Its been just over a week since my last entry but it seems like ages ago I was enjoying the grandeaur of Iguazu Falls… they are are massive and spectacular. The day before I was planning to head to the falls I met Glenn, an Aussie on a 1 year trip from Brisbane. He already had a ticket booked for the next day which included a 4X4 trip through the jungle and a boat ride so we teamed up to check it out.
The boat ride was really cool and allowed us to get up close, and even under, some of the falls and we got completely soaked. Good thing though as it was stinking hot again. I took loads of pics but here are a couple of the best. For waterfall lovers this is your paradise…
Having been stuck in Buenos Aires for the previous 3 weeks it was great to be somewhere else and I ended up staying 5 nights at a hostel in Iguazu. Its been a while since I hostelled and I’d forgotten how easily you meet people and make new friends. Luciano, Raquel, Glenn, Eddie, Rose, Estelle, Mauizio and especially Helle made the 5 days a load of fun and as a result of a late night dancing (well, moving around drunkedly) I didn’t get moving until very late on Wednesday with the hope of making it back to Buenos Aires on Friday.
Pic is of Luciano and Raquel (Glenn is out of shot) following an afternoon on a flying fox and Rapelling (down a 7 meter waterfall)…
The weather was back to its best and as always it was great to be back on the road. I find that when I stop somewhere for a while and meet some great people I just want to stay there and the thought of heading off and leaving friends behind can be a bit of a downer. It normally only takes a few miles to get back into the swing and that was definitely the case this time.
Apostoles was the stop for the night and again my lack of Spanish caught me out, I thought the hotel owner wanted 50 pesos for a night but in fact it was only 15, very glad he was an honest geezer (15 pesos is about 2 pounds 50, great value in anyone’s book) though my boots smelled better than the room!
The next 2 days where a bit of a slog back down almost the same roads I’d traveled north on the previous week, only punctuated by being stopped by the police and the great hospitality of Africa Twin riding (and camp site owning) Gustavo.
The police were a bit more serious about it this time, and on both occasions I was taken to an office on the side of the road. Both times I protested my inocence and on one occasion had to produce my first aid kit to avoid a hefty fine (thanks Danyelle, your birthday present from years back saved me there) and then mucho “no entender” and showing of credit cards got me out of paying both times. Note to overlanders heading up or down RN14, please don’t give in to these guys, it just makes it harder for everyone else. Apparently this is the only place in Argentina this happens and I suspect they are mainly out to rip off truck drivers en route to Brazil. Was fun “negotiating” though…
Pete 4 – cops still a big NADA!!!
A big thanks to Gustavo from Colon for taking me out for a beer while was camping there. The 10k ride home on dirt roads was taken mas lento (bloody slowly) and I discovered that Hare’s can run at 27mph when one ran out in front of me and wouldn’t let me past, most impressive!
Safely back at Dakar Motos in Buenos Aires I headed back into town for a renunion with Jason and another big steak. Aww, it was good to see him again, the big lump.
I was keen on a day to chill out but Jase wanted to hit the road so Saturday 2nd we headed back out to DM. I had my bike cleaned, reapacked all my stuff and we headed off. Jason was as nervous as I had been the previous week but being the “old hand” I popped a little wheelie on our way off. I can safely say we’ll both be needing new head bearings by the end of this trip (if not before!)
We were lucky enough while at DM to meet another Gustavo, this guy built the Nortons for “The Motorcycle Diaries” and had been allowed to keep the one in the pic below by the films’ production company. It seems like everyone in Argentina has seen this film (though not everyone agrees with Che’s politics) and it was great to see the bike and meet the man that built it.
Big thanks also to Javier for sorting out the GPS points for our exit from BA. I only made one wrong turn and that provided much mirth as we negotiated a muddy road to cut across back onto the main road. We both nearly lost it several times and needless to say my newly cleaned bike was again covered in mud… just how it should be!
In Azul we stayed with Jorge at La Posta, once again met up with Luna and her Enfield, and enjoyed some great hospitality and yet another Asado (seriously I’ve never eaten so much meat in my life).
We’re now in Necochea on the coast. We had 2 reasons for coming here; 1, the KTM importer for Argentina is based here, 2 we wanted to check out the beach. Well, the KTM guys have been closed all day and the water at the beach is freezing plus there is no one here as the holiday season doesn’t start for about a month and the place is a ghost town.
We’re leaving tomorrow…
One final pic of a mint Mark 3 Cortina for those old petrol heads amongst us, they certainly make their cars last out here!
PS. To Alison and Katy that complained they weren’t mentioned in my last blog, there you go – you’re famous now! Thanks for the fun nights out.
Okay, just one more...
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