An old tango sings: "Mi buenos Aires querido, nunca te podré olvidar" (My dear Buenos Aires I will never forget you.)
I've never been a fan of tangoes, but I've become almost addicted to Buenos Aires.
It is a great city among cities.
One night I walked the streets of Recoleta with my dear friend Dr. Bárbara Uriburu. We crossed streets and avenues untill dawn, resolving ancient existencial troubles. As the sun came up between the tall buildings, we were better firends and a little wiser... and no one had tried to mug us.
I went to a rock concert in the gardens of Palermo. Thousands of porteños (citizens of Buenos Aires) did too. Beautiful girls in skirts, moms and dads and babies, quite a few lovers. We jumped and sang to a popular Argeninian band and were happy together. When it was over, most of us walked home slowly.
The streets of Buenos Aires belong to the people. There is always someone walking the good life or buried in garbage trying to sleep the sleep of the poorest of the poor.
Cafes refuse to stay indoors and populate the streets. There's always good coffe. Quilmes beer is good, Mendoza's wine better... and the lovely girl drinking in the next table... a woman in full bloom.
Buenos Aires is the noisiest of cities, and is full of dog shit.
Any night is a good night to party after a good nap. People dine, go to sleep, get up at two in the morning and go into the night looking for fun.
In Buenos Aires obtaining an x ray can take a week.
In Buenos Aires you can find any spare part you need for a KLR 650
In Buenos Aires cars are not more important than people.
There is an ecological reserve and an old dock.
There is a great obelisque in the middle of the widest street in the world.
There are prostitutes in bars in the commercial district. It doesn't matter waht time of the day it is.
Soccer is religion. Asados are a true passion.
In Buenos Aires you don't need to comb your hair. No one does. This is the city of hair in the wind. I love it, I hate to comb mine.
Most restaurants close after 3:00 pm and you have to wait untill seven to eat.
The subway is full and warm and goes everywhere.
I like it. I do.
Night was falling.
I was almost falling
My Polartech Windproof jacket fell... so did my favorite riding gloves.
I had never been in Alota before. I didn't know if there were any hostels there, or food or gas. I had left my tent and sleeping bag behind and it was getting very cold. I could only hope for the best and focus all my energy in keeping the bike vertical.
I saw lights in the distance.
The distance grew smaller.
A beaten up truck with very dim lights drove in the opposite direction, refusing to stop and talk to me. (These bastards would pick up my jacket further down the road).
I arrived and a car signaled to me with it's lights from a fenced house.
It was no house, it was Hospedaje Los Andes, a small hostel.
I was saved.
There were three guests there. A driver, a salsa singer - anthropologist and a biologist. They were conducting a workshop to save the wetlands nearby.
They looked at me under the light and got scared. Grinning, they bought me dinner and gave me lots of water. Then the lot of us went on an expedition to rescue my stuff.
Fortunately I had marked a waypoint with my GPS where the things were hidden.
We found everything except for my jacket. We even found my gloves that were 8 kilometers appart from each other.
The driver would not leave the SUV because he said that the devil dwels in those rocks. Good thing that the devil is no biker, otherwise he would have stolen my gear!
Needless to say, I was a very happy rider.
The next day my friends gave me a lift to Uyuni where I had my tire fixed and bought new spares.
I was ready again. I hired a taxi back to Alota with new determination.
As the sun was setting, the blood on my right thumb dried, the small wound packed with dirt. The wind was blowing fiercely. The flock of flamingos remained undisturbed. In the direction of the setting sun a large fox watched me crosslegged, it's tongue hanging loosely from it's snout.MORE...
I will have been on the road for two years next month.
These are a few of the things I've learned on the road.MORE...
The most dangerous thing for a traveller's trip is for the traveller to fall in love.
This happened to me with the City of Bogota. It has positively been the highlight of my trip so far. The warmth of the people there has created an affection debt that I will find very hard to pay... I'll definitely be back at some point.
This love affair started about two or maybe three years ago, when I first concocted the idea of a transamerican motorcycle trip... at that time, however, Colombia was not a part of the travel plan. As a matter of fact it only became a part of it while I was already in Panama. (Maybe I should start this blog with Central America, but I tend to eat dessert first anyway, so bear with me).
Our veteran travellers share their tips (and great stories) for staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure.
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