Arriving at the Uruguyan border, I could almost smell the ocean breeze- (300 kms away!) I was looking forward to some beach time. Last time I surfed was in Pichilemu, Chile back in december and water was to cold for my taste. So I needed some warm water and surf. Enough Patagonia winds, bad roads and cold temps.
Passport stamped OUT of Argentina, stamp IN Uruguay. Now bike paperwork. I walked in the Aduana officina where two men were chatting and not really paying attention to my presence. Five minutes later, one of them asked me what I wanted. (Thanks for asking!) I tell them I need to enter my motorbike. I give the man my passport and bike papers. " Seguro!" he asked. Great... I give him my expired insurance papers. " Seguro" he says again. "This is my insurance from Canada" I tell him. But he didn't buy it.
So I asked if I could buy insurance here. The man takes off for 15 minutes, walking around, completely ignoring me, eventually coming back with a piece of paper and a phone number. He tries the number - line is busy - After trying over and over. The other man beside him tells him that it is the wrong number! He was misreading the numbers. So he tries another number, he speaks with another man at the end of the line then passes me the phone. The man on the phone asked me what I wanted. " Seguro" I told him. He tells me it would cost $150 for 10 days insurance!! " What!" Why would it be this expensive when they allow me to enter with my bike for a year in Uruguya! It just didn't make any sense. He then tells me he is on a cell phone and doesn't have time for me, "You want insurance or not?" I just hung up the phone. - Ya right.. for $150 - real joke! Gringo price!!!
I tried to work my way around getting the bike in then get insurance in the next town. No way, " No Seguro" No Moto... I heard that one before! The Aduana guy told me I could go in Uruguya no problem, but not my bike... So now my only option was to go back 20 kms to the last town in Argentina to see if I could buy insurance at a reasonable price. I now have my passport stamp OUT or Argentina, which means doing all the bike paper work once again and risking having the same stupid insurance problem for coming back in Argentina! I explained my situation to the immigration officer. He stamped my passport back in and told me I had to enter no later then 7pm tonight since my bike was already OUT of Argentina. If not It was going to be illegally in Argentina.
So off I go back to Colon. Asking around town for a Seguro office, no one seemed to know where it was. Eventually I found one. Closed!! - Great - it open at five. I go back at five o'clock, 15 minutes later I got insurance for less then $15 for 30 days. I guess the Seguro guy from Uruguya was ripping me off 200%.
So far along my journey, insurance had never been an issue. Never once I need to show any. If you get into an accident, it comes out of your pocket anyways, as a Gringo, they won't cover you and Insurance from Canada won't cover you once you leave USA. Your only insurance on the road... is your riding skills and stay away from trouble.
Now in Uruguya and Brazil, insurance are a must, you buy some at a Seguro office, you pay little $$ then off you go. who knows what it really covers?? It saves you a ticket!
Finally got my insurance sorted out, so back to the border. The Aduana officer was happy, I was happy, got my stamp, got my temporary bike import (good for one year in Uruguya!) It was now getting dark. Rode around to find a camp spot in Paysandu, Uruguya border town. Ended up sleeping on the a beach along the Rio Uruguya. Excited to be in a new country and now with my feet in the sand. The smell of the ocean was nearer. I feel asleep dreaming of surfing.....
Palm trees, usually means beach not too far!
Roads along the interior of Uruguya.
My friend Tiziana and I filling our faces in Uruguyan giant Ice cream.
Here in South America, Maxim magazine have slightly different cover shots! Maybe I need to change my field of photography or just get a job shooting for Maxim South America?
I was thinking of trading my bike for this one!