Pedro y Elsita

In and Around Buenos Aires

November and December, 2004


November 24th

My American Legion Yacht Club card got us into Yacht Club Argentino for lunch. A neck-tie was required to enter the restaurant, so they loaned me one. This is a first-class operation; bums must look respectable before entering. After lunch, we visited with crew members from the Challenge 72 fleet in town for the first stop in their around-the world race.

The "Global Challenge" is an around-the-world race run every four years with a fleet of 12 identical 72 ft (22 m) yachts.
Claimed to be "The World’s Toughest Yacht Race" the 2004/5 160-day race started from Portsmouth (UK) and stopped at Buenos Aires (ARG),
Wellington (NZ), Sydney (AUS), Cape Town (SA), Boston (USA) and La Rochelle (FRA) before returning again to Portsmouth.

November 25th

One of the automobile dealers we "interviewed" suggested we visit the American Embassy as the first necessary step in selling our car in Argentina. It wasn't obvious to us why any American facility would be involved in Argentine affairs, but we made an appearance at 8:00 AM sharp, as they suggested. The guard, behind a reinforced-glass window, informed us that the Embassy was closed for the Thanksgiving Holiday. We protested, saying that we were really in Argentina. "Right you are," he answered, "and on my side of the window, I'm in America, where we celebrate Thanksgiving. Come back tomorrow."

We reappeared the next morning and entered, first in line. The clerk didn't call our number until 8:45, so we cooled our heels, hopeful that a solution was at hand. The clerk soon returned with a list of lawyers we could call on to aid our quest, which was, as she explained, not going to happen unless we became Argentine citizens, a two-year process.

November 26th

I was invited to dinner at Radio Club Argentino, hosted by Ernesto Syriani, LU8AE. I was introduced to the members and given a tour of their club station, LU4AA

November 27th

We took a taxi to the station for Tren de la Costa, a tourist train if there ever was one, going to Tigre for a boat ride around the Delta del Parana, north of Bs As. Connected to the Rio de la Plata (River of Silver), the delta waters are the same unappealing brown color. Homes along the shoreline, some nice and well-tended and others little more than shacks, are served solely by boats, which roar through the narrow channels at any speed they choose, regardless of the wake they leave or the noise they create.

Tigre, just north of Buenos Aires

Gateway to the rivers and wetlands of the vast Paraná Delta

San Isidro, a municipality in Greater Buenos Aires, ranks as the province's most affluent neighborhood.

November 29th

After two weeks in Buenos Aires, we finally came to grips with the grim reality that the Jeep couldn't be sold legally in Argentina, without becoming a resident, a two-year process. Without valid Argentine license plates, the car could be sold illegally, but not without incurring unending liability for any shenanigans the new owner might get into. Shipping the car to Los Angeles would cost $5,500 and Miami wasn't much better at $3,500, so we settled on Hamburg, Germany, for $2,000. There it could be imported legally, registered, and sold.

November 30th

Knowing that the Jeep would eventually be sold, we took it back to the Trotter's service shop to get a quote on a new front window. The baseball-sized circular ding from the rock in Chile, originally nearly hidden behind the rear-view mirror, had spread runners half-way across the window in both directions. They offered to replace it for $200 (US dollars) which we figured was less than half what it would cost in the States. They wanted over $500 US for a single new fog lamp to replace one which lost it's lens along one of Patagonia's gravel roads, so we opted for the window and declined on the lamp.