We’re in Ushuaia now – the most southerly city in the world! Daily temperatures aren’t quite reaching double-digits (in fact at night, it dips below zero!) and the city is ringed by snow-capped mountains… it’s beautiful and rather exciting, because tomorrow we jump on a boat and head towards Antarctica!
The last post I published had us still in Bariloche. Although we looked at flights, trains and hire cars, the only reasonably priced way to get to Buenos Aires was by bus… so after seeing the bike safely packed on a truck, we settled in for the longest single bus trip I’ve ever been on… 20 hours straight and 1,500kms! Surprisingly, we both got some sleep and the seats were better/roomier than we’d expected.
We then had a few days in Buenos Aires, with Adrian mainly doing bike stuff and me mainly exploring the city. We did both do a full day tour of the city by push bike (if you can’t motor, pedal, right?!!) which was very interesting; I learned quite a bit about Argentinean history generally and the recent Argentinian revolution specifically. ‘Recent’ is the operative word there… it was within my lifetime, which is very grounding. Often when I learn about civil uprisings and wars, they were so long ago that it’s hard to directly relate to what happened. Not here though. There is a ‘stolen generation’ of people who are my age who were taken from their parents by the ruling party as young children and adopted by pro-party families while their parents were sent to re-education camps, were killed or simply ‘disappeared.’ I wonder if, or when, we will ever learn.
The Argentinean president, a woman, returned to the top job while we were in Buenos Aires; she’s been off for a month after needing neurosurgery. One of the things that struck me about the public commentary on her first public appearance was that she was no longer wearing black in mourning of her first husband (who died in 2010), but wore a white blouse. Not what she was doing, who she was meeting, what the outcome was or even how her heath is. Nope, it was all about the colour of her clothing. It was pretty disappointingly familiar. That said, I like Buenos Aires – it’s a big, vibrant city with lots going on and a good vibe.
I bought a swipe card for the public transport system, charged it up and went exploring by bus and subway. It was excellent! I also spent some time in Buenos Aires (and in Ushuaia today) looking for a warm ‘puffy’ jacket and winter gloves… neither one of us really had the requisite Antarctica gear and we definitely didn’t want the experience ruined because we were just too cold to enjoy it. The bike is now on its way back to Sydney. With one of the key replacement parts going to take 45 days to even get to Buenos Aires, plus time for the actual repair, it wasn’t practical (or even possible) to just leave it there… we’re due back in Australia in only a few weeks and there just wasn’t the time. So.. it’ll have to be repaired in Sydney.
Thanks again to everyone for your lovely messages etc! I’ll probably write one more post after the Antarctica cruise and then that’ll be it for the Two by Two Wheels blog!!!