Buenos Aires

Left Washington state on Nov 24th and arrived in Buenos Aires the following morning after very pleasant flights.  Since the truck was shipped empty I checked 4 large duffle bags of equipment as baggage on the plane.  Customs in Ezeiza Airport didn’t bat an eye and no bags were opened.  Transfer to the Hostel was a pain because of all the baggage.

Dave standing in front of the Obelisk.Buenos Aires, the city that never sleeps (at night).

I can’t think of a better place to wait than BA.  It is a great city and lots of fun.  It is very easy to get around by walking, using the underground which is called the Subte, using busses and trains.  I exceeded my daily step count target nearly every day.  A good thing since fabulous restaurants are everywhere and prices were good.

veganDeserts
Who said vegan food had to be dull?

The ship which departed Jacksonville a couple of days late appeared to be almost back on schedule.  Using an internet site I  could track it’s progress.

I even found a local micro brew to go with my vegan pizza.
I even found a local micro brew to go with my vegan pizza.

 

Using the internet I saw the ship arrive off of the coast the evening of Nov 27th.  It was idle in the water out at sea and after a couple of days anchored  just off of Buenos Aires.  It appears that local holidays and a backup at the port of Zarate has delayed its arrival.

Ship anchored near BA waiting to enter the river for Zarate.
Ship anchored near BA waiting to enter the river for Zarate.

In order to offload its cargo the huge ship needed to get upriver to the vehicle terminal at Zarate.

The huge ship needs to get 100 km up the Parana River to the terminal at Zarate.
The huge ship needs to get 100 km up the Parana River.

 

What is it waiting for?

Drive or Ship The Vehicle?

Projects at home have kept me busy late into the fall.  The start of winter in North America corresponds to the beginning of summer south of the equator.  Summer is the best time to visit the extreme south of the globe.

Driving from North to South America requires shipping a vehicle across the Darien Gap, a road-less stretch from Panama to Northern Colombia.  It cost only slightly more to ship a vehicle all the way from the US to Argentina than the short distance across the Darien Gap.  I have read of people who have actually paid more.

Stretching from Alaska to the pencil tip of Argentina, the 48,000km-long Pan-American Highway holds the record for the world's longest motorable road. But there is a gap - an expanse of wild tropical forest - that has defeated travellers for centuries.
Stretching from Alaska to the pencil tip of Argentina, the 48,000km-long Pan-American Highway holds the record for the world’s longest motorable road. But there is a gap – an expanse of wild tropical forest – that has defeated travellers for centuries.

I have crossed Mexico and Central America with their security and annoying boarder crossings many times in the past.  If I drove to Panama and shipped across the Darien Gap I would still have a 5,000 mile truck pounding drive from Cartagena, Colombia to Buenos Aires.  The primary goal is to do the south in summer so – shipping is the plan.

The economics of shipping start looking pretty good.
The economics of shipping start looking pretty good.

I looked at shipping containerized,  the advantage is being able to leave contents in the vehicle during shipping and perhaps better protection for the vehicle.  RORO shipping requires all contents must be removed from the truck and camper prior to it being shipped.   Quotes for containerized shipping were generally more expensive.  It was interesting that cost and distance shipped did not seem to be related.

A RORO ship is a huge multi-level parking lot.
A RORO ship is a huge multi-level parking lot.

After weeks of online and phone research I decided to ship the vehicle from Jacksonville, Florida to Zarate a port city just north of Buenos Aires.   Zarate has a RORO terminal and hosts a Toyota assembly plant where the international version of the Toyota Tacoma called the Hilux is made.

One of the best quotes I received for RORO shipping was from Kline America.  Initial quote was $1100 to ship the unit plus a myriad of paperwork and port fees.  After all the charges and paying a freight forwarder to handle the transaction it cost a total of $1581.00 not including insurance.

bangkok highway
This will be the truck’s home for a month.

K-line will be the ship line and the ship will be the Bangkok Highway.  The schedule is to depart Jacksonville on Nov 3rd and arrive in Zarate on Thanksgiving day Nov 26th.  I dropped the truck off on Oct 28th after driving it from Washington and then returned home to close up.  The Plan was to fly to Buenos Aires around Nov 24th to receive the truck.