A blog to record our motorbike adventure through the Americas

End Of The Road – Buenos Aires

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.

02-Road to Buenos Aires

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…..

03-Cow Shit

Entering the final country of the trip at the Fray Bentos border, just 250km north of Buenos Aires.

04-Uruguay Border

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!

05-Fray Bentos Uruguay

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.

07-Gualeguaychu 2

08-Gualeguaychu Carnival kids

09-Gualeguaychu Carnival

Emptying a can of foam in someones face is funny in any language.

10-Gualeguaychu Carnival 2

11-Gualeguaychu Carnival 3

1-Gualeguaychu Carnival Hair

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! 😀

12-Gualeguaychu Carnival Tobias and Suzanne

The carnival gets going late into the night and carries on until 3am.  We had plenty of beer and wine so no worries….

14-Gualeguaychu Carnival 5

13-Gualeguaychu Carnival 4

15-Gualeguaychu Carnival 6

16-Gualeguaychu Carnival 7

18-Gualeguaychu Carnival 9

19-Gualeguaychu Carnival 10

20-Gualeguaychu Carnival 11

21-Gualeguaychu Carnival 12

22-Gualeguaychu Carnival 13

1-Gualeguaychu Carnival 14

24-Gualeguaychu Carnival 15

25-Gualeguaychu Carnival 16

The next morning was more sober as it dawned on us that this was the last day of packing up and riding the bike.

26-Gualeguaychu - Last day of packing the bike

Brave face!

27-Gualeguaychu - Last day on 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.

28-Ruta 14

Buenos Aires is in sight.  Shame it was cloudy – but not raining so can’t complain!

29-Arriving in Buenos Aires

We ride past slums in the northern part of the city.

30-Buenos Aires - Northern Slums

31-Buenos Aires - Northern Slums 2

This is it.  We have arrived at our destination!

Photo taken outside the Congress building in Buenos Aires.

33-Final Destination - Buenos Aires

For some reason I took this photo at the start of the trip so had to take another at the end……

01-Start of the Trip - Halifax Nova Scotia

The bike has weathered pretty well – I’m not sure the same can be said for me.

34-End of the Trip

Mapa completo….

36-Travel Map Complete

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.

38-Working on the bike

There is plenty to see in the city and so we took a break from bike stuff and started at La Recoleta cemetery.

40-Recoleta Cemetery

Evita’s mausoleum is a shrine and probably the most visited here.

41-Evita Grave in Buenos Aires

42-Recoleta Cemetery (2)

43-Recoleta Cemetery (4)

Lisa is back in her element while navigating us around the cemetery…..

44-Recoleta Cemetery (3)

45-Recoleta Cemetery (5)

46-Enjoying Cheap Wine in Buenos Aires

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.

47-Street Protests in Buenos Aires

1-Buenos Aires Graffiti

Homeless live in and around Congreso Plaza.

5-Congreso - Buenos Aires

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.

1-'El Molino' abandoned cafe in Buenos Aires

Casa Rosada is the prime location for protests and demonstrations.  It’s also where Madonna filmed Evita.

49-Protest Graffiti outside Casa Rosada in Buenos Aires

“Malvinas” graffiti can be seen everywhere too.  As a Brit, it’s best not to mention the war!

4-Malvinas Graffiti 2

2-Malvinas Graffiti

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…

50-Small House on top of office blocks

Organised mass bike ride causing traffic chaos…

35-Organised ride through the city

Weird old superhero….

60-Crazy Guy in La Boca

3-Evita - Buneos Aires

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.

51-New Pope Celebrations in Beunos Aires

52-New Pope Celebrations in Beunos Aires (2)

Che is another national icon and his face is everywhere…..

54-Che Guevara

55-Che Guevara (2)

A painting of President Christina Kirchner and her late husband Nestor……she is an icon for some.

56-Cristina and Nestor Kirchner

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….

59-Colourful La Boca Streets

58-Colourful La Boca Streets (2)

…..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.

61-Streets of La Boca

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.

62-Farewell Bike Pics

We watch as they ride away…..

63-Farewell Bike Pics (2)

64-Farewell Bike Pics (3)

A few stats from the trip:

314 days
15 countries
12,000+ photos
4 sets of tyres
3 punctures
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: transalp.touring@gmail.com

Dan and Lisa.


2 responses

  1. Uli

    I know the feeling – its hard to be not on the bike …. but live is full of wonders and I wish you that your next bike is as good as your transalp – cheers, Uli

    March 19, 2013 at 4:19 am

  2. Hi Dan and Lisa
    We would like to say thanks for the great border crossing posts, it was a great help for us. Unfortunately we are slow travelers so we never caught up with you, maybe next time 🙂
    Bjoern & Sigrid

    April 15, 2013 at 8:31 am

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