M/Cing to SA – Precision Planning … Not
Where upon we learn about shipping by water and a bunch of other things on the S.H.E.
We flew past “Plan B” the moment we landed in Buenos Aires. We must be on E or F by now. The bottom line is this: our motorcycle (and Rawhyde Adventures’ trucks and m/c’s) won’t clear Argentine Customs in time for the start of the rally/tour because our ships were late getting here. This has had a ripple effect on the entire first phase of our trip, with constantly changing Plans C, D, E and F. As I write this, I’m not sure what we’re going to do.
But, there are a lot of lessons to be learned for the newbie international traveler.
- First, shipping via ocean isn’t a precision business. There are storms, traffic jams getting into ports, loading/off-loading restrictions, Customs operating hours, etc. Throw-in a couple of holidays and we were off on our timing by an order of magnitude.
- Make sure you keep on the freight forwarders ass to understand why delays happen. My bike sat in a warehouse/dock for almost 30 days. I trusted them to keep the bike moving…
- Get ready for the shaft when it comes to pricing. Regardless of the estimated quote before you give them your vehicle, you will be provided with the actual invoice AFTER the boat has sailed. Not much negotiating power then. I’m not sure it would have been more expensive to ship the bike via air when all is said and done.
OK, enough with the learning about transportation nuts and bolts. We’ve also learned a lot about Buenos Aires during our six days here. First, a few pictures are in order.
This is where we stand at 9:30AM on December 31, 2010
This is where the Shit Happens Express has left us. We have rented a replacement for Now Voyager so that we can still do part of the Dakar Rally. We’re unsure as to how much of the rally we will follow, but will make that decision today. There are a lot of financial and logistical implications and we’re “working the problem.” Tonight we will take possession of said steed and load him up. The Dakar officially starts tomorrow on the largest avenue in BA. Tomorrow we’re riding from BA to Cordoba to meet up with the other Rawhyde Dakar tourists and to start The Chase.
More as it happens.
I RECOMMEND YOU GO DIRECTLY TO PLAN “W” WHICH IS HEAD TO THE WINE COUNTRY AND FORGET DAKAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Great report. I admire your composure at least in this report. Have fun and hang in there.
A lesson to us all. You need to go with what you get. Thanks for leading by example! Safe travels and lots of fun to you both!
Well there could be worse things than spending New Years in B.A.! High today in San Diego is 58 degrees. Have a great New Years.
It wouldn’t be an adventure if S. didn’t H. Buenos Aires is magical – it’s almost a shame that you aren’t stuck there longer, but I know you have Dakars to chase. As Susan loves telling people, I went to Argentina under protest and ended up looking at real estate. Bon voyage and drive safely – we’re looking forward to the next update.
I have to go to school to understand all your jargon S.H.E.etc. Enjoyed immensely your update but hope this is not an indication of the balance of this fabulous adventure. Glad to see KR has good advice! Start paying attention to her! You don’t know everything S.A. Thank goodness you decided to take her along! Whew! Otherwise you probably would be on that ship with the M/C! Happy New Year God Love You my dear Baby Brother! luv
Hay que adventuras en Sud America!!! Feliz Ano Nuevo!
Cuando van a llegar al plan XXX? Ayayayayayeeeeee!!!!
Maria, remind Lilly not to speak Spanish to Mom & Dad, they can’t understand a word 🙂
Very funny, but Lilly probably DOES understand more Spanish than I do. I’ve never felt dumber than in a land in which I can’t really communicate. Having said that, somehow we’re getting by.
Good to hear from you and yes there is nothing precise or predictable about Customs in SA. We’re on our way back to Buenos Aires to pick up NV from Customs on Monday afternoon. It’s take us a couple of days to get our act together and then we’re off (I hope) west toward Santiago. fw
Well, you should know! We’re twelve days into this adventure and I feel like it hasn’t really started yet. I’m looking forward to rolling into more towns that I’ve never seen before and just figuring it out. We’ve done that a little so far as we ride the Rented Now Voyager back to Buenos Aires to get our real bike. Maybe then we’ll catch our groove. fw
Well, perhaps not so surprising, we’re becoming familiar with vino in Argentina. Not the pursuit of fine Malbecs that the country is known for, of course, as that wouldn’t be our style. No, we’re finding out a few facts about HOW to drink wine here. First, you can occasionally order a GLASS of vino blanco, but not a big bottle. Only small bottles of vino blanco are available. On the flip side, you can’t order a glass or small bottle of Vino tinto, only big bottles.
My good friend, neighbor and present landlord, Steve Owens, would cringe when he reads the following: most of the house wine is damn good. I know, there’s no accounting for taste. fw
I agree about BA. The first time we went in 05, I thought about living there, but it was just too far South to be practical. But the RE prices were an absolute bargain and it was tempting even then. This visit has just reinforced what a great city it is. It is…big, beautiful, stylish, diverse,cosmopolitan, and they like to eat. I’m continually amazed at how interesting all the architecture is. I’m not sure I’ve been to any place that’s more architecturally interesting other than Paris, of course.
We stayed in Recoleta for convenience-sake this trip. Known as the Beverly Hills of BA, its far too proper for us. We like San Telmo the best, followed by Palermo. The spontaneous street party that erupted in Palermo on New Years Eve will always be one of the most memorable of my life. We’re on our way back to BA for a couple of days to pick up NW and to get our collective act together.
I think you and Susan should move to BA so I can have another reason to visit often. fw