Day 236 – Buenos Aires, Argentina to Dolores, Uruguay

Day 236 – Buenos Aires, Argentina to Dolores, Uruguay      04/14/11      Mileage: 228

Valerii was heading the same direction this morning, so we agreed to ride together. He was heading for Paraguay…me for Uruguay. I chatted more with the lads from the UK and used the wifi for a bit, then packed the bike and Valerii and I hit the road.

Valerii and his white Honda Africa Twin….

L to R: John, Dave, Ian and the famous Javier…owner of Dakar Moto’s…

It was good to be rolling again for sure, though I think I needed a good break from the day to day grind of the road…and Buenos Aires was the perfect spot to do it. About 90 miles from Buenos Aires, we crested a small bridge and up ahead I could see a police checkpoint. No big deal, Valerii and I have each been through hundreds of them, and most of the time they just wave you through..or perhaps just a question or two. But this time the cop waved us to the side of the road and said one word…seguro…Spanish for insurance. He didn’t care about a license, import permit, passport….nothing. He wanted to see our insurance documents for one reason…because it’s mandatory in Argentina and he doesn’t think we have it…and he would be right. In fact few overland bikers do purchase it and he probably knows that. So, I’ve developed a bag of tricks for dealing with cops, now I just have to decide which trick to pull out of the bag to get out of this. Hmmm, I think I’ll play the document game with him. It goes like this…he asked you for something, in this case an insurance document. You in turn look puzzled as to what he’s actually looking for, but you want to seem helpful, so you start pulling out all manner of paperwork and official looking documents and just keep handing them over one by one….then two at a time until he’s got a mound of official paperwork and documentation 2 inches thick. As he hands one back you hand him another one…international vaccination record, international driving permit, tourist card….whatever…just keep handing over documents until he forgets what in the hell he actually asked you for in the first place. It’s also important to make sure he see’s your passport filled to the rim with stamps so he know’s that your an experienced traveler…and you must know what your doing. I point to all the flags on my side cases also…it builds the case that you actually know what you need more than he does. Eventually, as was the case this time too, they tire of the game, hand your stack of paperwork back and wave you on. Valerii was behind me and I can hear him playing a similar game. He handed the cop a bunch of paperwork with his insurance card from Ukraine, pointed to the 20+ countries on his fairing and said it’s valid everywhere…knowing full well it’s not valid outside of Ukraine…heck, maybe not even in Ukraine! Lol Anyway, he let Valerii pass also and we were on our way. Another 60 miles up the road we reached my turnoff for Uruguay.

Safe travels my friend…

We wished each other well on the rest of our journeys, and we parted ways. The border was blissfully simple as both the Argentina and Uruguay border posts are in one building. They even have the 4 desks you have to go to right next to each other and numbered 1,2,3,4….brilliant! Crossing a border in 4 easy steps…literally! So that done, it was on into Uruguay…country number 17.

Found this great little dirt road through the open country of central Uruguay…

It was starting to get dark so I found a good stealth campsite….that is…until they turned the lights on for some night practice on the soccer field…damn…didn’t see that when I pitched my tent in the dark! Oh well, I ain’t moving now…

8 Responses to Day 236 – Buenos Aires, Argentina to Dolores, Uruguay

  1. Paul Bell says:

    Ahh the never ending bag of tricks you have my friend! I think you should write an entire book on how to trick foreign police officers with a smile– got your postcard- thxs! Safe travels!!

    • Lenny says:

      Ha! Yeah…after a while it actually is kind of a little fun dealing with the cops down here, now that I have my little bag of tricks. In the US I would NEVER pull the kind of shit I pull down here….that’s for sure! But like Valerii from the Ukraine, if a cop pulled him over in the US, and he started spouting Ukrainian and handed him a mound of international documents…he might just get away with it!! LOL

  2. Arlene says:

    Hi Lenny, I am watching you move and it is 3:30pm here and wondering where your next destination is. Your police stories always crack me up… are just too much.

    Enjoyed reading about your time in BA and you got some time to relax and see travel friends. The time with Helena and Gustavo and their son must of been hard to leave. I cannot believe that they let the 5 year old on the back of the bike…….a compliment to you.

    Take care and be safe. Love you, Mom

  3. Arlene says:

    Hi Lenny, looks like you will be in Sao Paulo in about two days unless you are stopping and doing some sightseeing. Dad figures you are about 600 miles away.
    Waiting to see how the border into Bazil went. You always have interesting comments.
    Be well and be happy. Will be talking to you soon. Love ya, Mom

  4. Tracy says:

    You’re pretty slick! I’m shocked that you didn’t engage in the soccer practice!

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