The Start of our South
-- Story by Erin --
We've been here in South
America for just over 2 weeks, and we're getting settled in quite nicely. We have
many wonderful family-friends, and we've met some great motorcycle people too! On
arriving in Buenos Aires airport we were met by Éva and Gyözö with bunches of flowers
in their hands. Both Hungarian immigrants, Éva is an old friend of Chris' father,
and she has gone out of her way to make us feel "at home". Her son Andres
and his family have also made us feel at home and very welcome.
We've been enjoying the new
culture, language (our Spanish is rapidly improving), the great meat, and cervesas.
I think we've managed to put on a few extra pounds in the last couple of weeks from all
this rich food!
The culture in Buenos Aires is
quite rich as well. This is the home of the Tango, that sexy Latin dance, and the
city has more museums than any other big city in the world. Too bad we are not
museum fans, but there is plenty of beautiful European-style architecture, small narrow
streets to wander around and everyone is friendly. This is also the home of Eva
Perón, the famous wife of President Perón (1946), actress and patron
saint to the poor and homeless. Eva Perón is buried in an unceremonious-looking
mausoleum in the city's Cemetery of the Recoleta. There are literally streets and
alley's separating family mausoleums of every architectural style imaginable. It is
often called a miniature city.
Although the weather has been
mostly cloudy we managed to steal a beautiful day and go boating with Andres and his wife
Marcela in the Tigre district. Just north of the town is the delta of the Río
Paraná with its innumerable canals, holiday homes and restaurants on the banks of this
beautiful area. Many people live year-round in this area and have to travel by
waterbuses to get around. There are even floating supermarkets that ply the canals
On October 6th, we bought
tickets (US$20 each) to see Eric Clapton in one of the many 80,000 capacity soccer
stadiums. The stadium was only about half-full, but the fans were certainly in
spirit, cheering throughout the performance "Olayyyyy, olay olay olay, Clap-ton,
Clap-ton!" This is to be his last world tour, and we thought it only fitting to
make it part of our world tour.
Gabriel and his wife Claudia
are among the friends we've met since we arrived. They arranged for a barbecue at
their home and invited us along to meet some friends from their motorcycle club, the
Gargulas (means gargoyles in Portuguese). The club is actually headquartered in
Brazil and the Argentine members of the club travel to Brazil regularly for meetings and
rallies. Of course that night we ate wonderful Argentine meats and salads and they
gave us advice on where to go in Brazil. Although our Spanish is not so good we
managed to communicate just fine. At the end of the night there were hugs all
around, as if we had known these people for years.
The bikes have still not
arrived, and it's not clear when they will. There are only 2 flights per week from
NZ to South America, and there's a problem with cargo space. Goods that normally fly
from Japan to Argentina normally fly via Los Angeles. After Sept 11th, air cargo to
the states is restricted, so they're sending it down to Sydney (which is where the NZ-BA
flight originates), and taking all the space on the plane. Qantas keeps promising
we'll get the bikes "next week", and we're frankly getting a little perturbed.
In an effort to do something
pro-active, we took a ferry 45km across the river to Uruguay, and spent a few days in a
small historical town called Colonia and the capital city of Montevideo.
Welcome to Argentina!
Notice the Italian influence
A typical kiosk (corner deli)
Casa Rosada = Where the President works.
Cemetery of the Recoleta
Shall we tango?
Boating with Marcela y Andres near Tigre(L) / Water Bus (R)
Gyözö (Vitorio) and Éva
G A R G U L A S
Gabi, 2 lovely mates, Camel, Gabriel (from Horizons Unlimited), y César