Part 1 - Across Patagonia to Tierra del Fuego on Four Old Harleys
It’s early December, Wuerzburg, Germany. 4 Harley-Davidsons are being strapped down in their crates. Destination: The end of the world. The itinerary: Buenos Aires, Ruta 40, Ushuaia. The obstacles: broken down planes, cracked gearboxes, bottomless gravel, winds from a cannon.
Three weeks after the bikes have left Europe, the 4 Patagonian Riders Joe, Paul, Tommy and Volker leave for Buenos Aires, to straddle their 74 cu. in. V-twins: Paul’s “46 rigid Knuckle on 19 inch wheels, as hand-shifted and foot-clutched as Joe’s “47 Knuckle with long-range 5 gallon tanks. Next is Volker’s heavily modified off-road Evo Sportster. This one had huge carrying capacity for Volker’s photographic equipment added. Last is Tommy’s Panhead, Panama-mud proven in an earlier outing.
There’s bad news right at the start: at the airport we meet the DHL manager who gets our adrenaline pumping by telling us that the bikes are still in Europe, the airplane is AOG in Amsterdam, which means, “not going anywhere in the near future”. No plan B available. Not Yet.
Over the Atlantic the riders ponder a lenghty Harley-free stay in Buenos Aires. But, there is good news as well: passing the Argentine customs is a cinch, the climate is hot, but damp, and the locals receive us with overwhelming warmth and friendliness. Alberto, and his buddy Flavio have organized a grandiose “asado”, meaning an orgy of steak, steak and steak. They even make room in their homes so the Patagonian Riders can rest their heads.