Well it has been a while we have had almost no internet for the last two weeks, with camping at the Moto GP and travelling in remote areas.
Trevor Angel had contacted us and the Two Moto Kiwi about going to the moto GP and so the Kiwis came to hang out with us in La Falda for a week before so we could all go together.
They got right down to work with Andi fixing stuff around the place and Ellen working on the yard.
Dan wrenched his back so he was in bed for a few days, but finally made it up on day 3 as far as the chaise lounge.
We had to have another asado for them too with huge slabs of meat and 5 liter jugs of Malbec.
Heading out from La Falda on Thursday we were in no real hurry as we had a strait paved run for 450 km to Santiago del Estero, where we planned to meet Clive and stay the night.
On the way there were numerous road checks and tons of traffic. In usual Argentine fashion they drive very fast and pass at the stupidest places. Dan was ahead of us and passed a truck, as did Andi and then me. The car behind us decided to go as well, but there was not enough room to make it so he cut Andi off and pushed in right beside me to push me over and then passed close by Dan. This made the guys crazy…..They passed him on a double yellow in view of the police check so we were all pulled over. The car then drove up and was going to go, but Andi shouted to the police that this guy had tried to run us over and then I tried to explain in my bad Spanish what had happened. Long story short after some discussion he let us go and gave the car a ticket.
There is always a line up for gas in Argentina, especially in the south, but at the YPF station at the half way mark on our trip we had to line up for an hour to get gas.
The number of bikes of all sorts on the road heading to the GP was incredible. We began to wonder if they are all on the road racing to Rio Hondo for camping today….maybe we should too. We had booked camping, but had all wrongly assumed it was 3 nights from Friday. Arriving in Estero at 530 we used Clive’s Internet to discover that the 80$ per person camping was tonight too and Trevor was already there waiting for us without a voucher to get in.
Oops! So we cruised off the 70 km to arrive at dusk to huge lines of cars trying to get over the 1 bridge into the town center. The bikes were all riding on the verge and then on the sidewalk over the bridge so we joined in.
We parked outside the huge casino Hotel where the will call was for the tickets. There were hundreds of cool street bikes of all kinds, but our 3 drew a huge crowd. People mobbed us with questions and requests for pictures. We finally found Trevor just 100 meters up the road dealing with the same sort of crowd.
We then headed off to the Circuit area with the Camping. What a gong show. They were totally disorganized and the promised “designated” camp spots with power did not exist. Driving around in the dark we eventually found enough bare ground for 5 tents and 4 bikes and set up shop for the night. The other issue for the guys was the several thousand of them and 1 bathroom/shower house. For the girls it was no problem as there was very few of us. The up side is that they decided to refund everyone the entire price so camping was free! Other people here were really set up as there were motorhomes, trailers, busses etc. They had huge fires and BBQs going and several had PA systems and music.
Dan was up early to catch the sunrise.
We walked over to the grandstand the first day, but since it was on the other side of the track it was probably 2 km. We drove after that since the motos could park right by the gate and the police station.
We really enjoyed the practice rounds and qualifying too. It is amazing the number of crashes that occur and all but 1 guy walked away. In the end the Moto 3 race was the most exciting especially for us at the final curve. The Moto 2 and GP races were not close, but still exciting.
The evenings we spent in camp and over the weekend collected a few more riders including Steven Stewart from Scotland and Mike Waterman from England. The pile of wine bottles in the center every night began to look like a campfire. On the final night Steven the Commando went commando. Did someone say “Naked Bar”?
We all lined up for a group shot before heading off in various directions. The TMK joined up with us to head west.