Sunday, 2 February 2014

280 Across Argentina

Friday 31st Jan 2014
Miles Today 458 Total 39,646
Today we covered, if I recall correctly, the most miles we have done on Wallace. It was a bum numbing ride but the more we got done today, the less we had to finish the journey off tomorrow.

The day started out cloudy and quite cold and overcast, so much so that we put our jumpers on to start the day. A relatively cold 23C.  After the first 70 miles we found a petrol station and as we were going to cross so desolate areas, we filled up. Whist there this little fellow was bouncing around at our feet and Karen did what she does best and snapped him up.

We think this is a female Cowbird, she was certainly friendly enough.

After a couple of hours the clouds cleared and the day heated up. It was now jumpers off and the temperature rose to 34C. It was now hot...
At around 2pm we found a McDonalds and as appears to be the norm here, the burgers were like cardboard. Very dry and hard to digest. Sad really, we have a liking for them and I have a belly to prove it.

In Britain, it would be a few swans and some mallards, here flamingo's.

We stopped after about 400 miles and as it was still only about 5:30 decided to put some more miles in and pushed it to 458. We now needed to stop. Our bums were sore and we were tired. We ended up at a place called Pehuajo, and no, we can't pronounce it either. Probably something like "Peuaho" but who knows !

Still, it was a nice place and we found a hotel with a car park but sadly it was full, so we were able to park Wallace up outside and chain him to the hotel canopy post on the pavement. Oddly enough, this was with the blessing of the local traffic wardens. Can't imagine that happening in the UK anytime soon!
After settling in we went for a look around, and thenwandered back to the hotel for an early night in preparation  for our last ride in South America.

Saturday 1st Feb 2014
Miles Today  229 Total  39,875
I lost pinch and punch by default.  I had no watch on and pinched and punched Ray 10 minutes early at midnight.  So consequently, I got pinched and punched back.  Not good, need to get a watch.
The last days  riding in the Americas was awful. We awoke to an overcast sky and Google Earth showed us that rain - lots of it - was pending for the next few days. Luverly.
We set off and filled up before leaving town. As we were filling up the rain started. It stayed that way for most of the day.
Again, worn tyres, rain and uneven tarmac paid their toll and slowed us down a lot. Most of the day we were only riding at about 50mph. My attention level was at max and it was bloody hard work.
We did manage to get a couple of pics during a brief respite in the rain and the photo below shows that we could have been in Arkansas, USA. Pretty but sparse.

We had a turn around session to get this fellow. There was a pair of then on adjacent posts. They are Pygmy Owls and stand about 7" tall.

Austral Pygmy Owl.

We arrived in Buenas Aires at about 4pm and drove straight to our hostel for the next 6 days. It turned out to be fantastic. We were met by a lovely lady called Suzanna Just, the hostel owner. She showed us to our room which was in a beautiful Old English style country house in the suburbs.
After settling in, I went out to the shops for some food and drink and then to the bank to get some more cash to pay for Wallace's trip home. Sadly, the economy here is collapsing. In the last month the exchange rate has dropped by 22%.  Fortunately for us, the rate against the US Dollar has done the same and as everything big is priced in US$. So, although the numbers change, the value does not. It just means that things like fuel and food get cheaper for us.

Suzanna then let me wash Wallace in the yard and we settled in for an early night in front of the TV watching US crime dramas....again.
We have unpacked everything, in readiness for going home.  I am really excited now.  I have loved the trip, but the last few weeks have been hard, but worth it.
We have to leave 4 clear working days for the bike to be sorted and so hopefully we will get a flight on Friday 7th, back to the UK.  In the meantime, we still have a bit of exploring to do.

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