There is a movement in Tango dancing where the partners match each other’s side step like the karaoke agility warm-up, all the while keeping their chins up, chest to breast, arms locked and extended forward. The athleticism of the dancers is apparent with the fluidity of their movement, and the passion apparent as their incessant eye contact. Rico would have a shot at being a decent defensive back in NCAA Division III football, he’s the type of youthful man that’s refused to grow up, looks to be about 70 years of age but in actuality is probably 85.
After our shotgun start through customs we were able to arrange for a bus into town, and car transfer to our Hostel. At 8 AM we arrived and were told our room would be ready by 2 PM. The Hostel was very accommodating allowing us to store our luggage in a locked room, gratis breakfast buffet and Hot coffee. Enjoying a second wind we started to assemble a plan for the day and decided that the Sunday Art Market was the goal. Our good friends do fourth member of the expedition member, Andrew, joined up with us and we began by exploring our home for a few days, San Telmo. The neighborhood is a beautiful, with cobblestone streets lined with gorgeous Spanish 1800’s buildings in varied stages of restoration or decay. I’ve never been to Europe but I felt as if I was strolling around Italy, as the streets are cafe lined narrow affairs. After our first Argentine beef experience we checked into our room and enjoyed a 3 hour siesta.
Our goal was the Neighborhood of Lanus, by way of train from the central station in Constitutíon, when asking for directions the receptionist quickly asked why we would ever want to go there and warned us of the danger of walking to that particular train station. After explaining our intentions of meeting Norbert and Greti to purchase our Campervan, he explained that he would not advise us to enter the neighborhood on a Sunday, as the local thugs and drug addicts would likely be coming off a sick bender, or still be deep within the weekend party and more likely to prey on us. Monday was our plan, emails were exchanged, and before we knew it, we were at the rendezvous point in Lanus.
Norbert is a very keen man, after reading my email explaining that we were leaving to meet him and Greti at noon, he realized that we would likely be early. As Marlie and Andrew were enjoying ice cream cones outside the station he immediately recognized her non-local features, called out to her and we were off to see the van. When you finally meet someone that you’ve exchanged emails, agreed on purchase terms sight un-seen, Norbert and Greti are exactly the people you want to meet. Warm and affable they greeted us like family and began an hour long orientation to the workings of the Campervan, a blue, high-top, 1988 Dodge Ram Camper Van, a dream van.
After the orientation we exchanged stories over a few 1L Budweiser diesels while waiting for the Lawyers office to open after a lunch/siesta. Once in the office Norbert and I went over the transfer papers that were completely in Spanish, exchanged life stories (he’s my candidate for the most interesting man in the world) and signed all the necessary paperwork. In less than 36 hours of landing in Buenos Aires, we were now owners of our dream expedition vehicle. Back to San Telmo we went, excitement was in the air and morale was high, but two things on our list still needed to be completed, our yellow fever vaccinations and our South American insurance. Two obviously important objectives, the latter being most important to Motherdear.
We arrived at the vaccination clinic at the advertised opening time of 10 AM, only to be greeted by a line 100 Argentinians deep. By 11:15 the line had moved little but gained another city block of vaccination seekers. Brian and I aborted the line in favor of a trip to the bank before meeting with Norbert at the insurance company, while Andrew volunteered to wait it out to determine how many hours we could expect to wait the following day, he finally got the free vaccine at 12:30 ($200.00 value in Estados Unidos).
By 3 PM on 19th Day of January in the year 2016, we had completed the purchase, insured and received the keys to the Blue Dream. I cannot thank Norbert and Greti for their efforts to ensure the process would go as seamlessly as it did. After spending the short time with them that we did, our expedition party feels that we could have not picked a better van or owners to purchase a vehicle from. They purchased the van in Vancouver and have spent the past 15 months, 59,000 kms traveling the Pan American Highway, and cruising all over South America. Norbert took meticulous care of the van and Greti blogged extensively gretiswalk.blogspot.de .Thank you Norbert, thank you Greti, we will strive to keep the van in as great or better condition than we received it and will think of you often while working our way North with your Spirit Bear keeping us safe and guiding the way.