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February 25th, 2012 | Argentina

Goodbye Buenos Aires…!!

On the afternoon before I left Buenos Aires, Ezequiel called to invite me out for a quick coffee before both he and Virginia went off to work… We sat down at a quaint coffee-house close to where they lived and enjoyed an hour or so of each others company…

Coffee with Virginia and Ezequiel on the afternoon before I left...

Before we parted, there was a quick conversation in Spanish between Virginia and Ezie, and then she turned to me and said,

“This is not the last you will see of us…!! Tomorrow we will go with you to the Buquebus…!!”

I was grateful for this and agreed to meet them outside my hotel at 8.00am the following morning… They usually only get off work at about 1.00am, so I knew this would be a very early wake up for them…!!

With Ezeqiel's little runabout parked behind, I realised that the Big Fella is quite a large specimen...!!

My friends arrived on time, bearing yet another gift for me… This time it was a DVD of the Tango Show that I had seen the previous evening… Now I would be able to show everybody back home EXACTLY how the Tango can be danced…!!

Ezequiel's last opportunity to sit astride the Big Fella, which had led him and Tres Machos down Ruta 40 in Patagonia...

Virginia, Ezequiel and the Big Fella... I think you guys need to plan a trip on a big bike soon...!!

Then it was out into the early morning traffic of the city… Being a Saturday morning, there was very few vehicles to worry about, and we made good time down to the ferry terminal…

Cruising the streets of B.A.... "You guys need a bigger bike...!!"

I snapped a few photos of interesting buildings that we passed as we rode through the city...

Virginia seemed to be having good fun on the back of Ezequiel’s bike as we zipped through the streets… She had her camera out and took the photos of me riding either ahead of them, or alongside them…

Fun and laughter on the go...!!

Our final ride through the city was a memorable one, even though it only lasted a few minutes...

Fun and Laughter... Something Argentina will be remembered for...

The right-handed-over-the-left-shoulder-shot...!! Last photo before I went onto the deck of the ferry...

At the ferry terminal I was guided down onto a lower level where many cars waited to board the vessel… My friends stayed with me throughout the long wait, chatting about what my plans were for the next few days…

We spoke about our plans for the future… Tres Machos wanted to do the northern half of Ruta 40, which would take them from San Pedro de los Andes right up to the border with Paraguay… This would complete their Ruta 40 odyssey…

I would be tasting a part of it too when I crossed over from Paraguay and rode across northern Argentina in a few weeks time…

We made promises to keep in touch, and Virgina insisted that next time I was in Buenos Aires, I would come to see her show and see her playing the lead violinist…

“You have seen my sister and brothers play, now you need to see me…!!” she laughed…

I told her she could count on it, remembering again the fabulous Tango show I had witnessed the other night… I felt a warm glow at the thought of watching someone I knew, standing up on stage and “wow-ing” the audience with her skill…

I think they need a big bike to go touring on...!! Thanks for waiting with me Guys...!!

Then I was called forward to ride up onto the loading ramp…

We hugged and kissed for the last time…

With my arms around Ezequiel, in my mind’s eye, I saw flashes of the rides we had made together, and the bond we had forged… I saw the long dusty roads we had ridden; the time I sat waiting just short of Tres Lagos as Ezie came riding up, shaking his head, looking dog-tired after the long stint we had just put in; Agustin arriving and lying back on his bike in exhaustion; Pablo struggling in much later, leaning on his handlebars and saying, “Mierde…!!”…

I felt again the joy we had all experienced when we realised that we had made it through the ripio without any major problems…

I saw us laughing and joking; standing awestruck at the sunset in Tres Lagos; Ezie BBQ’ing meat in Calafate; riding through the wind and rain to El Chalten; the boat trips to Perito Moreno Glacier and out into the Beagle Channel at Ushuaia…

It all flashed before me as I said my final goodbyes to Virginia and Ezequiel at the ferry terminal…

I rode up onto the ramp and turned to look back at them one last time…

Final waves from Virginia and Ezequiel... Wonderful people I would never forget...

I was guided up to the front of the loading deck, and parked behind a few scooters and another big touring bike with a Guatemala registration number… I wondered where the rider was headed, and if I would see him up on the deck… I pictured a Latin American guy in leather kit, akin to Roberto from Mexico… I was dead wrong about that…!!

The giant ferry that would take us across to Colonia in Uruguay...

I walked up onto the rear viewing deck to look out of the city as the ferry cast off and drew away from the pier it had been moored to… Although this was not the biggest ferry I had been on, it was far bigger than what I had expected… We were after all just crossing a river, not the open sea between Helsinki and Tallin as I had in September 2010…!!

But this three hour route to Uruguay was obviously popular enough to warrant such a big vessel… In fact, there are two or three sailings every day…!!

This beautiful schooner was brought into the harbour as we were departing...

Buenos Aires skyline.... People crowded the rear deck to take photos...

"Don't cry for me Argentina...!!" I'll be back in a few weeks...!!

I settled down on a folding deckchair which probably belonged to one of the crew, and watched as Buenos Aires receded into the distance… The ferry churned it’s way across the muddy brown waters of the Rio de la Plata, bound for Colonia in Uruguay…

I wished that I had had more time to explore the city, and hoped there would be another opportunity one day to do just that… It was such a massive contrast to the other towns that I had seen in Argentina… Almost felt like a country of it’s own…

And of course, it was the home of my good friends, the “Tres Machos”… Another group of friends that I would cross oceans to see again, if ever I got the chance…

©GBWT 2012

2 comments to Goodbye Buenos Aires…!!

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