In April of 2013 Deby and I ended our MotoRaid II trip here in Buenos Aires after 4 months of riding from Seattle. Yesterday we returned by air and are even staying in the same hotel, the Amerian in downtown Buenos Aires. We had plenty of adventure on our journey here last time and even though this trip was shorter we still had some adventure.
Our flight was from Seattle to Houston to Santiago Chile and then a short hop to Buenos Aires. Through the marvel of modern technology my phone was giving me text updates on our status as we waited in Houston.
Yes, our 9:35 PM flight to Santiago was delayed, we had three hours to make our transfer in Santiago so I wasn’t worried until we used up most of that time. The final hour of delay is because there was a mechanical problem with the plane. Ok, I’m good with getting that fixed…better safe than sorry, right? Oh, then we found out it was the buckle on the pilot’s seat-belt that caused the delay. Hmmmm ok.
We finally took off close to 1:00 AM and I knew we would miss our connection, oh well. I’m usually a pretty good airplane sleeper but not this night. Deby and I seemed to be awake most of the night trying to get comfortable in the Boeing 767. We watched a silly mindless movie hoping it would lull us asleep, Blended. That didn’t work. When the movie was over I opened the shade on my window to see the sun rising, I checked the onboard progress map and we were almost directly over the equator marking our journey into the southern hemisphere were we would be for the next number of months.
When we landed in Santiago an announcement came over the intercom, “would Donn and Debra Harvey contact the gate attendant”. We walked down the Jetway and there was a person from United standing there with two boarding passes for an Air Canada flight to Buenos Aires. The plane was boarding NOW and we had to run a few gates down to make the connections. How cool was that? Kudos to United Airlines for that one.
The jump from Santiago to Buenos Aires was only a hour and a half, it only seemed longer because of our semi delirious states due to sleep deprivation. I did get a cool picture out the window while crossing the Andes.
If all goes well we should be riding our motorcycles over these mountains in about this location in a couple of weeks. It’s the “all goes well” part I’m worried about.
Yes, the classic missing baggage report. Fortunately we kept all the “important” things with us in our carry on bags. The “unimportant” things would be our helmets, boots pants, jackets and other riding gear. It was OK if they were a little lost but big problemo (that’s spanglish – something I getting really good at) if they never arrived.
Within an hour Deby and I were in the hotel and thankfully participating in the customary ritual of the siesta. Ahhhhh.
It was dark when we completo’d our siesta (told ya) and we wandered to a favorite watering hole near the hotel for some vino and a bite to eat. The muy famoso Barbaro Bar. We found a nice outside table in the warm evening.
Two friendly and helpful women sat at the table next to us and asked in really good English if we needed any help with the menu. On one hand I was disturbed that we looked like we needed help but then again I did have a question, there was an item on the menu – “Papas Fritas and Chops”. What was that? Pork chops? She laughed – chops means beer! Ha! Wow, that is really good to know. As a matter of fact when I’m done writing this Deby and going for some Chops!
Oh yea, I forgot… this is supposed to be a motorcycle blog not a travelogue. The reason I haven’t mentioned the motorcycles is because I don’t know where they are or when they will arrive in Argentina. What I do know for sure is their last known whereabouts was inside two crates in a warehouse in Tukwila, WA. We are having problems getting them shipped for a couple of reasons. They were supposed to go by truck to LA and then fly to Miami and then be put on another plane to Buenos Aires. But… once the crates were built we found out they were too big to fit in the airplane from LA to Miami…. big yikes! I haven’t seen the crates yet but they must be huge. Each motorcycle weighs about 500 lbs and when I saw the waybill it said total weight was over 1,000 lbs. Wow, so the crates weigh as much as the bikes. I supposed I should be reassured that the bikes will be well protected but I think it’s interesting that the last time we shipped them from Argentina to Seattle we just rode them on a pallet and they wrapped them with shrink wrap.
After a second glass of wine I had a great idea, hey, why don’t I try calling the US and asking about the bikes? So sitting at the Barbaro Bar I managed to get a call on my cell phone to Sandy at World Cargo. But, Sandy was off for the day… but… the person that answered the phone said “Is this Donn?”. She left a message that the bikes were being trucked all the way to Miami and were on there way. She would get back to me on Monday and see if they can find an airplane to get them to Buenos Aires. Ok, so there it is. Back to the evening.
We had a great evening enjoying our meal, I had pasta and Deby had ensalada with our wine. We chatted on and off with our neighbors and eventually strolled hand in hand back to the hotel in the still very warm evening. Being a Friday night there was plenty of revelry in the streets on the way back.
Some street drummers were performing for this table of women across the street from the hotel, in no time they were up in the street dancing. I’m kind of wishing I would have joined in. I took another picture from our hotel room.
Sorry if it’s a little blurry but I wanted to capture the vibe on the streets. Really fun.
To sum it up, we are here and late in the evening our suitcases arrived. Now we just need some motorcycles and we can start the adventure. In the mean time we have a few (I hope not too many) days to be touristas. Not too bad.
Donn and Deby