Buenos Aires and Dakar 2016

There is a lot to see and do in BA but it is not cheap and I think I stayed a few nights to long. Well technically I got there to early because my friend Kurt from Alaska was arriving on the 3 of Jan. He is doing a road trip with his daughter around parts of South America for a bout 2 months. Also he is bringing me a few things that I ordered for better living on the moto. I was nice to see another familiar face and talk about Alaska. Also very happy because I will have music again in my helmet.

A big thanks to Kurt for packing it all that way and a real big thanks to Sena for getting it to him so fast!!

It was a little after Christmas but an awesome late present!!

But once again I have jumped ahead so here are some highlights of BA.

One of the first things I saw when I went to check out new tires in BA was a protest. A major road was blocked off and I thought here we go again! Flashbacks of Bolivia were on my mind. Then I saw smoke and started to look for an exit strategy. As I got closer I focused on the smoke and realized it was from a BBQ. It was a classic first example of the difference between Argentina and other South American countries. In Bolivia especially but I would say Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Brazil if you see smoke there is a problem. It is not uncommon in Boliva but not so common in the others mentioned, but it happens. Anyway the point here is I see smoke somewhere, I become hyper-aware. I had to laugh out loud at my first glaring example of Argentina being more developed and so much more laid back. If its going to be a long protest you need to be getting your asado(BBQ) on!

VIDEO LINK-Click
BA Protest

Next thing to do was off to the area of town know as Bocas. Bocas is famous for Tango and the Boca Juniors soccer team. What an experience it would be to see a game here:

I am not sure how safe it is these days but I think I would take the risk given the opportunity. The energy and environment would be insane!

Bocas is a poor area of the city but has so much character and charm. My new friends I went with from the hostel and I were told several times how it can be dangerous. None of us felt that at all. Maybe a different thing at night.

This is near the stadium. I think they represent their team a little!

On the way to Bocas

Thanks Nick and Nunzio for a fun day!

Another of the main attractions to see if the huge cemetery that is a little city in itself. I was also looking for tires this day so I kind of did a little speed tourism and don’t remember the name of the cemetery. Very well known and not hard to find.

Also a quick stop by some mechanical art! Which is something I can totally understand with my very mechanically functioning brain. I was told it is not working right now but when it does, it closes at night and opens during the day. Powered by the sun I assume, when it works!

And some other random pics of the city.

The pink house

Really liked these old cranes they kept in place at the old port. Now a restaurant and business district.

Church

After 4-5 nights in a young party hostel that I didn’t like. (Their cancellation policy wasn’t very traveler friendly) it was time to move to Palermo. A very nice area of BA with lots of restaurants and bars displaying just how overly social BA is. Nick who also disliked the party hostel had moved to Palermo a day ahead of me. Once we met back up we went to see a cool drum. Its called LA Bomba del Tiempo and is pretty damn impressive. All percussion. To bad the iphone really makes it sound terrible but it was great!

Video Link

Drums BA

 

Here we are with my friend Kurt from AK have a few beers telling travel stories. Nick behind me, Dimitri who I met in Uruguay and Santiago living in BA. A good friend of Dimitri

People from Argentina eat late and party later! It is an extremely social place and really took a ton of energy to keep up the pace. I am not 20 something anymore. I held my own for an old guy but was ready to get back to riding after my time in BA

This could be a post in itself but one thing I did get to do while I was in BA was see the big to do around the start of the Dakar. So the hostel I mentioned above that I disliked so much issued bracelets. Like at a concert or a club so this knew who should be there and who should not. I also very much disliked the bracelet and exclusivity of the whole deal. BUT! And Yes a big BUT!! That shitty bracelet paid off huge!!

I went to the first day of the start of the Dakar which meant very few specatators and teams still prepping for the first race. That horrible green bracelt was similar color to the bracelets issued by Dakar to the teams to get their vehicles out of the port. So like the old saying goes; “Act like you have been there before, and I did!

Here are some highlights of my day. If you are not interested in the Dakar turn away because the Dakar is about to throw up photos all over my blog!!

And yes that is me in the team lounge.

Click on any of the pics to get to the full album!!

Oh don’t mind Honda we will just set up a café and showroom for a few days!

New Africa Twin

Can you say support vehicle

This pretty much when any moto head would want to be!!
Red Bull KTM and Husky Rockstar next door.

It was really cool to walk around wherever I wanted. It was cool because there were really no other spectators around and everyone involved was really excited about it all. It was definitely business mode but I met several pro racers that were excited like little kids. One guy who asked me to take a picture for him with his phone of him and his bike. I forgot his name but he is a pro rider with full sponsorship. He puffed his chest all up and stood behind his bike. Then he looked that the picture and started laughing. He said “Can you please take another? I don’t know why I tried to look all big.” I replied “Because what you are doing is exciting and its cool that you are excited about!” He liked that and I took another pic because the first one was ridiculous. That’s his bike above.

I saw a real lack of arrogance from these riders which was very nice. Maybe they thought I was supposed to be there but I wasn’t. Two in particular I talked to said man I want to do that you are doing! Shoe on the other foot syndrome because I would have loved to hop on a Dakar bike!

A woman quad racer

Just so you don’t think that it is all glamour and big money. There a lot of teams that look like this. Trailers and one machine. Notice the tent in the background. This race a lot of money thrown at it but there is a ton of passion here too. Some of these guys are just so happy to be here!

Then I hung out in the team lounge. It was hot out and some free ice water, snacks and coffee were damn sweet!! Again act like you belong!!

Thank you shitty bracelet

I meant to say 2016. Give me a break its only the 2nd day of 1016

Video Link
Dakar Bivy Vid

Thats my BA in a nut shell. Lots of great new friends but as I am not a city guy time to run away. Needed some riding for my soul and rest for my body!

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