Saturday, October 28, 2006

Tue 24th Oct
(Thanks to Javier who has kindly let me use his pc for my first little update)
After a frantic morning running around town getting the last minute stuff done, I eventually caught my flight from Edinburgh but not before it was delayed thanks to a really well timed fire-drill just after getting through security which required emptying the entire airport on to the service area outside for about 30 minutes and then bizzarely, the whole lot of us had to go through security AGAIN. After all that, I asked at the gate when the plane would actually be leaving and was told in a tone that said 'you insincere bastard' it would be a little bit late as 15 kids in wheelchairs had to get off the plane first.

Anyway, I thankfully did meet up with Michelle & Iain in Heathrow for a flight at 7pm to Madrid. Cool ceiling in Madrid airport.

We caught the flight to BA at about midnight which had some pretty lousy air stewards. There was a right sour faced one who wouldn't give me coffee when I asked her for some and when she did, it was just the last dregs.

Nice to see a bit of Latin American humour

we can understand in Scotland

Wed 25th Oct
So.... 12 hours and no sleep later, we finally arrived in Buenos Aires at about 8.00am. And it was grey and raining and not exactly the 30 degress we were expecting but hey, we'd finally made it.
Our plan was to stay at Javier & Sandra's place,'Dakar Motos' as we'd heard nothing but good stuff about them Horizons Unlimited. And what could be easier than getting a taxi from the airport straight there, I mean we had the address written down and everything. Anyway, about 2 1/2 hours later after a tour of some of the most deprived areas of the outskirts of BA, the driver who refused to acknowldge that he was hopelessly lost, stopped to ask a few local men who had no idea where Dakar Motos was either. After a bit of pestering from us, he gave in a called Javier. After a couple of more calls, BA's shittest taxi driver stopped at some lights when we spotted a guy on an Africa Twin. As we hadn't seen a single big bike on our tour so far, we new this guy would be bound to know how to get to Dakar so we drove over to him, and who should it be but Javier himself. Aparently he'd gotten a bit tired of speaking to the driver and had thankfully came out to rescue us.

After a tour of the premises and gawping at all the traveller's bikes there were stored there, Javier ordered us all some great 'loma's', steak sanwiches. We all grabbed a much needed shower and headed into to town for a look around the downtown area. After getting ripped off in, ironicaly, a pirate theme bar, we headed back to Dakar and Michelle made some rather tasty enchiladas and after chatting to Tom and Christine (, our new German room-mates who are doing a 10 month tour of South America on a pair of Africa Twins, we got a much needed early night.

Thursday 26th October 2006
After a good sleep, and seeing it was a gorgeous day, we headed in to town and get the most cheesiest pizza we'd ever seen which consisted of cheese, more cheese and for a bit of variety, some cheese. Aparently this is how you get them here so you have to request half cheese unless you really want to throw up.

We'd arranged to meet up with Sandra at 2.00pm as she is thankfully helping us with the labourious get out bikes out of customs and went to the shipping agents office to pay $235.00 each for the handling charges and then managed to get our bike insurance all on our own. Feeling rather pleased with ourselves, we caught the tube to the San Telmo district which we liked a lot more than the hectic downtown business area. It was a lot more laid back with quaint tree lined side streets and shed loads of antiques shops.

After a bit of coffee in Plaza Dorrego, we took a stroll towards La Boca which is aparently where Tango was invented after the blokes in the brothels got bored of waiting and started dancing with each other- aparently. We passed the Boca Juniors football stadium and the area changed into colourful, tree lined streets with brightly painted houses with balconies, shutters and lots of old women with small ugly dogs.

We wound up our little tour on Caminito, which is one of those streets they put on postcards. It was actually a little bit touristy though and the smell at the port reminded me of the crap farms (waste water treatment plants) we had to do surveys of so we headed back to Dakar where Tom & Christine had made one of the best lasagne we'd ever tasted.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

After setting some of the greatest minds I know the task of working out what above message and rather nifty drawing on my mate Cal's send-off card actually meant, more than one person has now reached the conclusion that it actually means "I hear you saw off 6 or 7 months with a bike". Cal- we salute you!

Anyway, Friday's leaving party was so sucessful that instead of getting on with clearing my entire flat of all my worldly possessions, I spent most of saturday lying on the sofa doing my best 'Barry White' impersonation down the phone to people. I even brought my camera out especially but decided I'd rather concentrate on guaranteeing the rest of the weekend would be a right-off by drinking for 11 hours straight than taking pictures. Oh well, one day I'll learn not to do that. Thanks again to George for providing us with a great meal and for all my mates and family that turned up- I do believe a great night was had by all!

Somehow on Saturday though, I managed to buy the double mattress I needed to get for the spare room for the incoming tenants. I say 'somehow' as it took a few attempts to actually get to Ikea. I'd borrowed some straps to tie the mattress to the roof of the car (cheers Colin) however in my fuzzy state, I drove all the way to Ikea and then realised I'd left them in the office. I thoroughly recommend not having a hangover when going to Ikea on a Saturday, especially when you have to go there more by necessitiy than choice. Incredibly, when I got back to the flat, the mattress was even still attached to the roof of the car- amazing.

So as it turned out Sunday was actually the big flat clearing day, and thanks to Iain, my sister Anne and aunt Sheila (who kindly offered the use of her attic space to store my stuff- I think she's regretting that now!) my flat is now pretty much deviod of all my things except furniture.

So all that's left to do tomorrow is clean the entire flat, cart all the remaining bits and pieces including my trip luggage over to my mums place, hand back what remains of my company car to the office and go and get a devils haircut.

Oh, and remember to get on the plane on tuesday!