Still zero kms travelled and, you guessed it, still no bike! Each day brings different news about Idris´ journey, but not Idris itself. I am trying to remain philosophical about the delays, it being all part of the journey, and it certainly has been a boon being able to spend some time on arrival in Buenos Aires to kick back and down shift after the mad dash to wind up work and get my stuff together for the trip. But I'm ready to hit the road now – though I will refrain from doing so with my fist! Yo no soy tonto!
As I write I am waiting for more news from James Cargo and Air Canada (who have been charged with the transport) as to Idris´ current location, and estimated arrival date. If it arrives on or before Monday (today being Friday) we can clear it on Tuesday. There are no Air Canada flights in on Tuesday, so if it arrives later we won´t be able to clear it at the airport until after the Easter celebrations here in Argentina – a further week and a half delay. Sandra and Javier here at Dakar Motos have been great, but there is little they can do while the bike remains outside of Argentina.
Patience is a virtue, but I think I have more of it than I have time available! So, in the absence of anything road related, I thought I would update the blog with some information on life at the hostel.
The Dakar Motos Wall of Fame!
The garden at Dakar Motos
While being relatively basic in terms of amenities, Dakar Motos has an atmosphere that draws you in and makes you feel at home. Well not quite at home, but you know what I mean. The constant daily flow of bike riders and bikes provides us travellers with the opportunity to learn more about the different brands, different ways of travelling by bike, and the different routes taken to get here (or planned on departure). Pulling out the maps and swopping information on places to stay, the condition of roads, and things to see and do has become a daily occurrence, and I´m grateful for the time of those passing through to share what they have learned in their travels. Though I sense that, universally they are itching to speak about the sights and experiences of the road – the bubbling enthusiasm is palpable.
Erik´s 13th birthday!
The fellow adventure bike riders (ABRs) with whom I am sharing the hostel are quickly becoming mates. Shaheen from New Mexico, finishing his 14 month trek south (via Brazil) on a Buel; Jay, Mercedes and son Erik (who celebrated his 13th birthday here) on a 1 year tour from Canada on BMWs; Andy and Ben from Australia just starting out on DR and KLR 650s (when they eventually arrive on the boat) are all adding to the friendly mix that is Dakar Motos – it sucks you in!
Sandra from Dakar Motos, Mike and I
There have been more people passing through, and I´m grateful to John from Alaska (and Max) for the offer of a place to stay when I eventually get up that way – and for his advice on riding the Ruta 40.
Owain and Hannah from Australia spent a nice couple of hours chatting about their 2½ year epic around the southern continent; as did Woody (who also hails from that fair land) before heading north on his DR650. Mike from Switzerland made a quick overnight stop here as he collected his GSA, before heading off on pretty much the same route as I have planned – but with less time. A real mix of people and ideas as to what adventure bike riding is about, and I feel enriched from having met them all.
Javier, Sandra and Mike
But it has been the locals – not least Sandra and Javier – who continue to impress with their patience (with my Castilian Spanish) and universal good humour. Like meeting ABRs the world over, the laughs are plentiful – and long may that continue.
After a chilled week (aside from frustrations about the bike) and as I have the time, it will be back to the tourist trail again this weekend. So more on that and what the city has to offer next time.
Thought for the day
This one is about friendship, and what binds often different people to each other. Clearly a common perspective or interest is a driver in bringing people from diverse backgrounds together. The motorcycle community, if I may call it that, is a case in point. The interest in the machines themselves provides grounds for conversation, but I feel the similarities in our respective outlooks on life and how one should live are more critical points. Bikes provide the opportunity to sample a sense of freedom, whether riding out for a few hours with mates, or taking a longer journey into the unknown – such as that I have ahead of me. They also provide a means to engage with wider communities and learn from such experiences. Idris is my ´tool´ to be applied in the process of learning through my travels – and wielding that tool I hope to develop my own sense of tolerance and understanding – in a growing community of friends that extends beyond any geo-political boundaries.
These blog entries are being reposted from Pat's website [link] in an effort to draw more attention to his fundraising efforts with UNICEF. You can help Pat reach his goal here [link] as he continues to ride throughout the Americas. Follow along daily for updates.