December 22, 2016, Buenos Aires San Telmo district.
We’ve been in Argentina three weeks today waiting for the motorcycles. Not the worst place to be but it’s getting old. Since this is a blog about motorcycle riding and since there are no motorcycles to ride I haven’t posted lately. We have been doing things, some of them interesting and I’ll share some of that further below. First, the short version about the motorcycles.
Somewhere in Miami, Florida is a warehouse operated by US Customs. That is where motorcycles in crates and other items are stored awaiting for the sloths to approve and re-approve paperwork and inspections. In my mind it looks exactly like the warehouse in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Actually, I’m pretty sure this is it. I recognize our crates in the tall pile towards the left of the picture.
But wait – finally, yesterday we got some really good news. The bikes were released by customs! Yahoo! Now they are scheduled on a cargo flight with a company that only flies two days a week and only then if they have enough cargo to make it worthwhile. Hmmm…. The latest news is that they will fly out on Christmas Day. I hope they can put great big ribbons on the crates, I hope I’m opening presents like everyone else on Sunday. We’ll see.
So what have we been doing since the waterfalls and caves? Mostly just waiting. We waited a few days at the Airport Holiday Inn because, silly us, we thought the motorcycle arrival was imminent and wanted to be near the airport. It’s a nice hotel with a pool and restaurant but it isn’t really near anything nearby so after a few days we took a cab back to the city where we could explore and be tourists.
There are not many Christmas decorations in the city but on our way back from the waterfalls we saw a number of Christmas displays, without exception they were all made with used plastic soda bottles that were painted – now that’s recycling. Here are a few pictures.
We could see a sports stadium a short way away from our room, one day we heard a bunch of loud music so we wandered over. It was a futbol match, cool. We walked into the stadium and had a completely unintelligible but pleasant conversation with a man at the gate. He eventually waved us in to watch the game.
We are not sure who was winning or who won at the end. We didn’t see anyone score and there was no scoreboard. People were mostly cheering for the guys in white. I thought they were probably high school kids but Deby thought they looked older. Either way it was a fun diversion. Across the field there was a band of sorts that consisted of drums and trumpets, they played the exact same song over and over again throughout the whole match. I still have it in my head……
Eventually it became clear we were over a week away from seeing the motorcycles so we went back to the city to be tourists again. In one part of town they had these benches along the street. Comfy? They’re made of concrete.
There are a lot of these trees that were imported from Europe. Sycamore? Cool bark patterns.
One evening we had a nice window seat at a nearby restaurant, we didn’t realize the menu was on the window right next to us. All evening people were standing outside our window watching us and reading the menu. Interesting.
At that same restaurant two guys came in with a Wisconsin Badgers tee shirt. Of course we had to chat. The were from Delafield and were heading back in the next few days after visiting Argentina for a few weeks. Those cheeseheads…. they’re everywhere!
Mostly we rode through the city and learned about the people and their history, it’s really interesting. This picture was taken going through a park along the water. For anyone visiting Buenos Argentina I would highly recommend Biking Buenos Aires https://bikingbuenosaires.com/
I’ve been spending some time on the adventure motorcycle forum ADVrider.com. That is where we met some locals who took pity on us and invited us to join them for good beer at a local pub. Thanks Hache and SO, (cant spell name) great hanging out and hope we can do it again!
We learned that December 20th was an important day here in Argentina. On December 20 2001 they had the worst economic crash in Argentina history. The money was devalued and banks were closed on a “bank holiday.” This year was then the 15th anniversary of the crash and brought hundreds if not thousands to the city to protest. The protest was held in front of the Casa Rosada which is the equivalent of our White House. This all was only a few blocks from our hotel. Of course we had to go an join in.
Here is a 30 second YouTube video from our roadside table where we stopped for a snack:
We changed hotels again yesterday and are at a “boutique” hotel in San Telmo, It’s actually really nice with a rooftop pool and bar. They were out of regular rooms so we have a suite with a balcony for the same price, about $75 per night. Here is a picture out our window.
So…. that’s it so far. Hopefully Santa will deliver two motorcycles on Christmas day and we can get this ride started.
Our best wishes to all our friends and family for a wonderful Christmas, we miss you all.
Donn and Deby