We Made it!! and what an adventure and a challenge for all of us and our little 2CV's it turned out to be.
We travelled exactly 9,000 kms in our cars and 1,571 kms in the rental van before it got wrecked it in the motorway crash, so we did a total of 10,571 kms.
During our two night stay in La Rioja, we met up with a few interesting people that also owned 2CV's, as they are still popular in Argentina. A local dentist named Mauricio, organised the local paper and the local radio to meet with us at 8.00am for interviews and photos. Paul took the cue, and chatted live on their breakfast program, with Mauricio translating as fast as he could, while others chatted with the news paper reporter and posed for photos. The cars attracted a lot of interest wherever we went and always drew an enquiring crowd.
Leaving La Rioja, we headed South to the valley of the Moons and into the Valle Fertil, moving on the next morning to San Juan, where we stayed in the del Bono Park Hotel and Casino. This was pure luxury for us and again we attracted
An old DKW
Parked in the street in Concepcion, Argentina
huge interest when we all pulled up in front of the hotel. In a couple of days time, the hotel was hosting the Historic Car Club and had a couple of cars already on display, so everyone thought that we were part of the display, untill we got back in and drove to the underground car park!
Our last full day in Argentina was a bit frustrating to begin with, as we had planned to take a mountain pass out through Zonda and Rivadavia, then going down the way we had missed at the start of the adventure, due to the late shipping, but after 20 kms we sorta got a bit lost, so when I asked a local for directions, it turned out that the road was closed due to many slips from the recent wet weather and was completely impassable..Bugger, not again!! It took about an hour out of our day to get back on track again.
While at our lunch stop, we met a fellow that lived in Mendosa and built 2CV Specials called simply 3R. He is Gustavo Monteleone and he has a body and panel shop, check out the photos... We had one
Under a tree in La Rioja
last twisty unpaved pass to negoitiate before our last night at Uspallata, which lived up to its reputation of dust, dirt and corrogations.
The last day on the road is a 300km run back to Vina del Mar over the Paso Redentor and our last border crossing at Los Andes. Normally we would have to jockey for a place on the road with huge trucks, but as they are building a new toll booth, they had restricted the flow of heavy vehicles, and we had a dream run, with no hold ups at all. On arrival at Vina del Mar, the main mission was to get the cars water blasted and cleaned inside and out of seven weeks worth of dust and mud.
As this was Pauls birthday (if he was in NZ) so the farewell dinner doubled as an excuse to celebrate his birthday and a night of laughter and great food was enjoyed by all.
We were up and about early, as I had to take our papers to the customs agent and then get our cars out to the shippers for consolidation in the container. We all understand the term 'Hurray up and Wait'
A very nice DKW
A very original Moto in La Rioja
well we sure had to do that on this day, as when we re-entered Chile the day before, the girl at the customs, never put the code number on the top of Paul's entry paper. This was now a huge problem as the sheets are in triplicate and they all have to match up. Lucky for us our agent had discovered this and dispatched a staff member to the border to rectify the situation. This was the fault of the Customs lady, but was OUR Problem!!
So around 3.00 pm, the guy arrived with the corrected document and after inspections of the VIN etc we were able to load the cars into the container, just in time for the boys and Melean to catch the taxi to the airport for their flight home. As I always say, the adventure ain't over until the container door is closed!
Raewyn and I had a spare day, in case there was some trouble, that we used to visit Enzo and Martina and repack for the flight home.
This has been an absolutley marvelous adventure, that we were able to share with a group of like minded and adventurous people, including
Linton and Heather from the UK, and Cory from Bolivia.
I must thank Gerardo for all the work and support that he gave us, it was no small task to have a warm bed waiting for us every night, for 52 nights! thanks, Brother!!I look forward to riding with you again next year.
A big thanks also to Terry, Steve and String at Darbi Acessories in Auckland for the supply of Spectro oil that lasted us the entire adventure, along with the NGK spaerk plugs that kept the spark in the adventure......also to Turtle Wax for the supply of cleaning stuff, much of which we gave away, along with the stickers, that unfortunatly were generally 'Lost in Translation'. Foley the Turtle abandoned us somewhere in the Paso Sico, but we still have his 'Stunt double' in the car.
We are at home now, sorting out the 1,000 plus photos and thinking about our next Moto Adventure in 2013.....so until then,
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