I’ve dragged out my stay in Argentina and Buenos Aires for a long time. I am sure Javier and Sandra at Dakar Motos think I’ll never leave. But even this good time must pass.
More bikes rolled into Buenos Aires and Dakar Motos over the last week. There’s Helge from Norway riding a heavily modified R100 with a sidecar. (thanks to Guido for the photo). He’s been riding with Mark, a Brit on an F650. And another pair of English-folk, Mark and Daisy, riding two up as Bell’s Angels throughout South America. And an older German guy, Hartmout, who’s riding a Yamaha XT of some type. And my new friend Guido, who I’ve been monitoring and e-mailing for many months. An Argentinean National, he’s been living in the states for some time. He rode his spanking new GS1200 from Florida to Alaska and back down to Ushuaia and onward to Dakar Motos.
I’m sure there are others I’ve missed. To be sure, there has been a lot of activity here in May as the weather in Buenos Aires continues to cool. Yann, the French owner of my hotel, Hotel Costa Rica, has been feverishly trying to fix his propane gas heater and devising methods to keep his courtyard dry from the increasingly frequent rains. The hotel features a typical open air design employed by many turn of the century buildings in Buenos Aires. The lobby opens to an open air courtyard. The two stories above the ground floor features an open air walkway for access to the rooms.
There’s not doubt about it. It’s time to move to warmer weather.
A group of about a dozen of us travelers met in Recoleta, a tony section of Buenos Aires with kinetic bars, clubs and restaurants and some of the best shopping in Buenos Aires. But it was the following night that I urged these travelers, all of whom were preparing to ship their bikes back home (England, Norway, Germany etc.) to bow out of their journey in style. With the memory of excellent service and sweet juicy taste of steak still on my tongue from one of my most memorable meals on my journey, Cabaña Las Lilas with Tim Amos in February, I rallied the troops including Sandra and Javier of Dakar motos to meet for a glorious and surely to be memorable last supper.
Most people will say Cabaña Las Lilas is expensive. True. In Argentine standards it is. I’m sure Sandra and Javier would never normally go to this “tourist” restaurant. But frankly, the cost of a prime steak at what might be the best steak house in Buenos Aires is $15-20. The same steak at a Morton’s or Ruth’s Chris in the United States would cost $50 or more. Even then, the steaks served at those “expensive” places are marginal compared to Las Lilas.
So we planned to meet in the Puerto Madero neighborhood in Buenos Aires at 7pm. We had a large table with views of the canal and the amazing Puente De La Mujer.
Helge’s sidecar rigged R100. (photo by Guido)
(l) Daisy Bell, Sandra and Mark Robinson; (r) Mark, Hartmout and Javier. All during our post dinner tell us about your ride experiences discussion.
Everyone agreed that the meal, service and wine was stellar. For a Sunday night the place closed early by Argentinean standards. And the town and usual hot spots were quiet to. So Guido motored all of us to an ex-pat bar, Shoeless Joes/El Alamo which purported to be open 24 hours. It was the latest I’d stayed up in years, and the security guard at my hotel was a bit surprised to see me ringing in at 5:30am.
I leave for Uruguay in two days.