Two Days in and Fred Demonstrates Amateur Hour Again and Again
I believe bad things can happen while traveling and one shouldn’t always expect “holiday fun” type experiences. Shit happens and you just have to deal with it. So I was OK when Now Voyager was way-laid at sea. I was cool that we’d have to rent a bike and leave NV behind if we wanted to Chase the Dakar. And I just manned-up when the bike didn’t have a wind-screen, my helmet was 2X sizes too big, and we didn’t have half our gear at any one time or place. Ditto for the 500 mile ride through the pampas at night and in the rain.
But now, I’m getting scared that this trip could end badly before we ever get our legs. One bad move after another has me thinking that KR (and especially me) are amateurs at this travel thing. We’re making basic mistakes that are having significant effects. Could this be a precursor of one or both of us getting hurt?
The latest round of bad moves started the first morning of the Dakar Chase. Once we got our bags into our room at the Estancia La Paz, I realized that we had left behind our map case. The case with all our good South America, Argentina, Chile and Brazil maps in it. We couldn’t even find our way back to Buenos Aires without a basic map. A sleepless night ensued but we found it the next day.
No sooner had I breathed a huge sigh of relief and the next pig-headed, dumb, amateur move by Yours Truly occurred at 1:00AM the following morning when we needed to split our belongings into two groups: One set was to go back to BA and await our return and the other smaller set was to go with us for our ten day excursion Chasing the Dakar. So, off we go north toward the Dakar and where do you think our passport, money and important papers go? Yes, south to some guy’s closet in BA. This will cause a significant problem because we can’t get over the border from Argentina to Chile without passports. So a 6 day Dakar tour has been cut to two.
You’ve got to start wondering whether the Travel Gods are trying to tell you something when the next time we stop I notice that the exhaust has burned a hole through the bag we have strapped on our rented bike. A strategically placed hole as it has burned through both – yes both – of KR and my hi-tech motorcycle jackets (they’re hot when it’s cold, cold when it’s hot) before we ever got a chance to wear them! I’m not making this up. Oh, and did I tell you that KR’s purse got a hole blasted through it too and she lost a bunch of stuff inside?
So, here’s our situation as of Noon on Wednesday, January 5th 2010. Because we have no passports, the Dakar group has left us behind in Purmamarca, Argentina, which sits at the foot of the Andes. Our passports are theoretically being delivered by Jim Hyde as he races to catch up with his group. Jim has had his own set of troubles thrown at him from the Travel Gods and has always reacted in a positive, “how do we fix this” attitude”. IF and when we get our passports, we will ride the Rented Iron Duke Dos south again toward Buenos Aires looking to hook up with Now Voyager. We will then spend a couple of days packing, repairing and re-configuring before we head out of BA towards…… who knows.