Dakar 2013 – Day 3

Full of anticipation we headed down to breakfast at 7:30am. We would have the bikes in just a few hours and then we would be off.

We arrived at the warehouse exactly on the designated time of 10am. After clearing security we were ushered in to an area where agents seem to do most of their work with customs. Its hard to imagine that we are in the digital era when one is in such an environment as paperwork (and many duplicates of the paperwork) are the order of the day. Many people seemed to be busily running around with piles of paper or folders of paper or briefcases full of paper. Quite amazing and quite depressing. Even more depressing for Meyer who was not feeling his best.

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After two hours of sitting in a stuffy red room someone approached us and told us that things were in progress. This was promising and though it had taken longer than we had aniticpated, we were still very upbeat. There were no refreshments as the vending machines only took coins but we did have access to a water fountain.

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Around 12:00 we were asked to follow some offical. Hooray, it was finally happening. We walked into one of the many warehouses on the property only to see our bikes being wheeled out into the courtyard. It was a real pelasure seeing those glorious machines, especially as they seemed to have made the journey witthout any incident or scar.

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Its about at this time that the waiting began. Shortly after we started preparing the bikes (reconnecting batteries, filling the tank with petrol and starting them) all customs staff went on a luch break.

Each bike fired imemdiately but once again we waited. Now we heard that some paperwork was incorrect and that we needed to wait.

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Neil shot out to get us some lunch at a local petrol station across the road. It was very timely as the heat of the day was building and a cold Coke was just the thing to break a thirst. But we kept on waiting.

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It was probably worse to experience than what it reads like due to the fact that we simply did not know what was going on. Around 4:00pm we started getting anxious that the staff would close for the day and that we would only have the bikes released on Monday. This would really cause a big change to our plans. And so we waited.

Around 4:45pm we were summoned to the offices. We were told to sign a form and then, as suddenly as that, our bikes and kit were released. We hastened to arrange a cab to transport the bigger bags to the hotel and we slipped on our helmets – back on the road again!

After a long day of waiting around it was a real treat to feel the warm Argentinian air while riding the crazy streets of BA. Now we could leave tomorrow.

In the mean time Gus´s kit had arrived as had Neil´s spare key. Everything had finally slipped into place. Oh, and I needed to get some flowers for my wife for all of her help.

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We went out for an early supper and also to collect the original paperwork from a local hotel.

20130112-074936.jpgBA hada  real buzz about it this Friday evening. It was warm and muggy but everyone seemed to be out on the stareets. It was a great atmosphere. We decided to have a light meal at one of the many sidewalk cafes.

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After a light and early supper it was back to the hotel for the final pack. Tomorrow we head to Cordoba.

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