Argentina on motorcycle by Vintage Rides : Ride To The Moon
This trip in the Argentinian North-West, it's really a remote trip in the mountains, where we will look the highest peaks of the Andes. Route 40 is really part of the myth of Argentina on a motorcycle. The Altiplano, a large plateau at 3500 meters above sea level, in the heart of the Andes.
The salars, these salt lakes on which you can ride a motorcycle, as far as the eye can see. It is an intense emotional trip. It's an intense trip, on the track, on the road. This trip, it's called Ride to the Moon.
I am Simon Vintage's new partner in Argentina for their new journey in South America. We are in the final preparations. We will cross the Andes with Himalayans. They just came out of the Buenos Aires assembly plant and it is therefore the very latest model, the BS 6. So these are the latest versions which are really ideal for the track, for what we do. We're gonna make a trip 50% track, 50% road.
We're going to climb to the top of the Andes, we're going to go over the highest passes in America. It is a country that is gigantic where there are very few habitants. In fact, we have a freedom to ride on the slopes and it's true that, it is really a pleasure, a mad pleasure. Nico is my mechanic, he is a Royal Enfield specialist, it's been years that we work together. He's really someone I trust completely, and who knows Royal Enfields by heart. With Vintage, we have teamed up for a very short time to climb this destination.
We are now a few hours away from departure. It's a big pressure today for us, it's the first trip. The riders will tell us how good or not is our trip.
We are confident. But we are still waiting for their feedback, they are the ones who will tell us. Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to come in. Welcome home. Class ! It's going to be awesome.
It's the first ten that came out of the factory, you are spoiled. So this one is lower three centimeters than the original one, which allows to have both feet on the ground. We manufacture suspension rods which are longer or shorter and suddenly, we can raise or lower the rear of the motorcycle. We are at the Chilean border to the west and Bolivian border to the north, and a tiny bit of Paraguay to the east. We leave with 8 motorcycles.
In total, therefore, eight motorcycles, two 4x4s one that will stay permanently behind and one who will be mobile in relation to the group. I introduce to you the travel guide. He's a mountain dog that I found five years ago. He's the one driving. I am behind as a passenger. He is the one who knows all tracks by heart. Come on, let's go ride.
Are we going by motorbike? This morning we go home in the primary forest just outside Salta, so small road four meters wide in the middle of the forest, it is magnificent. It's a destination which is grand. The landscapes stretch as far as the eye can see at high altitude, which is still exceptional. My name is Alex, I am the founder of Vintage Rides. I launched it in 2006. The first groups I had in the Himalayas were 2006, 2007.
And then, from 2007, 2008, people told us now we've done the Himalayas. Could you take us to Argentina? For bikers, for motorcycle travelers, for people who love road trips, who love the road, you have some countries like that, mythical, some destinations that make you dream. The Trans Himalayan in India, route 66 in the United States, and you really have route 40, this road like this, which crosses Argentina from Ushuaia to the heart of the Andes mountain range. And also from the track, very mobile, very accessible, but who brings us like this in the heart of the pampas, it's quite incredible. I am buying small Andean potatoes, It's the tiny little potato like that. that we are going to cook for tomorrow, for the picnic.
Thanks a lot. I am 52 years old I am a business manager and there, today, immediately, I live an experience in Argentina with Vintage Rides. It's more than an experience it is an adventure and I needed that. So it feeds me, And besides, you meet people that you will never come across in life. You make friends you meet people, it's really nice.
When is the T bone? T bone is for tonight. You see, there is the laguna behind me. There is a beautiful landscape, a little lunar, ochre. When I do this type of trip, for me, what is important is to experience the country. And I feel that I am connected with the country, especially on the motorcycle, because in a car, in a 4x4 you are closed, you don't feel the air, you're warm.
There you need to be in touch and I need to deserve the country. It's really the means of transport, I find the most suitable way to connect to the country, to feel the country and to eat it too. My level of motorcycle is, I would say it is average but it tends to get better precisely thanks to these outings, thanks to the guide. You watch what they do it's really instructive. Pass in the track, it's really, it's exhilarating.
Well, that's physical, it takes reflexes. The look is fundamental. That is, if you watch the bend, you risk messing around, if you look at the exit of the bend, it's incredible, it's magic, it's fluid, it passes, you have no difficulty. We don't take too many risks. There is a guide, there is a mechanic.
I'm not yet adventurous enough to go on my own, take a bike, buy one and go alone. I'm tempted, but I find that I would miss perhaps of these meetings which make the salt of the voyage. There, in fact, you have to arrive slowly in first gear, and then we put a little bit of gas on entering and we maintain gas, the idea is really not to arrive quickly and not pass quickly inside. Otherwise we make a huge spray of water and we soak.
How long have you been living here in Cusi Cusi? Since my birth. You were born here? Yes How old are you ? I am 63 years old. So here we are at Bernardo's, so we are really at the bottom of the mountain, in the Argentinian northwest, we are fifteen kilometers from the bolivian border and there is no gasoline here. There is no gas station, so we found Bernardo and who, kindly in addition, makes us the service. We're just full with five liters. Thank you very much Bernardo! Look, it's not a pretty picture, isn't that a nice selfie? My name is Cathy, I am from the Rhône-Alpes region.
My passion is motorcycling. It's always been since I was a kid. As soon as I could pass my license, I passed it behind my parents' backs. And then it must be said that I have a spouse also who likes it. So that helps. It's been a while that we wanted to come to Argentina.
Then the motorbike, you're outside you have all the smells, all the colors. We have the sun at the end of the day. Frankly, there is no one. What more? It's too good. I'm great. I want more.
Well, that's Argentina. You also have a community of enthusiasts. So even if you don't speak the same language, there is something that binds you to the other. It is the dance of the Abra del Acay. The Summit of the Americas, 4895 meters. It's also a way of discovering, of going towards the other, to discover the world, to discover other countries. Look, we see the cloud train go away there.
The cloud train, it is one of the tallest trains in the world. It's an old mine train which descended from the copper to Salta. Today it is a tourist train. It only comes once a week. Route 40, it is the mythical Argentine road. It leaves from Ushuaïa and ends at La Quiaca, on the Bolivian border. It is 5170 kilometers long along the Andes mountain range.
It really is the mythical road from South America. He lost his lamas. He lost his lamas so he was asking me if we had seen his lamas on the way up. He still has 120 llamas. I don't know how many cows and a few hens. so for someone in their 70s who lives alone in the mountains, there is still respect.
I travel to share this kind of moment. They are little pearls in the trip. The purpose of Vintage Rides, is to share with as many bikers as possible. The goal is to get as many people as possible to go on an adventure and come out of it somehow grown. Why ? Because by going on an adventure like this, we are heading into the unknown.
It's when something unexpected happens.that we are a little confronted with ourselves that we are confronted with the other, that we make encounters a little richer, and I consider that it brings us a lot. Here you can buy coca. It's the coca leaf that comes from Bolivia. We put it in the mouth, we put it between the teeth and the cheek and let it macerate. Lots of people here to endure altitude sickness take coca before riding, during and after.
It allows you to accept mountain sickness a little better. At least, that's what the locals say. We adapt, we test the local customs a bit. Welcome to the ovnipuerto of Cachi.
He's a Swiss who came here a few years ago, on vacation with his family, saw the night appear UFOs in the sky. and had a revelation, and he made a UFO-port. to receive aliens here in Cachi. A Ufo-port in Cachi! Today, we will cross a desert.
it's going to be a little hot, the trail is a bit rough. Once you are on, there are 2 red things that light up, put it next to you and you clip it inside. So there they say your airbag system is ready. And there you have two modes. The road mode when is on the road, the adventure mode you have to put every time we go on the track. In fact, it's an on-road/off-road mode When you go off-road, you put on adventure mode.
Super comfortable. In fact, from my application, I can directly switch to road mode or adventure mode. Listen. There is a little sand for a while, well it's okay at times, but there, there was
a large area with very deep, well dug furrows and I had to panic, I put the wheel where it should not and go. I am 69 years old. I have been riding motorcycles for quite a few years. It's disheartening, there is a beautiful monument there on the right.
My three passions, indeed, it's travel, motorcycle and photo. Fotografia indeed, I wonder what they might have. The three go well together and when you can combine the three, it's great, it is the case today.
Traveling by motorbike is completely different sensations than being locked up in a car, in a bus. All your senses awakened. We are closer to people too, closer to everything, and we are no longer in the journey than locked in a crate.
Motorcycle trips with Vintage Rides, it dates back to the first in 2009, it was in Rajasthan and since that date, today is the 11ᵉ. It can be done at any age if you really have the desire and the desire to do this and go off the beaten track, out of his common everyday routine, and on a motorcycle, it's all the better. off-piste, off-road,it's not easy, and then we get used to it as with everything. So good, I'm not saying that I don't drool, I don't suffer from it, I'm stressed, but I go there, as I like it, in general it passes. There, we are facing the oldest cactus in the Calchaqui Valley it's called the Grandfather cactus.
It measures more than eleven meters. Knowing that in the valley, here, cactus grow about one centimeter per year, I'll let you calculate his age. 1100 years, gorgeous ! We just arrived on Salinas Grandes, it is the largest salar in Argentina. It's 212 square kilometers, it is of volcanic origin. We are at 3450 meters above sea level. All the salars in the Andes are at about this altitude.
As you can see, there is water under our feet, and the salt density is such that in fact, the water evaporates on the surface and the salt crystallizes to harden. And we can ride a motorcycle, we can ride a car you can drive a truck. It is so hard that we can drive over it. When I arrived, it's true that I wondered if it was already slipping anyway, because it's impressive. Then come to realize that you drive on salt, it's quite fantastic.
A special feeling I never had rolled on this type of material, on salt. So you don't actually know if you're going to slip or not. And not at all in fact, it holds. We are on the moon. We ride on the moon, it's really unique landscapes. It's the first time I've seen something like this. We can't believe it, we're all amazed, fascinated, impressed.
So there, they come with a small digger, they dig the salt. the water rises to the surface and then they let the water evaporate to collect the fleur de sel. We seem to have small grains of salt in the hand. It's quite salty. My morning tea. completely different from home. What an atmosphere! The view is not the same.
I realize that we are living a truly unique moment, really incredible, we ride on a salar. The trip we did here with Vintage Rides, it really is the ultimate motorcycle trip, from the road to the track. We did 2300 kilometers this week and we saw a diversity of landscapes and a concentration of magnificent beauties. Here we really come to live the Argentine adventure in its entirety. We put ourselves on the track, we go far in the mountains, we cross very small villages where there are very few inhabitants. And it's true that to live a motorcycle adventure, it really is a perfect region. If you liked the trip here in Argentina, if you liked this little movie, and listen, subscribe to our Instagram channel, Facebook, and looking forward to seeing you on the road again.