Thursday, November 27, 2014

san Juan

We drove from Laboulaye to Caucete, the scenery  is almost the same as the desert in mexico.
Getting close to San Juan the wineries started but the landscape is very arid.
We had emailed our friends in San Juan that we will arrive Wednesday at their house. So we stopped 25 km. short of their place. We did not know that Guillermo had our Spot and followed our progress. He had prepared our bed and dinner as he was sure we would be at his place no later than 7pm. Norbert did not want to arrive early so we spent the nite at a YPF station.
Guillermo was sure we had car trouble, and if we did not arrive early Wednesday morning he will come and find us.
We made it close to his house the next morning and as it was a one way street and we were not sure if we were at the right place. As Guillermao was phoning his son Nicolas to tell him he is expecting visitors from Canada, Nicolas said Dad I am right now looking at two Canadian Campers.  It turned out we were just around the corner of his place, and  5 minutes later he met us and guided us to his house. Ana and Guillermo showed us around town then we had a wonderful Asado at his country club and as it was 33 degrees a nice swim in the pool.
At nite he cooked us a very tasty "Pollo al Disco".
Today we did some shopping and back to the club and pool as it is 38 degrees celsius. 
Tomorrow we will continue on to Talapaya park which is north of San Juan and then to Refugio Gauchos.
This was a very welcome rest and wonderful hot showers, incredible food and dear friends.
What more can one ask for. 
Hugs to all.
Norbert and Greti
Police check

Lunch Stop

Homemade french fries

Gaucho Gill Station somewhat of a mysterious legend 

Guillermo, Norbert and Brenda

Downtown San Juan

A welcome refresher
Ready for lunch

What a meal

Pollo al Disco

Lunch Again

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Nov. 22, 2014

November 21/22, 2014
We spent a nice day in Colonia, first to find internet, then some sightseeing and very little shopping as prices are out of this world. One litre of gasoline $2.00 US. And a hamburger $12.00. 
Rick wanted to find the place where he can store the camper for next season as he will return to Canada in January, and all of a sudden a blond lady came running to the Van and wanted to know  if we needed a place to store the camper, turns out she is the owner of the ranch where most overlanders store their  rigs and the place Rick was looking for. Small world.
Rain in the afternoon and all nite. We went to the ranch to check out the storage, there were about 9 rigs there waiting for the owners to return or be sold. Sandra is the owner of Molina Azul and looks after the campers very well. Today the 22nd. We again headed for internet and then drove back to Argentina, border crossing went swift, nothing like in Central America, all very professional. When we passed though de town of Dolores we went to see the fountain and took some pictures, a lady asked us if she can put on the waterworks for us, when we said yes 3 minutes later the fountain was working . Where in the western world will the put on a fountain for 4 tourists.
these are the ladies at the tourist office

Alicias book.
Sandra from Molino Azul where Rick will store his camper

Enrique with thermos and MateAdd caption

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fountain with no water

fountain with water

the kind ladies who turned on the waterAdd caption

What to do if you have no money for medical help
Now we are back in Gualeguachu and all my meat, vegetables and cold cuts are safe in my fridge.
Met again Enrique who is from Uruguay and had an accident with his motorbike and is stuck here til he can ride again, he has torn tendons in his knee but no money for medical treatment. We tried to help out a little and I gave him some of my emergency painkillers which gave him some relief. Also met Alicia and husband, who was born in USA but now lives in Argentina, she just published a children's boook and is also a painter. Again we are at the tourist office and the ladies want to come with us, norbert would like it but then there is no room for me. So it is a no go.
We are now on our way to Mendoza and from there will go south.
Hugs to all.
Norbert and Greti.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Nov. 20, 2014

Exactly at 8am. We were at the aduana office and within 30 minutes  had a copy of Rick's import paper, of course minus signature or stamp. We visited the tourist information in Gualeguachu where there was WiFi, so sent off some emails. on the way back to the Van we were stopped by a television crew who wanted an interview about our travels. So Norbert obliged and talked for 20 minutes. It is a local station so we will not see it as we traveled on to Uruguay.
At the border crossing thy remembered us from yesterday and the kind officer fixed Rick stamp less and signature-less paper and asked if this was possible in Canada. Met Mima van Aken at the border and she invited us to her place in Punta del Este which is a very famous beach resort in Uruguay, we had to decline as we first want to go to Ushuaia and mid January we will pass through Uruguay on our way to Brazil, we will call her then and see if we can meet up.  Alejandro Neer and family also stopped to chat with us, he spoke perfect english as he has been to Toronto. He was impressed that we drove all the way from Vancouver and gave us his email address that if we needed anything just to mail him. It is overwhelming how kind people are and how interested in our adventure. We are now in Colonia de Sacramento where we will stay another day then head back to Argentina and I must nor forget to pick up my meat, butter and cold cuts. We found a nice and quiet place to park for the nite until the school marching band showed up for practice. But lucky the practice ended at 9.0pm. and now all is quiet.
Hope to add some pictures.
Hugs to all.
Norbert and Greti
Aduana Building in Gualeguachu

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Not really a jail but the mens bathroom

Old town Colonia

Old Town Old Car but not Old Lady

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Almost Uruguay

Almost Uruguay.
Nov. 17. Stocked up the R.V.  With all the necessary food and got everything in its place and the fridge working well. So we are good for a few weeks.
November 18th. We picked up Brenda and Rick at the Airport Eseiza and drove out to Lago Lobos where their R.V. was stored. Found it in order but for a little mould here and there. Then drove in tandem to Lujan. Lujan has a beautiful Basilica and every Argentinian will visit this Basilica at least once in his life. Norbert was there at age 14 with school. Not much changed since then. Found a campground just outside of Lujan with the very basic facilities and as the campground three weeks ago was flooded over the picnic tables the ground was barely dry.
In the early morning there was a big thunderstorm and very heavy rain so we hurried out before we get stuck in the mud. All afternoon and this morning Rick was franticly looking for his auto import paper and can not find it. We drove to the border of Uruguay and first the Blue Wonder got inspected, I did not know that all meat, dairy, vegetable and fruit is prohibited. So much for stocking up. After the inspector saw all the food I had of which non was allowed he took a bag of carrots and said he had to take something out and I should hide the rest. We could now proceed to Uruguay as all our papers were in order but Rick could not exit Argentina until he has a copy of his auto import. For that he has to go to Gualeguaychu to the main aduana office and see if thy can request a copy from the port where we entered Argentina March 26, 2014. So back in to Argentina and the nice custom man even retuned my carrots. So now we are in Gualeguaychu and tomorrow morning we will be at the custom office at 8.0am and hope all goes well. We have to stay in Uruguay for 24 hours before we can reenter Argentina, so I stored all my edibles in the fridge here in the campground office. Hope it will be there when we get back, the meat is not so important but the Salami, unsalted butter, and very good prochuitto  will be hard to replace.
Pictures will follow.
Hugs to all 
Norbert and Greti
Last Supper

Brenda and Hendrik at Lago Lobos

Basilica of Lujan

Parilla, Barbrque

Lineup at Gas Station

Bridge to the border crossing

In to Uruguay

Friday, November 14, 2014

On the way

Left Vancouver Nov. 10th. And had a good flight  to Dallas where we had a layover of 5 hours.
We were called to the ticket counter to show our reciprocity receipt. Lo and behold, Norbert had his but mine is nowhere to be fount and without you can not board the plane.
We had paid for it in March in Bolivia with a lot of trouble, but now my problem was bigger.
Right away our suitcases were put aside and we were told to phone Argentina tomorrow. I tried to phone the Consulate on a public phone to no avail as Buenos Aires is 5 hours ahead.
At the last moment the ticket agent came over to see what she could do, and we decided to pay for a new one.
10 minutes before departure I had the new receipt and paid another $92.00  and will ask for a refund when we are  in Argentina.

 Arrived in Buenos Aires on time and Manfred and Chola picked us up,had a quick nap and went to see the Blue Wonder which was a little dusty but otherwise fine. When I saw the Blue Wonder if felt like seeing an old friend again and a little like home. Next morning Norbert had the brakes
train ride to downtown

Helpful Cristina at Integrity Insurance

The Liberty 

City Center Buenos Aires

fixed and washed the Van and I took stock of what we need in the department of food, so grocery shopping is in order. Today we got insurance, Christina at  Insurance was very helpful and to top it off served us a very tasty Cafe Cortada. Then off to Immigration to request a refund for the Reciprocity fee I had to pay in Dallas. There are so many offices at immigration but everybody was very helpful and Laure who is in charge of reciprocity had it sorted out in no time and we will have the refund in 30 days. Amazing how friendly everybody is. As last time, we went by bus and train as this is the most efficient way to see Buenos Aires. Hopefully we will have more time at the end of our trip to really explore the city. We will meet our friends Brenda and Rick on Nov. 18 and then head for Uruguay to export the Blue Wonder as the 8 month permit expires on the 20th. then import her again so we will be good for a few months.
We hope everybody in Canada keeps warm and our friends south cool.
Hugs to all.
Norbert and Greti.
Just in case others need the info.

Reunion and loving care.

Lets look at the breaks.

One working 3 looking.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Part 2 of the adventure

Well it is time again to prepare for part two.
We had a very busy summer with lots of sunshine, visiting friends and family,  British Columbia is especially beautiful when the sun shines.
In June I visited my family in Holland and there attended a concert of Andre Riou in his hometown of
Maastricht. At Karli's house we all got together and had a feast of plum dumplings and could not get them quite as good as mom used to make them, but lots of fun with all brothers and sisters together.
 Brother Walter with grandson Daniel came to Canada for a visit and we went fishing in Tofino with great   Success.
Now we are working on the logistics of all we need to take with us to outfit the Blue Wonder.
We would need 10 ply tiers and can get then at a good price here but the shipping is very expensive, so we will have to buy the tiers in Argentina but thy have only 6 ply. We did get a new  right lower ball joint.
Getting the visa for Brazil was a hassle, thy wanted more information than revenue Canada, but we did finally get it. It is so much easier to pack the camper here in Vancouver were I can look what we need and go to Safeway or the Deli and get all the familiar things. No room in the backpack for Tim Hortons coffee. Oh well, Argentina has good coffee too. We spent one week in Palm Springs to get the Casita ready and rented for the season as we will not be using it, so we got a little foretaste of warmer weather.
We leave November 10th for Buenos Aires and grandson Keaton will look after our home here.
Hugs to you all and the next blog will be from Argentina.

Clouds in Holland

better meal

good catch
Concert in Maastricht