Saturday, 30 April 2011

at last riding again

A steady ride today of 400 odd km. Ended up at a place called Las Palomas and checked into a hotel at this surf spot. I think that the surf was away for the weekend in Hawaii or somewhere. The place was practically deserted so I asked an old couple for a hotel and knew that it was time to leave when they asked me if I believed in God. Unfortunately this guy should have a permanent soap box in Leicester Square and so it was a while before I got to the hotel they had recommended. Before unpacking I went to look at the local lighthouse which was open to the public and I now know how a snail must feel inside its shell.
Whilst at the top I met Lorena and Sergio from Buenos Aires and they were staying at the local hostel and paying peanuts. Not having paid the hotel and with Daisy still loaded I decided to check out the hostel where I got my own dorm for the price of a mixed one. There were only 3 of us in the hostel which was moy or is it mucho bueno. Apparently it all depends if the subject is a noun or a adjective at least that is what my Spanish teacher tells me. At the lighthouse I could only be impressed by the skydiving abilities of local anchors. This one managed to hit the target though it seems to have forgotten its parachute.
Beer and cheese was enjoyed by Sergio, Lorena and myself as we waited for the daily visit from a local mouse that often made an appearance to eat the grapes from the vine that produced a canopy over the courtyard. My Argentinian friends asked me if I was hungry and then offered to cook me dinner. Is the pope a Catholic? We did not have mouse but pasta since from its absence I think the local cat had the mouse. My looks have served me well again or is it because Sergio and Lorena are just really nice people?

I found that the hostel had an interesting line in local art. Make of them what you will!

Friday, 29 April 2011

and he is off!

So today I managed to get on the road, well the water anyway as I took the ferry across The Rio del Plata (River Plate) to Colonia in Uruguay. Again customs surprised me and turned out to be quite straight forward. Even the sour faced officials in Uruguay got really chatty once they saw my pannier sticker 'I have no idea where I am going'. Colonia or Colonia del Sacramento to give its full name, is lovely. Apparently the weekend destination for rich Argentinians and I can see why. It was established to run goods into Argentina and so escape the monstrous importation duties. Nothing has changed there then! Met an English couple from Worcester Park, my home town, as I went for a recce/photo opportunity/run to show off my very white legs. They say that black and white go together. I beg to differ especially when it is black shorts and white legs. There also seems to be an abundance of old cars here much like Cuba.

Those of you trained in observation techniques may realise that I am looking different. After a ride out a couple of days ago I realised that I would fail 'read that number plate' section of the UK driving test. Hence a visit to an optician and 700 pesos later for an awlful pair of glasses and I have now joined the 'afflicted'. I keep forgetting that you have to wear them for any improvement in my vision.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

look on and weep

Took the bike to the Triumph dealer in Buenos Aires. They were very envious since it is not available in Argentina. Shame since it is well suited to the roads here.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Not a figment of my imagination!

She lives!!! After 6 hours doing customs type stuff at the airport I fianally managed to get my hands on Daisy. I was beginning to think that she did not exist. The Aduanna were really helpful even though we had been warned about them. Perhaps it is my good looks and charm that got me through.

That said customs would not even let me take a photo of her as she was being unpacked perhaps they were really 'special forces' personnel operating undercover as customs officials or perhaps they watch too much CSI.

Back at Dakar I recorded her good looks.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

and so we wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So what has happened since the last blog? With regards to the bike ‘sweet FA’! It has now been 2 weeks since we arrived in BA and the bike is still in customs though it has now made it to Argentina and surprisingly even to Buenos Aires. So the story to date: After being impounded my US customs and missing the onward flight we waited a week until the next scheduled flight for Centurion Cargo to BA. Incredulously that aircraft decided that the Miami hospitality was too great to miss and went defective on the airfield with the bikes loaded onboard. 24 hours later it was sorted and the extra day was small compared to the time we had already waited but was critical to the contents of our wallets. To continue! When the bikes were due to finally arrive in BA we went to the airport at the ETA to try and get ahead of the power curve but in keeping it turns out that time we had been told was when they arrived in Uruguay and it would be another 2.5 hours before BA saw the flight. Late in the afternoon and leaving insufficient time to get them through customs! No problemo the next day (Thursday would be fine). That would be too easy. It was a National holiday until Monday and we would have to pay $50ish a day for storage. So what did we do in the meantime? Had a really good weekend. We followed the advice of John (another one) who was riding a KTM 950 superenduro. So it was straight into town where we hoped to find a backpackers. Being the holiday though meant that everything was fully booked! Fortunately a B&B with only 2 rooms had space but it meant that I had to share a bed with Ian and his ‘bodily functions’. Our social life though moved from 1st to 5th gear and The Gibraltar Inn was treated to the money from our pockets. Why had we spent over a week staying at Dakar Motors?
Actually did some cultural things like going to a tango show. I will admit that the opportunity to look at fit dancers was one not to be missed. I was not prepared for the appearance of a supernatural being. The ghostly apparition of Evita proved difficult to snap even with my 'ghostbusters' camera.

Not only that but a couple of days previous I had met up with Silvana who I had not spoken to in 20 years. We travelled together for a couple of weeks whilst in Miami. The wonders of Facebook.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Round and about Buenos Aires

I must say that this is a really nice city. Friendly, clean and lots to do. Did the tourist thing and took a tour bus today.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

In Buenos Aires, still in Buenos Aires, still in Buenos Aires

Got here a couple of days ago and staying at Dakar Motors the adventure motorcycling hub in southern Argentina. This is the inside of Dakar but unfortunately there seems to be something missing. Oh yes! Daisy. Some US customs official in Miami decided that he wanted to check her out even though she was only transitting and of course UK security is no good so they were clearly justified in their actions. I wonder if it was before or after they frisked that 6 year old girl? In any case Daisy missed her connecting flight and is not due here until next Monday. The other 2 bikes are with her as well. Still smiling though!

Monday, 11 April 2011

Tuesday, 5 April 2011


Prep time

Following the last adventure I am about to depart on another. This time I will take my new bike, Daisy a brand new Triumph Tiger 800xc, from Buenos Aires to New York. It will be a fast ride since there are only 2 1/2 months available. There are 2 other guys coming along for the ride but since I have done a lot of South America already I will go from BA north, explore by myself and then meet the guys in Bolivia. We will then travel north to New York. Daisy went to the shippers yesterday and we fly on Monday 11 April. So much for me settling down!!
Saying goodbye to her friends