After returning from Chile, only about a week remained before we had to catch planes home to the US for Christmas. We started talking about how in the world we made it this far on those little scooters and how the heck we were going to make it back all that way. We looked into taking the bikes on a train from Bariloche to Viedma, but it only runs on the weekends and we would still be far from the capital. Bus lines were willing to take us and the bikes underneath, but it was expensive. Eventually, we decided to try our luck hitchhiking with truckers who might not have a full load. We started riding back the way we came, resolved to stop and ask truckers along the way. The first day riding back, we arrived in the desert pit stop town of Piedra de Aguila (Eagle Rock). We spent the night, hiked around on the surrounding red rock formations, and kept riding when we didn't see any truckers who could give us a lift. Eventually, we arrived back in Neuquen, and spent the night with a different CouchSurfer (thanks Lucrecia!). No truckers were avaiable and it was still really expensive to get back by bus, so we kept riding. After crossing the long, strait and empty road again, we stopped to sleep in Cheole Choel in a fancy-ish hotel and got some much needed rest. After sleeping in and getting a lazy start on the day, we only made it back to Bahia Blanca and crashed in the hostel. Both of us were amazed that other than the spill on the rocky road to the glacier, neither bike had a single mechanical problem whatsoever. Could our luck hold out?
The next stop was the town of Cnel. Pringles. They have a TV channel on their cable network that shows nothing but a continuous feed of cameras posted at various locations around the town. Creepy.
After rolling out of Pringles, our last stop before the Capital was the town of Roque Perez. We met up with another CouchSurfer and got an inside look on some deep-rooted small town family politics. The bikes spent the night in a candy shop while we dreamed of getting back to the city and eventually on a plane back home for Christmas.
After a terrifying bit of travel on the freeway, we found our way back to the Centro and returned the rental scooters. The guy who rented us the bikes was a little upset to say the least. We put over 3200 km on the odometers and the Black Stallion was a little scratched up. But we made it. After a goodbye meal of sandwiches with something other than salami and cheese, we parted ways and Adam left for the airport. We both made it home to our families after over 2 years of being away. Our scooter adventure in Argentina could not have been a better way to wrap up our 2 years of service in the Peace Corps.