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Near Apostolis, Northern Argentina 14/7/14

July 19, 2014

Near Apostolis, Northern Argentina. 14/7/14

For overlanders who need to leave their vehicles somewhere in South America to fly home for what ever reason it’s always a problem knowing where to leave them. Some countries are out as they stamp your passport showing you entered their country in your own vehicle meaning it’s picked up when you temporarily depart and could cause problems. Brasil has just done away with their Temporary Import Permits making it a good place to leave them. Uruguay still have TIPs but don’t have a time limit and don’t stamp your PP. That’s where we are leaving the bakkie this time. Argentina have a 3 month limit but it can be negotiable up to 8 months. Depends on how you get along with the Aduana officer when you enter the country. Argentina would be ideal, it is a big country and quite a few places will store the vehicle but the uncertainty of your time limit makes it risky.

Crossing into Argentina this morning was a breeze on both sides of the frontier.  After Argentinian customs we were waved over to park the bakkie while I went in to sort out the TIP, the computers were playing up meaning the officer had to do it all by hand. The TV in the office was showing the bus bringing their football team arriving in BA and as one of the officers spoke a little English, I could commiserate with him about their team’s loss. In the meantime the woman was filling in the form with my help. When it came to expiry date she sat their trying to calculate three months ahead then said, what I think would have been Spanish for ‘Damnit!’ and scribbled 14/7/2015! Twelve months. Wow, would be great if we weren’t leaving it in Uruguay this time but I will make a copy of it, it might be of assistance in leaving it in Argentina next time.

I always become a little nervous crossing borders. It may be from experiences in Africa although most of those were straight forward. Just the knowledge that it’s so easy for them to pick something up that would give them an excuse to make it hard for you. The Bella Vista episode is a good example. But this one was very easy.

Our first night in Argentina we are spending in a very nice club campsite. Hot water, swimming pool (too cold) and a tennis court if we are that way inclined. It’s a pleasant change.

Vitor & Nina’s yoghurt ran out today. The day after crossing into Brazil, the 21st June, we had stopped for lunch at an old road work depot and noticed but didn’t think much of, a little stall on the other side of the busy road, alongside a bus stop. While eating lunch a steady stream of cars and trucks pulled in to the off road park, went in and reappeared with plastic bags of some large objects. From our distance it was difficult to make out what was in the bags so, after lunch, I strolled over to see what was on offer. There was a bloke there with a couple of box fridges, he opened them up, they were filled with one and two kilo bottles of liquid yoghurt, nothing else. That type of yoghurt does not appeal to either of us but I felt obliged to buy the smaller one. As it was his, curiosity overcame him, and he sauntered over to have a look at the bakkie. We chatted; no, he wasn’t the Vitor of Vitor & Nina’s yoghurt but that was their farm over there, pointing to lush fields with a healthy freisan herd grazing. The yoghurt was delicious, we are hooked

Salto Grande 16th July.

Our time driving in Argentina on this trip has been very short. Three days after crossing into the country we will be crossing back into Uruguay either tomorrow or the day after. Tonight finds us three metres from the waters of Salto Grande, a huge man made lake between the two countries. Needing a shower and to do some washing we are in a camp site officially closed for the winter. The rest of the shoreline for a few kilometres on either side of us is set aside for free camping. It is very quiet at the moment but during the summer imagne it well used. Such a goood idea letting the public use such a beautiful area instead of developing it for the affluent to build their monstrosities then surround them with high walls and security gates. This is what we experienced when we went looking for a campsite that ended up being closed a week or so back. All high walls surrounding big houses used on the odd occasion. It was a depressing area. The polluted lake they were built alongside put the whole picture in the correct perspetive

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