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El Palmar ...and on to Uruguay...

Written on: Friday November 23rd, 2007

OK So Last thing I was saying was that the Argentines had been cooking for us every night.... Ok so once we had gone down the gravel road of death fully loaded we decided we needed to loose some weight off the bike so we started to filter through our stuff and get rid of some clothes and binoculars, water bottles, and bits and pieces which we gave to our new Argentine mates, It was great cos almost all the stuff was immediately put to use.

Gonzalo told us they were going to take us to their island in the middle of the Rio Uruguay about 20 mins boatride from the National Park. We set off at about 10am to the island which is about 2ks long with one house with lots of rooms on it, they want to turn into a hostel. It became apparent that we were like their test group and we were having fun so it all seemed to be going well. Jorge´s sister owns the island but he lives their alone except for his dog and he was good friends with our new Argentine mates.That morning they had got 12 litres of beers for the evening which Peadar had viewed as not really being adequate, and when we started the first beer on the boat over we knew we´d need more. We arrived to a serving of Some sort of Chicken, they said it was something like a wild chicken from the Island, that was brunch and before we were finished this another chicken was put on the fire for our next meal, so there were 3 meat meals served that day + I had also begun my day breakfasting on Left over beef from the previous night!

We just sat around drinking the beers in the shade with Angela, Miguels four year old daughter and his wife Marcela, Jorge and Gonzalo and Nati. Angela was chatting away to us as if we understood everything she said, she´s a real nice kid... Gonzalo advised us that he was going to speak only spanish to us as we needed to learn though I think he just couldnt be arsed talking english cos it was slight effort for him, he was a bit of funny guy.. Then we have Miguel, not a word of english, but he is a masterCharades player so everything gets acted out with Gusto, Hilarious and Nati, again no english (Great cook)... There were a few games of football and an excursion to the beach and swimming, but the way they did things was mad. One minute you were just sitting there and then the would say we are going now and we would stop what we were doing and follow. I think any time they noticed me and Peadar might be looking a bit bored they jumped into action and made us do some sort of activity, even though we were perfectly glad to just chill and play some Backgammon in the shade.

The island was great but there was one thing wrong with it, it had more mosquito's than I think I have ever had to endure (Except maybe the place Mark Phillips and I stopped on our way to Melbourne) the next morning we were both covered in bit marks and we decided to head back to the campgrounds in the national park.

The National park had lots of wildlife, loads of birds (always interested in our food) and cool big lizards that you could get pretty close to and other weird things, one rodent called something like Cappa Barrio (Spelling wrong, name probably wrong) was the size of a young bear! We heard one in the forest ahead of us on our way back from the beach but couldn't fully make it out, but it was huge. Then there are the nocturnal rodent things that scarper around eating the grass, look cute by twilight but pretty manky once the flash goes off.

Eventually we had to head off after 6 days there, and we were heading to our second country, the border was about 60k´s from the park and we had planned on making it halfway across Uruguay en route to the many beaches that line the Uruguayan coast. Once we got to the border and went through all the paperwork to get bikes Uruguayan visas (temporary import papers) Peadar bike wouldn't start and we took the bikes aside and took out the starter motor as it seemed to be having problems turning over the engine, the starter looked absolutely fine so it seemed to be something else further inside the bottom end of the engine. I had a suspicion that turned out right that it was the sprag clutch that was broken. Mine had needed replacing in July and I had helped Linden replacing mine. We could do no more there and we decided to jump start the bike and ride to the nearest big town which was about 10ks away...


From Linden on Nov 30th, 2007

Hi, really great photos and interesting text - wish we were there. Keep up the great reporting. Ride safe.

From flood on Nov 30th, 2007

class photos lads and Ste what is with your obsession with meat???? Peadar that eye is something else, must have been very uncomfortable. That bird looks likes one of the birds of paradise!! I think your next installment in the paper is this weekend so i will be sure to grab a copy . safe traveling and Peadar , visor down!!.

From Terry O on Dec 1st, 2007

Hi Guys enjoying the journal some great pics safe journey T.

From mam and dad on Dec 1st, 2007

We both love the pics and its a great story to follow. See you have a fan in the states now. Tribune out tomorrow, will stock up for you.

From Egid on Dec 2nd, 2007

Ste, good to hear you are doing well. Hope you get that bike fixed. Good luck and keep us updated :) Taketh care.

From Aine on Dec 5th, 2007

Really great pics,Tribune was out on Sunday n was great, enjoy

From Dealga on Dec 7th, 2007

Trip of a lifetime lads happy days!

From pwhyte on Dec 7th, 2007

Jeez this link wasent working for ages. Hope your well you possing bastartdo.