Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day 81 - Puerto Iguazu to Posadas, Argentina

RobC showed up nice and early from his relaxing rendezvous with Gaby in Brazil.  It took him a while to get organized and into the motorcycling mindset once again because of spending a wonderful weekend with his wife and the fact that he was coming back to a less-than-perfect bike.  We got all our camping gear (brought down by Gaby) and other stuff loaded on the bikes, fueled up and headed for our first stop, San Ignacio, the remains of a Jesuit Mission, which we were told are a must see, at 250 km down the road.  Our destination for the day was 50 km past San Ignacio at a place called Posadas, where we learned of a hydraulic shop that could fix the hydraulic clutch hose problem on RobC's bike.  Things seemed to run along fairly well.  The clutch hose was holding for now with our temporary patching and periodic fill-up of the reservoir, but we were moving forward and happy to be on the road once again.

Youth Hostel in Iguazu, called Peter Pan.  Met many interesting travelers here over the past 3 days.

San Ignacio was somewhat different than either of us had expected.  We expected something smaller in size and I didn't expect some of  the stone carvings I saw.  This mission was founded in 1610 at a different location and relocated here in 1632 due to constant attacks by the Portuguese.  The Jesuits created 11 of these missions to bring the Catholic religion to the Guaraní natives. San Ignacio forms part of a circuit of missions in that area, lending the name to the Misiones province of Argentina. in the 1700's the Jesuits were expelled from Argentina, but other Catholic organizations, such as the Franciscans, carried on the missionizing work among the Guaraní and other people groups.

Main entrance into San Ignacio Mini, as it is called

On of three main doors to what was once the church.

Living quarters surrounding the plaza.

Some of the ornate stone work in local red lime stone

Red lime stone was the media the art was carved into.

We arrived at the hydraulics shop in Posadas around 5 pm - no problem,here they work until 8 pm, after an afternoon nap.  It was your typical mechanics shop ... greasy, messy and somewhat disorganized.  We unloaded the crippled bike and stripped what we had to (gas tank, etc), so the techs could get a look at the problem and come up with a solution.  We were hopeful, until the one guy cut the hose after telling him we couldn’t remove the entire hose and have it rebuilt.  Their initial thought was to replace the hose and refit the new one to the existing terminals.  We couldn’t figure out how to remove it so that’s when the guy cut it.  What now?  We had a working bike, but with the hose cut we were stuck.  They worked on it for hours without any luck.  They tried different fittings and sleeves and couldn’t get anything to work.  RobC was getting quite disheartened by the whole ordeal.  Around 9 pm they decided to call it quits, while I was out trying to get some food and drink.  They stated they would look at it again in the morning and assured us it would be fixed.  We left the stripped bike in the shop, with the cut hose, brake fluid all over the floor and parts strewn about.  We were cranky and tired but luckily there was a hotel next door with AC and hot water for 20 USD each ... no Internet of course.   By that time our pizza was cold and soggy but we were starved and looking forward to some rest.

 Some of the local "wildlife," a nice-sized beetle

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