Tag Archives: DakarMotos

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.

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Cascavel to Ourinhos, Saturday, 9 March 2013,Day 249

Nice Country Scene

Nice run today no idea where I am only a vague idea where I am heading that being Rio de Janeiro. I covered no distance yesterday so I decided a big mileage and long days in the saddle should get me there in couple of days. Its was bleeding hot again so another day being a hot sweaty dribbley mess in the saddle.  The main roads all seem to be toll roads and unlike some countries in South America you have to pay for a bike for the majority of them so I was forever having to stop take my gloves of found my wallet pay get ticket put wallet back put gloves back on and this is a slow process which I always do very slowly hoping that toll booth owners will realise it is not very efficient charging motorcyclist and all we do is hold up the threw flow of traffic and its bleeding hot every time when you stop. (I spent EUR20.00 on tolls today imagine if I had to do that every day of the trip it would prove to be very costly endeavour)

I decide to call it a day in Ourinhos for no other reason than that I liked the name like I said no idea of where I am or what places are nice and are worth stopping for in this neck of the woods. I spotted a hotel and just as I pulled up it started to chuck it down luckily I was just inside but I was drying some kit on the back of the bike that had got wet before and this was dry but now it was soaking wet again. They had a room but no real safe place for Daisy but they directed me to another Hotel in the centre of town. The rain had eased so I headed there and yes they had a cheap room and safe parking for daisy and Internet so sold.

I went for a walk and it was still raining but not so hard there was not much to see in town I found a place selling meat on stick so sat under an awning out of the rain to enjoy my BBQ meat kebabs and then it really started pissing down so I sat there eating my dinner glad I was not out in that and I waited for it to ease of before finally running from cover to cover back to the hotel to work on this.

After weeks of procrastination I have finally booked my airline ticket home so Phillys is going to Istanbul, as this is the cheapest way I could find to get home with Turkish Airlines it is going to take me 32 hours to get home so that should be fun.

Daisy is being airfreighted to Amsterdam I think via London on British Airways and after doing a lot of research and changing my mind 3 or 4 times a day I have decided to use the services of Dakarmotos http://www.dakarmotos.com not because they where the cheapest but because I had a good feeling on how they operated and I had seen Sandra in action and I knew the bike would get home as I seen her ship some other bikes whilst I was staying there the other options where all somewhat unknown quantities for me and I did not fancy taking any risks.

So that is about 30 days left of traveling in South America and 36 before I am back in reality. You may have noticed I have been a bit of a grouch lately so I need to find my happy mojo. I think the many months of relentless travelling where starting to catch up with me and the heat and me are never a good combination as the fine figure that is Philly is just not designed for these kind of temperatures so once I hit Rio I am going to slow the pace right down and try and enjoy what is left of my trip as I have the time to cut the pace as I am no longer in a hurry to catch a boat or get somewhere before the weather turns cold or any other enforced deadlines so its tappy lappy up the coast back to Buenos Aires but I first I still need to get to Rio.

 

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.