The journey begins…   5 comments

Never had I thought that the last weeks before departure would be so emotional. To be incredibly excited about the trip was what I expected but the love and the caring  shown by my family and friends were just overwhelming.

I had a wonderful ¨Send Off¨on 6th August with friends coming from all over the country – from as far as Benson (400 yards) to the Wirral (180 miles).

 

Send off at the Chequers

During the remaining ten days before I set off to Buenos Aires, friends and relatives kept calling, sending lovely messages, commenting on my blog and visiting me in Oxford – it was very humbling and I am very lucky to have such wonderful people in my life. Apologies if I haven’t been able to reply to everyone in the appropriate depth but there were still thousand and one things to do.

On 10th August we delivered the bike to James Cargo to be crated and shipped to Argentina.

Giles from James Cargo

Ready for take-off...

Then I spent a few days with Steve’s side of the family in Kent for good wishes and big hugs. I promised that I wouldn’t be doing anything (too) silly…

On 17th  August I then followed the DRZ to Buenos Aires.

 

Sharing the last cake with Possu at Gatwick

 

Leaving the British summer behind…

 

Hasta luego, Inglaterra...

There was a three-hour stop-over at Madrid where I was lucky enough to snatch the last sandwich before the Bistro closed. The Duty-free shops were open the whole night though…

Although I had booked my window-seat four months in advance, they gave me an asiento right in the middle at the rear of the aircraft on the day – no Madrid by night, illuminated Canary Islands, Amazonian rainforest or the Iguazú Falls from the air, boohoo. But, crowded as that flight was, I should probably count myself lucky that they took me to South America at all.

Going south, very, very south

 

A brief glimpse out of the crew compartment showed that I hadn’t missed a lot anyway.

 

South America from the air

After 13 hours we finally touched ground at Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires. The sky looked similar to the English one but it was warm! Expecting the equivalent of February in the northern hemisphere in Argentina, I was accordingly dressed and too hot already while queueing for immigration. However, it didn’t cross my mind for a second to complain… 😉

 

Welcome to Buenos Aires

The ride on the excellent Manuel Tienda León shuttle bus and the subsequent transfer to the hotel (5 Argentinean Pesos extra – less than a pound!), gave me a great introduction to the local traffic conditions – even the cars are “filtering” here and “lane-splitting” means that up to five cars/trucks/buses/motorcycles share three lanes. I was already looking forward to joining this chaos on my own bike the next day.

A great mixture of architecture can be seen next to the motorway into the City Centre.

 

Autopista into Buenos Aires

Occasionally I could only hope that the slip roads were sign-posted appropriately.

 

Interesting traffic routing...

Eventually arriving in one piece at my hotel in San Telmo, I was looking forward to meeting my friend John from the UK who is currently residing in Buenos Aires.

Let the sight-seeing begin…

Posted 19 August 2010 by Pumpy in Argentina, Preparation

5 responses to “The journey begins…

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  1. Way to go Ela!! Safe travels and keep it shiny side up.
    Good luck!

  2. Have a great time and ride safe Ela.
    As i can’t do long trips any longer i rely on you travellers to bring it to me.
    Ashley
    xxx

  3. Hi Ela, glad to see you are there and give John and Huge Hug from me. Have fun and I hope you have the best time of your life so far.

  4. “Recuerdos, tienes un gran viage!”

    Stay out of the scenery!
    Mark & Denise

  5. Seen your webblog via live search the other day and absolutely love it. Continue the excellent work.

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