I wish we could say that we are moving. But we are not.
After we made the application, the vehicle inspection should take place within 10 days. We are at day 14. Yesterday I emailed asking for an explanation. The interpreted response was “we have your application and we are at your disposal”.
According to Cristian this means they are working on it. At least they haven’t lost our application. On second thought maybe they have.
Not being able to drive anywhere reminds us of the pandemic. We feel stuck. The difference is there are no restrictions on our movements, just on Vanna.
There are some nice restaurants within walking distance. Two nights we walked to a parilla, a lively out door restaurant full of local couples and families.
We ordered empanadas which were filled with chunks of beef and boiled egg. Very tasty. And we had asado, Argentinian grilled pork and beef. They brought a little charcoal grill to the table, which was filled with coals. Then chunks of meat were placed on the grill to stay hot. They offer sides of home fries and leafy salad, which we ordered as well. But we noticed that many locals just order meat.
Last night we took an Uber to Tigre, a city in itself, but located close to Buenos Aires. It’s a popular spot as the air is cooler and the walkway along the river makes for a lovely stroll in the evening.
The Rio del Plata is a confluence of other rivers from Brazil and Uruguay, mixed with seawater from the Atlantic. Copper brown in color, it wafts with that sweet salty ocean aroma. Very soothing after the extreme heat of the campground.
The river was full of an incredible variety of boats. From modern fibreglass two tiered catamarans full of people out for an evening ride on the river, to low riding wooden tourist boats, long and narrow.
Speed boats and seadoos zoomed past sleek rowboats and old wooden canoes. Occasionally we saw a working hauler with large cranes on deck, or one with a load of logs. The river is about 100 meters wide at Tigre, with steep banks so that the heavy traffic causes a constant churning wake on the river. No swimming allowed.
Our whole campground had a few hours of entertainment when the arborists arrived one day to remove a tree in order to widen the track leading to the back of the camp. In place of helmets they wore wide brimmed sun hats. Bare hands- no gloves. Safety equipment- a rope and a ladder.
One guy climbed up the tree and then tied himself to the tree with the rope. The chainsaw was lifted up by rope, and at one point was swinging freely, whilst running. Ok so many things wrong with that scenario. I watched, heart in mouth.
But they did a very good job, and carted away all the debris. So you can’t fault that.
We aren’t the only ones stuck in this campground.
A French Swiss couple, Jean-Mark and Corinna, recently shipped their Sprinter van to Buenos Aires from Europe. When it arrived, many things had been stolen en route, plus the van wouldn’t start. Theft during shipping is a problem for larger vehicles as, unlike Vanna, they won’t fit into a container. So the only option is to sit out on deck ( known as roll-on-roll-off). Seems the shipping industry employs plenty of thieves, who use their free time to break into the vehicles on board.
Marcus the Mecanico here, has been working on their Sprinter for several days. A day being about 4 hours of work. He is now sure it is an electronic issue and luckily Sprinter parts are readily available in Argentina, so it will take maybe another week or so. Or more. No one knows.
An Austrian couple are leaving for home. Their custom designed Toyota truck camper broke the seals on the over extended axels. They had the option to have it fixed here, which would take 2 months. They chose option B, send it back home to be repaired in Germany. So a 6 month trip turned into only 6 weeks, most of those with a stuck truck. Not fun.
A German couple, Walter and Marion, are here with a Man truck, a gigantic yellow military vehicle. They have been travelling full time since 2014. Now they are going home to sell the truck, as they have run out of money. Walter entertained us with many crazy travel stories, including tipping over on a pass in the mountains of Guatemala. The truck stopped sliding just 50 meters from a sheer drop. OK that’s too much adventure for me.
He showed us video of driving on mud roads in northern Paraguay, which sounds similar to driving on sheer ice. The vehicle won’t stay in a straight line and periodically slides sideways into the ditch. Then you set up a winch on a nearby tree and pull the truck out of the ditch. Back on the road, you are soon in the ditch again. Crazy. Reminder to Bob- don’t take that road.