November 21, 2005 GMT
Buenos Aires - Asada at Sandra & Javiers

Sunday 30th October 2005

As our fellow traveller from Switzerland, Marco, was off for his flight home today he was up earlier, and hence so were we, only 8ish mind. Their was a distinct high pitched whine in our ears during night, not something from the workshop or Marcos, but a dreaded Mosquito. Amazingly we didn´t seem to get bitten though so it must have been something else. Not a bad nights kip overall.

We managed without breakfast, and no bad thing, as it´s Sunday and a chance for a day of relaxation and here that means Asado, that´s a BBQ in our terms. Sandra and Javier invited the German couple Axel & Angela, and Mirko & Mikalle - the German who has settled here that helped us on day one, so with us and S&J´s son Juilo we were 9. Off to the butchers (obviously Sunday is a trade day for them) for meat and a quick calculation of 0.5kgs per person. The butchers was very busy and stocked just about every part of anatomy you could imagine. We ended up with some chorizo, and ribs of lamb, and loin? of beef plus some burgers for Axel who doesn´t really eat meat - mind neither did Angela, so it really was a meat fest ! Sandra tried a couple of times to get hold of Nik without luck, to join us here (if you´re reading this Nik, there is space here for you, 4 beds may be taken - though may just be the two of us, but they have two more camp beds and the parking is safe - inside – and S&J, and us, would love to see you here)

A trip to the supermarket for some salad things and wine and bread and we were complete.

Back at Dakar Motos the skilled task of preparing the BBQ started - as the meat cooks for around a couple of hours there is more to this than our regular BBQ´s. A very small amount of charcoal was used compared to the way we conventionally cook. Slow, steady, and wonderful.


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BBQ on Sunday


I was very nice weather, though you could burn under the sun, but it was still quite chilly. All the attendees arrived including Axel´s Africa Twin with both of them on it - nicely sorted bike and much tidier than the other travel bikes we see. They have been around a lot of SA already, so know the score - this time north to Mexico. Bev was able to spend time with Angela pouring over the maps taking advice and comparing notes - particularly when mention of locations of the last petrol stations on long cross country sections was mentioned - useful indeed !

The cooking was a slow gentle afair which suited the day, and having skipped breakfast we were ready for a good feed which was just as well as there was quite literally a heap of meat to be consumed.

Was great just sitting and soaking up the tales. Once the food was ready it came across in tray fulls, as and when, and we served ourselves onto wooden platters. With the meat a salsa type of splash on sauce which was great and the salad and bread as a distraction. The wine was from Mendoza - Lopez – and cracking stuff, especially as under $7, or under two quid. And the carne, the meat ? How to tell? It was cooked to perfection, and the cuts were as good as you´d get anywhere - not sure you´d even get these cuts easily from butcher at home - and even if you could, we´re really not sure you could match the quality. It was simply fantastic! And remember here that Bev is not someone who would normally eat Lamb at all. It would be rude not to just stuff yourself which we mostly did, but there was still some left at end - though not as much as you´d expect at 4kgs of meat. Very strange being here at start of Summer and having strong sun, dry earth, and shivering - then I guess it´s like May or June at home, though they say it should be warmer. As long as it´s dry we ain´t complaining !!

We were well sated by the end of an hour or so´s eating, I don´t think I would hesitate in saying it´s the best BBQ´d meat we´ve eaten, especially when you consider it was just striaght meat with no fancy preparation or marination, just excellent meat and lots of it. Argentinian´s can hold top spot on the beef stakes, and dare I say lamb too.really ! The chorizo was excellent also, but British bangers are better, but I guess they´d think them too subtle a flavour. And on the wine front? No question!

Even though I have no spell check on my Palm, I think there may be more than the usual number of errors here as I´m typing on S&J computer and it finds most of these words alien! That´s my excuse!

For the bikers out there this place is like a hub that travellers pass through. If you´ve been on the road, or are planning too, the names in the guest book are legendary. Even the bikes in the workshop that some travellers have left temporarily belong to people who are folk heroes in travelling circles. Gregory Frazier (4 times round the world!) has his bike here awaiting more travels and the guest book is like a list of who´s who in the motorcycle travellers community. Names that I´ve heard of so often are here with photo´s and friendly comments. But then S&J are legends themselves too. So far as our UK Gsers go there is Simon and Lisa (here recently, and hopefully we´ll meet on our journey at some point), Mick O´Mally, Joe, then there are other well known travellers like Bob, Dan Walsh and Simon Milward.

Everyone has slipped away now and we have the place to ourselves - and very kindly S&J have let us use there PC to send this mail as not sure if internet cafés open tonight (there are a few even here in the ´suburbs´)

Tomorrow will for us be a very important day. The bike arrives just after lunch if all goes to plan, and we will attempt, on our own, to liberate it from customs and then ride back here. Not sure which will be worse to be honest, getting it out, or finding our way back here. Everything is in grids and mainly one-way streets with cross roads every block. It´s a mine field of obstacles even without the difficulty of finding a needle in a hay stack - which is what this place is to us. There are hazards everywhere, and most vehicles look like they last saw an MOT at construction ! Care, Caution, and no rush should be the answer..and remember to drive on other side and not wrong way up streets.

PS soz for lack of pics with post, technical difficulties at café´s, hopeful of some later.

A bapism of fire !!! Suerte !

Posted by Simon McCarthy at November 21, 2005 10:28 PM GMT
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