Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Home Sweet Home Sweet Home but I wish I was doing something else

I arrived back home today marking the end of the journey. I have to say that it is not easy being home. I have produced a slide show of the journey. I apologise that it is a tad longer than I had hoped and some of the shots, not too many, are already on the blog.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Caught a flight to Chicago, with Louise, to see Great Big Sea, a Newfoundland band well known amongst Newfoundland band enthusiasts. The gig was awesome and I wondered why it had taken me so long to go and see them. Chicago also turned out to be a nice city.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Good Old Uncle Sam

Quite a painless flight to LA and I even got 3 or 4 hours sleep. The first for me on a plane. I was heartened to find a US customs official who was really friendly and genuinely personally interested in what I had been doing. A friend then gave me a lift from LA to San Diego. Much to my delight this suburb of San Diego is surprisingly nice. So much so that I have dedicated the next few blog entries to it. My friend was attending a seminar held at the local university. It just so happens that it is 100m from a surf beach so the students in their free periods just throw on their wetsuits grab their boards and head for the beach. Very cool!

Monday, 15 March 2010

Buenos Aires is ok for a city

Since I am having to spend time in Buenos Aires waiting for my flight here are some more photos. It is actually a nice city.
Dog owners seem to be able to leave their dogs in this fenced in area and the 'dog walkers' then take them for a promenade.
Also went to see Evita's grave. Already seen it before but unlike Iguazu Falls and Torres del Paine it was just as uninteresting as last time.

A quick fact. Buenos Aires and Montivideo both lie on the River Plate which is the widest river in the world measuring 220km at its mouth.

This immense sculpture uses hydraulics to close its petals at night. Also driven by hydraulics is this car park. Drop you car off and it is then picked up placed on the lift and taken for storage on the upper floors. The wonder of technology.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Making the most of my time in Buenos Aires without Maisie

Though I was having second thoughts I took a very touristy bus tour around the sites of the city. It turned out to be very good and I saw some great sites and met some good people.

I tried my hand at a few static tango poses and it was clear that my previous salsa training had paid off. We can but dream.

I was then brought down to earth by a couple of experts.

At one of the cities football stadiums the guide asked us if we had heard of Maradona. The English replied that unfortunately they had.

Not God's hand but mine.

and yet more dancing. This time a kind of tap.

and finally a few more shots of Buenos Aires which resembles a European city. This tower is the English Tower which was paid for and built by the English community in 1906 and stands directly opposite the square dedicated to those who were killed in The 'FALKLANDS'. A tad ironic.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

How can she breath?

Back in Buenos Aires I met up with some old friends that I met along the ride. Then it was a case of taking Maisie to the airport and getting her ready for the flight home. Quite sad seeing her trussed up and wrapped in cling film. This really is the end. I will keep the blog going until I get back to the UK. Even as I pulled up at the shippers I was finding people to help me.

Can I just say thanks to all of you that have helped and supported me prior to the trip and over the last 10 months. Those of you that are still out there discovering the world on 2 wheels ride safely and have a great time.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Mach II Ride Back to Buenos Aires (well at 94.324Km/h Maisie's Cruising Speed)

In Ingleses I decided to visit Los Angeles before returning to the UK. I found a flight on 15 March that was $500 cheaper than all other flights. So it was easy to make the decision to take that flight. This meant that I would need to be back in Buenos Aires asap in order to get Maisie ready for her sad journey home. So it meant averaging 600km per day which to Maisie meant pushing the envelope of the sound barrier. The first day to Puerto Alegre was wet but we saw a tornado and the effects of a landslide. If you look closely you can just make it out to the right of the red rubbish bin.

As I followed Graham and Sue through Puerto Alegre a car went past us in a very big hurry. It pulled into a police checkpoint, the occupent jumped out and flagged down Graham. Too late for me to stop so I rode on and stopped about 100m further on. Graham and Sue climbed off and I hid my bike down a side road. No point in me getting knicked for the same offence as them. So I tried to watch from my vantage point. I continued to watch for the next hour thinking that if they were there that long it must be a serious offence. Then I saw the police having their photograph taken by the motorbike. Time to find out what was happening. It turns out that Charles who we met in Coyhaeque a was the 'copper'. How unlikely was that?
Graham, Sue and I parted company the next morning and I continued flat out towards Buenos Aires. I passed into Uraguay via . This town straddles the border and the immigration and customs were located in non descript offices on opposite sides of the city. It could have gone horribly wrong but it went very well. Stayed in Tacuarembo and crossed back into Argentina the next day. Headed back onto the infamous Ruta 14 and police that target tourists . I followed speed limits etc to the letter.

Bit of a sad day since this was the last proper riding day of the trip :-((

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Brighton for the Brazilians

Having a rest day in Ingleses which is one of the holiday hotspots on the Florianopolis Peninsular or more correctly Ilha de Santa Catarina. Quite a nice place for a tourist location. The beach is long, clean and a welcome break from sitting on Maisie. What is not so welcome is the tons of water currently falling from the sky.

The road here from the Falls was quite uninteresting. The difference between the economies 0f Argentina and Brazil is huge and noticeable as soon as the border is crossed. Brazil is far more affluent, organised and free trade is clearly working since you can actually get good value for money. The roads are full of trucks as goods are continually being moved around.

That said we have witnessed and seen the effects of some appalling, testosterone fuelled driving. Numerous lorries on their sides and at each police checkpoint they stockpile the vehicles involved in RTAs.

The owner of this car almost took out Graham, cutting him up with inches to spare. He then decided to sit 3 feet off my number plate.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Nature Quiz

Just a short general knowledge nature quiz to give you some mental gymnastics.

Answer the questions that relate to the photo that follows it. Answers can be found on the post dated 27 Feb 2010.

Good luck!
1) How many yellow butterflies?

2) How many legs has this lizard got?
3) What colour are the leaves?

4) What is the name of the citrus fruit that comes to mind when looking at the coulour of this flower?

5) What happens to the face of some people if they get a bee sting on it?
6) what is the name of this animal?

7) What is this lizard eating?

8) What is the family name for butterflies and moths?

9) Which arachnid does this monkey share its name with?

10) What is the name of this animal?

11) What is this?

12) If this ant bites you will it hurt?

13) Which military skill is this moth good at?

14) How many legs has this insect?

15) What is this butterfly's favourite number?

16) What does this lizard like to eat?

17) Is this a pretty bird?