New friends and old
Sandra and Javier are the HU community in Buenos Aires and go out of their way to make sure any travellers that arrive there are well taken care of.
The first thing we had to do was change the worn out tyres on our bikes for the shiny new ones we had picked up on the way into town. Javier knew a place nearby where we could get them changed quite cheaply, so we loaded up the BMW and he took us over there.
Transporting the tyres to the Gomeria
The guys at the gomeria were fast workers and had the 4 tyres changed within the hour. 'Quite cheap' turned out to be very cheap, we paid less than €4 for the lot!
Not bad for 15,000kms and not one puncture!
We had arranged with the BMW dealer in the city, that they would keep some wooden crates for us. Sandra had already picked up one and soon after we arrived, two more bikes were delivered, so 2 more crates were there for us. We just had to pick them up. A flete - truck, was arranged to transport the crates, but when the rundown old truck arrived, I didn't think there would be enough room for the boxes. There was of course and we went in the truck to take the crates to a warehouse that belonged to a friend of a friend.
The crates are not strong enough to be used as they are and we calculated that we would have to use the wood of another crate to strengthen ours.
Getting the crates into the flete
The last time we were in BsAs, we had done the rounds of the shipping agents, so we knew what sort of prices we were looking at to ship to Australia. A couple of other travellers had some recommendations, which we followed up, but in the end we stuck to our original choice of company. Hellmans quoted a good price and gave a good impression, they seemed to know what they were doing. We arranged to have the bikes shipped in the second week of March, then went to look for a flight.
We wanted to go back to Azul, but Arnos bike didn't, it was probably as bored as us with Ruta tres. The battery wasnt charging properly so we took it to Javiers shop Dakar Motos and he and Arno spent the morning testing, replacing and testing all the possible thing that it could be.
Sandra and Javier outside Dakar Motos
The problem was not solved, but after so much fiddling around the bike decided it wanted to go to Azul afterall and worked fine!
Back at La Posta, we cleaned the bikes and waded through a mountain of photos, picking out the best ones. Many travellers came and went while we were there, locals and international. Daniel from Switzerland on a Teneré; a couple of locals from Bahia Blanca; 3 Swiss riders, Sepp and Gari on TDMs and Urs on a TTR; Carl from Germany on his F650, Juan Carlos from Mexico on a KLR and our friend from Mar del Plata, Marcelo on his Goldwing.
Juan Carlos from Mexico on his KLR
A Japanese cyclist also turned up, he looked familiar and it turned out we had met him up in Mexico over a year ago. Its a damn small world!
It was wonderful to meet all these travellers and of course it was a good excuse for Jorge to get the Asado fired up!
On sparkling clean bikes, we left La Posta and for the last time, rode up Ruta tres to BsAs. The usually boring 3 hours was made somewhat more interesting, albeit more dangerous by drivers rushing to get back to the capital as it is the end of the holidays. Buses and cars, overloaded with kids and grandmas were being driven by the mentally challenged. One bus came so close behind me, that I couldn't see the driver, just the big Mercedes star on the front of the radiator. Unfortunately, Arno had taken his 'Bolivian security' a machete, off the bike, so we had to settle with the usual hand gestures that seem to be internationally understood.
Javier and Sandra were taking a well deserved holiday when we got back to BsAs, so we had to fend for ourselves. While looking for a cheap hotel in their neigbourhood, we stopped for a chat at another bike shop. The owner knew of a house that rented out rooms by the week and took us over there. It was a sort of boarding house and we were soon unpacking the bikes and settling in.
Posted by Sian Mackenzie at February 28, 2004 09:08 PM GMT