Time has gone so fast. We are heading for Buenos Aires…….but not before a quick stop off in Uruguay.
The roads have melted from the heat which makes it tricky to ride, keeping between the tyre tracks and changing from left to right to find the smoothest bit.
We were due to sell the bike in the next few days so I decided to get the bike washed – the first time in months.
It was bad timing as the following day we were following behind a double-decker cattle truck which sprayed us and the bike with a mist of cow dung and urine. I sometimes ride with my visor open, especially on hot sunny days or early in the morning before the caffeine kicks in. It took me a while to realise the water on my face and lips was not coming from the cloudless sky…..
Entering the final country of the trip at the Fray Bentos border, just 250km north of Buenos Aires.
We picked up another biker en route to Uruguay as he was traveling the same direction as us.
Ernesto from Germany started his travels 20 years ago in Canada and even rode through the Darién Gap but only made it as far as Venezuela where he met and married a woman from there. He now gets to ride around South America whenever he likes!
We stocked up on US dollars from an ATM machine in Fray Bentos and would be able to change them on the “Blue Market” in Buenos Aires when we get there. The Argentine Peso isn’t great at the moment and everyone wants a stable currency like the US dollar so people are willing to pay above the official rate to get hold of it.
After filling the wallet, we rode back into Argentina the next day and stopped in the town of Gualeguaychu, which is just over the border.
Gualeguaychu is famous for Carnival and we timed it right to catch the last one of the season.
Emptying a can of foam in someones face is funny in any language.
Meet Tobias and Suzanne from Holland. They are both students that are planning to ride around South America by motorcycle Transalp. Ooh, we just might be able to help them out there!
The carnival gets going late into the night and carries on until 3am. We had plenty of beer and wine so no worries….
The next morning was more sober as it dawned on us that this was the last day of packing up and riding the bike.
Lisa showed her view as pillion on the bike for the last 10 months in the previous post, and this is mine. I think mine is better.
Buenos Aires is in sight. Shame it was cloudy – but not raining so can’t complain!
We ride past slums in the northern part of the city.
This is it. We have arrived at our destination!
Photo taken outside the Congress building in Buenos Aires.
For some reason I took this photo at the start of the trip so had to take another at the end……
The bike has weathered pretty well – I’m not sure the same can be said for me.
We struck a deal with Tobias and Suzanne for the Transalp (although it is obviously priceless) and set about servicing the bike ready for their 5 month trip around South America.
Over the next few days, we replaced the head-bearings, tyres, chain, sprockets, broken bulbs, spark-plugs, balanced the carbs and gave it an oil change.
There is plenty to see in the city and so we took a break from bike stuff and started at La Recoleta cemetery.
Evita’s mausoleum is a shrine and probably the most visited here.
Lisa is back in her element while navigating us around the cemetery…..
After staying for a couple of weeks in the city, it’s hard to ignore some of the problems that Argentina still has.
There are various protests everyday and night.
Homeless live in and around Congreso Plaza.
Confitería El Molino building. Positioned next door to Congress, it was once a fancy cafe and has been declared a national monument. It is in a terrible state and in need of urgent restoration but squatters have since moved in and taken over.
Casa Rosada is the prime location for protests and demonstrations. It’s also where Madonna filmed Evita.
“Malvinas” graffiti can be seen everywhere too. As a Brit, it’s best not to mention the war!
If you look past the pavements covered in dog poo (although you will probably get poo-shoe), constant protests and the economic problems, Buenos Aires is a great city with a lot to offer and some quirky sights.
A house rebuilt on the top of an office block…
Organised mass bike ride causing traffic chaos…
Weird old superhero….
News broke of the newly selected Pope and after discovering that he is from Buenos Aires, we walked to the city cathedral to check out the Pope celebrations.
Che is another national icon and his face is everywhere…..
A painting of President Christina Kirchner and her late husband Nestor……she is an icon for some.
We took a taxi to Caminito in La Boca. It’s a real tourist trap but only has a couple of streets that you would want to venture down….
…..the rest of the La Boca looks like this. It’s off-limits to tourists in the day and even the police keep away at night.
The time has come. The bike is now prepared ready for Tobias’s and Suzanne’s adventure and I must relinquish her.
It’s strange to think that the Transalp will no longer be a part of our daily life. I’ll definitely miss it.
We watch as they ride away…..
A few stats from the trip:
4 sets of tyres
0 speeding tickets
0 bribes/bent cops encountered
And no breakdowns!
Motorcycle travel gives the freedom to go pretty much anywhere and without the hassle that comes with using public transport. There is more uncertainty of what might be around the next corner – but that’s what makes it so exciting!
We’ve met some great people on our travels and made new friends along the way. It’s been an unforgettable experience.
As our adventure ends, another one begins. Good luck Tobias and Suzanne, it’s gunna be awesome!
P.S. If anybody would like any further information on our trip or wants to get in contact, drop an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan and Lisa.