Wednesday, 4 July 2007
The heavy Boeing 747 takes off from
I am in
In the evening I check in a hotel in old San Telmo.
San Telmo is the artist’s
Life on the roads is bussy here and the quarter has got a pleasant atmosphere. San Telmo was actually named after Saint Elmo. The sailors of the 13th century believed in his powers and according to the legend, he could protect ships and villages from storms and disasters.
Today I go to the freight agency to find out when my
motorcycle is going to arrive in
In the office I’m told that the ship arrived today and that the bike will be released from the warehouse the following tuesday. In the afternoon, I head downtown again to buy the mandatory motorbike insurance.
The whole process takes about 5 minutes and the price for one month is less than 10 Euros.
The evening I spend in a Pizza restaurant watching the locals with interest. It is always fascinating when you go from one continent to the other within a day…
Friday, 6 July 2007
A free weekend lies ahead and I explore the city on a running trip. The delta of the Rio Plata boasts with great running trails and spectacular views.
The center of
Saturday, 7 July 2007
Today I do some sightseeing and run through the splendourful parks along the Av. Del Libertador.
There is a beautiful rose garden, which could as well be found in any traditional European capital.
During the evening, I take a walk along the Av. Corrientes with its many theatres and cinemas and am surprised by the rhythm of the city. Some of the theatres and cinemas start their program at and people are still standing in long queues. The clubs of the city are open from in the morning and that’s when people start going out.
Sunday, 8 July 2007
Today I visit La Boca. La Boca means „the delta “and represents the old docklands of the city. This quarter is especially famous for the houses with their colourful fronts.
Certainly, the rough atmosphere of former times has long gone. Today, La Boca is a meeting place for tourists from all over the world.
Monday, 9 July 2007
The winter seems to arrive in
In the evening the wind increases and the snowfall gets stronger. The roofs are already white and during the night a thin layer of snow covers the whole city. That has never been seen so far!
People are running into the streets, building snowmen on cars and even snowball fights erupted!
Somehow it is sad to experience the effects that
global climatic change already has had on our world. I was in
At the shipping agency they tell me that I will have to wait for my motorbike until friday. Customs won’t be ready before thursday and after these formalities I can pick up the bike.
In the afternoon I go for a run around the city. The temperature is down at 3 degrees but fortunately the sunshine has returned again melting the snow which had settled.
Wednesday, 11 July 2007
Today I visit the famous
Later El Cementerio, which
meanwhile extends over more than 54,000 square meters, became the most
important historical and artistic monument in
Besides those of numerous presidents there is also found the grave of Evita (Maria Eva Duarte de Peron).
Thursday, 12 July 2007
Today I go to the customs to complete my temporary motorcycle import. The entire port area is situated over a length of approximately 20 kilometers and finding the right offices turns out to be rather difficult.
However, people are very helpful and in the end everything is easy. Tomorrow I can go to the warehouse and collect my bike!
I spend the evening in one of the traditional Tango and Social Clubs of San Telmo.
The athmosphere is great and the regular guests are very welcoming. However, as a stranger one must respect an important rule. If a man looks into the eyes of a lady it is considered as a request for dancing. If then a man does not like or doesn’t know how to dance it would be considered as an offence or an awkward attempt of pulling the girl!
Usually a night in a social club is spend with the partner and the art of dancing the tango is practiced for a lifetime.
Friday, 13 July 2007
Friday the 13th is my lucky day! Releasing of the motorcycle from the warehouse proves to be relatively simple.
We open the crate and the customs officer checks the chassis number. As everything matches there are “no mucho proplemas” and I get my Carnet stamped. I can put the bike together.
To build in the front wheel I simply put the bike on the side and clamp it in over the axle.
I have brought some fuel in a jerry can, and after connecting the battery, there comes the exciting moment. The engine fires up at the second attempt and as I already want to drive out of the port, one of the workers stops me and puts a sticker of the local soccer club on my box. He explains to me that even Diego Maradona played in this traditional club and that I can be proud to have it on my bike.
Now, I am ready for
This of course can be nearly as emotional as the
rejoicing around the national soccer team. Especially at days when soccer acctually is beeing played. Each
game is broadcasted on the radio and when
I spend the day with some preparations and do some maintainance on the bike. A new continent lies ahead and
waits to be discovered. Tomorrow I’ll head out of
Sunday, 15 July 2007
I say good-bye to my new friends from the hostel and leave the city behind me heading north.
What a feeling! The motorcycle smoothly rolls over the
endless highways and the sun is up high. Around , I cross
the bridge over the
This part of the country is also called
I spend the night in the small town of
Monday, 17 July 2007
Today I drive into the corner between
One of these checkpoints I approach as stupid as only
I could! As I turn left at a crossing, I swing over to the left side of the
road. Obviously, still used to the left-hand traffic in
At that moment I realize my mistake and start laughing. I say ”Estoy perdido, se va a Santo Tome a esta carretera?”
Whereupon he signals me to drive on as I hear him say something like “Idiot” together with “a la derecha”.
More stupidity in approaching a checkpoint is almost impossible but at least they forgot about the control.
I spend the evening in the small town of
The landscape starts to change. The wide pampa alternates with subtropical and evergreen forests.
More palmtrees are around and parts of the vegeation already refer to the rain forest lying ahead.
Also the weather changes. After a warm afternoon it begins to rain. The road mirrors the sunset and the numerous trucks cover me with their splash-water.
Wednesday, 18 July 2007
Today I drive to the famous Iguazu falls
The Cataratas do Iguazu belong to the largest and most impressive falls in the world.
They are nearly 2 kilometers long and up to 100 metres high!
All the other cars just drive through without even reducing their speed.
As I stop in front of a building that looks like it could be the immigration, the only police man there waves me through.
That’s doesn’t go! Without a stamp in the passport I’m illegal in the country and may not leave again.
I get off my bike and enter the building. After a little conversation the policeman is convinced that I’m a foreigner and they give me an entry stamp.
Upon insisting I also get my bike import papers and may finally enter Brasil.
The country of Carneval, Samba and naturally the most beautiful…. rain forests of the world!