Sunday, June 3, 2007

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...

We're back online and on the road after a bit of a hiatus.
On May 26 we made it to Buenos Aires and then spent one week there taking in the sights and taking care of a lot of business. Monday: dropped off our passports at the Brazilian consulate to have our tourist visas re-issued since the ones we got in Boston expired before we could make it there. Had to complete all new applications and turn in all new documentation including all kinds of financial papers so this errand took the better part of the morning and when we finally turned everything in the official told us that she couldn't give Kevin his visa until he got more pages added onto his passport! So, on to try our next errand. We dropped off our bikes at the BMW dealer to get them serviced and to have them put back in tip-top shape: replace Kevin's rear shocks, rear mudflap and both tires and replace my front fork seal, rear mudflap and also both my tires. Things went well here and everyone was very nice. The only concern was wether Kevin's rear mudflap could be replaced under warranty because we didn't have the part (which had fallen off the bike somewhere in Bolivia) with us. What? we must have the part in order to turn it in for a new one???? Hmmmm. Well, after some sweet talking and some e-mails back and forth with BMW USA we finally got the part put on at the very last minute, literally one minute before we took the bike back they were putting the part on.
Tuesday: To American embassy to get more pages added to both our passports (might as well). Filled out a form and waited for about 2 hours for the passports then took off back to the Brazilian embassy to dropp off the passports for the visas.
Wednesday: Spent the day in the world renowned San Telmo area of the city visiting all the antique stores in search of the perfect sconces for our first-floor stairway and for atop the Big fireplace in the ballroom. We zigzaged down the street from shop to shop for hours and finally managed to find some great fixtures, or "apliques", at the last shop we visited. I'm very excited because I think these sconces are pretty awesome! In the evening we headed to Dakkar Motors, an underground bike shop/pseudo-hostel for travelers where our German friends were staying and we had a nice barbeque.
We spent a good part of Thursday trying to find a notary, or "escribano" to certify Kevin's signature on a document for Citibank and when we found one we also found out that she couldn't do the deed without Kevin's passport. In the evening we went to a dinner-and-tango show (except we skipped the dinner part and had dinner on our own before the show). Friday it all came together in a last-minute kind of way. When we went to pick up our passports at the Brazilian consulate we were asked to provide more proof of financial solvency because apparently the consul didn't quite understand how a "carpenter" (as Kevin had described his profession) could afford to take this trip. Then we raced over to the escribano and got Kevin's document notarized, then we raced over to the antique store to pay for the apliques and arrange for shipping, and finally we raced over to the Buquebus terminal to get tickets on the 7:30pm ferry to Colonia, Uruguay. We actually made it with a bit of time to spare so we decided to have a nice last dinner in Buenos Aires at a cool restaurant in Puerto Madero by the river.
Although we were very busy, in between running around completing our errands Kevin and I managed to get a complete tour of the city, attend a crazy soccer game at the legendary Bocas stadium (Bocas Jr. beat the team from Jujuy), see Pirates of the Caribbean, catch a tango show, buy some books and some accessories for my bike, do a lot of walking, get our laundry done twice, eat some delicious meat and drink some delicious wine and all together have a good time. I really love Buenos Aires and I cannot wait to return!