Saturday, 31 January 2015

The end of the world is nye!

The white van man had stopped and between us we managed to get Rhonda in to the back of his van. He spoke a little English and was happy to help a biker in distress. It helped that I offered to pay him.

We had strapped her down as best we could but it wasn't enough. The van was blowing all over the place and as the driver fought to keep her in a straight line, we heard an almighty crash and knew without looking that Rhonda had fallen.

We stopped and managed to get her back up again with the driver constantly apologising. It wasn't his fault but he clearly felt responsible. The right hand mirror was hanging off now  but no serious damage. I still felt I had got off lightly after the near miss with the truck so I was still smiling much to the drivers suprise!

Ruta 3 - The long road to Ushuaia

Mar Del Plata
"Think positively" I told myself "and positive things will happen". I needed to remind myself of this after a pretty hard week of things not going particularly well all things considered!

One hour later, I found myself sliding to a stop, on my side, in front of a Truck! Positively - The truck stopped!

Since leaving the capital I have found very little of interest on my travels. Ruta 3 has been long, boring and very very windy. So much for my first impressions!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Back on the road

Getting Rhonda out was no big drama thanks to the organised fashion in which the Argentinians conduct themselves. Despite having no Spanish skills, I decided to chance not using an agent on this occasion. Last time I tried this in Thailand (after ditching my scamming agent) I found myself in the middle of a warehouse shouting "Does ANYONE here speak English!". It was very frustrating as the process is complicated and there are generally many offices you have to visit and re visit during the process!

People were patient with me here and I got through it with little frustration. The guys in the warehouse helped me uncrate Rhonda and held her while I put the front wheel back on. They were great guys and we had a giggle despite the language differences.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

The road to Ushuaia

This is the penultimate leg of my southward journey. From Ushuaia all that is left is getting across to Antarctica and then North all the way to Alaska!

Did I just say that out loud? I think I did. Well if funds allow then hell I'm up for it!

My route from Buenos Aires to Ushuaia is around 2,500 miles (4000km) and I have 2 weeks to play with. I have new tyres, new battery and a replenished sense of adventure!

Tango in the night!

I woke this morning feeling rough and miserable! My small dark room on the 4th floor of the (not so grand) Gran Hotel Argentino could have been anywhere! I really didn't know where I was or what I was doing there!

Slowly I came too, pulled myself out of bed and opened the curtains for the first time. Staring back at me was an identical wall to the one I guessed I was looking out of! An inkling of light came in but no more. I felt rough and I suddenly felt lonely! Why was I doing this? Why WAS I here! It would take a couple of hours before the answer came back to me. Until then I was grumpy!

Tiredness can really mess with your head!

My flight from New Zealand had taken 11 hours to Santiago with a 5 hour wait before another 2 hour flight to Buenos Aires. I was lucky enough to be the only person on the plane with loads of room! I had 4 seats to myself and everyone else was packed in as usual. I had more space than those over fed gits in first class and I made the most of it! I managed to sleep for six hours. Throw in a couple of meals and a couple of films and the flight was over before I knew it! The hardest part was the 5 hour wait in the airport.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

When Kookaburras kick off!

What a beautiful sound! That is one of the things that makes them special in my opinion. That and the fact that they are really really cute!

I'd like to tell you I was in a remote location somewhere in the bush,  Leatherman in hand  preparing that evenings dinner of grilled python and Turkey Rhubarb.  In reality I was sat on the veranda at my second cousins house somewhere in the suburb of Sydney.

There were three of them in all. I heard them before I saw them. 3 Kookaburras laughing in the tree above me. I've seen a few since I got here but I've never heard them laugh. I didn't know they did! If you haven't heard the sound then check it out on Youtube. When you hear more than one you understand why the collective noun is " A RIOT of kookaburras". It was a lovely sound. Perhaps because it was my first time hearing it. Perhaps because there is something special about these birds.

This moment more than made up for the fact that I had missed my chance to be interviewed by Channel 7 in front of Sydney Opera House earlier that day.

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Riding in to a new year!

I was keen to get started this morning but Rhonda had other ideas!

The temperature had dramatically dropped in Walcha. It's seems to be the coldest place in Australia. I'm not sure why as it's not at any great altitude. Personally I enjoyed the cool air and wrapping myself in blankets that night. In fact, I ended up staying two nights and was surprised to be given the second night for free. I was also invited for dinner with the family who owned the Walcha Motel. Andy (the husband) turned out to be a biker himself and was keen to hear my story over dinner. A lovely surprise and a welcome discount!