Touring Ted

2 wheels & no sense. My Motorcycle travel blog.

I knew there would be crappy days on this trip to even out the great days. Thats just the balance of life in general… Now i´v been having such a great time that I was due some real crappy luck and bad times. The balance has now been restored. Ill stop talking crap now and fill you on on my last week of misery.

So….,  I left Ushuaia and headed back to Rio Grande where I stayed at the fantastic Hospedaje Argentina with Graciela again. I love it there, so chilled and so many great travellers passing though. After a couple of nights i decided it was time to move on and make my way up the dreaded Routa 40 and the west coast of Chile. The first few days of travelling were good fun, stopping off in Punta Arenas, Puerto Natalas and mucho touristic El Calafate to see the huge glacier which is one of the only moving glaciers in the world…Brilliant !! From El Calafate it was north and to the Routa 40. To those unfamiliar with the routa 40, its a long, barron and dreadful “road” which runs up the west coast of Argentina. Its completly unsurfaced and covered with deep gravel, pebbles, stones and occasioal patches of sand. Along with the strong patagonial wings, its not a nice experience. You have to pick your way through the paths that the trucks leave and prey you arnt blown into a wall of gravel which would probably send you into a crash and tumble…

I battled this road for 220 miles and 6 hours to the next and only petrol station half way up to the next major town… It was empty !! AHHHH. The attendant told me I would have to wait 3 days for fuel. As this depressing news was sinking in, I reached down for my bumbag to look at my map, BUT… !!!!, IT WASNT THERE !! A sense of dread filled my body. My bum bag was gone and everything inside it. This included my Passport, my cash card, 300 pounds in cash, my camera, my V5, my tempory import for the bike, my drivng licence, my spare keys, my map and my notebook with all my contact details that I needed for South America. FUUUUUCK !!

I will tell no lie that I just wanted to cry and nearly did.. I was stuck in the middle of nowhere with an empty tank in an petrol station with no fuel for the next 3 days and my bag with all my essentials lying somewhere on a 220 mile stretch of horrible dirt road…

In terrible Spanish, I tried explaining my prediciment to the owner and he eventually took pity on me and managed to hand pump enough fuel out of the ground to get me back the way I had came. A glimmer of hope at least ! I gave him 60 pesos out of the 100 I had left and turned around looking to the heavens for help.

I rode and and battled the same stretch of 40 over again for another 5 hours and still no sign of my bag. It was a slim chance of me ever finding it in the dirt anyway, especially as you need to keep all your concentration on not crashing..

It was starting to get dark, I was knackered, depressed and running low on fuel again. Just as I thought my life couldnt get worse, a gust of wind blew me into a patch of gravel and I crashed. I was thrown from the bike into the dirt and the bike was burried and the pannier ripped off AGAIN. To add salt to the wound, my petrol can that I had filled up with fuel to get me to the next petrol station had ripped open in the crash and left a nice damp patch in the sand… I have never been so pissed off and angry in my whole life. I would of sold my soul to be back home with a nice cuppa in front of the telly. I checked the bike and thank god, it was still running.. I strapped the pannier to the bike with a ratchet strap and collected by things from off the road.

I looked at my watch and it was 10.30 pm. By that time I was just so fed up and tired, I pulled up on the side of the track, pulled out my sleeping bag and slept in a bush.  I barely got a wink of sleep worrying about what I was going to do. Would I have enough fuel to get me to the petrol station ?, would the petrol station even have fuel ?, would my  credit card let me get cash out ?, would I be able to get back to Buenos Aires for a new passport ?? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

The next morning I packed up my things and made my way down another dirt track to a small town where hopefully there was fuel and thankfully there was !! YAY !! I filled up and rode 180 miles down another crappy road at 40 mph to get me to something which resembled civilization. I pulled up in San Julian on the RTA 3. The same town I stayed at on the way south 6 weeks ago. My credit card gave me a wedge of pesos, i ate for the first time in 30 hours and I finally sighed a breath of relief. I wasnt out of the crap yet but at least I knew I had fuel and cash…

I reported my things lost to the police and made a plan to get back to Buenos Aires, where I can get a new passport, documents and repair my bike.. For the last 5 days I have ridden 6 hours a day to get north. Im now 300 miles away from Buenos aires, Dakar Motos and friendly faces !!!

Im knackerd, smelly , pissed off and skint but as long as there is sunshine and cold beer, ill be cracking on !!

P.S. Sorry there are no pictures. My camera is either burried in gravel or being used by a local farmer to take sexy pictures of his cows !! 🙂

18 Responses to “A matter of Yin, Yang and the Rta 40”

  1. Boring Bob in Blighty  Says:


    Chin up mate, I’m sitting in a shitty office in Bristol (with a cup of tea admittedly)dreaming of a trip like yours. Sounds like you’ve just had a real downer, but I can assure you it beats staying at home! Keep the blogs coming and buy a new camera soon – the pics are great!! All the best mate (though we’ve never met!)

  2. Ted  Says:

    Cheers for the word of assurance mate !!

    Things are looking up… A nightmare of paperwork awaits me in Bsas though,.

    Time for beer 🙂

  3. lucy  Says:

    Tut tut tut.

  4. Reggie  Says:

    Hi Matey,

    I read your comments on the HUBB, told many of your mates from Millenium and they all wish you a safe and straightforward continuation of your journey. So let us know if we can help at this end.

    Soon things willl change and this glitch will be forgotten.

  5. Ian  Says:

    Aww Ted – My heart goes out to you.

    I thought shit like that only happened to me!

    I know it’s probably not exactly what you would want to hear, but one day when you’re a crusty old pensioner you’ll be boring the grandchildren about your adventures in south America. These are the kind of things that make a trip like yours into an adventure.

    Try to stay positive.

  6. Danquart  Says:

    Hi Ted,
    shit luck but could be the last shit luck You will have during the rest of your” getting better all the time trip!
    You are taking the blow like a man, my friend.
    Best of everything and…. “Bon voyage”

  7. Darren  Says:

    After those events anymore challenges that come your way will be like childs play. Best of luck sorting everything, enjoy the rest of your trip.

  8. Tom  Says:

    I know how you felt on that day at that moment. It will probably be the low point of an awesome trip where the highs will obliterate the lows. You’re obviously a man of character. You’re being tested and prepared for a future where the character you’re building today will serve you well. Best luck to you and…Keep the faith!

  9. mojorising  Says:

    Hey Up Marra,

    Just been reading that you have located your bag. Great mate. There are days that will challenge the best of us but you are a one in a million & you have the character, Houmour & Kahunas as they say to carry on. I hope the best for you for the rest of your trip & keep going. Good Luck.


  10. Smokehouse  Says:

    Dude if any one can get through this you can. I have never doubted your resourcefulness. I have every confidence that you will get through this and live to tell the tale. BTW I am looking at getting a Transalp for 2011 assuming you will want to do this again. Kath has got us some logs for Tedstock and I have plans. All will be revealed when you get home my friend. Till then keep posting.

  11. Big Sir  Says:

    I have absolutely no doubt that you will arrive at the embassy in Buenos Aires. When you get there, you will walk up the steps and something will catch your attention. You will look down and it will be a lottery ticket. You pick it up and check the website later and find out you have become a multi-billionare. This is just the kind of jammy luck you have. So, until then, soldier on, and if you wanna buy me a nice villa in Spain with your winnings, I wouldn’t say no!

    Mucho suerte senor.

  12. Ted Magnum  Says:

    Well guys !! Thanks for all the positive words.

    There is a glimmer of hope… My documents have been found and are theoretically on the way to where I am staying. Camera and cash gone but lets hope my documents survive the Argentian version of the Royal Mail…. Fingers crossed !!!

  13. Big Sir  Says:

    Thats what I mean by jammy luck! Who found the documents and how did they manage to locate you???! This story just gets more and more intriguing.

    PS: What have you bought me for my birthday?! 😉

  14. IsleOf  Says:

    Dude, what luck? May have been a nightmare at the time but later in life youll be able to impress the girls with such tales. Hope all the right docs are still in the bag and the rest of your journey is a great adventure.

  15. Big Sir  Says:

    Dude, I got your postcard from Antarctica! Thanks very much!

  16. Dodger  Says:

    Glad to hear you got your documents back Ted .
    Your travel reports are very good ,interesting reading them when it’s -37C outside here in Canada .
    Your ability to get into and then out of trouble is amazing .
    Stay safe .

  17. Shells  Says:

    Well, I reckon that’s your fair share of crap for quite some time!
    I would have given you a tissue if you cried 🙂

    Amazing times Ed. Dorothy and I wish we were on a similar adventure.

    Now, do you think you can stay out of trouble for just a little while?

    Big hugs,

  18. Reggie  Says:

    Eh Up Ted, ake a guess where’s re-opened under new owners? Yep Millenium! So when are you expected back in the UK and do you fancy a return to work?

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