Buenos Aires, Capital Federal, Argentina
A little bit of an update from the capital of Argentina about what I’ve been up to the past week.
Last week, about 30 miles from Ushuaia, I ran into some cyclists, but not just any cyclists! Over three years ago I had been reading a handful of blogs of folks biking or going to bike from Alaska to Argentina, including the Vogel family. They set off in the summer of 2008, and I had been in touch with them a few times, and let them know I’d be leaving a year later in 2009, and wouldn’t it be cool if I caught up with them, since they were planning on taking a year longer than I was. (I actually met them in Mendoza when I took a bus to meet Hawk, but since that was on a bike I don’t think it really counted.) But sure enough, on the last day of our trips, I caught up to them and rode with them for a while. Their two sons, Davy and Daryl, both 13, are now the youngest to cycle the length of the Americas, so congrats to them.
As I rolled past the ‘finish line’, the entrance into Ushuaia, and I had an unexpected welcome committee of sorts. Susana and her husband Antonio, who head the local cycling club had heard about the Vogel family and wanted to be there to greet them. But since I got there first, they kindly offered to bike with me to the campsite, and gave me a quick tour of the city. They invited me over to their house for mate the next day, and so I came over. I came back the day after, and they helped me find a bike box. By the third day they offered to make a big lunch, and I certainly didn’t want to miss that (Antonio works at a gourmet restaurant!). So all in all we spent hours around the table, chatting about life in Ushuaia and Chicago, and a lot about bikes. On Friday they even took me to the airport. So, I had arrived in Ushuaia only thinking of it as the end point, and that my trip was over, but in reality I met yet even more wonderful people and was truly sad to say goodbye.
I’ve been in Buenos Aires for a few days now, and have spent most of my time walking around town and riding the Subte metro system. I used to be a pretty good city walker, but I think I’ve lost my touch, having run into a few pedestrians and even a cyclist. After months in wide open spaces, I’m having to get used to the feeling of being trapped in the streets with highrises all over, unable to see the horizon.
Tomorrow I fly back to Mexico and will get to see my parents. They bid me farewell in June of 2009 somewhere outside of Portland, when Luke and I set off on out bike trip to Seattle (we didn’t make it anywhere near Seattle but that is a different story). I am eagerly anticipating being back, and of course, enjoying some home baked treats. After some time with them, I’ll be making my way back to Chicago, but the exact details are being kept a surprise!
Hope to see you all soon!