It looked like rain today, all around us. Even so, I needed to work through some more paperwork for my motorbike. So climbing onto one bus and then another, I arrive an hour later than suggested by Mr Verdun at his house to pick up my motorbike. There he was, seated on the side of the road by my bike, still working on it.
Mr Verdun putting my bike back together after fixing the lights problem.
The problem had turned out to be a very old and stiff wire that broke on the inside of its casing. To prevent any further problems, Mr Verdun had taken special precautions to replace it and every other old wire that was inside at the same time. We were both glad this problem occurred now and not while I was in the middle of one of my long journeys.
While I was waiting for my bike, the rain started to fall. Only very lightly at first and most people ignored it while they walked along, but the longer I waited the bigger the drops grew. Lightning also started to flash around us and the thunder roared in only seconds later. I started wondering why I had not bought myself a car at this point.
The problem wire going into here was replaced with a new blue one.
When all was done and together, I once again thanked Mr Verdun for his work and then climbed aboard my throaty sounding bike and roared off down the road at a blinding 20km/h. The rings were new so the bike needed some gentle treatment until they were "settled in."
In my bag I had some important documents for Sergio’s house that needed to be delivered to the Escribana. They were tucked into the bag as best I could but their long length had them poking out the top still. So with my back tucked behind my back I raced along the roads, hoping that the rain would not sneak around my back and wet them.
Arriving at the Escribana, I dropped off Sergio’s documents, thankfully still completely dry, and picked up my second Authorisation to drive. This one gave me the authority to ride my bike in all of the countries that circled Argentina. I would need this if I wanted to make it down to Ushuaia as this trip required multiple crossings of the border into Chile.
The two different Authorisations, with the international one on the right.
Next stop was at the spare parts shop to pick up a new muffler. The throaty sound of my bike was great for a race track but to ride around with that sound too long would drive me crazy.
Finally I stopped back in at the governmental building to get our paperwork that we were told would be ready on Friday. It was there, ready to pick up, and after signing some documents I walked away with a very important piece of paper that had taken weeks to obtain. Another step in the paperwork saga of my bike completed.
The rain had not stopped yet, but neither had it become very heavy, and was basically a medium drizzle – enough to wet you if you stayed in it too long. It was now time to return home, as all tasks for the day had been done. So wiping dry the seat of my bike, I climb aboard and head off down the road.
Apart from the drops of rain stinging my eyes as I cruised down the main roads toward home, the ride over the sealed roads was just wet and a little cool. My bag sat behind me, its contents and my important papers and documentation now safely wrapped in plastic bags, and while it remained mostly dry the rest of me got very wet.
This was the other way that I could have returned home, taken by the buses.
On reaching the last part of my journey over the muddy dirt roads, I tried to pick a safe track through the slippery goop. All had gone well for the first part of this section, and I passed a careful bicycle rider as I turned the corner for the last stretch. Suddenly before me was a stretch of tyre tracks sunk deep into some slippery mud.
Working the front wheel to remain in the tyre tracks, I fought with the writhing bike as its back end started to slip and slide around on the mud. The further I went the more it slithered around back and forth until I had no choice but to dab a foot down on the ground to try and keep upright.
That foot sunk into the mud and when I pulled it back again my flip-flop was almost sucked off my foot. The second time I was not so lucky and my foot returned bare. Not wanting to leave it behind, I tried to stop the bike, but it slid around even more and as I was fighting to keep it upright, the engine stalled.
The muddy road I came down, bogging down near the kids.
Standing there on the bike, both feet deep in the mud, pointing sideways down the road with the engine stalled, I looked up and there rode the bicycle man safely on the other side of the road where it was still firm. Something that I had not seen. His hood covered the better part of his huge grin which was still clearly reflected in his smiling eyes as he rode quietly by without so much as a sideways glance. I could not help but smile with him in thinking about how the scene must have looked.
After retrieving my flip-flops and un-bogging my scooter, I moved over to the firmer side of the road and then proceeded to follow the bicycle man for the rest of the short stretch until we reached the paved road again. At that point I roared off down the road, once again on sure ground.
After fighting with the mud and rain, back home safely again.
I pulled into my home shortly after, wet, muddy, and cool, but very happy to have my bike back with me again. The next time I think I will use a raincoat.