So long and thanks for all the steak

26 02 2009

Although we have some videos to upload and some lists and costs to compile, this is officially our last trip update😦

Brendan made the most of his last day, whilst Trevor and I made the most of the sunlight for some final photos.

And of course, no Buenos Aires report is complete without the obligatory pictures of Recoleta cemetary.

Trevor said he has lived in NY apartments smaller than some of these tombs. For scale, see him peering in the door!

I could have spent all day in here, but hunger pangs gnawed at us and we retired for lunch and beer. (Trevor almost made us change restaurant until he discovered the steak on the menu). We spent the rest of the day wandering the streets and lazing in the parks where Trevor and Brendan watched the scantily-clad Porteños.

I was happy that our meandering took us past the giant Floralis Generic. This “generic flower” sculpture is made from steel and aluminium. It weighs more than 18 tons. The coolest thing about it though, is that just like a real flower, its petals open in the morning and close at night.

(See the skyline for a sense of scale. The wall around the lake it’s in is probably 3 metres tall!)

We chose the Standard for our last meal because Trevor fancied steak for a change, and we had been raving about it to Brendan. We were joined by our neighbour, Anthony, who had kindly loaned us his parking space in Palermo. It was a fitting final night.

The steak is 800 grams and 3 inches tall. It’s hard to show the size of it:

but easy to show how rare it is:

Final steak picture of the trip, I promise (blame Brendan!)

We spent our final day wandering the revamped Puerto Madero neighbourhood (which reminded me of the docklands in London).

(click for full effect)

(Santiago Calatrava’s oddly-named “Bridge of the Woman”!)

We are definitely sad to be leaving all this “behind”😦



3 responses

26 02 2009
Mike Stevens

Trevor & Nina,

I have enjoyed your blogs/pictures immensely. I have read many trip reports over the years, but yours had a certain flare that can only come from 2 people who enjoy each others company & who don’t take things to seriously. Nina, your pictures were spectaular…!

I’m planning the same trip this fall or early next year. Your experiences will add to my enjoyment. Tervor, I’m a fan of the big KTM to, but decided to take a 1200gs for the trip south as I agreee with all your KTM comments.

Thanks again for a splendid trip report.
Mike in Seattle

26 02 2009

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the compliments.

I didn’t mean to imply that the KTM was inferior to other bikes for this purpose, just that it wasn’t perfect. Personally, I would choose the KTM over a GS because I can carry parts and fix the common failures (water pump) whereas I couldn’t do that with the GS (final drive). The GS is a fine choice for this trip, though, and you are well supported with dealerships in the large cities all the way. I met several people on GSs on the trip – most hadn’t had problems but one rider had to replace his final drive in Mendoza. I try to do most of my own work on my bikes and I like to feel that field repairs of most issues are within the realm of possibility. The KTM fits this need slightly better than the BMW because of things like the CAN-bus electrical system, the shaft drive, and the cross-spoke tubeless wheels. Obviously, this is personal – if you don’t work on your bike, this doesn’t matter to you.

A few words of (hopefully not totally obvious) bike advice:

– Look in to fitting an external fuel filter. I believe that the 1200 GS (like the KTM) has an internal fuel filter. Bad gas is a certainty on this trip and pulling the tank to get at the filter sucks. On my old 1100 GS it was possible to remove the in-tank filter and replace it with an automotive filter mounted externally. (That said, none of the GSs I met had problems with fuel filters. Perhaps they can filter a very substantial amount of crap before becoming clogged?)

– Bring a tube. I tore a 1 inch gash all the way through my rear tire in Bolivia. It actually severed one of the steel cords in the tire. Somehow my UHD tube was not punctured. This would have been a disaster with a tubeless tire (unless you had an emergency tube). We were hundreds of miles from anywhere we could have gotten a repair, tire or tube.

– Arrange ahead of time to have tires in South America. Tires for big adventure bikes (the GS especially) are hard to find and very expensive down south. Call ahead to dealers, drop ship tires from the US, or carry them with you. Also, you will be MUCH happier with knobbies for the gravel in Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Run just a front knobby if the rears don’t last long enough.

Happy Travels!


11 03 2009
dr morgaine gaye

Great to see such incredible pics.
I am in London but see that you met my dad Anthony in Palermo and had a steak! (one of many!)
Just wonderful to see your trip…very envious!

Hope you settle back into life off the road.


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