Day 228 – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Day 228 – Buenos Aires, Argentina      04/06/11       Mileage: Local miles

This morning it was back on the train downtown to the Brazilian Consulate to apply for a visa. Luckily there was only one person ahead of me in line and it only took 20 minutes. They said it would be ready tomorrow at noon which would be great, as I was told by others it would take at least a week…sometimes two! That done I was off to see more sights, this time heading for the upscale bario’s of Recoleta and Polermo. First up was Recoleta and it was nice just to walk the streets.

I found a nice sidewalk cafe for a small bite to eat and then walked across the plaza to tour the famous Cemetario de la Recoleta…the final resting place of anyone who was anyone in Argentina…ex presidents, generals, aristocrats and Eva Peron are all buried here.

But that alone is not what makes this cemetery famous, it’s also the mind boggling array of mausoleums and tombs in every conceivable architectural style that make it like a small city itself. Some look like miniature chapels or the stone edifice of an old bank, while others have monuments and sculptures.

The Duarte family mouseleum….Eva Peron’s maiden name….

Most are well kept and some have fallen into disrepair, but for sure there is a unique story behind each of them.

This one was glass on the front and sides…a close-up of the inside is below…

After making the rounds at the cemetery, I walked to the bario of Polermo taking in the scene along the way. I picked up a sandwich and had a relaxing picnic lunch in the botanical garden…a little oasis of tranquility in the bustling city.

After strolling around Polermo I started making my way back towards the train station, then back to Dakar Moto’s to finish up the work on the bike.

 I also relocated from Dakar to a friends of friends house who live in Martinez…a very nice suburb of Buenos Aires. It was short ride over to Gustavo and Helena’s house…and what a nice house it is! It was a significant upgrade from the “modest” accommodations at Dakar and they are very gracious and welcoming hosts. Photos coming soon…

Day 227 – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Day 227 – Buenos Aires, Argentina       04/05/11       Mileage: 0

Gus was heading  into town as well so we hopped on the train and headed downtown. He steered me in the right direction and then went off to do his errands.

I first had to get some documents printed and scanned for my Brazil visa application, then went to the Brazilian Consulate. I arrived 15 minutes after they stopped taking foreign visa applications for the day, so I’ll have to come back tomorrow.

Of well, at least now I can head out to see some of the sights around town.

The memorial commemorating the Falkland Islands War with Britain…

This guy was selling nuts and was a real character…and a little nuts himself!

The consulate was on the north end of Avenida 9 de Julio…which is like Buenos Aires’s answer to the Champs-Elysees in Paris, a broad boulevard with nice cafes and shops.

In fact they call Buenos Aires the Paris of South America, and I’d have to say that was true…fashionable people, good coffee and croissants, and dog shit all over the sidewalks.

At the Obelisco, I hung a left and walked to the Plaza de Mayo and the famous Casa Rosada(the residence of the president)…the balcony from which Juan and Eva Peron gave so many impassioned speeches.

The Casa Rosada….

I sat in the plaza for a while to take it all in, then walked down to the trendy bario(neighborhood) of San Telmo where I found a nice cafe and did some people watching. I continued walking around San Telmo a bit more and then began to make my way back towards the train station.

Along the way I walked down Calle Florida, a pedestrian only street filled with shops, cafe’s and street performers…including a dance company showing off their tango skills.

And no city in the Western World would be complete without a Starbucks of course…

After catching the train back to Florida and Dakar Moto’s, I worked on the bike for a bit as well as the blog which was still back in Chile! Gus and I also hung out for a bit and drank a few beers before I called it a night. Tomorrow it’s back to the Brazilian Consulate to turn in my visa application and see more of Buenos Aires…

Day 226 – Buenos Aires, Argentina

Day 226 – Buenos Aires, Argentina      04/04/11      Mileage: 0

Today was a rest day of sorts spent working on the blog, returning emails, and just walking around the local neighborhood running some errands. Tomorrow I’m going to head downtown see the sights and to stop by the Brazilian consulate to start my visa application…

Token picture: The KLR in the Dakar Moto stable with the other adventure bikes…

Day 225 – Tornquist to Buenos Aires, Argentina

Day 225 – Tornquist to Buenos Aires, Argentina      04/03/11      Mileage: 386

It was a nice morning in camp and I took the time to make coffee and chill for a bit before the final push into Buenos Aires.

I only had around 380 miles to go, so instead of taking the most direct route I got off on some side roads to explore a little of the countryside.

I found a great dirt road that weaved its way between some farms and open country which was a nice change from the last 1500 miles of fast straight highway.

Back on the pavement I passed the Moretti guys that I had first met in an Irish pub in Ushuaia. I bumped into them again at the Argentina border….and now again 1500 miles north on some random road outside of Buenos Aires…what are the odds.

The picture is crooked because I took it with my regular camera as I was wizzing by!

Here they are parked at the Argentina border post in Tierra del Fuego…some 1500 miles south of here…with there 4×4 delivery truck!

They work for a beer distributer in Italy, which sent them on an expedition to deliver beer to Ushuaia…how cool is that!  The beer distribution business must be lucrative in Italy! LOL  Soon after I hit the outskirts off Buenos Aires and thank god I had a GPS guiding me or else I would have never found Dakar Moto’s…a home for wayward overland bikers and their motorcycles. Being a Sunday there was nobody there…and it was only sheer luck that another rider, Gus, who was staying there wandered up and saw me sitting there on my bike and let me in. In addition to being a repair shop, Dakar Moto’s is also a small “hostel” that amounts to 2 bunk beds, a bathroom and a small kitchen in the back of the repair shop. Nothing fancy for sure, but who cares. The owners, Javier and his wife Sandra, also help with local info, logistics and they’ll store your bike as well if needed.

That night Gus and I had a few beers and swapped stories and lies from the road…