Tag Archives: Buenos Aires

Turrialba to Palmar Norte, Saturday, 1 December 2012, Day 151

And yes the sun does come out occasionally here been a while

Free Coffee and I got chatting with the young Dutch girl Lisette who was the owner of Casa de Lis. An expat girl who has lived all over the world as daddy worked for Shell sounds familiar. Nice chat gave me some ideas for my route South but they all went straight out the window. I said ta ta to Dave and Lis hit the chaotic traffic of Turrialba I filled the bike up and before I knew it was whizzing along empty roads and the sun was shining and life was good. All I needed was a nice place for breakfast with a view good cup of coffee and some eggs. Well just as I was thinking that I came round a corner and there was a coffee plantation with all of the above. Bloody hell I am one hell of a jammy bastard so a  nice breakfast enjoying the scenery the sun is out and its not to hot this is quite close to ideal as you can get.I hit the road again nearly getting squished by a huge lorry coming up the hill 2 abreast fortunately I had spotted them so I managed to pull to the side friendly waves from both lorry drivers. I spent the rest of the morning whizzing around the mountains thoroughly enjoying myself except for one thing that last of cup of coffee or maybe it was the eggs had triggered something and I had the screaming habdabs’ and my arse was on a hair trigger. I finally found some loos only problem no loo roll but now being totally fluent in Spanish I was able to find a chap who could get me some so what’s Spanish for wipe me arse as I am not sure we did that one in Spanish lessons.

Whizzing around the mountains pleasant way to spend a morning

So a lot lighter I headed for Cartago as I was only going round in circles in the mountains enjoyable but going nowhere. Back on the Pan American but first I had to find it and when I was on it was not sure I had the right road as there are no signs and my GPS was as much use as a one legged man in an arse kicking contest. I resorted to asking for directions and getting confirmation that I was on the right road. I was expecting the road to be like the one I had been on yesterday full of trucks but it was deserted another reason why I was doubting that I was on the right road. It was a mountain road that kept getting higher and as it went higher it got cooler and soon it was down to 11 degrees centigrade I must be very high. Then over to the other side and into the cloud so no visibility and it began to rain. Again not enough to stop to put on my waterproofs and the temperature rising as I came slowly down the mountain.

On the way up I came up behind a police car that was crawling along doing 50km there where double yellow lines so I was not planning on passing them but this went on for miles I think they where trying to tempt me into getting frustrated and doing something silly but nope just settled in behind them for what seem like ages until they turned of and I had the road to myself again but checking my mirrors just in case they done a sneaky and pulled back out to follow me.

So damp slow run into San Isidiro due to conditions I am tired and my original plan of getting to Golfito gone out the window as I had spent to much time this morning whizzing around the mountains and I slow going due to weather conditions so pull over fill up the bike again and have a short break which is unusual for me as I normally keep on rolling I must be tired. So a new plan I am going to Buenos Aires purely for the reason if I do not make it to Brazil I can always say without lying that I have been to Buenos Aires only I will know this one is in Costa Rica. Its getting late and Buenos Aires really does not have much about and no places that I would like to stay I see a sign for hotel but its 14km down a dirt track so not today this boy is to tired. So I did my normal Philly optimistic planning and said there will be something better down the road so I kept on rolling. It was dry and I was following a huge pretty river down through a valley, which was nice, but I in the back of my mind I knew it was late in the day as the colours and light where nice and if I was not careful I would be stuck in the middle of know where and I was already in the middle of know where. I passed a couple of places that I declined due to my weird optimism that there will be something better further down the road. It was about 5.15pm and the sun was dropping fast when I saw sign for Palmar Norte 10km and I knew there where hotels there according to Julies Lonely planet from 1994 which I had borrowed from her and I had pulled it out and was occasionally consulting it. It was just getting dark when I arrived in town I did a quick tour saw no hotels oops but there where a couple of Chinese Restaurant that had cabanas and one of them was in the 1994 lonely planet so that was going to be home for the night as it was now dark. I have not said it for while but Philly you are a prick taking unnecessary risk when you know you could have stopped way earlier and risking running in the dark your cardinal rule number one not to ride in the dark!

Place I am staying is a bit of a shit hole but not many options as I had left stopping till the last possible moment and it has no WI-FI so went into town looking for Internet Café most towns have loads of these here but I could not find one I finally found one but he was closing then I noticed a sign down an alley so I had found the only other Internet place in town. Normally I would not bother about the Internet but I have another border crossing tomorrow so wanted to have a vague idea on what the process was but as usual with last minute research I am confused as hell as this this is the  first mention of mandatory insurance for Panama I have insurance already so I am not sure if I will have to buy some locally as well so looks like it will be fun and games tomorrow. I spent an hour on the net then I wandered around town not much to see just two streets I was looking for something to eat but nothing takes my fancy so I default to the Chinese Restaurant attached to the Cabana I am staying in and Fried Rice with chicken and ham. I think I have eaten more Chinese than local food but hey who cares when I was in China spent my time looking for Mexican or none Chinese food so guess that the way I am put together I like non local food whenever I am abroad. Back to my room and yippee this is now up to date but who knows when it will be published, as I am not having much luck on the Internet front these days. I do hope someone out there is actually reading this as it is quite exhausting keeping this blog going so some responses please just so I know that all my effort is not in vain and I am not just talking to myself 🙂

Hate the little bastards grrr!

A couple of observations on Latin America bikers do not wave to each other here much but occasional they do beep their horn so I am not sure of the protocol here so I give an small wiggle of my fingers that if ignored I can pretend I was only stretching my hands as there is nothing worse than a none returned wave.

People keep flashing me and at first I thought they where warning me of danger up ahead or police up ahead seemingly that is not the case but they are flashing me as I have my headlights on permanently and that is unusual here so they are warning me that my lights are on. Not much I can do, as they cannot be turned of much to the frustration it seems of the locals. Occasionally they are warning me against cops further down the road but I am never certain  what the flash is for!

Costa Rica has a good way of collecting the rubbish there are large baskets in villages suspended high above the ground keeps it in one place keeps the dogs and other animals out and looks a lot tidier so great idea neighbouring countries should take note.

Azul to Buenos Aires, Saturday, 16 February 2013,Day 228

Clean me, Get me some new tyres, and some new oil and tell that funny looking bird to stop staring at me!

I crawled out of my tent and I started pulling my stuff together as it starts to spread out when I stay more than one night in one place. It is already quite hot so a slow process but I was not in a hurry as I was only doing a short run of about 300km to Buenos Aires. Jorge had popped out so I was ready to leave and unsure when he was coming back so left without saying goodbye and saying thank you so I will do it here. Jorge great place you run had a very relaxing time I had so I am a bit more refreshed than when I arrived so thanks.

I hit the road and it was hot and again the scenery was not at all very interesting so I put my head down and headed for the capital. Today’s problem was not the wind even though it was still a bit blowy but the roads. This was not only today but the last couple of days the roads here are so worn out that in places the tarmac has two tracks which are very deep where the trucks combined with the heat have melted two deep ruts into the tarmac , so it is a bit like being on a dirt road however the problem is that on dirt road the sides of the ruts are usually quite soft with this its tarmac so it is solid so the first time I hit this I was following a truck and then the bike started moving all over the road as it hit these tarmac berms which I had not noticed as I was behind a truck it took me while to figure out what was wrong and what was forcing the bike to make it handle that way so if I was not careful or if I hit these berms at the wrong angle or place I would be off. So yet another sobering obstacle to impede progress I will have to keep an eye out for these ripples (deep) and once in one be careful on getting Daisy out.

So another dull hot day and I  pulled up at Dakarmotos at around 5pm not realising that there would not be anyone there as they are only open during business hours and closed at the weekends bugger. The nice bloke next door let me use his phone to call Sandra who politely told me to come back on Monday. Bugger I am hot sweaty and tired and I did not fancy going into Buenos Aires to find alternate accommodation so I did some pleading and whining on the phone but this did not work. Bugger so whilst I was cursing and trying to figure out what to do next a Swiss chap called Markus came out of the closed Dakarmotos so I thought I would ask him to call Sandra and as he was there then he could let me in. So he does this and eventually Javier turns up and I am in at Dakarmotos which is a relieve as I said I had no energy for finding another hostel in a new city especially one the size of Buenos Aires. Javier is not to happy as he had received the call from Sandra who had received the call from Markus and he had to shorten his motorcycle ride he was on to let in a hot sweaty biker from Holland who had turned up out of hours on there weekend so my apologies for this and thanks for making this work as Dakarmotos is not a commercial hostel but a workshop that just happens to have a couple of bunk beds for travelling bikers that are passing through Buenos Aires so I appreciate them taking the time to accommodate me and I hopefully I may be putting some business there way.

So I settled in and I  went for a walk looking for some diner I found another fresh pasta place so ravioli for dinner again I do wish I had better culinary skills but fresh pasta is not bad. Back to the workshop via a trip to the supermarket where I think I may have been a partner in crime in a shoplifting crime. I walked in and there was a young teenager who I held the door open for and I followed him in. The first aisle was the booze aisle and he was acting a bit suspiciously and he then grabbed a bottle of booze from the shelf and stuffed it up his shirt and then he ran out of the door. I was a bit shocked but no one else seemed to have noticed or if they had they ignored it. So welcome to the Big City I have been in the outback to long I will have to have my wits about me as Buenos Aires is a tough old city so I can not be to casual with my belongings here.

It is a nice evening back at the workshop chatting to Markus from Switzerland and then beddy byes its still very hot so will have to start getting  used to the heat again.

60,000km 36 degrees hot and only two photos taken todays tells you a bit about my day!

Daisy hit 60,00km today so another happy km day for her I think she deserves some new bits and pieces let’s hope we can get them in Buenos Aires.

Buenos Aires (and Tigre), Sunday, 17 February 2013 to Thursday, 21 February, Day 229 to Day 233

Buenos Aires = Tango

So that’s 6 nights in a row at the same place a new kind of record for me I only do this if I staying with someone I know and or I am studying and this was neither except I was waiting for new tyres and with a public holiday and a weekend thrown into the mix and the real reason was that I needed a bleeding rest and some time to figure out what I am going to next. So priority number one was rest and lots of it, in which I was successful, next was trying to come up with a route for the next part of the journey and third how and when am I going to get me and Daisy home both of them still blanks loads of ideas and options I just need to commit to one and I have sort of already but I will hold out on telling you my decision until I am certain that the option I am going for but I think my mind is made up.

Local train and station I will be using this for a couple days.

So what have I been up to, well on Sunday did a trip into town on the train and walked for miles around the old harbour and the San Telmo area it was a bit dull and overcast but a nice walk.

Old Harbour Buenos Aires

My kind of Tank!

Tango on the streets of Buenos Aires

Monday was a lazy day just hanging around the workshop working on the computer trying to figure out the answers to the question posed above as well as catching up with my rest. Successful on the last one still not sure about the others!

Tuesday another trip into Buenos Aires walking around weather not so good but it is dry but it pissed down later so I got well and truly soaked

Evita Peron still very popular here


Balcony where she used to give her speeches from


Wednesday was a public holiday so I decided to get the train to a place called Tigre that is just outside Buenos Aires this is an area based around canals and boats. So two train out there a tourist boat trip whilst there and 2 other trains back. A pleasant day and an interesting place folks living in a nice place next to the water but I bet its a mossies hell most of the year so may look idyllic but being eaten alive in the process.

Tigre Canals

Thursday my new tyres arrived so hung around the shop again getting the rest of my rest caught up with and changing my route out of here for the umpteen time as I still no real idea of when I am going home!

Dakarmotos as I said great workshop and shipping agent run by Javier and Sandra with 2 bunk beds and a kitchen and small garden for camping. So all week it’s been pretty busy with different folks coming and going and very good evenings had just sitting at the table outside in the garden just yakking about travel motorcycles and anything else that came up.

So the cast this week was Markus, Michael, Ende, Dwight, Chantal, Jean, Pavel and girlfriend and many others popping by during the day so it is a very lively place.

And the residents of Dakarmotos Javier, Sandra, Julian, Negrita the cat and the new uninvited guest the little kitten who no one know where she came from and Javier who wants her out ASAP as he does not likes cats but the problem is she is very shy and no one has been able  to get near her and there are loads of places for her to hide in this place and she is sneaking out to eat the other cats food when no one is watching it will be interesting to see how this one pans out 🙂

Some are starting there trip others are finishing and shipping out using the great service that Sandra provides and from what I saw of the process this could be the way I am leaning to as well but when is the next obvious question.

So a very relaxing and enjoyable week I did not do much but that is exactly what I needed. Am I motivated for the next part of me trip I am not sure as part of me has had enough and just wants to go home but I know I would regret it if I pulled the plug now so I am now aiming at a return date of middle of April but watch this space as this could all change.

Why because they are yellow!

On a totally unrelated topic that I forgot to mention in a previous blog, whilst riding on the dirt roads from Rio Grande or maybe I did I cannot remember, I saw a man walking down the middle of the road which I thought was strange at the time  as why not along the side? I had to manoeuvre from one dirt rut to another and I did not want to stop in the middle of no where and as I was making progress in the dirt I did not want to upset any rhythm I may have had. As I passed I noticed he was pushing something in front of him that only had one wheel and as I looked closer it was a monocycle! He was trying to ride a monocycle on the dirt roads it is amazing what you see and the strangest things and you forget about them until someone else happens to mentions it.

Buenos Aires to Rio Cuarto, Friday, 22 February 2013, Day 234

Rio Cuarto

So which way is he going well I was going to go to Montevideo in Uraguay but a total change of plans and the new plan on the page is first to Cordoba via Rio Cuarto I am desperate to get out of the pampas and away from the wind and back into the hills and or mountains. Then to Salta and maybe into Bolivia for a quick visit to the Salt flats at Uyuni and then a right turn and drag across Paraguay via the Iguazu falls up to Rio de Janeiro and then a run down the coast to Montevideo and back to Buenos Aires to ship the bike back home. So that’s about 10,000km round trip roughly taking into account Phillys navigations skills and that fact that he is easily distracted I have given myself about a month and half for this so it should all be doable!

Daisy is mostly wearing a set of new Metzler Tourances (Cost a bleeding fortune) The dodgy replacement non O ring chain may needed to be replaced again but I have fresh oil so she should be able to do the above no problem the question is how is Phillys stamina well we will just have to wait and see on that one.

So today started with the 4th run to the bank as DakarMotos is a cash only establishment and tyres in Argentina do not come cheap and the cash point only giving out a grand out at a time/day.

Next was free petrol from Markus as he was shipping his bike back to Switzerland and his tank needed to be emptied as he had just filled it with about 35 litres (big BMW touring tank) as he was going to do some riding around Buenos Aires area but his bike died about 150km out of town and it needed to be trailered back. He knew it was risky as he had already taken it apart and was not really able to fix it but it was now terminal so we had said goodbye to him on Tuesday Morning and hello again on Tuesday night unloading his bike from the truck in the pissing rain. He was going to stop his trip soon this little upset just brought that date a bit closer.

So why the new route well I wanted another fix of the Andes before going home to erase any memories of wind and pampas from my mind but this was going to have wait as I still had about 700km before it got slightly hilly again.

Still flat still windy but least trees block some of the wind and give me something to look at!

Nice enough run flat with the odd hill but greener and more trees than in the pampas and it was nice to be on the road again. Javier had given me the route of a loop into the back of Cordoba and the plan was to take 2 days to get to Rio Cuarto which was 650km away but daisy was biting at the bit so we polished this all of in one day rolled into town at about 6.30pm and I headed straight to the Municipal Campsite, so I am back under canvas again.

Rio Cuarto

Buzzing City Center

I set up camp and then I wandered into town which was buzzing as it was Friday night I had a nice chat with the lady at the tourist office who gave me a local map and I figured out my route through the hills to Cordoba. As yet I have yet to see the hills but I have been assured that they are there just over the horizon I cannot wait. I went for a walk and for some dinner and than I got totally lost on my way back to the campsite. No worries it looks like a reasonable neighbourhood I was lost in but then it got slowly worse or maybe it just felt like that because it was now dark and street lighting non existent. So I kept on walking to what I thought was the direction of the river as if I found that I could follow it back to the campsite but it never seemed to appear and I had not a clue where I was. I did not want to ask anyone directions, as I did not want to alert the neighbourhood that there was a dumb gringo wandering around lost in the wrong part of town. Finally a cop car stopped at the lights near were I was walking so asked them for directions but I promptly got lost again but at least I found the river and after asking at another local shop I found my way back to Daisy and the campsite. Bugger my sense of direction was really of the radar tonight as its normally quite good 🙂 I was getting slightly nervous as I got more and more lost and I had walked for miles its seems.

Settle in with me Kindle, which is my standard routine whilst in the tent still reading Sea Biscuit so that may explain some of the horse racing terminology used in todays blog!

I have decided as yet I have no deadlines boats, or weather related so I can take my time and no more need to rush so I may be treating this last month or so like a holiday spending a bit more cash being more of a tourist I am not sure I am capable of either but I am going to give it a whirl 🙂

Colonia Del Sacramento to Buenos Aires, Monday, 8 April 2013, Day 279

Long way down!

Margaret Thatcher is dead said the immigration officer with a huge grin on his face and a huge smile no Buenos Dias or any other courtesies or pleasantries that you usually get when going through customs. As soon as he knew I was British all he wanted to talk about was the fact that the iron lady had past away and what excellent news that was. This may be a good thing for the Anglo Argentinian relationship and maybe a lot of the anti British sentiment may be reduced because of this event but I personally took no pleasure on the gloating and the joy that this gentlemen had on the demise of a former prime minister (human being) or the subsequent outpouring of ding dong the witch is dead which was to fill the social media for the coming weeks as I personally have an admiration for Maggie and what she achieved this was never popular or a cool position to have not that I agreed with everything that she did as like us all she made loads of mistakes as well but least you knew what her position was on an issue and I am old fashion you may not agree with everybody’s point of view that may differs from your own but you should respect it.

Due to this historic event my entrance back into Argentina was easy and straight forward but that could also be due to the fact that this was the 5th time I was coming into Argentina so I knew the process pretty well by now.

Left the hostel at about 9am with yet another run at the cashpoint and then to the money exchange to maximise the amount of cash dollars I had which I would need to pay for Daisy getting home then I headed to the docks to catch the boat to Buenos Aires. Had some empanadas for breakfast whilst waiting to be boarded and then onto the boat. Easy and pleasant journey I met up with an Israeli biker Doron http://doronsvoyage.wordpress.com who was also heading for Dakarmotos http://www.dakarmotos.com

I arrived back at Dakarmotos at about 1pm as I had been there before so it was like coming home or it was nice to be back in familiar places with friendly folk who I already knew. Daisy needed to be at the airport the following morning so first order of business was getting the paperwork started and the first payment of USD 100 for Sandra’s Broker fee so then of to the photocopy shop for the relevant copies and filling in of the paperwork and a trip to the local supermarket to get some dinner in and I spent the rest of the evening sorting my kit out and prepping Daisy for her big trip back to the Netherlands. Dumping loads which I do find difficult as a hoarder and a tight arse but my sleeping bag I have had for 20 years so I guess that is due for replacement and my tent which still had some miles in it but was looking a bit tired and needed some TLC so it is not worth lugging this kit back to NL only to chuck this kit away there maybe someone can make use of this here. Whilst going through my stuff I still could bring myself to chuck certain t-shirt and bits of kit away even though threadbare and minging I get very attached to stuff. One of my panniers had been leaking so some of the kit had got a nice bit of mould on it so that was slightly easier to part with. Other bits and pieces I had carried for 65,000km and I had never used or worn so those extra hiking boots had a grand trip of the Americas without ever seeing daylight I most confess I do carry to much kit but would I change anything well probably not as I would rather have to much and not use it than to little and find I need it and if there room in the panniers well its gets filled.

Did a dry run of striping down Daisy ready to be transported on the plane so that is taking the mirrors; front screen and GPS mount of. I am glad I did this as I could not get the screen of because way back in June 2012 in Canada it had come loose so Philly being the mechanical genius with his tool kit of duct tape, zip ties and Loctite had made sure that the screen would never ever come loose again and had gone to town on the 4 screws holding the screen on and there was no way these where coming loose so in the end I had to break the screen to get it off. It was already cracked in two places where I had over tightened the screws. So anyone in the Netherlands who has got a spare screen for Daisy as she looks rather naked without it can you please contact me 🙂


Fortunately that evening Javier was there so had some muscles to break the screen and to concur that it was the only way that screen was coming of without taking the whole front end to pieces and it was already buggered as mentioned earlier and it was also 12 pm at night and I was heading to airport at 9am the next morning.

The reason Javier was there was that we where expecting an American couple  Suma and Hoa http://whyweroam.wordpress.com who had crashed there bike 2 days earlier at Rada Tilly way down South In Argentina and straight after the crash had put the bike on a back of lorry and had been traveling North since then still covered in blood and dirt from the crash. They arrived at about midnight Hoa had a mashed foot and Suma one hand in bandage (turned out later to be broken) and the bike a huge GS BMW on the back of huge truck and the only way to get it of the back of the truck was with good old fashion muscle power. Javier called a mate of his Carlos and there was me and the driver of the lorry and Doron who kept insisting that it was impossible to get the bike of the lorry with just us and Javier telling him to shut the f**k up as this was not the first time he done this 🙂 Well we did manage to get the bike off the lorry but I also I had my doubts, as did my poor back.


It turned out to be a long day and late night after we sorted out Suma and Hoa we changed their bandages fed them and got them settled in There is never a dull moment at Dakarmotos 🙂

Buenos Aires, Tuesday, 9 April 2013 to Thursday, 11 April 2013,Day 280 to Day 282

Ready for Daisy last run in South America being seen of by Javier of Dakarmotos

After a late and eventual night I needed to get the bike to the airport by 10.30am and the traffic here is pretty horrendous so left at about 9.30am with clear instructions from Sandra on the route and the process I needed to follow to get Daisy back home. Its only about 35km to the airport so I had given myself an hour but as I pulled onto the ring road wall to wall traffic and as mentioned before on this blog with my panniers on it is very difficult to split traffic and I was also a little bit nervous and I did want to take any risks as it would be very embarrassing to come a cropper after 281 days and 65,000km on the road so I settle in trying to enjoy my final run on Daisy crawling along at a snails pace to the airport.


I was late but no problem I met up with Eliza Massy who was also shipping her bike Cape Town South Africa and we waited for Franco the agent who was going to guide us through the process.

First through security to the Export shed then prepping the bike which meant sorting luggage, disconnecting the battery, removing the sticky out bits such as mirrors, panniers, top box and screen (Broke this of last night) and letting some air out of the tyres.

Bike then strapped to a palette and sent of to be x rayed and sniffed by the sniffer dogs and then back to us to be shrink wrapped and that was it. This had taken a couple of hours I was expecting it to take a lot longer but all done we had a good laugh with the blokes working there and Eliza whilst doing all this so time had flown by.

Bye Daisy safe trip and I will see you in Amsterdam


First strapped to the pallet then off to be x rayed


Then shrink wrapped not sure that Daisy is that much of a plastic fetish!


We are shown how to get back to Buenos Aires on the local workers bus by Franco where we where dropped of in the center. I said Tata to Eliza I will meet up with her to finish up the exportation of Daisy tomorrow so I grabbed some lunch and had a nice picnic on the square in front of the pink palace and it was dawning on me that I was alone my companion for last year was strapped up on her way to Amsterdam via London and this was nearly at the end of my trip! Gulp pull yourself together you ponce big boys do not cry but it was quite sad an end of an era.

I made my way back slowly to Dakarmotos checking out loads of exchange places looking for the best deal on changing my USD to ARS on the blue market but none of them offering black market rates oops this could turn out to be expensive. At Dakarmotos an Australian couple had joined us at the hostel Adam and Mackenzie http://www.travelblog.org/Bloggers/AdKenz/ so another pleasant evening at DakarMotos chatting and sharing a nice Vietnamese meal that Hoa had prepared for all of us as a thank you for last night.

Good times good food and company at DakarMotors

Next day I had got an address of a money exchange from Alex and Andrea so I was pinning my hopes on that I could change my dollars at a decent rate so I headed straight there. Extremely nervous as I was walking around Buenos Aires with about USD 2,500.00 in cash in my pocket so I was expecting to be mugged at any moment as it was written all over me that this bloke is the a walking cash machine mug him. I made my way to the address I had I am not sure I went to the right place but I did find a place that was offering 8.1 ARS per US compared with the official rate of 5.14 ARS per USD so result there so I changed 950 USD into ARS with a saving for me of about 500 USD on the exchange rate yes result so I had about 11,000 ARS all in 100 ARS bills next stop to Navicon office to pay for Daisy shipping and I meet up with again with Eliza. I got the paperwork and then we needed to go next door to the bank to pay and get a receipt for this payment. This took forever but Eliza was good company even though she was a bit hung over still 🙂

So the finances sorted and I was very relieved that I was no longer carrying that much cash on me anymore so back to Navicon to get the Master Airway Bill. It turned out they had screwed up with the shipping mixing my paperwork with that of Doran’s who also shipping tomorrow and he a had a special request around timing that cost a bit more for immediate shipping me I had no urgent timelines so it took a while to sort this out and many printings and reprinting of the MAWB as there where loads of other mistakes on it such as passport number and other details so caution always check the documentation.

So that is Daisy sorted I hope she gets there okay and I had a couple of days left before I to was to catch a plane. I was full of good intentions and list of things to do in Buenos Aires but at the same time I was totally exhausted and my energy levels at all time low so I made my way back to DakarMotos and I did not do much more than that as the weather was atrocious and I was happy enough just doing very little and just hanging around DakarMotos chatting and relaxing with the folks there.

Buenos Aires to Den Haag via Istanbul Friday, 12 April 2013 to Sunday, 14 April 2013 Day 283 to Day 285

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 🙂