Chez Dakar Motos, Buenos Aires   Leave a comment

After getting the bike out of Customs, the next day was dedicated to sorting out paperwork. Photocopies had to be made of all the new documents, which gave me the opportunity to experience more of the helpfulness of the friendly inhabitants of the Argentinean capital.

Then it was on to the headquarter of my local bike insurance to receive the extensions for the other countries I am going to travel to; not only Argentina but also Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia and Chile are covered by the same company on one contract – for the equivalent of 33.30 GBP for the four months of my trip, fantastico!

On the way to the Diagonal Norte I came across one of the many demonstrations. Photographers are usually frowned upon but John had told me that tourists are exempt from this rule…

Demonstration in Calle Bartolome Mitre

Buenos Aires is a fascinating mixture of beauty and decay just next to each other.

Colonial Architecture

... and ruins at the next corner

Parking in the city centre is scarce and unsecure, so there are a lot of guarded parking lots about. I was lucky to have one of these spots right on the other side of the road from my hotel. This is Miguel who looked after my bike (and a few other cars, I think…) and invited me to my first Mate, the Argentinean national drink – a gesture that you should never decline.

Miguel, best bike-park attendant in Buenos Aires

Finally packed and ready to leave downtown for Vicente Lopéz, I programmed the GPS et voilà – only 14 minutes to Dakar Motos apparently. Right, on the eight lanes of the Avenida 9 de Julio I already missed the opportunity to turn left.  A helpful bus driver pulled intimidatingly close, opened the door and suggested I should just ride over the traffic island. Mmm, with a fully loaded bike and my foot still weak and hurting, that might not be a wise move…

So I let the GPS recalculate and took the northern loop by the sea front and the Aeroparque, the national airport of Buenos Aires. Of course, it was around five o’clock and the rush hour in full flow. As mentioned before, even the cars are filtering in this city, so there was no chance of slipping through with my big panniers. Coming to a hold was struggle enough, as I didn’t dare to put sudden weight on my left foot.

While standing in the stationary traffic I suddenly noticed a familiar smell: fuel… Oh no, not again! It didn’t help that I hadn’t filled up since releasing the bike from the airport and so I could only hope that I would still make it to Dakar Motos. Many friendly drivers and bikers pointed out that I was leaking but what was I supposed to do? Stopping on a fast five lane motorway without any hard shoulder in sight is just not an option.

On the last drop and one hour late I finally arrived at Calle Carlos Tejedor 1379 and received a very warm welcome from Sandra and Javier. They introduced me to the already resident RTW travellers Adrian (from Australia) and Mick (from Denmark) and after a few hours of lively chat I decided to stay not one but two nights at this friendly place.

Mick, Sandra and Adrian at Dakar Motos

*****

Life is good – the local supermercado sells everything we need for a hearty breakfast.

Open all day every day - the local supermercado

This photo I took especially for my beloved Possu who swears by the original…

The Original

Life is good chez Dakar Motos

Breakfast in the sun

The day was spent on bike maintenance and little adjustments. The previous evening Javier had stated that he doesn’t work Saturdays, so here he is probably just enjoying himself fiddling with Adrian’s KLR.

Javier enjoying himself

To avoid future fuel leaks once and for all, I replaced the old fuel pipe with a new one (which Possu had thoughtfully advised me to buy prior to departure) and fitted another filter from Javier’s workshop. This bigger version will certainly be better suited for filtering dirty gasolina sold from rusty oil drums in the more remote areas.

Fuel filter problem finally solved!

Dakar Motos seems to be a popular meeting place for the local biker community. We were introduced to a wide spectrum of the Moteros of Buenos Aires.

The local biker community

Amongst them is Fabrizio who rides a restored 1949 Norton with all the trimmings. He is also a very nice and helpful guy, here shown siphoning a spare litre out of his tank to enable me reaching the nearest filling station.

Fabrizio, my saviour

Then, as the icing of the cake and to make my bike ready for the South American roads, Javier added his personal signature.

Been there. got the sticker... 😉

We really had a brilliant time and it would have been so easy to stay another day and maybe another one after that – in the company of like-minded motorcyclists and in the comfort of this home-like place so far away from Europe before venturing into the great unknown. After all, I had already done the first step and travelled to a different continent; so what was another day to give me some additional time to build up a bit more courage?

Don’t be such a wuss, I told myself off, that’s what you have come over here for and four months will be shorter than you think! Alright, the decision was made and I went for a last dinner with Adrian. Nice guy, really, but you have to watch your olives… 😉

When sharing a pizza with Adrian you'd better watch your olives...

Outside the pizzeria we found a look-alike of the famous Australian Postie bikes.

Australian Postie Bike with Wombat

*****

On Sunday morning I captured the last impressions of the empty calles of Vicente-Lopéz.

Calle San Martin in Vicente-Lopéz

Good idea – kill poverty not the poor…

Graffiti

Then I packed the bike, waved goodbye to Adrian and Mick and hit the road…

By the way, if you want to know what these great guys are up to you can follow their trips on the following sites:

Adrian is from Australia and just embarking on a RTW trip which will take him north from Buenos Aires to New York. From there he will ship his KLR to London and then head east to the next coast. Adrian’s Motorcycle Diaries – Adriankemmis.blogspot.com.

Mick started his RTW trip in his home country Denmark and has been on the road since 2009. He has travelled through Europe and down the west coast of Africa. From Buenos Aires he will ride down to Patagonia and then up on the Pacific side. ATWJ – MHoey.eu

 

Posted 27 August 2010 by Pumpy in Argentina

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