In an effort to reduce the air fare for the bike we hit the streets of Buenos Aires to exchange our US dollars for peso's. The official rate gets you about 800 peso's for 100 US dollars but due to 30% inflation in the country the locals are trading money on the streets.
The parks in Buenos Aires have many statues.
Diego planned to take us for a bike ride around Buenos Aries on Sunday but the weather didn't cooperate so instead we went touring in his car. We were able to see much of this huge city and enjoyed a wonderful mid afternoon meal with Maria, Diego and son Ivan.
Ivan, Maria and Diego at their home in Buenos Aires.
With Maria in their backyard which reminded us of our old property in Nanaimo.
Diego's 1971 Ford which is in excellent condition (as you can tell by the leaves on the ground, fall has arrived in the southern hemisphere).
It's off to the airport to dismantle the bike and prepare it for the flight home. Once we arrive there we wait for a hour before getting access to the warehouse where we can begin dismantling the bike. I drive the bike onto a wooden pallet and remove the front wheel, panniers, top case, GPS, drain the air from the tires, drain the oil and fuel canisters, disconnect the battery and lower the windshield.
Disassembly of the bike marks the end of an adventure that we'll certainly remember and talk about for a long time to come.
All wrapped and ready for Air Canada.
Diana's picture taking was stopped by a customs agent as they don't allow photo's to be taken in the secured area. I couldn't send my dear bike off without a parting photo, but only when the clerks back was turned. Alex from France was also packing his Yamaha to return home after 9 months and 90,000 kilometers, starting in Montreal, criss crossing Canada, Alaska, the lower 48 and south through Central and South America.
After sending birthday greetings to Kirk we are off to pay the air freight for the motorcycle and retrieve the tracking number. We have an appointment with the freight broker but are told to come back an hour later. When we finally get the final value of the shipment we go next door to a bank, stand in line, make the cash payment, get a receipt, return to the broker, stand in line again and finally get a tracking number for the bike.
In the evening we went to a dinner-tango show at the port. The three hour performance began with drinks and a three course meal followed by plenty of singing, tango performances and included a tango dance lesson at the end of the evening.
Puerto Madero at night.
What do you do when your sofa is 3 meters long and you live on the eleventh floor?
Moving the sofa using web straps.
This ice cream shop had 15 motorcycles for home delivery of ice cream.
Mobile knife sharpening, the grindstone was turned by pedaling.
Today is a national day of protest in Argentina shutting down all air, bus and train traffic along with public schools, businesses and hospitals. There was some violence reported on the morning news but we have stayed clear of some of the squares where we had seen police barricades being prepared in the last few days.
Diana and I went to the Recoleta district for lunch today and started a conversation with a couple seated next to us at a sidewalk café. Ron and Maureen are from Edmonton, we talked about each others experiences in South America and Ron's motorcycle experiences. During our conversation it's revealed that they live next door to our friends Reid and Joanne. Once again we discover how small this planet is.
Diego puts on his tour guide hat and meets us downtown and we go for a walk through Recoleta all the while explaining the history of the many mansions, hotels and embassy's. We did get distracted by the coffee shops and of coarse had to make sure the ice cream was okay.
Our last full day in Buenos Aires is spent shopping (sorry Karman but I still can't find any jewellery that you would like) for a few souvenir's, visiting a museum and taking pictures. Due to the national strike yesterday most of the ATM's haven't any cash to dispense, damn, I feel like we are in Bolivia again!
The inlay on this piece was beautiful.
Our next post (about a week from now) will be the final post for this unbelievable journey. We have meet so many wonderful people, forged friendships, laughed until we ached and been touched by so many of the stories people have told us about their personal lives.
The planning for the next adventure will begin in a few months time and will be a trip from Vancouver Island through the Yukon onto Inuvik, North West Territories on the Dempster highway (which my father worked on in the 1970's) and finally Alaska. An invitation is extended to all those who are interested in riding north. Our son Kirk is planning to purchase a bike this year and make this his first motorcycle adventure.