Dakar Motos

May 9-18, 2010

Well, let me tell you, 10 days is a looooooooooooooooooong time to sit in one spot after traveling for over a year (and 7+ months of it in Latin America for me)!

Let me tell you, 10 days is a looooooooooooooooooong time to stay in a city when you are not a “city” person!

Let me tell you, 10 days is a looooooooooooooooooong time to sit in one spot after traveling for over a year (and 7+ months of it in Latin America for me).

Let me tell you, 10 days is a looooooooooooooooooong time for someone used to being alone to be c-o-n-s-t-a-n-t-l-y in the shared company of others.

Let me tell you, 10 days is a looooooooooooooooooong time to be with a bunch of guys, not many of them very neat, OR very considerate, sometimes 10+ at time, living in a motorcycle repair shop with 4 bunks and a shared kitchen in it!

And, let me tell you, 10 days is a looooooooooooooooooong time to sit waiting for a flight back to the USA to be reunited with your boyfriend that you have not seen in 7+ months!

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I entertained myself by going downtown with Jonas and Eduardo.

ha! This is INSIDE the Burger King! (NEVER in the USA!)

Swedes are the BEST!

Jonas enjoying the free internet (Swedes are the BEST!)

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The Swedes (who are the BEST) and Justin bring their bikes to the airport the day before I do. The Swedes are on Dakar 650’s they shipped over and rode in Argentina and Chile for  6+ months, and Jeremiah is pictures here with his Triumph Tiger. He shops his motorbike to the States the day after I do. Busy week at Dakar Motos I guess. They help all motorbike travelers who request their services coming into and out of Buenos Aires. Sandra helps with import / export and Javier is a great mechanic. They’ve developed quite a business and a good reputation there in the outskirts of BA..

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Here’s Justin shipping his interim KLR back to the States:

Eduardo.

Jonas (Swedes are the BEST) (the reason I developed the irritating “Swedes are BEST” habit)

Justin.

Yes, now there’s more room in the workshop to admire MY ride…

So while they are at the airport, I go and bet my bike cleaned for travel. They charge me $8 and it is s-p-o-t-l-e-s-s!

Next day, here’s my pre-airport beauty shot…

Last ride in South America…BA freeway!

…and I gauge my gas usage perfectly…the bike runs out of gas in the cargo area!!

I wasn’t supposed to take pictures inside the airport, but I snuck a few…I took the front wheel off in order to make the bike “smaller” and hopefully cost less money in shipping, since they measure actual weight and cubic weight, and charge you whatever is more.

After the bike was secured, battery disconnected, riding gear thrown in,and “inspected” by Argentinian customs,

they shrunk-wrapped the bike…

Then they put these labels on it…

Whoops! Bike’s not going to Denver, it should be going to Seattle!!!

Then the guys took me to this crazy office  where all the customs brokers work…

From here I called one of the fellows I’d met in Bolivia (see THIS post) that invited me for Parilla when I got to Buenos Aires. I met them for lunch at the airport–turns out that two of the four work at the airport.

Then made my way back to Dakar Motos, and the Swedes, since they are the BEST!

And for some reason Justin decided to do some bike maintenance after dark (I think alcohol was involved, too!)

Javier working late fixing a traveler’s bike…

Next day, I went back into Downtown BA to pay for the shipment. I tell you it was VERY nerve-wracking to be walking around with $1500 in my pocket! I felt like a target the whole time.

Here’s the famous obelisk.

7 lanes going one way? Eek?

I ended up taking myself to a Hollywood movie, “Robin Hood” with Russell Crowe.
(Countdown to seeing Edward: 8 days)

It was after dark when I re-emerged from the Cinema, so I took a leisurely stroll along the pedestrian mall (holding tight to my camera and wallet!)

Next Day, Parilla with the Argentines!

It was kind of a blustery day, but that did not stoop the wind-warriors on the lake.

A powered bicycle!

My friends. Sheesh, they are so fun, such good friends with each other, and so hard to understand! Even a week in Argentina and I am still having trouble with the Argentinian accent. Usually “ll” is pronounces “y”  but in Argentina it’s pronounced “J”.  Oofa.

Then it’s back to Dakar Motos.

And Jonas the Swede (who is the BEST!)

And sometime in all of this Marty shows up. Marty  is  this cool kid (I can say this because technically I am old enough to be his mother) and is larger than life. Literally, at 6.4 I met Marty in Cali, Colombia, where he was just starting his trip.  He’d ridden with Ben (www.afewmoremiles.com) who I’d met up with in Central America. Marty had an incredible adventure in the Salar, barely getting out alive, and here he shows up at Dakar Motos at the same time as me.

Marty tells me about a zoo he’s heard about where you can pet the tigers. I’m in!

And that’s tomorrow’s adventure…

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