Tag Archives: Buenos Aires

Mountain Biking Stories


Prepping for a year out of the country, Sarah and I considered what is most dear to us, recreationally. Sarah readily embraces her stand-up paddleboard (SUP), an inflatable model that can support two adults and a mid-sized dog. Dear to me is a bicycle, of any sort, but most especially one suited for off-road terrain. A bicycle also serves as redundant transportation, in a way, if we were unwilling (or unable) to move our vehicles. Top of the list, then, were added one paddleboard and three mountain bikes.

But which bike? The knee-jerk reaction is “My favorite one!” Then, however comes the realization that your favorite steed will be subjected to the elements for close to a year, draw the eye of those looking to remove you of your bicycle, and quite possibly be damaged while it is on the vehicle (either due to a collision or bikes clacking against each other on or off-road) not to mention being subjected to the dirt and grime from driving nearly 12,000 miles. My faithful Ibis mojo 3, my absolute favorite bike to ride, was quickly dismissed, as the bike is just too nice to abuse and too attractive for theives.

After further weighing these considerations, the obvious next choice was my old Ibis tranny. The frame had been damaged in a crash (what better bike to take than one that had been previously damaged?) and I had a slew of mid-level parts for it, plus a wonderfully wide wheelset that gleefully soaks up washboard. As the immense pressure of preparing two vehicles for a year out of the country came bearing down upon us, however, the feasibility of completing another relatively complex repair and rebuild side project quickly fell to the bottom of the list. Not to mention that the lively orange paint would attract a lot of attention.

Amongst the turbulence of our imminent departure, my eye settled on my covid-era mountain bike: made by Giant, this bike was conceived to go fast, world-cup fast, by riders a lot younger than me. And as mentioned, it was my covid-era mountain bike. A bike purchased when frame repair was backlogged for months and such a crushing demand existed for new bicycles that you had to take what you could find. It was in those times that I found this Giant.

And while stupid expensive and not made for idly touring another country, this mostly black frame and components (with splashes of dark blue) and  super-subtle labels does not draw any attention. The proof of this being that, after two months driving around Argentina, I have yet to receive a single question about it. Perfect.

La Redonda camping at Chapamala, Argentina

Marcela the campground host extrodinare l! Marcela is the local English teacher as well. She gives a great walking tour into a local forest that we would not have found otherwise. She also can explain about the paletenologic findings in this area.

For our second camp along the Argentinan coast traveling South in the Buenos Aires Provincia, we stopped at the La Redonda camping area. $4000 pesos/day for 3 people (kids under 15 free), 2 vehicles. Dogs allowed. Unique to this camp is it’s conservation efforts through recycling, compost, solar panels and no electricity supplied to camp spots. The camp is clean, quiet and a great place to rent either an open camp spot or one with a camper already in place.

Family walk in the woods.

Here we stayed on the cliffs above 2  beaches. I could see the ocean from my bed in the camper which made the sunrise each morning a delite without any effort. The daily routine was coffee on the cliff with camp friends to talk about travel, life, language, and experiences along the Atlantic Coast. Then a dip in the ocean, smoothie in camp, a bike ride to the estancias inland, return to watch the surf and catch up with new friends in camp. The beaches have lifeguards, a surf school (6,000 pesos/person/1.5 hour). There is an active surf culture here. Wetsuits needed.

I have to say, I really loved getting to know a group of friends from CABA here who I don’t want to lose track of as we travel through Argentina.

In Chapamala, there are the stores and restaurants you need to keep you in all the foods and supplies you need in camp. There is a Feria of local Artsesans that I didn’t catch but was told that it’s unique and worth seeing. There is thrift storing as well which is beginning to be a thriving business as inflation continues here. Also, a tea house which has been here for 20 years but now has gained so much popularity, you need a reservation. Because of the pandemic, people are building in this area seeking the life outside of the city. It’s close to Mar del Plata but doesn’t feel close. Locals are feeling the pressure of this development.

Link to our first camp experience in Argentina: https://gogirlinvest.com/2023/01/02/argentina-atlantic-coast-in-our-campers-propane-sites-and-new-years/

Link to a podcast explaining our trip: https://gogirlinvest.com/2022/11/30/november-2022-podcast-interviewing-couple-traveling-south-america-with-teens-and-dog/

Argentina Atlantic Coast in our campers: Propane, sites and New Years

First night camping in Argentina

Argentinans love camping and the country has sooo many beautiful and varied landscapes that not camping here would be tragic on a long trip. There are established and wild campsites all along the Atlantic Coast of Argentina. We are using local and ioverlander recommendations to find spots.

December through February are the height of the beach season in Argentina which corresponds with school vacations and hotter weather. We are starting our camp travels just in time to celebrate my Birthday and New Years at Nueva Atlantis (a pick from ioverlander), south of Buenos Aires. To those who have been following this journey, we finally were able to pick up our camper trucks!!!! No negativity here, just happy to be on the road!

While waiting for our camper trucks to clear customs in Buenos Aires, we had adventures in Colombia, Uruguay and waiting time in Buenos Aires (other posts cover these stays). An Argentinan friend of ours, Javier, helped a ton with customs in Buenos Aires and let us park our trucks in front of his house in Guernica outside Buenos Aires while we did some final prep for our trip.

Our luck also was that Javier owns a hardware store “Ferriteria de Dalle Piane’s y Hijos” Guernica, in Buenos Aires Provincia. US propane tanks are not legal to fill in Argentina despite reading some travelers experience of success. If you need the set up, contact Javier by WhatsApp or go to the shop through Facebook below:


Here, propane tanks require Argentina certification stickers to allow a fill. Our tanks don’t have these so, we bought a 10 kilo standard Argentinan tank, drained it into our two 8 kilo tanks in Javier’s yard and we were set. Javier gave us the tubing we needed so we can repeat the process down the road. We did the drain and fill outside using gravity and a lot of time. See photo below for set up.

Our US tank now ready for use.

We left Guernica (Buenos Aires area) for Nueva Atlantis 12/29 heading for our first official camping trip in South America. We are 4 months into our year long trip.

Nueva Atlantis is a small beach city along the Argentinan Atlantic Coast. There are many homes for sale and rent here as well as camping. We spent 4 nights here going to the beach, into town, visiting with neighbors for my birthday and New Years. People go to the beach to shout in the New Year and then listen to live music in the restaurant at the campground.
Birthday dinner cooked by “Chef” Alejandro. These guys have been coming to the camp for the past 10 years for New Years. This dish was asado, tomatoes, oregano, bay leaves, onion, peppers, sal and potatoes. So delicious over a BBQ. So grateful to Chef for this birthday surprise.
Nueva Atlantis beach
Midnight to welcome 2023.
You can rent a campervan in Argentina
But, this was my most favorite camp set up. Love the whole thing: colors, attitude and can do spirit!
On our way to the next camp, Milanesa (huge sandwiches with breaded fried beef) and Papas Fritas!
Entering Mar del Plata where we drove to the end of a pier to watch Sea Lions and see the city by car.
Sea Lions in Mar del Plata, colder day, perfect for these guys.
Mar del Plata, proud of it’s Sea Lions
Jan 1, 2023 South of Mar del Plata in La Rodando camp: 4200 pesos ($~13) for 3 adults, 2 vehicles (under 15 free, dogs free). Beaches for swimming, surf, boogie boards and kayaking. No electricity or hot water but there are clean bathrooms and outside showers. Recycling and compost disposal available. Unique in Argentina at this time.
Jan 1-4?, 2023
Marcela, the owner of our campsite here shared this drone footage of their place.

To friends and family considering joining us on the road, please just do it. Our itinerary and lifestyle here are very flexible. The exchange rate in Argentina is even better than the “official” rate you will see online. Google “dollar blue” to determine your actual conversation rate. Great time to explore this area. Plus, everyone is super tranquilo having just won the World Cup.

One more recommendation, there are way too many great places to see. Please don’t stress about seeing the most popular places, just pick a place and allow enough time to explore, make happy “mistakes” and meet some great people along the way. The most popular places tend to involve needing more money, spending time in lines and experiencing more stress than necessary. So far, honestly, the most back water places have been the best and unique.