[8-17/11/15] After arriving in Buenos Aires it was time to get the myself and the bike ready to fly home.
I had heard that Dakar Motos are a local motorcycle shipping agent in Buenos Aires and they have an excellent reputation. After contacting them by email, they seem very professional and were trying to get the bike back to Brisbane for me. Unfortunately the cost was prohibitive, so the bike will fly to Sydney and I will ride it home from there.
I took two days to clean the bike and all my equipment, this is ready for inspection upon its return to Australia.
Unfortunately there was a slight delay in my paperwork for importing the bike back to Australia, so I delayed my departure by 3 days pushing into the weekend and therefore requiring me to day in Buenos Aires for 3 more days.
As it turns out this was a stroke of luck. Buenos Aires is a beautiful city with many things to see. I spent my days having coffee in the morning, visiting art galleries and museums in the afternoon and finding little bars in the evening. I did have the opportunity to see some famous works by Berni, Rivera and Xul Solar and wander the streets of a modern European style city.
In shipping the bike home I decided to use some of the emergency US dollars I was carrying to help fund the shipping cost. In Buenos Aires along the main tourist street (Florida St) you hear people yelling out “Cambio, Cambio, Cambio” – Change, Change, Change. You might have this yelled at you maybe 100 times as you walk along that street, this gets a little tedious after a short time. Anyone who has been there will know what I mean. These money changers provide a secondary market for changing USD and Euros. This is known as the “blue dollar” or “blue market”, the official rate for a USD on the day was 9.10 pesos to 1 US dollar, however the money changes were offering 14.00 pesos for 1 USD. I got the rate up to 14.10 after visiting about five money changers. So I agree and go with the guy to the “office” – a small hairdresser near by. I pull out my $500 USD all in $20 bills. The guy immediately drops the exchange rate to 13.00 because I have small bills, the higher rate is only for $50 and $100 bills. I told him to stick it. So I pick up my money and left. This same game was repeated at the next money changer as well, we agreed 14.10 but when I pull out my money, the rate drops to 13.50. I figure that these guys are business men so this time I counter with 13.75 or I go. He accepts. I know I am getting ripped off, but this is much better than the official rate or 9.10. So anyway, now I have some pesos to contribute toward my shipping costs.
It has been great to be off the bike for a little while, but I am sure I will be missing it soon and itching to get back on and ride again. I will get that opportunity after I get the bike back in Sydney.