The Goose is loose! And we made it all the way to Salto, Uruguay today, some 300 miles from Dakar Motos. Uruguay is beautiful, but it is raining and from what I have heard, it is raining all over Uruguay and Brazil. My friend from Germany, Michel Bader is on the coast and it is raining there.
I had hoped to go to Monteviedo today to meet Michel later in the week, but when I checked with the ferry, they were so fully booked they were not allowing Motos aboard. The Mar Del Plata, actually a large river, is so wide between Buenos Aires and Monteveido that the ferry ride is almost three hours. Since they would not take the Goose, I had to ride north up the Rio Uruguay some 180 miles and take a bridge across to Paysundo, Uruguay.
Traffic at the border crossing was fierce, backed up some three to four miles on each side and bearly moving. I suspect it would have taken four of five hours if I had to sit in the line of cars and trucks. But, in Central and South America motobikes are allowed, encouraged, to move to the head of the line and as a result, I was able to clear customs in Argentina in about ten minutes and complete the customs and immigrations paperwork in Uruguay in another twenty minutes. Highly efficient and friendly. Not at all like the chaos and corruption I experienced in Central America.
Leaving Dakar Motos was bittersweet. I was eager to be on the road, but Ken, Javier, Mathias, Theo, Sandra, Carol and Ludovit had become family. They are interesting, bright and great people. Such an adventure, primarily because of the people I meet. I was thinking as I rode, I spent a total of 39 days in Argentina.
Uruguay, largely an unknown gem. Beautiful large estancias, with beautiful herds of cattle and horses. Nice homes and wonderous countryside. In fact the countryside reminds me of central Kentucky in the late spring, except there are some palm trees along the way here.
I have only been in Salto for an hour or so, but the people are very friendly. Later tonight (it is 7:00 P.M. as I write this) I will sample the food. I am in a modest, but clean hotel for tonight. They have secure parking for the Goose which is a requirement. For the past twenty or so miles, I passed numerous thermal spas and resorts. I actually think this area is replete with hot salt springs. The spas and resorts are very nice, in fact luxurious. I was tempted to treat myself, but I prefer to stay in the small cities where I can meet the people and get to know how they live.
The Goose ran great today. No oil leaks and I am optimistic. Javier and Ken spent significant time checking every part on the bike. I told Javier that if it leaks in the next two thousand miles, I am simply turning around and heading back to Dakar Motos. He agreed! He stands behind his work.
I am not sure where I will head tomorrow, but I do have about 3600 to 4000 miles to cover before I reach Amozona. So I will be moving north, I just have not decided by which route. Tomorrow will be a new adventure!