh. The tyres were flat, the top box lock didn’t work and the front tire was fitted the wrong way round! To add insult to injury, the bike itself was very dirty (didn’t look at all like the one we saw in the ad when we bought it online!). The worse part was that it needed a new steering bearing, and full service (forks, breaks and engine) and even an MOT!
Not at all the standards of Armadillo Customs!
But hey, Rusty’s a mechanic and good one so after going round Santiago sourcing parts and tools (and with the help of Bastian, a great local mobile mechanic who helped him); we got the bike ready 😃💪
*Bastian’s IG: Royalservice.motorcycles
*Royal Enfield parts in Santiago’s IG: Enfieldparts.cl
What did you learn already about traveling long distance on motorcycle?
RUSTY: Make sure that the bike is well prepared before you start – it took us three weeks to have everything ready and that time was costly as Santiago is not a cheap place! Still, we enjoyed the extra time with Andrea, Adri’s niece, and her friends – they’re a cool gang!
Also, you have to take a break now and then, especially when dealing with the elements nearly every day as we have: long gravel roads, strong winds, rain and cold!
ADRI: That you can have an adventure on any size motorbike – it’s what you make of it! 😃
Enjoy every moment as you don’t know if you’ll be back to that place!
Where are you spending your Christmas?
We were hoping to be in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina, with Adri’s nephew Leo who lives there.
However, there were warnings of a bad storm and heavy winds making its way through Buenos Aires (it caused power outages and general damage across the city and had already killed several people in the south of the Buenos Aires province).
We decided to head towards the Andes Mountain range again, in the west of the country, and ride the Lake Route on that side. This is a beautiful area and we’re hoping to finally be able to camp since the weather is now getting warmer. Wherever we are, we know that it will be beautiful!
Hopefully we’ll make it to Buenos Aires and be with Leo in time for New Year.
Adri hasn’t seen her nephew for several years so a good opportunity for family time and for Rusty to meet more of his wife’s relatives! 🤣
Good Luck from all at Armadillo Customs!