Wednesday, 5 February 2014

281 The final days in Beunos Aires

Sunday 2nd Feb 2014
Miles Today 0 Total  39,875
We spent today getting our gear and Wallace sorted out. I had to clear any non bike related stuff out of the panniers and do little things like remove the Post Office van headrest that Karen has been using for the last 10 month as a back rest. I also needed to figure out the best way to make Wallace's packed volume as small as possible. By this I mean lowering the screen etc and figuring the best way to make him (Her - sorry Karen !) as compact as possible. I will probably remove the screen, handle bars and front wheel when we take him to the airport for shipping on Tuesday. Wallace looks really small now compared to when he was loaded up.

Like Wallace only smaller.

Mid afternoon we went in search of food and sadly as it was Sunday and holiday season most places were shut but we did find this place but the name of the place had us worried.

The MUKY restaurant.....

However, the food was good and for some reason, after ordering barbecued ribs, when I had nearly finished the ribs another portion was served up. My Spanish was not good enough to figure out why but the meal ended up being enormous. Look at the pile of clean ribs in the middle and stack still to be eaten.

Mountains of food.

Still we finished most of it then drowned it in wine..

Wine makes you smile...

It was not too far from the river Plate so we walked another mile to the rivers edge. Where we in for a shock.....

The place was more like a garbage tip than a river bank.

Fortunately the bird life redeemed the place somewhat. Green Parrots everywhere.

These things are so noisy you cannot fail to spot them.

A long walk back via a bar and it was time for bed.

Monday 3rd Feb 2014
Miles Today 10 Total 39,885
I had to attend 'Dakar Motos' today to arrange Wallace's shipping. Dakar Motos is a small business that is well known in the adventure biking world for assisting bikers with shipments and just about anything else they may need.
I got there before the arranged time, met the owners, Sandra and Javier, and then decided it would probably be a good idea to ride back to the hotel to collect the paperwork I needed. God I can be stupid sometimes.

Javier, Sandra and the Gringo  -  thanks Javier ;-)

Anyway, with paperwork in hand Sandra checked that all was well. Apparently there is one border crossing where they accidentally or deliberately put the chassis or engine numbers on the import papers incorrectly and it causes mayhem when bikers try to get their bikes back out of the country. I paid them the appropriate fee, $1000 ARG, about  £77. For this they make all the arrangements and I just need to turn up to do the rest.

Once back at the hotel we went for some food to a very nice little restaurant where I asked for Lomo and Champinones (Beef steak and mushrooms).  The  beef that turned up was enormous, about 1+1/2" thick and 6x6" square. It was delicious and the fat boy ate the lot.

Not a cut of meat, a paving slab of it.
Tuesday 4th Feb 2014
Miles Today 58 Total miles 39,943
Today's main mission was to buy Karen some shoes to match her handbag. The other small matter that needed attending to was the need to take Wallace to the airport for his trip home. We decided to sort Wallace out first so we could spend the remainder of the day shoe shopping. 
We set off at around 9:30 and popped into Dakar Motos on the way to the airport. Sandra's directions and instructions were perfect and in no time we were in their cargo bay and Wallace was on the scales. With jackets and helmets he weighed 315kg.  
Once at the cargo bay there was another Indian Guy named Arun, sorting his BMW for shipping. I was aware he would be there and had been warned by Sandra that he may need some help. I was gob smacked at his lack of motorcycle mechanical knowledge. I am not being unkind, on the contrary. He is one brave guy to take on a trip from Alaska to Ushuaia with absolutely zero mechanical knowledge. He had tools but did not know how to use them. He did not even know how to remove the front wheel. The man had covered about 30 thousand miles on this bike with only being able to ride it. A nutter and a hero.
With the help of the shipping company we squeezed Wallace into the smallest space possible. Removing the front wheel, mudguard, screen and handlebars did the trick. he now looks pathetically small.... The smaller we can get him the cheaper the shipping cost is. Turns out that it was US $1,940 (15,560 pesos), to be paid tomorrow in the city center.

Where does this bit go ???
Check out the 'jobsworth' in the background griping about Karen taking photo's.

Oi, no photography....  Naughty Karen....
 Once Wallace was palleted he was scooped up by the forklift and taken away for 'scanning'. Apparently they test for drugs, explosives, the usual stuff.
He was then wrapped in plastic cling film - really, and then taken from us for the next few days. It was a sad and glad time for us. We were sorry to see our faithful and reliable friend handed over to people who will not care for him in the least and we are glad as the final (almost) step in our trip is complete and we can relax a bit.
We then caught a cab into town with Aaron and separated once there. We then went shopping for shoes. How I love doing this.....
After browsing in what seemed like a hundred shoe shops, we went back to the first shop and bought 2 pairs. Sadly I am not joking.
The city was, unsurprisingly, very colonial and their architecture is very similar to ours in the UK.

Congress Plaza.

When we had had enough, we caught a cab to the main train station and once on the platform, we saw this. There are marks on the platform that passengers queue up behind to enter the door in the right place. When the train pulled in the passengers getting off were unhindered and just filed off through the queues of those waiting to get on. It was surreal and could teach us a lesson.

The queues for the door. Brilliant.

Once off the train, it was a quick visit to the local Irish bar without Irish beer and then back to out hostel.

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