Monthly Archives: March 2006

Spending some…

Yup, the cash is in the moneybelt 🙂
We got paid in full in bills of hundred, straight from the old sock under the bed 😛 We started spending immediately, for who wants to be a walking target with all that money on her/him? We couldnt put in on the bank without a hassle, so we´ll have to keep it with us…or leave it at the hostel…where somebody actually just broke into a room of a guest and took her stuff 🙁 So we said no way jose, and split it to spread the risk.
I just left Corine with some hairdressers which were recommended by two really nice gay guys from some fashion boutique here in San Telmo. They were working on some fairly old women tho, making em look really young again…hope its not the other way around with Corine 😛
By the way, I put a lot of new photo´s online, so chek em out!

Show me the money!

We did it! We sold the car for 8000 pesos!! We finally had 3 interested parties, of which one wanted to pay at the spot 🙂 They told us thats the argentinian way, but we are dutch so….we told them that Christian, the guy who was first to get in touch with us, would have first choice. It was a hectic meeting in that last evening of car showing. A family of 5 people were there to evaluate the car. Some far away uncle came for a test drive and that was it! No need for mechanics or second opinions, great! Same with a vegetarian mother and vegetarian daughter (Maria y Maria) who raised horses for polo on a farm just outside BA. They loved the car straight away. Even after we did 2 testdrives 😛 In which one I couldnt pay attention at all to the driver, because one of the family girls was talking in poor english to me all the time. She kept telling me how nice it was to be able to talk to a nice person in english, after she just flunked her first exam since the holidays 😛 Anyway, they all figured out how the car worked ofcourse….
We just finished our last round of paperwork. Ofcourse we were going in and out of buildings again (stamp here, pay there, come back). Now we will call everybody and collect the money, which is not yet in our pocket 😛

Extra, extra: We just got mail from the first guy that he cannot go along with it, so now we can tell that nice family that they may buy it! They will be so glad, and for us its nice too, since we know the family through Dana. And Dana works behind the bar of our hostels restaurant. Pffff….its all about knowing people here…haha

Car stress in BA!

(by Corine)
Spending our last 2 weeks in Buenos Aires now. Found the best place in town to stay, a relaxed room with a balcony and really high ceilings. The whole place is really cute and every day I see something new (art on the wall, a rack of self made clothes for sale, a roof terrace, a pile of cool movies and books, a nice lamp, etc.). We are also in the middle of the Tango area, San Telmo, with older houses, and little shops and cafe´s with a romantic atmosphere. The weather is not so hot and humid anymore. I like BA much better now 🙂
BUT……… besides all this, we are working!! We have two more days left to sell the car. Already a few people had a look. But they are only ask questions about the papers, they don´t even get IN the car! So today we are gonna sort this stuff out.
In the worst case we don´t sell the car and loose 2.500 euro´s (1.250 each). We are gradually getting used to this option …

Road fiction

Pff…were now emailing the embassy about this guy from our log that we helped out…so we believe(d)…we lost all track of him after we lend 330 pesos to this guy. And its all so strange, since we offered him more and he refused. He even visited us some times after that and emailed with us…maybe to keep us soothed while planning to flee. Its pretty desillusioning, but at the same time very amazing to have met this guy. So full of stories (might be prepared, might be made up on the spot) and so believable (might be acted, might be lying pathologically). I still remember all of his stories. I still wanna believe they were true :]

By the way, he said his name is Fabian van Maarn (dude where are you?)

last chance

We actually went to Cordoba to meet Robyn and Marcelo. They were the first to react to a forumpost in which we tried to sell our car. They even took us into our home so we could arrange for everything. They were so warm and kind and invited us to visit their family. The case was that Marcelo’s family needed to be involved in the buying of the car. Thats how it is in Argentina, especially if they all want to lend u some money 😛 So yesterday we went along and were kindly taken in by their family in some tiny village called capilla something. On the last part of the road (which was a good dirtroad) Marcelo tried the car. But he went around 80 km/h and that got me so scared! At that speed I lost control when I had the accident. So I told him that, but he misinterpreted what I said and went even faster…OMG! Corine and Robyn were talking in the back of the car all the time and hadn’t noticed a thing! Anyway, we finally arrived at his family’s restaurant and had italian aperitives. Cinzano, Fernet and some other liquor thingy I actually liked were served with soda and lemon. Yummy! A little boy with a little tummy prepared us some great pizzas (which he always took the first piece of, ofcourse). And Marcelos mum was cooking all the time and serving her famous tortillas. We had a great time and ended up sleeping in their newly built house. Nobody lived in it yet for it still had a lot to be done in the kitchen. And thats very tipical of Argentina, that they start building stuff and stop if the money runs out. It seems that everybody spends any money coming in immeditaely. They wont put it in the bank anymore, thats for sure! So a lot of houses just have one story with support sticking out for the next one. Crazy!
Sadly tho, the next day, after a quick inspection of the car by some cousin, we heard they wouldnt buy our car 🙁 Their cousin had told them because it is an imported car they would have trouble finding cheap parts. I never experienced any such trouble tho, having bought many parts here for reparations. So that sucked, but hey, what can you say?
So now were on the move again, heading for BA where we hope to sell our car. We still have some interested people that want to see our car, so lets try to cut a deal!


Talking about straydogs … Last night we bumped into a Dutch guy who had been wandering the streets all day, confused and in shock because he had been robbed of absolutely everything but his clothes. They even cut his pants to take things out of his pockets. We drank coffee and borrowed him some money. Gradually he calmed down and started to tell us the amazing story of his life. He turned out to be full of amazing stories. One of them is that he´s a footbal fanatic and he invited us for a famous match in Buenos Aires in the Holy Boca-stadium. I don´t know much about football, but I have heared enough about the Boca-stadium (it breathes, trembles, people can sing scarying softly for 20 minutes) to know that its´s an the experience of a lifetime.
His biggest problem right now was: how to arrange money. His family is transferring money to my bank now. So later today we can ‘pin’ it from the cashmachine (thanks heaven for internetbanking!).

Great … ehhhm, fog…

Driving back south, we saved the best route for last (Cafayate to Tafi del Valle). A great route through big valleys and canyons, with hairpinroads and that sort of stuff. After a few cactusses and hairpins, we drove into a huge cloud of fog. Besides an occasional cow suddenly appearing on the middle of the road, we saw nothing but grey mist. Aaargh!
Next morning we appeared to be in a beautiful area, reminded us of a rainforest. Luckily, the rest of the ride was beatiful after all (with a bit of fog, but hey…that is extra cool in a rainforest!).
Right now we are in Cordoba. The couple that wants to buy the car is really sweet! Tomorrow they take us out on a little trip. They like the car!

aaaaah, that dog!

Had a great hike to some waterfalls (near Cafayate). A place you could only reach by car or a tourguide, so it was nice and quiet. The trail was totally unclear. Jumping on and from rocks, climbing, and jumping over water and avoiding huge cactusses it felt like an awesome adventure. Especially, because a stray-dog followed us all the way!! When we parked the car for the hike Maurice gave him some chunks of bread. The dog probably thought he would be with us from there on 🙂 He climbed even the steepest slopes. Sometimes he slipped into the water after bravely jumping on a wet rock. But he didn´t make one sound, just kept on going. We gave him the name ‘Peligro’, which means ‘danger’ in spanish. Back at the car, five hours later, we gave him a whole bread and plenty of hugs. The poor dog begged us to get into the car. Our hearts tore apart when we drove away cause the dog ran after us, faster and faster, like the car …. I can still see his face with his ears flapping in the wind. Eager eyes. Aaaaaaaaaah …. Maybe we should have kept him, and sell him eventually with the car.(flashback to`Sophies choice`). We feel bad …. (and hope he is not still running).

Quick update

Geee, our blogs are so old! We already hit te northern town Humahuaca (yup, still with the Fiat Uno!), and are back on our way to Cordoba. A couple there mailed us they are seriously interested in buying our car. Wel, whatever happens, we are planning to paraglide in Cordoba. And if the car doesn´t make it, we´ll take it paragliding with us and sell the video (ha ha, thanks Like!).
So what happened in the meantime? After El Bolson, we camped in a national park full of blue lakes and mountains (I still don´t uderstand why some people use a noisy generator to burn a lightbulb in front of their campervan …) . Then Bariloche, a place where some nazi´s made their new home after the War (they say). That could explain wy it´s full of chocolate, St. Bernhard dogs, and wooden cottages. At night really great performances (for free) at the square.
Then we drove to Mendoza (something like driving from Holland to Spain), but chose the alternative route, hoping to see some volcanos. We slept in obscure litlle towns (again, the movie U-turn …). And a big part of the road turned out to be a ride in hell; the concrete was falling apart, leaving big holes (sometimes filled with rain). High speed was 30 km an hour …
In Mendoza Maurice got robbed of his bag. Luckily no passports or expensive stuff in it. But we lost our chargers and handy accessoires (iPods, camera, phone, etc.) . (and ofcourse that made it extra difficult to upload photo´s on the blog..). Besides the robbers, Mendoza is a great city! They have the best icecream so far, and the best pasta, and the best wine (it´s ofcourse full of ex-italians). We did an ehm… experimental winetour (long story). And there was a parade with beauyqueens who threw fruit and vegetables to us (even a pumpkin!) .
After that up north. In Tucuman I did a tai chi lesson (from the brother of the Latin-American champion Kong Fu!). Finally Maurice experienced that Tai Chi is not a dull girls sport, and a master can really throw you on the floor (oops, did it hurt honey?). Humahuaca was the most northern town we reached. It looks and feels like a town in Peru. Lama´s, dark people, more indian looking (with big heads), shops with coca leaves, coloured blankets, panflutes …
We left for Yujuy (great pizza!). Then Salta (nothing special, but nice to see locals relaxing in the park on a sunday afternoon). One of the best expriences was a night in a nearby town (ALWAYS try to spend the night in the middle of nowhere!). A few gaucho´s drove by and saw a few guys with a guitar (next to us, while eating at the pub). They hit the break, got out of their car and started to sing, clap, shout, laugh, and all of that gypsy-stuff. More and more beer came on the table. More and more people gathered around them (we, as foreigners, were especially invited, and they even dedicated some songs to us). We tried some coca leaves (cool!). And we all clapped like experienced flamenco-gypsies. When the place closed, a dramatic goodbye followed (a big speech of the singer, aplause, hugs, kisses from everyone to everyone). They explained us a night like this is quite a normal thing in the north, wow!

El Bolson

El Bolson was a town we almost drove thru. But we stopped the car and I had a feeling we should check the place out. Im glad we did. Had a great time at the hippie festival there. It can be compared to a goa trance festival back home but at a very nice spot in the woods next to a beautiful river where people bathed and kids played. People were really into the lunar calendar there. Makes sense to go with natures cycles instead of that ticking clock speeding you up. If you wanna know more about that go here:
Here´s a pic of Lo, a former manager who worked with top tech companies and decided to quit and do what he wanted to do most: write books and make music. He lost all of his possessions when his house burnt down. All of his writings were gone so he literally had to start from scratch. I surely like his writings!

dinner time…pfff