Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 28, 29, 2014, Montevideo, Uruguay

It's an hour and a half ride from Colonia to Montevideo, the country side resembles that of the Brandon, Manitoba area with rolling hills and a mix of crops and grazing cows. The highways in Uruguay are some of the best we've seen in South America and we cruise along at 110 km/h even on a bad rear tire.  The rear tire now has over 14,000 km's on it, we have bad cupping on the outer tread area and lots of cracks appearing in the rubber. A new tire here is over $500 and less than $200 in the USA-think I'll wait to get home to replace it. Our first stop will be the BMW dealer in Montevideo as our rear brakes are done. We tried having them changed in Buenos Aires which was another disappointment. We were at Cordasco BMW before they opened and after waiting two hours are told they don't have brake pads in stock, but only after I questioned why it was taking so long. The parts guy tells me he will phone another dealer to see if they have pads and after waiting 15 minutes for an answer we leave as he's no where to be found.
We have much better service at Motor Haus BMW, as we drive into the service area we are met by Al who is amazed that we have rode more than 28,000 km's. Al was born in Uruguay, raised in Atlanta, Georgia and returned to Uruguay to work at BMW. His English is perfect and he interprets for the parts guy. They have the brake pads at their second location and Al sends a text to Adrian to ensure we get looked after when we arrive there. Thanks for all the help Al!
 Highway from Colonia to Montevideo.
 Adrian changed out the brake pads in 20 minutes and we're on our way again.
Montevideo has many historic buildings and they are in amazing condition considering their age. We are only here for a few days but will post more when we return for a second visit to this interesting city.

 Quite a few horse drawn carts used for everything from hauling kids to school, picking up recyclables like cardboard and plastic bottles to general transportation.

March 27 Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay

Rather than driving 870 kilometers from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Colonia del Sacramento, Uruguay we take a 70 minute ferry ride between the two cities. I'm shocked at the cost of the ferry ride compared to a similar ride on a BC Ferry. The Argentina ferry cost $176 compared to $57 on BC Ferries.
 Rio Uruguay in Colonia.
 Colonia has many restaurants that have sidewalk seating available.

Friday, March 28, 2014

March 23rd.- March 27th. Buenos Aires, Argentina, 23 degrees C.

 Arrived in Buenos Aries at noon on Sunday. With Monday being a national holiday the traffic was very light and we managed to find our downtown hotel without any trouble. The hotel is okay but at $100 USD per night we need to find something more affordable. We take a walk in search of less expensive accommodations and find lots to choose from and make reservations at a recently renovated place that has a flat panel TV, new bed with down duvet and is nicely finished for about half the price.
 Buenos Aries seems to have lots of green space which makes sense as much of the population lives in high rise buildings.
 The famous Obelisco de Buenos Aires (five lanes in each direction).
 Galerias Pacifico on Calle Florida ( a pedestrian street closed to traffic) in Buenos Aries microcenter 
 Downtown Buenos Aries has hundreds of huge buildings constructed in the early 1900's and those that have been restored are phenomenal.
 Part of the art work on the ceiling in Galerias Pacifico, a mall in the heart of the center of Buenos Aires
The area known as Recoleta is very upscale and has nice cafes and residential areas.
 Lots of sidewalk cafes in Buenos Aries.
The following pictures are from La Recoleta Cemetery which is considered one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world; it most certainly is elaborate and an entire day could be spent here. It was founded in 1822 and many of the cities doctors, politicians and other elite have family plots here.
Buenos Aries definitely has a lot of restaurant choices, although barbequed meats are front and center. Argentina has awesome pastries and desserts, even their plain croissants are wonderful and if we don't each weigh 500 pounds before we get home it will be amazing.
These prices are Argentinian pesos and not dollars.
 A really large Stella was needed to wash down all this barbequed meat!
On Wednesday morning we were on our way to take a city tour but met Carol and Darren in the hotel lobby. They are a Scottish couple(residing in the UK) that we met in Puerto San Julian about a week ago. We decided to go for coffee down the street which turned into lunch and about 4 or 5 hours later we head back to the hotel. It was great to talk with other riders and learn about their adventure which started in Alaska. Many of our experiences were similar and we could really relate to each others stories. They are in Buenos Aires and will be prepping their BMW's for the flight home within a week.
Carol and Darren
Later in the evening we met with Diego for coffee and visit with him, his sister and his son. We talked about motorcycle touring in northern Canada and tweak his interest in going to Inuvik and Alaska in 2015. We had a terrific day visiting and learning more about Argentina, politics and local lifestyles. We plan to meet again when we return from Uruguay and before flying the BMW and us to Seattle.
Us with Diego, his twin sister Felicitas and Diego's son Ivan. 
 Casa Rosada, home to the presidents offices.