The next day James came in on his motorcycle and was very very cold. It was a tough ride for him, but I'm glad he made it without issue. Mark Donham will be arriving tomorrow. He's got the big bucks (;-), so he came down early for a cruise to Antarctica. It's something I've always wanted to do as well, but it's crazy expensive and will have to wait for a future Sherri Jo adventure.
While James and I were settling in, there was a knock at the door. I open it, and there is a man with a big "HELLO!" in his riding gear. "Who are you??" Well, WHO ARE YOU?? "I'm Slow Phil.. from Canada" G'day Slow Phil, come in... Do we know you??
Mark, knowing we had an extra bed available put the info out online, ADV Rider and the deal sounded good to Phil, so he responded to Mark. Since Mark was out of reach on the Cruise Ship, we didn't know about it, but that's okay. We got the story, and it all made sense, and we are glad to have a new roommate, OR ARE WE??
Lord have Mercy! It's the Hulk!? It was James who kept thinking that Phil looks like Hulk, looked up a photo online (in the left hand corner) and got Phil to make an imitation of it.. Which he did perfectly. Brilliant!
This was like a big closure thing for me. I feel a bit of weight lifted. Kevin's plan was to go back to Canada for 6 months for his job while I explored through the Amazon and down. Then he was coming back to "finish the job" as he said to Ushuaia. I was worried I wouldn't make it either with the recent bike trouble, but we got you here Kev!! I really miss Kevin and wish so much he could have enjoyed this in person.
While the boys are together we decided to stop by the grocery on the way back to the cabin. We have very limited resources and cooking facilities, so this will be interesting!
The fourth person in our little house is Claude (who I keep calling Cloud for unknown reasons!) He's a French-Canadian from Florida that told me he was coming to our Christmas dinner..... while he was still in Florida! This man rode through Mexico, Central and South America so fast on his motorcycle, I'm not sure when he slept or when he managed to see anything he was riding past. But it's good to meet him and have him here. Since my bike is still up the road, he's my driver/rider for today on the back of his BMW 1200gs .. yay! Whew! I now know how he got here so fast, a very quick and whippy rider. I think my back is still suffering from jumping over the road speed bumps! ;-) Very talented and comfortable on his bike that's for sure.
Look boys, forget the groceries. This is all we need.... !!!
I'd like to, but I can't take the credit for the line up on the kitchen table. We bought the wine together. They are for Christmas, but I think a few of those bottles didn't make it.. gone the first night! We did manage to save some for tomorrow.. and thank goodness there are more friends coming over with spare stash! And hopefully, without holding my breath, there is a shop that sells wine open tomorrow.
Christmas Day... We have invited people to come around 1 pm.. so what does a household of men (and me) decide to do with our time? Young James is travelling with a Santa Suit, which we found in a small shop in San Rafael (northern Argentina). Dressed him up and took a cruisy ride around town.. Santa on a BMW!
We all sort of agree the super size town Santa on the left is a bit disturbing.. but let's see if James can do one better for the town.
The people are thrilled! Here comes Santa Claus..on a motorcycle!
Lots of people taking photos. This role is made for James. I think he should do this every year.
One very important photo we must take is of Santa James in front of the British Pirate sign. James is from England and there is an ongoing heated government 'discussion' of who should own the Falkland Islands, off the coast of Argentina. Known in Argentina as Islas Malvinas, the locals want their islands back. There has been bloody battle (The Falklands War in 1982), and still remains a lot of passion and animosity to the Brits. Luckily the Argentinian people that we have met, and learn that James is from England, have been good to us.
So this is James little British invasion photo in a Santa Suit down by the pier. I don't think it's enough to scare off the Argentinian troops though! The sign says, "British pirate ships are prohibited from mooring."
I was flabbergasted at the amount of international riders that showed up at our little cabin. We all invited people, however I think Mark takes the award for inviting the most. We'd be walking down the street in Ushuaia and he'd yell out, "Hey wanna come to our Christmas party?" to random strangers.. as long as they had two wheels, they were invited.
Young Ollie, also from England, who came along with some other riders. Ollie was so amazing to meet as he just showed up in Ushuaia on his motorcycle.. and he's only 18 years old! He had a lot of great questions as this marks the beginning of his first ride to Alaska. I was enjoying having the experience to answer! Until the other boys came up, piped up and they ALL filled poor Ollie's head with tons of advice. I think everyone in the room has ridden a motorcycle from Alaska down with many opinions to offer. Ollie was gracious and took every bit of it in.. good for him, really cool kid. I still can't get over taking on something this big at his age. Just awesome.
Young James feeling very content with his wine. He has been through a lot over the last few weeks riding with me. The Santa suit is really perfect for him.
We originally guessed we might have about 10 other riders come to our Christmas? At last count there were over 40~~!! It was amazing, such a surprise and such a fun great day!!!!! World travellers, UNITE!!
There's still a few more days to enjoy Ushuaia, and since I couldn't afford the Antarctic trip, I learn that we can go see some penguins about 60 km south of here at Estancia Harberton. It's privately owned, very controlled and we can only go there if we agree to the bus tour.. no motorcycles. ;-( Not ideal, but I've seen nearly everything else around here, so I'd like to go.
We take a little aluminium boat from the farm to their penguin island.
And the photo taking marathon begins!
These penguins are really fun and entertaining.. Who'da thought!?
Our guide tells us we are lucky and have a surprise visitor today. The majority of penguins here are called Magellanic Penguins. There are two King Penguins visiting from Antarctica. Our guide tells us this is very rare for them to come up this far to Argentina. So we are very lucky to see them!
I took so many penguin photos, it wore me out. I decided to just sit with them for a while.
As we were headed back to our little boat on the beach, this super size tourist boat pulled in. This was the other optional tour, to come here from down town Ushuaia on a cruise boat rather than bus. Thank God we made the right decision! Look at all those people! On top of that, they are not permitted to walk on the island. The only photos they get is from the deck of the boat, of which the people are all fighting for space.. yuk!!
A view from my window back in Ushuaia. Not a bad place to be in the world... ;-))
It's been a pretty tough year. Thank you to everyone who came to make one of the best and unforgettable Christmas's ever..! James, Mark, Phil and Claude (Cloud). You guys rock!!