Buenos Aires is often described as the Paris of South America, and for us it did certainly feel that little bit more European than the chaos of Lima or the humidity of Medellin. There was a soul to the city that we felt had been missing in Santiago and the inhabitants in our latest capital were as glamorous as some of the colonial buildings that lined its streets. However, as we explored a little deeper into the city it became clear to us that the gap between the rich and poor here was bigger than ever. We saw families rummaging through bins alongside the wealthy drinking fine wine in chic cafes. One third of the population of Argentina live in and around the suburbs of Buenos Aires, making it a busy and over populated place in relation to the vast emptiness of the rest of the country.
Buenos Aires was to be the end of the road (for this trip) for our bike. We had arranged to fly it back to London from here before we flew to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil for a final few days before returning the the English winter. Before saying our farewell to the motorbike that we have both come to love and vow never to sell we caught the ferry to Uruguay to get another stamp in our passports and to explore a famous city on the coast just 2 hours from Buenos Aires.
Colonia Del Sacramento was a delightful old port that oozed character and history. The streets were colourful and the littered with cool cafes and bars. We enjoyed wandering and soaking up the sunshine and wine served on the cobbled streets. It was a time for us to relax and to contemplate ‘normal life’- whatever that is! We were contacted again by various companies and media outlets about our trip- one gifting Lorna a new motorbike jacket.
Back into Buenos Aires and we were getting back into the swing of regular exercise and the comfort of a decent hotel with a good shower. The city was becoming more familiar and we ventured further off the tourist trail to find some authentic cafes and bars with Tango dancing and great food.
Tom spent a day at the airport to sort out the exportation of Terry and after several hours it was done, he was wrapped in plastic and 48hrs later would be on the tarmac in Heathrow. Easy but expensive sums up the process!
With three days left in Buenos Aires and the need to adjust to life without our own transport we were left feeling a little bit bored and ready for home. Just as our patience for the city was wearing thin we were surprised by our old friend Brett turning up after covering 2,000 miles in 3 days from Ushuaia- a journey that took us 10 days! It was great to see him as always and we were all out in a bar catching up after insisting he took a shower and got changed! Brett had had an epic journey since we had last seen him. He had battled with punctures, break downs and even losing his pannier on the side of the road. We spent the next couple of days firming up plans to ride together in a few months back in Europe- something that we are looking forward to very much.
Reliant on a public transport for the first time in a very long time we said farewell to Brett and Argentina as we got a lift to the airport bound for Brazil- our final country on the continent.