Argentina 11

Well, it is time to resume the travels through South America (February 4, 2007).  As most of you know, Sandy had health problems in Montevideo, Uruguay in June of 2006, so we headed home to rest.  Her health improved over the 6 months at home, but sadly, during the last two weeks at home, she had a little downturn.  Our flight to Buenos Aires was booked on the 4th of February, but on the 1st of February Sandy's doctor thought that another few weeks to possibly a month would help assure the stabilization of her medications.  She was looking so much to continuing, but things do change.

So I am alone for a while.  I had to come down and remove the motorcycle from Argentina prior to the 15th of February, per the permit for the motorcycle.  I never realized how helpful Sandy was when we were traveling together.  She could watch our gear if I needed to visit a restroom.  She would hop off the bike to make room reservations, or do the paper work at border crossings while I guarded the BMW.  Now things I took for granted seem like huge efforts.  Plus it is MUCH more fun to share the joys and sights of the travels.  So I cross my fingers that her health improves and she rejoins the adventure.

So I board the airplane in Los Angeles for the long flight to Buenos Aires, which included a fuel stop in Lima, Peru, then another short stop in Santiago, Chile prior to arriving in Argentina 14 hours later.  So as the sun sets, as we fly near Nicaragua, I see what I hope is my lucky star (lucky star in top right corner of photo).

The flight from Santiago to Buenos Aires crosses the Andes, which I have fallen in love with, having crossed them many many times!  Even in an airplane, traveling at 500 mph, the Andes seem large and desolate!  This picture is very near where the Uruguayan soccer team crashed in 1973, which was documented in the book and movie titled "Alive".  As I look down my heart goes out to those on that flight.  This picture is during the summer.  How tough it must have been during the winter.

I knew it would be tough traveling without Sandy, but sometimes it seems that things seem destine to happen.  During our prior adventures we have been VERY fortunate to be on the receiving end of support from all over the world from our family web site, and the web site "Adventure Rider".  When we were in Buenos Aires an "Adventure Rider" from London sent us emails and suggestions for things to do in Argentina.  Sandy and I found restaurants which "Charlie B" suggested, and really appreciated the input.  Charlie owns BMW's in London and Mendoza, Argentina.  Charlie is a lucky guy and married Sonia, a beautiful lady from Argentina.  My luck was finally being able to meet them in Buenos Aires for dinner.  In California, when you meet friends for dinner, you may spend 3 to 4 hours together.  Charlie and Sonia instantly felt like "best friends" and dinner lasted 8 hours (from 6:00 pm to 2:00 am).  And I owe them a huge thanks, for it helped me missing Sandy, by having friends in a foreign city.  I hope they enjoyed the evening as much as I did. 

On Tuesday, the 6th of February I go see Javier and Sandra from Dakar Moto, in Buenos Aires. 

They have a reputation on Adventure Rider and Horizons Unlimited which is 110% great, and they live up to their reputation every single day!

Javier took me to have new tires mounted on my rims.

The friendship of Javier and Sandra also helps me get reacquainted to South America.

Javier had errands to do, so I asked if he would allow me to ride with him in his jeep around town.

So around the suburbs we travel.  I think Javier may think I am crazy wanting to see the non-tourist parts of Buenos Aires, but I enjoyed it!

When Sandy and I were in El Bolson, Argentina last year we met a couple from London riding 2 up on a BMW 650.  We have stayed in contact with Susan and Chris, and again, I had the good fortune of spending another evening with "friends". 

They had returned to Argentina because they love the place.

They brought a bottle of wine to my apartment (thank you Susan and Chris), and then had another long and enjoyable night out.

Note to Sandy:  Get better fast.  In honor of you, Chris, Susan and I had dinner at your favorite restaurant (Kansas, overlooking the race track), and we DID talk about you.

So I travel back and forth from downtown Buenos Aires, out to Javier's place, located about 10 miles west of the city.
Sure wish Los Angeles had the same type of mass transportation as Buenos Aires.
The largest Soccer stadium in Argentina.
Modern transportation, with modern buildings in the background.
Then a quick stop at the "Automobile Club of Argentina" to purchase a few maps of the regions in the Northwest corner of Argentina.

Now, for a few "Then and Now's...................

The picture below was taken from a book printed in 1916 by Father J.A. Zahm.  The picture was taken when Father Zahm joined Teddy Roosevelt on his famous expedition to the Amazon basin.  Due to health reasons, Father Zahm did not complete the entire expedition, as he was holding up the progress of the expedition.

As you can see, the cars are more modern and the dress is a little less formal.

And a few new buildings were built during the last 90 years!

The next picture is also of the "Cathedral of Buenos Aires".  The picture is from a book printed in 1948, called "Roving South", by Willard Price.  In order to take the picture, from the 2nd floor of a museum, I had to make arrangements and write a letter requesting permission to obtain access to the museums balcony.

The trees have matured, but the view has not changed much, except for a few more additional buildings in the background!

In order to access the balcony, I was escorted by this cute Argentinean.

Yep, another picture of the same Cathedral.

This picture was from a book printed in 1908 title "Other Americas", by Arthur Ruhl.

I tried for an hour to gain entry into the building from which the original photograph was taken, but no luck.

It is the "Palacio Municipal" building, built in 1891.

A new lamp post and a modern building with cell phone antennas on the roof.
The balcony "just to the right" of the lamp post is were the last photograph should have been taken from.

But they would not allow this gringo to enter!

That was it for the "Cathedral of Buenos Aires".

The next subject of 3 book scans was the Congress Building in Buenos Aires.

This photograph is from Carpenters World Travels (printed  1925), by Frank Carpenter.

As it appears today.....
To get the last picture, I had to "get through the door" on the building on the right.

The doors were locked, so I waiting 20 minutes until 3 construction workers entered the building, and then followed them to the elevator.

I exited on the 5th floor and knocked on a door.

The resident was unsure if he wanted to grant me permission to enter, but after showing him the old picture I was trying to replicate, he finally said "sure" (I think), as my Spanish is still limited to about 46 words.

Here are two more pictures of the same building, from different books.

This picture was from a book printed in 1929 (the trip started in 1926) in which A.F. Tschiffely rode two horses from Buenos Aires to Washington DC.

It took him 2 1/2 years to travel the 9,000 miles.  It was a great book.

From the book by Herbert Lanks, the "By Pan American Highway Through South America" (1943).
The tress have matured....

The next picture was also from Tschiffely's book printed in 1928.

The main building in the old photo is now dwarfed in the new photo.

Note: you can see the old crane in the lower right corner of the old picture, but I could not get the same angle as the new building is not nearly as high as the old building.

Now, just a few pictures around the city of Buenos Aires, which is a great city, which I will be leaving next Tuesday (on February 13, 2007)

The museum, from which I took pictures of the Cathedral.
Neat old cars.
The modern section of Puerto Madero.
As you take the taxis around Buenos Aires it allows you to enjoy the various neat buildings of the city.

I am already sad that in 4 days I will be leaving it behind, to continue across the La Plata river to Uruguay.

Demonstrations are a way of life in Argentina.

Witnessed two demonstration on the same day.

It is a city where the old and new mix well.

Reminded me of the Helm's delivery trucks that delivered bread and donuts through the neighborhood, when I was a kid.

For my motorcycle riding friends, the Police Department still uses "Moto Guzzi's".

That's it through the 9th of February, 2007.

My days in Buenos Aires are nearing an end.  I have to get out and enjoy it!

For "Argentina 10"  hit the "Back Button".....       For "The Books" hit the "Next Button".....

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