ADVrider

Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Password
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-06-2013, 03:21 PM   #1591
Ulyses OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Ulyses's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Oddometer: 941
Quote:
Originally Posted by donnh View Post
I just came across your RR and skipped to the end. Hopefully I can catch up on your report in the next few days. Where did you stay in BA? I'm in Pucon Chile and have an appointment at DakarMotos in two weeks to wrap up our trip. I was wondering how much you could ship on the pallet. We are a group of 6, three from Seattle, two from Oregon and one from Idaho. The two guys from Oregon made this trip 50 years ago and this is their anniversary ride! Thanks for sharing!
50 years ago?! Wow! Now that's got to be a story!

I'm staying at a place called "BA Stop". It's 55 pesos a night for a bed, it's really nice as far as hostels go, and there are a couple of parking garages nearby. You can google it if you want for more information. I also slept at Dakar Motos the night before I took the bike to the airport.

You can ship as much as you can fit on your pallet; however, you're technically not supposed to put personal items or camping gear on it. I put a lot of that stuff on there anyway, and no one seemed to care.

By the way, make sure you get a ton of American $100 bills before you leave chile! I saved nearly $700 on my shipping by using the Blue Dollar.
Ulyses is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 05:06 PM   #1592
Ulyses OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Ulyses's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Oddometer: 941
How to Save $$$$$ on Shipping....

Day 170 (April 5, 2013)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day's Ride: 0 Miles

I woke up with a little bit of a headache after the Kilkenny. Unfortunately, I had a pressing appointment: the final payment and paperwork for shipping the bike home. After another filling breakfast of coffee and bread, I walked downtown to the office of the shipping company that was handling my bike. The day before, Peter, Marichio, and I had all decided to meet up at the office together and make the payments at the same time for reasons that I will explain in a second.

We all arrived at the office at the same time and, in typical Argentinian fashion, were told that the agent wasn't ready to see us yet and that we should come back in an hour. We went down the street to a McDonalds, drank some coffee, checked the exchange rates on our phones, and discussed our gameplan for payment.

When shipping your bike you are presented with the option of paying in cash with American Dollars or Argentinian Pesos at the official rate. If you're savvy concerning "Dolar Blue", It doesn't take a genius to realize that you can save a ton of money by paying in pesos.

As I've mentioned before, one of the huge benefits of traveling in Argentina right now is Dolar Blue, aka, the black market currency exchange for American Dollars. The official exchange rate is around 5.13 Argentinian Pesos for every Dollar. The black market exchange is currently around 8.2-8.4 for every Dollar. The rates are usually better for larger amounts of money and larger denominations. So, if you're changing a couple thousand dollars in hundred dollar bills, you can get a pretty good deal. Of course, in order to get the black market rate, you have to haggle a little bit, go into some potentially shady areas, and deal with some somewhat shady characters. For these reasons, we all decided to team up, combine our cash, and spend some time finding the best deal possible. Furthermore, I think we all felt a little more safe having three people present instead of doing it on our own.

We went back to the shipping office, met with the agent, and received our final price for shipping. My bill came out to 9,450 Pesos or $1,838. Doing some quick math and estimating an exchange rate of at least 8, I figured that I could save around $700 by using Dolar Blue.

I had pulled out about $2,000 in hundred dollar bills while in Uruguay in preparation for this moment; I decided that I would change about $1,500 total into Pesos: $1,200 to pay for the shipping and $300 to pay for my final 5 days in Buenos Aires. Peter and Marichio already had a fair amount of pesos, but they still had about $600 that they wanted to change as well. Together, we had $2,100 to change and we all figured that we could get a good rate.

Unfortunately, for some reason, everyone decided that I should be the one to carry the cash, so I had to walk around downtown Buenos Aires, a city notorious for pickpockets, with a huge wad of $100 bills in my pocket while Marichio (who's Colombian and speaks fluent Spanish) negotiated with money changers on the street. I had both of my hands in my pockets the entire time; one hand clutching my wallet, the other clutching my pocket knife. As if a pocket knife would help me stop a pick pocket...

We finally settled on a woman named Blanca who was offering us 8.25. Apparently the rates had gone down during Semana Santa.

Blanca lead us to a building that looked strangely familiar. After we stepped inside and she showed us the freight elevator, I realized that this was one of the same buildings that I had changed money in last week. There's nothing like stepping into a freight elevator with a couple thousand dollars in your pocket, wondering if you're about to get robbed at gunpoint by some thugs that are waiting for you on the second floor. Figuring that I didn't have much to lose other than thousands of Dollars and possibly my life, I decided to sneak some pictures with my phone. Here's Blanca and the freight elevator:



We got off on the third floor and walked down a long hallway:



Blanca stopped at an unmarked doorway, gave a little knock, and lead us inside.



After we told them how much money we had to change, they told us that we would have to wait while they ran out and got more Pesos. I figured that this was the point where they would run out and get their crew of armed thugs to come back and rob us. Pocket knives aren't much protection against Pistolas...

Fortunately, they were true to their word, and after about 10 minutes of waiting, a big Argentinian dude came in with our pesos. I guess it's bad for business to rob your customers. We stepped into the money changing booth and slapped down our hundreds.



The man behind the glass slid us back an enormous stack of hundred Peso notes and we got to work examining each one to ensure that we weren't getting "truchas" (counterfeits), which are apparently quite common. After a lengthy examination and a few exchanges of damaged currency, we finally had our money. We thanked Blanca and headed back to the shipping office to pay our fees.

The payment was pretty straightforward. We went up to the cashier on the 7th floor of the office building, gave him our cash, and received our Air Freight Way Bills and a shipping date. My bike was supposed to fly out the next day on a United Flight and reach Portland by Monday.



So, here are some fast facts concerning my shipping experience:

Actual cost of shipping by air from Buenos Aires to Portland, OR: $1,838.52

ATM fees to remove lots of cash in Uruguay: $35
Referral fee paid to Dakar Motos: $85
Shipping Cost after Converting to Dolar Blue: $1,145.50
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Shipping Cost: $1,265.50

So, in all actuality, I saved $573 on shipping. That's way, way, way cheaper than any of the other options. You would be crazy to ship from anywhere else. I could have done it even cheaper too if I would have thought ahead and used Western Union to wire myself the money in Uruguay. Then I would have only had to pay $5 to get all of that cash.

After getting all of our papers in order, we went to a nearby Parilla to celebrate.



I had a mixed plate with short ribs, loin, chicken breast, normal sausage, and blood sausage. Delicious!



In any event, things are about finished for me. The bike is gone and after gorging myself on meat, I had the realization that my two wheels to freedom were now out of the picture. It's strangely depressing to realize that you can't just hop on your bike and take off whenever you feel the urge. Furthermore, without a bike you are suddenly reduced to just another backpacking tourist. Blah! I spent the rest of the afternoon feeling sorry for myself, then, pulled myself together, went out and bought some cigars, and celebrated!

As far as this ride report is concerned; I'm not quite finished. I'm going to start working on a little summary and some observations concerning the trip, as well as a little summary of my last few days in BA. Furthermore, I've been asked by a few people to give a presentation on my trip when I return to the states; with that in mind, I would like to enlist the help of all of the people that have been or are reading my crazy ramblings. If you are reading this and are willing, I'm looking for nominations for the best pictures from each country, aside from the Salar pictures in Bolivia. Thanks in advance!
Ulyses is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 05:20 PM   #1593
chasbo
Beastly Adventurer
 
chasbo's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2005
Location: Prescott, Arizona
Oddometer: 1,532
Steller report! You showed ingenuity in finding the cheapest way to ship the bike back. I am not sure I would have been that smart! This is one of the best reports I have read to date Bryce, have safe travels home!
__________________
"Dakar must be a race for few people, Dakar is a dream, the dream of the Rose Lake, if everybody finish it, the dream is over" Fabrizio Meoni
chasbo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 06:35 PM   #1594
alfabc
Adventurer
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Vancouver Washington
Oddometer: 210
Post when you get back the Pacific North West. I live in Vancouver WA and if you're in Portland any time, lunch or dinner is on me. Beer included. But, it will cost you some stories

Cheers,

Bill
alfabc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2013, 09:45 PM   #1595
Spud Rider
Beastly Adventurer
 
Spud Rider's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: Idaho
Oddometer: 3,705
You are an excellent writer, and your photography is superb. Thanks for taking the time to document your travels with such an excellent ride report.

Spud
__________________
2005 XR650L: Shorai Battery Relocation, Spud Oil Cooler, XR650R C/S Sprocket, Reinforced Subframe, Chain Slipper Roller, Performance Design Lowering Link, Baja Designs Headlight, FMF Hi-Flo Header, ManRacks SD Rack, ManRacks Front Fender Farkle, CST Surge I Front Tire, D952 Rear Tire, Tusk D-Flex Handguards, Uni Air Filter, No-Toil Evolution air filter oil
Spud Rider is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 07:01 AM   #1596
Kawidad
Beastly Adventurer
 
Kawidad's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2005
Location: Central Coast, Cal
Oddometer: 4,635
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spud Rider View Post
You are an excellent writer, and your photography is superb. Thanks for taking the time to document your travels with such an excellent ride report.

Spud
Agreed.


__________________
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - Juvenal
(Who watches the watchers)
Kawidad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-07-2013, 07:33 AM   #1597
ONandOFF
-ROAD-
 
ONandOFF's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Shenandoah Valley riding wonderland
Oddometer: 5,365
What a fantastic story! Have fun in your last couple days there. You'll be back on a bike in the PNW Springtime weather before you know it. Bring some cigars back.
__________________
Let's ride!!! - No offense, but there've been a lot of people over time who were just as sure, yet got it wrong. - Una necedad, aunque la repitan millones de bocas, no deja de ser una necedad. - "you know that I could have me a million more friends and all I'd have to lose is my point of view" (Prine)
ONandOFF is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2013, 12:09 PM   #1598
rtwpaul
out riding...
 
rtwpaul's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: round the world
Oddometer: 1,960
great conclusion...excellent ride report, enjoy the last moments in the southern hemisphere
rtwpaul is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2013, 05:14 AM   #1599
donnh
Gnarly Adventurer
 
donnh's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Near Seattle
Oddometer: 263
Quote:
Originally Posted by purpledrake View Post
Geeeeez, DonNH. Where &*&# have you been? 6 guys from the PNW, and nobody connected with this thread? Where is your thread?

Now i am mad. Hurry up and tell us your story, BEFORE you ship your bikes!
Yikes! I've been delinquent in my ADV duties, ha. I decided to skip an ADVrider RR this trip and do a blog instead. I considered doing both but wanted to spend more time riding and exploring than typing, strange thing.

I don't want to hijack this excellent RR so here is my blog link; http://www.ADVdonnh.com

One of the group who did the ride 50 years ago has a blog here: http://yaden.org/motoraidblog/

Ok, so let me get this straight... I need to locate some shady corridor in BA and follow a giant guy I don't know with a ton of cash in my pocket to get some currency of questionable authenticity? Geesh! I thought just riding the motorcycle was adventure enough!

We should be in BA in the next few days.....
__________________
ADVenture On Two Wheels
KTM 1190R, F800GS, WR250R ,ZERO Electric Bike (dead), 73 Norton Commando, 1969 Yamaha Trailmaster. Wife rides (dirtbikegirlrider): G650GS, G650XC(sold), DR200
2010 Sasquatch Ride 2011 Utah Ride 2012 Baja Ride Report 2012 Rocky Mt Ride 2012 Sasquatch Pictures 2013 Seattle to Buenos Aries BLOG Follow Me
donnh is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2013, 03:29 PM   #1600
purpledrake
No Pretensions
 
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Seattle-ish
Oddometer: 334
Quote:
Originally Posted by donnh View Post
Yikes! I've been delinquent in my ADV duties, ha. I decided to skip an ADVrider RR this trip and do a blog instead. I considered doing both but wanted to spend more time riding and exploring than typing, strange thing.

I don't want to hijack this excellent RR so here is my blog link; http://www.ADVdonnh.com

One of the group who did the ride 50 years ago has a blog here: http://yaden.org/motoraidblog/

Ok, so let me get this straight... I need to locate some shady corridor in BA and follow a giant guy I don't know with a ton of cash in my pocket to get some currency of questionable authenticity? Geesh! I thought just riding the motorcycle was adventure enough!

We should be in BA in the next few days.....
Don,

Thanks for the links to your blog and also to the 50th anniversary SA tour blog! I am really happy to see your information here.

Our hero, Ulyses, seems to have one major difference in the execution of your ADV plan. Somehow you managed this epic journey while still keeping your job. I am not sure how you did this, and will have to read your entire story.

Have a safe journey to Buenos Aires, and back home.

PD
__________________
The Good Lord gave most of us 10 digits; mine are all thumbs.
purpledrake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-10-2013, 06:53 AM   #1601
ONandOFF
-ROAD-
 
ONandOFF's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Shenandoah Valley riding wonderland
Oddometer: 5,365
Quote:
Originally Posted by donnh View Post
... Ok, so let me get this straight... I need to locate some shady corridor in BA and follow a giant guy I don't know with a ton of cash in my pocket to get some currency of questionable authenticity? Geesh! I thought just riding the motorcycle was adventure enough! ...
Only if you want to save the difference between the official exchange rate and the underground exchange rate. I doubt I'd have the guts to do that. Could be easy for the illegitimate exchangers or even the authorities to confiscate our funds. Might get hurt or worse in the process. Kinda like doing the ride only riskier. But Bryce is a young Marine of good size, a target they would wish they didn't mess with!
__________________
Let's ride!!! - No offense, but there've been a lot of people over time who were just as sure, yet got it wrong. - Una necedad, aunque la repitan millones de bocas, no deja de ser una necedad. - "you know that I could have me a million more friends and all I'd have to lose is my point of view" (Prine)
ONandOFF is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2013, 08:36 PM   #1602
alvincullumyork
I wish I was cool
 
alvincullumyork's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2012
Location: South Atlanta
Oddometer: 1,371
Quote:
Originally Posted by ONandOFF View Post
Only if you want to save the difference between the official exchange rate and the underground exchange rate. I doubt I'd have the guts to do that. Could be easy for the illegitimate exchangers or even the authorities to confiscate our funds. Might get hurt or worse in the process. Kinda like doing the ride only riskier. But Bryce is a young Marine of good size, a target they would wish they didn't mess with!
I think saving $900 is a pretty good incentive to risk the underground exchange rate....what's the worst that could happen? A little knife fight? Some armed robbery? I think that would be a great story, probably worth the danger!
__________________
How to ride your XR650L to South America: http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...2#post19932112
If you're in my area on a ride and need a place to crash, a hot meal, or some beer let me know. 913 260 7873
On a one man mission to stop people from buying boring bikes (cough cough klr)
alvincullumyork is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-11-2013, 08:45 PM   #1603
dickosaurus
Seasoned Noob
 
dickosaurus's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2006
Location: Lone Rabbit, Oklahoma
Oddometer: 695
Numbah one ride report, Bryce- enjoyed every bit of your adventure. And that last bit was icing on an already cool cake. Semper Fi.
__________________
"I can't think of nothing better than riding a fine horse through new country. It's what I was meant for,,,,,", Gus, Lonesome Dove
dickosaurus is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2013, 10:22 AM   #1604
Ulyses OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Ulyses's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Oddometer: 941
Tango Lessons and Tours

Day 171 - 174 (April 6, 2013 to April 9, 2013)
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Day's Ride: no bike....

After getting rid of the bike and taking my chances on the black market, all of the serious work was out of the way and it was time to see a bit of Buenos Aires. I was eager to see the city; however, there was a sense of loss, almost disappointment after sending the bike home. I was also tired, really tired. Not physically tired, just travel tired. I was ready to go home. Still, I knew I needed to take the opportunity to see this amazing city before I left. With that in mind, I decided to take a bike (bicycle) tour and get the added bonus of a little workout as well. I convinced Dylan to come along as well.

For about a 100 pesos we got some ricketty old beach cruisers and a four hour tour of BA.

The first stop was the Argentine version of the White House. It's actually pink, so I think it should be called the Pink House.



According to our tour guide, when the original building was built, it was painted with a mixture of lime and buffalo blood, hence the pink color.

Since this is a country with a fairly recent memory of military rule, oppression, and turbulent politics, there were tons of political banners and posters up in the square directly in front of the Pink House.



The statue in the main square:



A look back in the opposite direction from the pink house:



If you look down at the brick pavement you'll notice some odd white shapes painted on the ground. Those are supposed to represent women wearing headscarves. During the days of the military dictatorship, the mothers of people who had been "disappeared" by the government would come to this square wearing head scarves and try and exchange information in hopes on learning what had happened to their sons and daughters. It's such a haunting reminder of how different things were.

We continued down to Puerto Madero. In the early 1900's this was one of the main ports in BA. However, by the 1920's it was too small to fit modern ships. The port gradually fell into disrepair until the early 90's when the city and local developers began turning it into a neighborhood. Now, it's the richest part of BA.



The tour continued and we ran into a rival tour; they were riding bamboo bikes. I had heard about wooden bikes but had never seen one until now.



The tour continued down to an area called Boca. Boca is a brightly colored neighborhood near the water that is said to be the birthplace of Argentine Tango. The neighborhood was full of tourists and free Tango shows.





While we were in Boca, Dylan and I actually ran into Bear, the rider that I had met on the ferry to Tierra del Fuego. Once again, it's amazing how small South America can feel sometimes when you are on a bike.

The final stop on the tour was to a famous soccer stadium in Boca, home of the famous "Boca Juniors". Apparently, around the turn of the century names with English words were in vogue; the result were team names like "Boca Juniors", "Racing Club", and the "Old Boys".



That about finished up the tour; we took our bikes back to the rental place and hoofed it back to the Hostel.

The next day I ended up going Tango dancing with a girl that I had met back in Santiago over a month ago. I know next to nothing about Tango; I had actually taken a ballroom dancing class back in College but didn't remember a thing about it. Luckily, when we showed up to the dance hall, everyone was dancing Swing instead of Tango. I actually can Swing dance quite well; my date for the evening had never tried it before. Like some bad kung fu flick, the student had become the teacher. : We ended up dancing for a couple of hours; the dancing eventually changed to Tango and I was struggling to remember just the basic steps.

The Argentinos in Buenos Aires are some serious night owls. Like most Argentinos, they don't eat dinner until after 10 and they don't usually go to bed until after midnight. The younger crowd in BA take it to a whole new level. Most of the clubs in town don't really get hopping until 2:00 AM and usually close up somewhere around 7:00 AM to 8:00 AM! After finishing dancing, we didn't get dinner until around 2:30 AM. After we finished eating around 3:30 AM, the people that I was with asked what we were going to do next! I was barely awake at this point and the beers that I had just drank weren't helping; I eventually found my way to a bus and headed back to the Hostel. I didn't end up getting to sleep until 4:30 AM.

The next day was my last day in Buenos Aires. I had over calculated my need for Pesos and was about 800 to rich. knowing that I wouldn't be able to change these back to Dollars in the states, I asked Dylan if he wanted to buy some pesos at a really good rate. Luckily he had an old hundred dollar bill that he wanted to get rid of, so things worked out great. This left me with 180 pesos to make it to the airport and buy dinner....

(to be continued......)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
P.S. I'm actually back in Oregon! I'm heading up to Portland tomorrow to pick up my bike; is anyone interested in grabbing a beer?
Ulyses is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-12-2013, 10:25 AM   #1605
Ulyses OP
Studly Adventurer
 
Ulyses's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2012
Location: Portland, OR
Oddometer: 941
Quote:
Originally Posted by purpledrake View Post
Don,

Our hero, Ulyses, seems to have one major difference in the execution of your ADV plan. Somehow you managed this epic journey while still keeping your job. I am not sure how you did this, and will have to read your entire story.

PD
Ouch. It's funny, I actually had a Marine prior service recruiter call me up yesterday and ask me if I wanted a job. I told him I'd think about it. I could do worse than go back to the Marines for a few months and pick up Captain's salary and a ton of per diem.
Ulyses is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Share

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

.
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


Times are GMT -7.   It's 08:12 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014