After we managed to avoid the corrupt police checkpoint, we want to get to the south quickly, so that we get there while it is still “warm”. Like in Uruguay, it is also difficult to find wildcamping spots in Argentina, because all land is fenced along the streets. In addition, we have to find windless places for our tent, otherwise we don’t have a quiet night. Therefore, we need to choose a pragmatic sites. And this has little to do with romantic solitude: once it is a city park that serves as a motorcycle-playground for the Argentine youth at night, another night it is a campsite whose sanitary facilities are so terrifying that you want to go outside backwards.
Also Travels Need Routine
The last days were really exhausting: get up early, pack up, load up, ride straight on, find a sleeping place, unload, unpack. For packing and unpacking, we still need to try and see what works. We change a lot to optimize this daily process. We realize that it is absolutely no fun for us to drive so many miles in one day while we have that little devil on our shoulder to tell us that we have to hurry. On the other hand, we have never been in a place where we would have liked to stay. We agree that we would like to slow down our travels as soon as we arrive in Tierra Del Fuego.
Up’s and Down’s
Our initial bad luck in Argentina continues when we reach the coastal town of Bahia Blanca. Moe takes the top case off the bike to check the attachment. He accidentally steps on the key that was still in the top case lock – now it’s broken. All right, we’ve been thinking anyways, that we might want to put a pipe on the front of the bike to shift some weight from back to front. So the next day, we go to the DIY store, where we find an extraordinary nice pipe that will adorn the tiger from now on. However, there is no locksmith here, so the search across the whole city begins. First, we get a completely wrong info, then we are in front of a closed shop, just to be sent to the next shop that also closed. There is nothing to do but wait. In the late afternoon, we can get the key copy and finally continue. That’s what a second of carelessness costs in terms of time and nerves.
We cross the “border” of Patagonia, of whose food checkpoints we kind of heard a lot. We were told that they look through the entire luggage, sometimes they even have dogs. Fresh meat anf fruits are forbidden to be taken across the border. With these stories in our mind, we feel relieved when we get waved through both checkpoints. Don’t think that we tried to smuggle something. But unpacking the whole bike takes a lot of time. We’re sure that the officers also wanted to avoid that 😉 .
In the evening, we make it to a lagoon that reminds us of the reason why we take this daily effort. Following a small path in the field, we can camp directly on the water – parrots, flamingos and swans included. Unlike other nice places, there’s surprisingly little garbage here. But the best thing is that we’re finally alone.
If you don’t pay attention…
Happy times are over soon. The next day, we stop at a gas station. I go to the shop to buy a snack and cookies for the ride. Moe’s waiting at the bike as usual. When I come back with the stuff, Moe is no longer there. I’m looking around until I discover Moe on the other side of the gas station. He changed place because he wanted to make use of the waiting time and fill up our bottles with water. We have a little breakfast but we want to ride on, I get a shock: my glasses are gone!
I left them together with helmet and jacket on the back of the motorcycle. Normally, I keep the glasses in my right breast pocket for security reasons. Because there is a hole in the pocket, I decided to put the glasses on the bike. I thought Moe would wait for me there anyway. While I’m running back to our first parking lot, I already have a bad feeling about this. Frantically, I am looking everywhere, but I can’t find the glasses. They are gone! I’m giving up. This can’t be true. Fuck the material value, I need those glasses. I have the impression that Moe doesn’t understand the problem. Since I’m short-sighted, I can’t ride a motorcycle without my glasses. The world is ending for me at this moment. While I’m losing control and cursing wildly, it seems like Moe doesn’t care that much. That aggravates me even more. One has to check if there’s anything left on the motorbike before one starts moving it. Moe knew that I leave my stuff while he is parking. Why is he so careless? Should I resign and just sit on the back of the motorcycle? I can’t do that, this can’t go on any further. I’m so angry.
In the meantime, Moe asks the staff at the gas station. The tattered glasses are even found, someone placed them next to the trash can. The glass is scratched, a hanger is broken, the other completely bent. I sit down on a bench and break into tears. We keep breaking things every day. If these misadventures continue this way, we’ll spend more time and money for fixing than for travelling. Why did I put those stupid glasses on the bike? Why, why, why?
A women comes to comfort me. At this moment, I think for the first time about what the visitors of the gas stations might think about us. Not only that these stupid Germans come with a huge, oversized motorcycle and these hot suits. They also get nervous breakdowns at a gas station.
Slowly, I convince myself to go on. We were planning to visit parrots and sea lions today, which I was really excited about.
When the engine hums again, I calm down. I can’t blame Moe for this. It was my fault to put the glasses there. I should have known this wasn’t a safe place. But on the other hand: how – for God’s sake – should I have known that Moe would not be waiting there? All right, it is neither Moe nor me. I remember that Moe and I agreed that – no matter what happens -, the question who’s to blame should never be asked. Because that doesn’t make any progress. This is simply the painful way to learn that carelessness can be severely punished.
Once again it shows that we are completely different. While Moe is real difficult to get out of peace, I react much more emotionally. After a short emotional breakout, I can go on. The problem is that Moe sometimes feels bad because of my short swearing while it’s already okay for me. On the downside, I often ask myself how Moe is able to just accept everything. In the end, that is also what I appreciate about him. And it is definetely not like Moe does not care, he is just not communicating the way I do. Well, it’s not like we’ve known each other since yesterday or that we are travelling for the first time together. But the good and bad experiences simply come at much shorter intervals. And with a different force.
I thought that I could also demonstrate that graphically…
On the same evening, I glue my glasses so that I can at least clamp them in my helmet while riding. I sew the hole in my jacket, too. I will never let that slide again.
The Camino de la Costa
Apart from the early morning trouble, the rest of the day has really something to offer. After a few kilometres, we arrive at a particularly promising coast of Argentina. On the first beach, there are thousands of parrots that nest in the cliffs from October to January. Unfortunately, we are already a little late. Not a single parrot is there. Nevertheless, the rough cliffs are simply breathtaking.
Along the beautiful Camino de la Costa, which – as the name already reveals – goes along directly by the sea, continues to the next animal attraction: sea lions. Fortunately, they stay all year round and can be admired from afar. It’s good we have a telephoto lens, otherwise you would only see points at the distance (especially me, since I have no glasses anymore 😛 ). The Intern in the associated museum is the first German we meet in Argentina (unfortunately, we forgot his name). It’s funny that he starts talking to Moe in German: “One can see that you are German”. A local and very friendly policeman, who happens be at the museum, warns us against the further course of the Camino de la Costa. Deep gravel and the sand of the surrounding dunes could make it really difficult for us. We could also go back to the Ruta tres and ride the 200 km on the straight line. Now take a guess what we decided to do 😉 !