04-18-2013, 11:41 AM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Interior BC, Canada
Mar 25 – 27 Braving the flatlands to Buenos Aires
We are on the home stretch now. I need to be at Dakar Motos on the morning of the 27th so, the plan is to ride to the town of San Pedro on the outskirts of Buenos Aires spending a night in the farm town of Arroyito along the way.
Long, straight, flat roads. Pretty mundane but it was enjoyable riding.
Started off with desert for awhile then eventually turned into some fairly large scale farming. Notice the nests on each telephone pole. Some sort of hawk. Sometimes 3 or 4 nests on one pole - went on for hundreds of miles.
(I don't know what the deal is with the color in some of these pics but if it looks weird, it wasn't)
Kind of like the mid-west – lots of corn, sorghum, beans and peas. Few other crops thrown in. Most of the corn was very short – mature at 4 feet or less. I’m guessing this is grain corn – probably for something “useful” like making Ethanol.
Lots of fairly large elevators. Didn’t see any cattle being fed or for that matter, any other livestock. Maybe closer to Buenos Aires?
A pretty steady stream of these trucks hauling grain to and from elevators
I found it interesting that almost all highway trucks were single axle tractors, many times with an extra axle on the trailer. This is a gasoline tanker
Tried to stay on secondary roads as they have virtually no traffic. Turned onto one road and it was dried, rutted mud mess. WTF? If it’s going to be like this for the next 80 km, I’ll go find the highway. Turned out to last only 7 or 8 km to the next little town then beautiful country 2 laner from there. Straight but no traffic.
First night stay in Arroyito, a typical farm town. Has a large manufacturing plant making candies and cookies. Stopped at on big hotel but it seemed to be closed down. Found Hotel Americana which had an attached garage and was quite suitable.
Some different things I've discovered in Argentina:
Virtually every hotel uses skeleton keys - even those that were fairly new buildings.
Every hotel room had a bidet . . . I guess this shows the European influence. I don't really get these gadgets and they just seem to take up a lot of space in these sometimes cramped bathrooms
We are all used to Pizza Delivery and have run across a number of other hot food delivery services. Here they have ice cream delivery. I'm thinkin that's going to be one drippy cone by the time Jose gets to my house with his three wheeler.
On the second day I started to notice some pretty dark clouds on the horizon. Could see the edge of the storm running parallel with the highway and thought I might miss it. Nope, gave it to me full bore.
Rain, then rain mixed with hail and lightning striking all over the place. Usually three at a time – less than half mile away. I am ok with rain and I’m ok with hail but together they suck! I put my helmet visor down for the hail and up for the rain. With both, I have to have it down to protect against the hail on my tender face but the moisture from the rain gets it fogged up quickly. So I’m riding along with the visor up and my hand over my lower face to block the hail – thought I was riding the Harley again. Couldn’t pull over as I couldn’t see the side of the road.
Second night stayed in San Pedro at the Hotel San Pedro. Nice hotel and really nice folks running it. Last road food pic
The next morning I have a short ride into the outskirts of Buenos Aires to the Dakar Motors shop to meet with Sandra and Javier for the first step of the “four day” shipping process. They are the go-to people in Buenos Aires to ship motorcycles in addition to having a thriving moto repair shop.
The shipping process from Buenos Aires seems to be somewhat cumbersome but it works so I’ll roll with it. The first day is to allow Sandra and Javier to review all the documents, set up the schedule and get a reservation set up with the shipping company at the airport. The bike is delivered to the airport on the second day, paid for on the third day and the fourth day is to resolve any issues that may arise that would require the owner to deal with in Buenos Aires.
So, the fly in the ointment for me is Easter. That is the major holiday in Latin America and in Argentina it is a 6 day affair. All government offices, banks and most businesses are shut down for 6 fricking days!
The first day after Easter is Apr 3 and if I start the process then, I won’t be leaving town until the 11th or 12th (there are already a bunch of reservations in place for the first part of the week) which gets me home much later than I wanted.
So, if I want to get home around when I wanted, I start the process the day before the holidays, March 27 and cool my heals in BsAs for 9 days before flying out. While in BsAs, I also decided to leave my bike at Dakar for storage as they were substantially cheaper than hotel parking downtown. As it turned out, this part I would later wish I did a little differently.