It is 30 October 2017 and its about time I finished this story before I forget entirely and I did commit to completing this so I really should bring this blog home 🙂
I woke up to horrendous screaming sound outside which went on for a while but then it stopped as quickly as it had started so I rolled over and tried to get some more sleep as I did not have to be anywhere until my plane left at 2300 this evening.
I woke up again and I saw Negrita the cat out of the corner of my eye eating from her bowl and it look like she had a bit of red wire caught on her tale that she may need some help removing.
It turned out the screaming I heard earlier was Negrita she had been attacked by something and somehow got her tail caught in something, which had stripped her tail down to bone, which looked to me like a strip of red wire! It was if like someone had taken some wire strippers to the end her tale! YUK!
Javier and Sandra took of that morning to take Negrita to the vet and I spent the morning sorting my kit. I had decided to dump a lot of kit and I should be travelling light but as mentioned before I am a hoarder and I find it difficult to throw stuff away or leave anything so of course I brought back loads of crap that was neither any use nor ornament.
My plane this evening was not until 2300 so in theory I did not have to be at the airport until 2100 so I had loads of time to kill but as you know I am paranoid about being late so I was itching to leave.
Javier and Sandra had returned from the Vet and we ordered lunch to be delivered which is a tradition here at Moto Dakar and I had ordered my last Lomito sandwich and with all the folks who were staying at Moto Dakar we had lunch in the back yard.
Talking to Adam and he tells me has more than 6,000 e-books that he had downloaded (illegally!) from the Internet and would I like a copy. It’s the end of my trip but hey why not you can never get enough reading material for my Kindle so a huge data transfer was the next exercise for the day.S
This seemed to take for ever and I was getting nervous as I needed to get to the airport (I still had loads of time spare but my being late paranoia of missing my plane was setting in) I Finally uploaded 6,469 books so plenty of reading material for the coming years!
Said goodbye to everyone then headed to the station it is about 2PM so way to early but I wanted to get moving.
I got the local train to Buenos Aires Central, as I knew I could get an airport bus from there. That was the theory!
Got to the main station of Buenos Aires and as I walked outside it was total chaos. It is normally very busy outside the station but today it was bedlam traffic in total gridlock and loads of folks on the street. Something is happening here but as yet I have no idea what it is. I make my way to the bus station treading my way through the stationery traffic I get there and I head for the ticket office and in my best Spanish I ask “one ticket to the airport por favour”. I get some response, which I could not comprehend or maybe I could, but my brain just didn’t want to accept the answer. It turned out all the main roads around Buenos Aires were being blocked and there was a huge general strike taking place. This explained the gridlock I had witnessed outside but it did not answer the question on how on earth am I going to get to the airport with all main roads being blocked in that direction and no one knew when the roads would be clear.
It was suggested I get a taxi cab as they may be able to find a route not using the main routes and I could get to the airport that way and there was to be no buses running anytime soon or today.
So I headed back into the gridlock traffic with this new plan in mind but the rest of the folks at the bus station where also using this plan and the traffic was not moving outside and very few taxis to be seen and they had the monopoly currently so this could be an expensive endeavour even if I could find an available taxi.
I went to a large hotel opposite the station and there was free taxi there I had a chat with the driver about getting to the airport he said it was possible but will take a long time I had been joined by another English Guy who was also desperate to get to the airport and we did a deal as there was no other real options and we trickled into the gridlock traffic travelling at a snails pace as the traffic was going nowhere fast. We passed the bus station and we picked up two more passenger two girls who also needed to catch a plane and we set of in the direction of the airport avoiding the main roads but as was everyone else we were not getting anywhere fast.
It was fun trip chatting to my fellow passengers playing games and generally killing time as the taxi crawled through the traffic to the airport.
I cannot remember the names of my fellow passengers but a pleasant company they were all a bit more stressed than I was as there planes were a lot earlier than mine.
We got to the airport at about 2100 my fellow passengers said goodbye rushed of to catch their planes after splitting the bill and I walked casually to the check in as I was bang on time for mine (Smug smile and happy that my paranoia about being late for train/bus/plane had kicked in as if I had left later with the view that nothing would go wrong I would have missed my plane)
Plane left Buenos Aires at 2300 so time for a McDonalds for my diner and then to the plane. We landed in Sao Paulo Brazil at 0200 to pick up more passengers and then on to Istanbul Turkey I am slowly heading in the direction of home well sort of.
Arrived in Istanbul Turkey at 2135 in the evening I have no idea what time it is in my body and my flight for Amsterdam does not leave until 0820 the following day so consider heading into Istanbul for the night or getting a Hotel here at the Airport for the night but I did not like either options so find a bench and crash for a kip and then spend the rest of the evening roaming the airport watching the clock slowly move towards my departure time.
A short flight to Amsterdam arriving at 1100 and I was back in the Netherlands. Good flight thanks to Turkish Airlines reasonable price it was cold compared to Argentina and I got the train back to The Hague and I presumed the position on my leather couch reflecting not only on this chaotic trip back from Argentina but also on the last year and what I had done. Wow 🙂