It had just stopped raining when we pulled into town, but Oscar still came to meet us on his bike. He is a member of the Horizons Community in Viedma. We visited his place, met his family, then were found a great place to stay just up the road.
Oscar and Arno making noquis
Over the next few days we met a variety of interesting people. Oscars family showed me around the twin towns of Viedma and Patagones while Arno worked on the bikes. He got my carrier practically rebuilt and his head bearings replaced, with the help of Oscar friends. He seems to know everyone in town.
Discussing how to get the head bearings back into the bike
After a week or so it was difficult to leave, so warm had been our welcome. We had promised to be in Azul by Friday to meet up with Yuki again and attend a bike meeting. Real friends were made in that small town and with luck we will return there on our way back to BsAs. By the time we had said all our goodbyes it was past lunchtime and by dark we had only made it just past Bahía Blanca. Instead of sticking to Ruta 3, we took one of the secondary roads and camped behind a dangerous goods checkpoint.
In the morning, while adjusting the chain on my bike, we noticed the rear tyre was flat! Pumped it up using Arno’s clever gadget and hoped we would make it the 80kms to the next fuel station. The air stayed in but the petrol station had a Gomeria, so we decided to play it safe and get it fixed. We took the wheel off and got the professionals to check out the tube. They couldn’t find a puncture, but we put a new tube in, just to be sure.
While we were putting the wheel back in, another rider pulled in for fuel. He came over for a chat and told us he was on his way to a bike meeting. Not the one we were aiming for though, this one was just another 80kms north. He invited along and as we had a day spare, we decided, why not?
Diego, with Moto Guzzi and Armadillo.
When we got to Coronel Suarez, the whole town knew in which direction to point us. We signed in and went to put up our tent. It took awhile as we were surrounded by other riders and lots of kids who bombarded us with questions and asked for autographs.
So, this is what is like to be famous
Our German number plates caused some interest as there were 3 villages nearby populated almost entirely by descendants of Russian Germans, who arrived at the beginning of the 1800’s. It was surprising how many people still spoke German, even after 150 years.
We escaped from the crowds and had a wander around the campsite, checking out the other bikes. A Transalp looked familiar, yes it was one of our friends from Viedma with another couple of riders from the town that we had met. Small world!
There were lots of smaller old bikes such as Gileras and Jawas, as well as the more conventional Japanese road and trail bikes.
This group had mostly small bikes all self restored
The next morning we had to be on our way toward Azul. Again it was early afternoon before we got away, just couldn’t resist a lunch invitation and a chance to look around the German villages. It was a nice ride, until it started to rain, and rain, and rain. By the time we got to Azul we were dripping, literally! We stopped by the campsite where the bike meeting was happening, it was extremely soggy there, so decided to go on to La Posta, where we knew Yuki would be. It was a Friday night and the place was buzzing. We got out of our soggy gear, got to know everyone and ate the first of our Azul asados.
The weather improved and the next day we went back to the bike meeting with Yuki to have a look around and a chat to other riders. We also took part in the ride around town to the plaza, where all the bikes parked and the riders partied. Due to the weather there were only around 350 bikes present. A combination of bad weather and the economic situation, said our friends. Two years ago there had been over 3000 bikes!
After the weekend, things calmed down and there was room in the garage for Arno to do some work on the bikes, oil changes and routine maintenance. We stayed at La Posta for over a week, making new friends, local and international.
Jorge and a couple of familiar faces outside La Posta del Viajero en Moto.
Azul has become a stopover for riders from all over the world, Jorge has made a wonderful place for us to hang out for awhile with like minded people. If you pass through Azul, stop, say hello and spend a night or two.
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