This is part of the eighth section of our around the
Complete Trip Overview & Map
Coming from Uruguay or read our previous
visit to Argentina
26/6/02 The ferry arrived at 7.30 am with immigration done before leaving Uruguay. The carnet was again used for the motorcycle on arrival and we were eating breakfast in the middle of Buenos Aires by 8.00 am. A great way to arrive in such a large city. Sadly we later heard that two people died and many were injured in a street demonstration. We saw no signs of any problems. It's so often the case where disturbances are in a concentrated area and for a short time yet reported on like the whole city or even country is in disarray or in violence. After visiting the local H-D dealer we chose a hotel out of the city centre and will commute by train to see it's sights. The motorcycle speedometer rolled over for the third time, past the 300,000 km mark.
27/6/02 Buenos Aires is a city of magnificent buildings and vast open treed areas. The up market commercial hub with its brand name retail shops seems unaffected by the recent down turn with the streets and shops busy with people. The rich with US dollars outside the country can now have a bonanza along with the tourists. The middle class with money in Argentinean banks have lost their buying power and many their jobs and as always the poor are the hardest hit in any financial crisis. These are the ones demonstrating with little results. The Galeria Pacifica, an enormous building, houses the pick of the upmarket shops and restaurants, is beautifully restored and shows a more affluent time for the country. Buskers tango in the streets just outside its entrance. You don't have to walk far from this glitzy centre to move downmarket, to stand up restaurants and one dollar shops frequented by the workers.
28/6/02 We repacked the bike, what to leave, what to take home together with a list of what we need to bring for the next trip. Not much as everything is available in Argentina and at about half the cost of Australia, (if locally produced). Gabriel and Claudia (and newborn son Santi) took us to dinner along with four of their friends. Such is the motorcycling community around the world linked by a common interest that even though we had never met, Gabriel had arranged for one of his mates to store our motorcycle while we return to Australia and another friend to help us do some repairs on the bike. Even with our embarrassingly little Spanish we had a great evening with Gabriel interpreting conversations in both directions.
29/6/02 Our hotel in the middle class suburb overlooks a main road where jugglers perform on the road between traffic light changes hoping for donations and dog walkers take the more wealthies dogs to the local parks. Collecting them from apartments the well bred, groomed and trained dogs get the exercise their owners need but the owners are working too hard. Such is the climate that people who still have jobs are working harder just to keep them. Developed six months worth of this trips photos. They never turn out as good as you hope or envision but are always a great reminder.
30/6/02 The recycled goods, flee market or antiques at Plaza Dorrego on Sunday is a place to see past Argentinean history for sale. From copper milk canisters, fire nozzles to gaucho paraphernalia and estate jewellery there was something in the crowded area for everyone. Mixing in with the old merchandise were almost equally old flamingo dancers stepping out on the pavement to small bands. The more modern statue buskers in all their varieties lined the approach streets. We bought some local crafts for presents before meeting up with the biker community at the riverside park and a great evening at the local pool hall.
1/7/02 A few emails to and from someone unknown in another country can't really give much of a picture of that person. Even less information of their age, family or economic circumstances. We stood outside Enrique's apartment in the Capital Federal region of Buenos Aires cautiously pondering the invitation that had brought us here. They too must have been cautiously wondering if inviting unknown Australians into their family home with their children was a good idea. Without such risks we would both be less broad thinking peoples and would have missed many opportunities to enhance each others knowledge and views of different people of the world. As expected the evening went extremely well over dinner with us taking our first tasting of "Mate" the regional tea alternative drink.
2/7/02 Our personal cloud kept us inside as it rained all day, just drizzle. The well appointed home set around a courtyard very comfortable. With both hosts working and a close family atmosphere the kitchen is the centre of evening life with dinner being a relaxed all in preparation over a couple of hours eating late at about 10 pm.
3/7/02 Still raining but tired of being house bound we hit the city again for a movie and lunch before taking the motorcycle to a friends of Gavriel's to be bedded down for our two month absence. Another evening of pool with Gabriel's biker mates.
4/7/02 Tiger is Buenos Aires upmarket playground having grown recently with fenced and gated wealthy communities fuelling the gap between the haves and have nots. This beautiful area of river delta offers summer cruises and colonial buildings with riverside restaurants where we enjoyed lunch in the company of Monica our host for the day.
5/7/02 We took the Aerolineas Trans Polar flight to Sydney
leaving at midnight tonight after being driven to the Airport and farewelled
by our new friends in Buenos Aires.
You can either move onto planning the Ninth Trip or return to Argentina for the beginning of the next trip.
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