And the end of my time in South America

And the end of my time in South America is now here. As I have talked about there have been lots of logistics in planning and then moving to a totally different place. Setting up the air freight (first time for me to do this), flights out of SA, then into New Zealand, then issues to handle at home. Getting the Carnet set up (more on this later) etc.

I used Dakar Motors in Buenos Aires to set up all my shipping. And they were great. Sandra was very clear about the process, steps and even showed up at the airport when are bikes were being packed up (Claude was shipping his bike to US so we went together which was fun). I would recommend them to anyone! (I did not stay at there Shop as some do, because wanted to be downtown to enjoy the touristy stuff!).

Once I set up the date that I wanted to ship the bike (best for everyone to contact them and set up date a few weeks out), Sandra met with me, walked me through the process, including pricing (quoted based on her experience, since actual measurements determine the Final Price), what copies I needed, and the 3 days needed to complete the process.

Day 1. Meet with Sandra, pay the $100 USD booking fee give her copies of needed items, review what can ship with the bike etc.

Day 2. Ride bike to airport per specific instructions, contacts etc. ride bike onto Crate, it is checked by Aduana and then shrink wrapped! Paper work completed with customs

Day 3 Pay for the shipment in Downtown Buenos Aires, get Airway bill. All done

Day 4 Fly out. (just in case)

But flying into New Zealand requires that the bike be very very clean, so you do not bring anything into the country with the bike.

So I cleaned my bike boxes first, then entire bike. Cleaner than when I bought it! Hope it is OK when it gets to NZ.

Said goodbye to Chris and his Sheep as was flying home to England this morning.

Then getting on the bike in downtown Buenos Aires for the last 30 Km riding in South America. Was a bit of an emotional experiences as you realize that you are done her after almost a year in South America and then moving to someplace all new.

Loving riding in the city for the last time, other than taking the previous picture, I almost crashed into the car that stopped for a light Just wired up on this last ride.

We arrive at the Airport cargo area, and one of the contact meets us with entry paperwork.

We ride carefully back to the area to weight the bikes on a large scale. 285 KG for my bike and 311 for Claude’s

Then we rode up onto the pallets they had laid out for us.

I removed my front wheel, disconnected the battery and then they strapped it all down for me. The shorter the height the cheaper the shipping.

Claudio saying goodbye to his Bike.

Sandra from Dakar motors came to check that all the details were correct for our shipping.

Claude discovers the “I MISS RADIOMAN” sticker I stuck on his pannier that he was only supposed to see once in Florida. We had a good laugh !

Then after we get the bikes signed off by customs, then they shrink wrap the bikes.

And then final taping up of the wrap.

Hello Kitty all wrapped up

Then Claudio’s bike

Such a strange feeling leaving your bike, not having it with you, but knowing you will see it almost half way around the world

Dos Amigos!

One big step out of the way. We went back to the city to enjoy the rest of the day. Then dinner with Claudes father and friends who just arrived after a long cruise.

SlowPhil and his wife Jan joined us as well.

Just a couple days left …… But then all new adventures await me. Has been a really great experience being with other riders, travelings and friends along the way. Think that I will have a few more reflections in these days ahead.

And as a last note of the outbound shipping costs. many have read about the Argentinian Peso value dropping and it was amazing to be here and get a huge advantage with this. When I first arrived in Argentina back in November, it was about 4.87 ARG Pesos to 1 USD. That was the official bank rate. When I was down in Ushuaia you could get about 6 Pesos to 1 USD on the “black Market” vs 4.8 at the banks. From the time I arrived in Buenos Aires it has continued to rise. Yesterday and Today I was able to change for 7.6 Pesos to the dollar.

When I was quoted shipping to New Zealand by Sandra, she said between, 1,800-2,000 USD . The total air freight shipping out of here (I will have about 400USD of costs on arrival in NZ) was $1,952 USD (including the $100 for the booking and help from Sandra).

If I paid in USD or in pesos from the bank that would be my total. But using USD changed on the “black Market” at 7.25 to 1 (since I had some USD changed at 7, and some at 7.6) my price became $1,422 USD WOW saved about 31% just in the changes in the Peso value in the last 2 months or so. Just some interesting facts on the currency. It is also true of anything I am spending money on in Argentina. I had some USD with me for Emergency and also was able to get more USD from the Cash machines while in Uruguay! Really made it worth while!!