Life on the road used to consist of riding, seeing and experiencing things, planning routes, finding food and lodging, plus the inevitable adventures related to the weather, the roads and other obstacles (as you have been able to read in past blog entries). Since we arrived in Buenos Aires a little over a week ago with a broken bike, the routine has become very different, but not without some adventures of a different type. Going to Atlanta for a couple of days to get parts and getting out just before the big snow storm was one of those adventures. Now we are waiting on the mechanic to put everything back together and make some adaptations for the things that need to be repaired from scratch. Presently we are waiting on the rear Öhlin shock that had a problem with a leaky preload cylinder. We were promised that the repair would be fast and good, but so far the shock overhaul shop is dragging its feet. I probably should have had that work done in South Africa.
Next Monday, the 17th, we have to take our bikes to Air Cargo for shipment to Cape Town. This will take some paperwork, money and other procedures, but we hope that all will go well, although we doubt whether it will be as easy as shipping the bikes from Panama to Colombia.
Meanwhile, we are doing a bit of sightseeing in Buenos Aires and will be watching the Dakar Rally riders come into the city this weekend. Fortunately, we were able to obtain a small, but comfortable and clean apartment in the center of town until we fly to South Africa.
Below are some additional sightseeing descriptions and pictures by my partner, who had a good look at the tourist spots while I was gone to the US.
RobT: Today was dedicated to sightseeing once again with some POIs (GPS lingo for points of interest) that there was no time for yesterday.
First stop was the famous El Ateneo bookstore on Avenida Santa Fe. It is a converted theater, the stage is dotted with tables where you can enjoy a good cup of coffee and the balconies a place to sit a peruse your favorite books.
When walking along Avenida de Mayo you see the Congress and further south you see parks, graffiti and numerous outdoor cafes, the Presidential Palace (La Casa Rosada) where Eva and Juan Peron addressed the masses in the 1940's.
Apparently, Buenos Aires is famous for its street art.
I was really enjoying Buenos Aires until I saw this sign
Walking east along the cobblestone Calle Defensa, you pass many antique shops, cafés and street artisans and you come to Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo, another Barrio or neighborhood. The plaza is surrounded by old colonial buildings turned into pubs and restaurants with their high doorways and weathered fronts. The plaza itself was packed with tables and chairs from the surrounding pubs, shade trees, music, people, and artisans selling everything from leather necklaces to hand paintings. Old world charm is the best way I can describe the setting. I spent several hours here just soaking up the atmosphere.
One of the many balconies
Dorrego Pub is at the corner by the umbrella. Very, very cool spot.
Another restaurant along the plaza ... this one had a Tango show.