October 07, 2007 GMT
The Last South American Run

Oh My! That's a dirty fuel filter!

Back in Argentina, and finding that changing the fuel did not really help Miss Piggy's nasty cough infact it got worse. Grant pulled out the fuel filter for inspection. The pre-filter mesh was.... well, you look at the photo!

OOOH Goody, Choices!

Cleaning the mesh and soaking the cartridge in clean fuel had the bike running well once again, however, at 115,000kms Grant suspected the fuel cartridge was fianally shagged, and rather ironically in the last 200 km run back to San Rafael the symptoms appeared once again.

Sunset - Federacion

Where are my glasses..... Jules.... Jules!
Thermal Baths at Federacion

A town where you can walk around in your bathrobe all day!

Apparently Maria has the best regional treats in all of Argentina

Cattle Barge

Whose your little friend Piggy??
Check out the panniers under the seat!

Snow and ice greeted us on our return to San Rafael for a two and a half months stay, caretaking a friend's apartment.

Snow Man - San Rafael

There were jobs to do, friends to re-unite with, wine to drink and preparations for our next continent, Africa, to make.

Gate at John & Annettes

Amongst chunks of slow melting ice in the back verandah Grant went to work on Miss Piggy.

Rosie looks for a snow ball

After 115,000 kilometres the fuel filter cartridge was finally shagged. At a rather exorbitant US$300.00 per item, with no ready supply (apart from shipping one down from the United States), the Internet was accessed for a reliable modification that could be performed.

Working on the Fuel Filter By-Pass

We found one, bypassing the original filter and placing an in-line injector filter from a Renault car snuggly between the air box and frame. Cost: around US$10.00. Problem solved.

Problem Solved

Grant had been toying with the idea of constructing a fully enclosed chain case, similar to the one that had been factory fitted to our previous bike (1981 Yamaha TR1 1,000 V-Twin - a rare breed). It was a remarkably effective device and proved that the whole concept of an enclosed chain is possible, but probably not continued by manufacturers simply because they would not have an after sales market for chains and sprockets! Is that possible??? We don't know... anyway constructing such an animal seemed like a good idea at the time.

Stage 1 - Development

Stage 2 - Assembly

Stage 3 - Testing

Six weeks later, after much swearing and cursing and narrowly escaping a marriage break-up, Grant did indeed have the case developed and working, gasps of excitement ensued! It is still a little clunky and needs a small adjustment but we will get there.

For many years now we have been hearing about the illusive and famous (maybe infamous) Ken and Carol Duval from Brisbane, Australia. They are good friends of our finca mates John and Annette. Ken and Carol are now on their second RTW motorcycle journey, starting in South America. They lobbed up at the farm and also at our home stay for a few days.

Ken, Grant, Carol & Andrea

Ken and Grant replaced the swing arm bearings on Piggy, utilising what we had on hand to make the job a little easier.

Boiling the Swing Arm

Ken and Grant press the new bearings

After a hard day farming, sitting down to cottage pie for dinner, the dogs barking accompanied the distinct sound of a motorcycle pulling up in the driveway. Who were Rosie and Rita announcing, none other than Emma and Hamish on Bertha. A huge surprise to see them, one last time, before we left South America.

The last few days in San Rafael on John and Annette's farm saw us singing for our supper in various ways. Pulling wires from grape vines, mending pannier frames on Johns KLR, killing the 'Big Dick' - the most enormous, evil and vicious rooster known to humankind!

A teary farewell to our 'Moto Familia', followed by a quick run to Buenos Aires and a smoothly organised shipping by air of the three of us saw us land in Cape Town, South Africa on the 15th of November 2007.

Shipping by Air

Buenos Aires, Argentina to Cape Town, South Africa


We used Malaysia Airlines. They fly twice a week (Wednesdays and Sundays), the bike will go on the same flight as you.

You will need to use a Shipping Agent. 'Delfino' are the preferred agents for Malaysia Airlines, telephone: +54 11 6320 1000, website: www.delfino.com.ar

Firstly, visit the Delfino Office at San Martin 439 in Buenos Aires. It is walking distance from the Retiro train station.

Take with you the length, width and height of the bike in centimeters as well as an estimate of the weight in kilograms (include luggage if you are shipping it with the bike). The weight will be calculated on volume and weighed at the airport. The higher of the two is what you are charged.

Delfino will inform you of the next available flight.

An estimate will be calculated. Go through the fees carefully and get them to explain each one so you have a good understanding.

Delfino are obliged to recommend you use a Customs Broker (Trammite), if you feel confident dealing with customs you may wish to decline this option. Also, it will be recommended that you photocopy your entire passport (each page and covers), motorcycle documentation, temporary import papers etc and have them signed by a Notary (similar to a Justice of the Peace), supplied by them or chosen by you.

Secondly, book your flight and give Delfino a photocopy of your airline ticket. Word of warning: To enter South Africa you, will need to prove to Immigration that you have an onward or return ticket, even though you are motorcycling trans-Africa.

Thirdly, two days before your flight, take the bike to the airport. Follow the signs to Carga and then to Exportacion. Park outside the main barrier and visit the Delfino office where you will be guided with the bike to the weigh station. You need to get a 'ticket Agent del Ingresso', ask your guide for this, before you can visit customs and exit the bike from Argentina. Once the bike is cleared by customs, a check on the motor number will be made, it will then be secured on a palette and finally wrapped in plastic and cling film. You are allowed to stay in the warehouse until this is completed.

Tied down nice and tight

Movement at the warehouse

Fourthly, return to the city office of Delfino for final instructions, calculations, payment of account.

Finally, the day the bike flies you will need to visit the Lufthansa/Malaysia Airlines office at the Terminal de Carga to sign the final copies of the Dangerous Goods Certificate and ask for a copy of the Airways bill.


Posted by Julie Rose at October 07, 2007 08:00 PM GMT

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