And 15 hours later, we were back in Buenos Aires. Jason and I aren’t good airplane sleepers, so we were wiped out when we landed at 7am. Bode, who normally rocks an overnight flight was too excited about the individual TV on the seat in front of him and stayed up nearly all night too.
Loaded down with way too much stuff and a cranky dragging kid, we waited for an hour to pay our $160 USD (each!) reciprocity fee for entering Argentina. We think this might be our 8th entry, but if you come through the airport, you pay.
We had scattered car parts throughout our bags, but the first bag through the x-ray alerted the Customs official to a carburetor in my bag. You can’t bring auto parts into Argentina. Period. We kind of knew this, and it’s why all the parts here are so expensive. But, I guess we thought if we were bringing in parts for our own car (not reselling them) we’d be okay. Not so, according to Customs—big fines, illegal. He’d spent so long telling us this, that the other bags had gone though x-ray and I’d slipped them back on our cart–all while Bode was throwing a zombie fit. He must of not wanted to deal with our mess, so he said this time we could go ahead – and sent us on our way with a brochure listing all the things that are illegal to bring into the country for the next time. We tore out of there and felt pretty lucky.
An hour taxi ride later, we were back at Rody’s shop drinking mate. I started sorting out our bags, and Jason started in on the car repairs. Except he accidentally broke the oil pump when he was removing it to fix a leak. Oops. Rody had another, although the Argentinean version was just a bit different. Jason spent the rest of the day putting that in and the car back together before he realized it didn’t work. No oil pressure.
Day 2- The guys try all sorts of new tactics – and a second new oil pump (and you won’t believe what this costs), with no luck. Then, back to the original to see if it was a different problem all together – the broken original still worked. Now, we’re getting a piece machined down the street and aren’t too hopeful. Nothing is working.
So, fingers crossed something works today, or we aren’t going anywhere soon. This is all part of the joy of travel, I suppose – all the trivial things that would be so simple back home are now incredibly difficult and frustrating.
It’s good to be back, but this is one hell of a way to re-start our journey. We haven’t even started on the ‘big’ projects.
And, I know we had big plans to answer some of your questions and create a Best-of series, but I was completely unmotivated. Now that I’m back though, I’ve found the camera in my hand a lot (considering we haven’t left the mechanic’s garage) and a lot more inspired. Before, we’d been away from the U.S. for so long, that it was a culture shock for us to return. But after 3 months I’m better able to appreciate the differences in lifestyle and conveniences, and I’m hoping to be better at describing them. For now, I can say I miss the shower at my Mom’s house and we are already stepping all over each other trying to get used to moving around inside the bus again.