12th-13th January – San Martin to Mendoza

John’s Roho (BMW F650) is playing up. The oil light sometimes comes on. This is a worry even though we think it is a minor fault. However, you can’t take chances, so we have to get to the nearest BMW dealer which is in Mendoza, 1300 kms away.

We get up at 6.00 and hit the road at 7.00. It’s a beautiful day and fresh at 7.00am.

We make fantastic progress until we need to get petrol…..

The dreaded queue for petrol...this one took 2.5 hours!

You guessed it…no petrol!

We eventually find another garage with a queue about 50 meters long. It takes 2.5 hours!

There is a serious fuel problem in Argentina. We just don’t realise how efficient our system is at home. we take everything for granted.

Another problem here is that there is no self service and there are not enough attendants…. so it takes FOREVER!

Dry and dusty road again!


Dry and desolate but magnificent


Typical scenery

We only manage 55o Kms that day and stop at the tiniest desert hamlet called Barancolis. It literally has about 50 houses.

Our Hostel in Barancas (Population about 100)

We find a terrific little Hostel. It’s one of the best rooms we had since our flash Hotel in Buenos Aires. It costs $20 each for B & B.

John and find a “restaurant.” Actually it’s someones house and we are the only customers…In fact we are the only visitors in town!.

The Restaurant in Barancas...opened especially for us

The owners are playing with their kids in the street when we arrive. Within seconds a table is carried out and placed on the pavement. The owner then hoses down the dusty street for our comfort!

John and I dining "al fresco"

We are plonked on chairs and a mug of dubious wine arrives. We have a “Veal Milanaise’ which has a worrying colour…I would say ” I chose poorly” but there really was no choice!

The next day starts at 7.00 again…..and to our horror we hit more RIPIO.

Johns emergency warning signal comes on and my pannier snaps again (different place to the last) Anyway, we push on and get to Mendoza at about 7.00pm. Tired and hungry but pleased to have achieved the goal.

En route we meet four English bikers from Manchester. They  came over to see the Dakar rally and missed everything because they got the places wrong! Anyway they had hired some bikes in Chile and were having the time of their lives!

I’m impressed with Mendoza. It is a beautiful place. It could be a capital City. It has grand buildings and lovely squares. There are wide streets and lots of cafe’s etc. it is the centre of Argentina’s wine industry.

They also have THE BEST ice cream here!

We will spend the weekend here and front up to BMW on Monday. I might get Azulo serviced by BMW!!!!!! to save time but not money I suspect!

I’ll add pictures of Mendoza later


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