So what have Meg and I being doing apart from eating Bon-o-bons and stealing free sugar from coffee shops? Well I’m going to try and tell you, but it might take a while, so I am going to do it in parts, a ‘ride-report’ if you will. Hold tight people.T
he trip had a frantic start, and you really have to pinch yourself to appreciate where you are, what you’re doing and to take in the memories, its way to easy to get caught up in the rush and excitement. This was made even more difficult by the fact that our flight to Buenos Aires was leaving in an hour and we still had to pack all of our extra kit and tyres into the bike crates at a cargo company so they could be sealed in time for their flight out. This is particularly ironic, because as most of you know we then had to wait two full weeks in Buenos Aires before the bikes even left South Africa.
After a hair-raising taxi ride to the hostel, we spend two weeks, vegetating, sight seeing, buying rubbish and generally becoming fat and broke. The upside to this was meeting some fantastic people, all on their own journeys and all in different places in their lives. If you guys are reading this- it was a real pleasure, it felt like a little family of misfits who all shared the difficulty of finally leaving BA, we had a jol.
One person I must mention in particular, is Dan. Both because he is doing a similar, although much more amazing, journey than ours, and because our paths cross again later on the trip. Dan is cycling around the world, he one of those very rare creatures that motorcycle overlanders will come across once every blue moon, seeing them on the road is much like seeing a unicorn, strange creatures, and very rare. God only knows what would possess you to do something that mad. You can check out Dan’s journey >HERE<. He is a great guy, and he is going to do and see some really cool stuff – you should definitely be following his trip!
I will eventually get around to writing a post on the things to do in BA… I promise, but here are some of the best parts:
Absolutely amazing, old, beautiful graves and tombs, beautiful sculptures, and MASSIVE. If you are going to BA you have to go to the cemetery, we loved it.
Palermo parks and Japanese Gardens:
Also beautiful, spent a peaceful day with Meg, taking photos, playing with ducks and picnicking. The parks apparently also turn into a red-light district at night, there’s some duality for you!
Gobsmacking, flabbergasting, mind-blowing. What the hell just happened to me and what did I see!? Its really difficult to explain this one, a show with everything from a mans journey through life on a giant treadmill, to a massive ,transparent, moving swimming pool suspended inches above your face, filled with pretty girls, to people ripping a house apart and the whole crowd being encapsulated in one big, confetti-filled jumping castle. MADNESS. Check more out >HERE<
San Telmo market
You THINK you’ve been to a flea-market. You haven’t been to a flea market. Everything under the sun is available at this market, and it takes an entire day to traverse, its so big we actually had to call it quits and duck out at a stage.
As a side-note: Boca is billed as a major tourist attraction. Don’t go. It’s complete rubbish. Fake, touristy, and boring. You will feel like you are being scammed out of every last penny, and that’s because you are.
So we met some people, and saw some sights, same as everybody else – big yawn. But then the bikes arrived.
Getting our bikes was made possible by the help of Vino Ruthnum at Aviocean Natal, and the famed Dakar Motos, run by Sandra and Javier -we were very lucky to have the help, friendship and advice of such great people, we owe you so much. After lots of excitement and interesting train rides we arrived at the airport, where, with the help of Sandra we opened the crates to see our two beautiful BMW F800GS’s.
After the initial awe we realised: how the hell do we get the front wheels back on!? Not HOW do I put on a front wheel, I mean I’m not an idiot, but how do I get the bike into a position to put the wheel back on. With nothing to prop under the bash plate, and with a big piece of wood behind the rear wheel, getting it onto a center stand was going to be problematic, and getting it onto the side-stand near impossible, as the crating slats were in the way. A logistical nightmare was averted when I thought to myself: ‘Its a GS… this bike is built like a tank, I’ve put this bike on its side more times than I can count’. So that’s exactly what I did, tipped the bike over onto the floor and got to work. Within minutes we had two fully assembled, ready for action machines. After signing some paperwork and getting shamelessly hit on by the girl behind the customs desk we hit the road.
And man did we fight… big stress, other side of the road, Spanish street signs, unfamiliar equipment, crazy drivers, not knowing what to say, malfunctioning GPS. Its a miracle the trip didn’t end in a divorce before we got back to the hostel. But we got back, body, soul and marriage intact.
This was mirrored the next day on take-off too. The bikes were so grossly overpacked we looked like we were moving house, and seconds before the ignition key was turned, the GPS decided to die. So after a good deal of frantic cursing, and stealing wifi to download a map on my phone, we were able to leave, my phone and it’s Lifeproof mount saving the day. But wait! That’s not all! We rode down the road, and on hitting Ave. 9 De Julio, both the widest, and longest avenue in the world, Megan smelt burning plastic. Shit. Her newly-mounted tool tube had melted from being to close to the exhaust. After some roadside repairs, we were finally moving.
The view of Buenos Aires disappearing in the mirrors was a thing of beauty, the buildings got smaller, the landscape got greener, the traffic got less and as we got further out of the city, we got happier. With growing smiles we realised that we were finally doing it – we had thrown off the shackles of BA and we had the open road ahead of us. With our first petrol stop we were all smiles and in high spirits. We were heading to a town called Azul, to a place called La Posta del Viajero en Moto to meet a man named Jorge. The contact had been given to us by Javier at Dakar Motos, we knew absolutely nothing about La Posta, and we were in for a treat, the best way to start a motorcycle journey, the trip had finally started and our world was changing, a new chapter was starting.
Ill be an arsehole and just leave it here for now, but I’ll post part two ASAP – watch this space! (more actual BIKING to follow)