A Trip to Remember- Marcelo Travels to Argentina.

Where in the world is Marcelo Doffo? This time he traveled to his homeland of Argentina for a thrilling adventure that included plenty of riding, racing and Argentinian wine!

“The trip overall was one the most incredible riding experiences, with truly spectacular landscapes. We rode through an amazing tropical area of Misiones, with the red soil and deep green color of the tea plantations, to the flat lands of the Corrientes province where cattle ranches are miles upon miles long, with cows as far as the eye can see. Then we went on to the dense wild forest, just north of the Salta province. We rode on the original “Ruta Nacional #9”, one of the oldest roads to Buenos Aires which is 2500 kilometers long from Salta to Jujuy, where it is only 4 feet wide at its widest!”

“The wine and the food on this trip was another culinary treat that my travel buddy, Mr. Porter and I enjoyed very much. The beef here is just incredible! We had lunch at an authentic town market in Salta, where we ate the indigenous food of the region, mostly corn based foods like humita, empanadas saltenias and Argentinian style tamales that accompany the beef.”

“The ride to Termas, where the Moto GP race took place, was another memorable ride. It was 450 Kilometers, climbing up to 8500 feet to Tafi del Valle, a small town so high in the mountains, that it looked down on the clouds to a part of the scenic heavy forest below. We rode on a twisty road, full of obstacles and debris and due to a torrential rain the night before, we encountered only one lane passes all the way down.”

“We arrived to the city where the race took place and the atmosphere was electric! The police presence all over, directing traffic and they were well organized. This was great for motorcycles since it was OK to ride and pass anywhere, even on the wrong side of the road! There were miles of cars arriving that Friday and the town was going crazy with music and exhibits. The center plaza and the surrounding areas made driving a car impossible, along with no parking available, but this was no problem for the bikes since you could park anywhere, including the side walk.”

“As it turned out, our lodging through AIRB&B, was NOT in that town. In a desperate situation, with a mild panic attack and no place to stay, this gentleman overheard our conversation and offered for us to stay at his home. He was the owner of the newspaper stand down town, that lived in a very different neighborhood.  We rode to his home, where we were greeted by his wife and daughters.  They gave us a place in the children’s quarters; an extremely humble family with a heart of gold. We had gone from a 5 star hotel in Cafayate, to a home with 5 dogs where it seemed like all the dogs in the neighborhood congregated at very early hours and barked all night long. Just one more experience to add to our adventure!”

“Finally it was time for the race!  The atmosphere in that environment was like nothing else in the world. It’s a place where anything goes, with music, alcohol and parties all over. From where we watched the race, I considered it a privilege since we had our own private suite for 11 people and museum access all to ourselves. Way to go!” 

“After the race, we decided to ride out of town and head to my home town in Cordoba. At the first gas station we talked to a group truck drivers, which had become a common situation every time we stopped. People would gather by the bikes and ask questions. It was especially pleasing because of how nice and caring everyone we encountered was, including the police at most check points and there were MANY! They told us that the next town with a decent place to spend the night was 2 hours away, and we preferred not to ride at night, so we rode to the closest town and stopped to get a hotel. It was not a very nice town and as I turned around to check for a place to stay,  I saw this motorcyclist on the side of the road.  I stopped to ask if he needed any help. He replied and said he was just taking a smoke break and told us that he had followed us from the beginning. Soon after, his wife pulled up in a car with their dog and we found out that he happened to be a surgeon from a town about 1 1/2 hours away. He called in a favor at the hotel and made a reservation for us. We rode together with his wife following behind and ended up having dinner together where we met the town mayor and all of his friends. Now, he’s my new amigo; we text often with the promise of a feast here so we can return the favor and ride in California!”

“The next morning was our final 500 km stretch. It was a cold windy morning, with lots of traffic because of the race the next day and as usual, the irresponsible ones speeding and not considering safety as a serious rule. We arrived to a town called Colonia Caroya for a coffee break at a gas station where 3 years before I met a guy on an old Ducati that belonged to his dad. He rides it everyday as his only mode of transportation. He was waiting for us with some of his friends, who greeted us with the usual friendliness. After a stop at our café  for some croissants or “media lunas”  and some pictures, we rode to my home town to have a “lechon”  in honor of  Valentino Rossi #46.  This has become a lucky charm ritual so that VR46 will keep winning.”

“As our trip came to an end, I had feelings of attachment towards the bike that l must leave behind. I began to think of all those miles, the roads that we enjoyed, the sound of the wind in my helmet, the great people that we encountered and how thankful I am for my life on two wheels.  Stay tuned for our next adventure, the Milano-Taranto ride in Italy. Till then, CIAO.

-Marcelo Doffo

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