It’s not easy to lose a screw…

Date: 18/05
City: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 46434
Street: N/A
Weather: Cloudy, rainy/ fresh

Today was the day; we tried to organize the removal of Sigrid’s long screw. When this is done, she can start to walk without having the risk of the long screw breaking. Some people suggested  that this operation should be done at the public hospital while others said to go to the Aleman Hospital. So we got our guy on the front desk to help us and work as a translator. He called the public hospital and the next available appointment would be next Wednesday, but we would have to queue in front of the hospital from around 2AM. That’s right. From two AM at night. The hospital opens the door at 6:30 then we would have to run to grab a number which would make us eligible for an appointment… Okay, so that option is out. 🙂
We tried to get an appointment in the Aleman hospital, well only the emergency department was open on the weekend, so we’ll have to wait until Monday.

Later on in the hostel we meet Mackenzie, an Australian girl who just finished the Pan American Highway from Prudhoe Bay to Ushuaia with her husband Adam on two KLR650’s. Both are from the Australian South Island, Tasmania 😛. Adam was still on the way back from the Iguazu falls on his bike; Mackenzie sold her bike earlier and had the advantage (or perhaps penalty) of a bus trip. Anyway, Suma and Hoa met Mackenzie and Adam before, so we all decided to meet for dinner in a Peruvian restaurant that night.

We had a great evening together, full of stories of each others trips.

Date: 19 – 20 /05
City: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 46434
Street: N/A
Weather: Cloudy, rainy/ fresh

A relaxed Sunday, we tried to find a way to get our hands on US$, since that would make the shipping of the bikes and our flights cheaper. In the afternoon we had a short stroll around our area, close by there was the National Congress building.

On our way we found plenty of impressive buildings, somehow Buenos Aires reminds me more and more of Berlin.


After all that walking Sigrid earned a treat, so we stopped at a cafe close by and had some nice cake.

Tomorrow we will have a look at the German hospital; hopefully they can remove the screw.

Date: 20/05
City: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 35
Cumulative kilometre: 46469
Street: City roads
Weather: Cloudy, fresh

We arrived at the German hospital around 10:30, the hospital made a very nice impression even if it was a bit crowded.

Well it’s a German hospital after all, so we can’t see a doctor without an appointment, right? So we talked to a lady at a counter and got one for tomorrow, Tuesday. That means another day to wait, nothing we can do about it.

The next task for today was to go to Dakar Motos to see Sandra and Javier. They actually put the GPS position on their web site, which makes life so much easier, except if you have finger troubles….. Well, I put the wrong minutes in and guess what, we arrived at our destination and there was no Dakar Motos… not even a street with name where the shop should be. We ask a nice lady who was just leaving her house for directions. She tried for several minutes to describe in Spanish how to get to the street. Eventually she gave up, jumped in her car and told us to follow her. Isn’t that amazing? People are so helpful here. Below is our good fairy.

When we arrived we got a warm welcome from Javier and Sandra. Sandra also called our transport company to ask where Sigrids bike was. Apparently it was on the truck and should be delivered to Dakar Moto in the next couple of days to  . That was great news. Isn’t it amazing, if you speak the language it only takes a couple of minutes to find out what’s going on…. We would have spent at least an hour trying to get the same information 😀

Arriving back at the hostel we went for a stroll again, this time the opposite direction. Sigrid decided to walk without crutches and her boot, since Juan, the doctor in Esquel, told her she could now start to walk, but carefully. We visited Casa Rosada, the building where the Argentinean president works. When we arrived, the building was rigged in. Talking to some people about the rigging, they told us that this is done for the Argentinian Independence day, the 25th of May, five days from now.

So the rigging was done for the sound and video system for that day, apparently the new Venezuelan president and Christina Fernandez, the Argentina president would be here as well. We will still be here, so let’s see how the Argentineans celebrate their independence 🙂.
On our way back we took a couple of pictures of the Obelisk, which we used often as a guideline of where we were.

And we saw the picture of Evita Peron on the building not far from us.

We were happy that Sigrid could do all the walking without crutches or her boot, so it looks like the recovery after the screw removal should be relatively quick. In the evening we got an email from the Aleman hospital with price estimation for removing a screw. This is supposing an easy ambulant operation. The estimated price was 2500US$, which was far more than we expected. That would put a substantial dent in our kitty. Bummer, back to square one, we have to look for alternatives.

Date: 21/05
City: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 46469
Street: City roads
Weather: Cloudy, fresh

We looked for other options and Sigrid wrote an email to Juan, the surgeon from Esquel. She asked if he knows about other options and also enquired if he would remove the screw if we were to come back by bus.

Date: 22/05
City: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 12
Cumulative kilometre: 46481
Street: City roads
Weather: Cloudy, warm

In the morning we ask Micas, our receptionist for help. She called different hospitals for us to find out if we can get an appointment and if they could tell us roughly what a screw removal costs. She spent quite a while on the phone for us.

There was nothing concrete, except for one hospital which told us that they would make the operation and it would be cheaper than the 2500US$, but Sigrid had to go there to get a consultation done first. When we arrived, Sigrid got an X-ray and then we met Doctor Mariano O. Iglesias, the surgeon. He told us that the screw should be removed earliest after eight weeks otherwise Sigrid runs a risk of getting Arthritis. That would mean we had to wait for two more weeks before the screw could be removed. Below is Sigrid before the news and after, can you spot the differenceJ ?

Well we ask him for a quote as well and he told us it will be far cheaper than the Aleman Hospital, but he needs to talk to his boss about the price and send us an email tomorrow. Ok, let’s see how much that will cost. On the side note, the doc was so nice to remove my remaining stiches from my wound during Sigrid’s consultation, which were annoying me for nearly 10 month, I was happy.

On our way back to the hostel we came across a shoe maker and got the zipper on our boots stitched in again and spotlessly cleaned. When he was done, they looked like new.

 

Date: 23/05
City: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 46481
Street: City roads
Weather: Cloudy, drizzling

In the morning we got an email from Juan, the surgeon from Esquel. He read about the trouble we had in Sigrids email and organized an operation for us on Sunday in a hospital in Buenos Aires. It looked like Sigrid would finally get rid of her screw and we can then continue with our trip. We were over the moon. We walked a bit around the neighbourhood, this time Sigrid did use her crutches again, since the surgeon in B.A. suggested not to risk the breakage of the long screw (me playing with the crutches)

At night we meet with Mackenzie and Adam again (the Tasmanian couple that just finished their Prudhoe – Ushuaia trip), to have their farewell dinner together, before they fly to the Amazon and swim with the Piranhas.

They had planned two Amazing weeks in Brazil before they would return to Tassi. We really enjoyed the evening.

Date: 24/05
City: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 14
Cumulative kilometre: 46495
Street: City roads
Weather: Sunny, warm

Today we have a dry run to see how long we need to get to the hospital and where we have to be on Sunday morning. It took just a bit over thirty minutes to get there and we quickly found the counter we were supposed to get to on Sunday. So we thought we have a look at the touristy side of Boca, which is a touristy suburb where they dance tango in the streets and in the restaurants and have colourful buildings.

We had a coffee there and realized that was not the best spot to watch the tango performances in the street, on the otherhand Sigrid used the crutches which was realy tyring, so we decided to leave it and come back another day – after the screw is removed.

 

Date: 25/05
City: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 46495
Street: City roads
Weather: Sunny, warm

Today is the Oma Ermie’s Birthday and Argentinian Independence Day! After hearing drums being played in the streets we had a look. It turned out there were plenty of people with banners and drums, the whole eight line road was filled with people as far as we could see and some of them even dressed up.

The drums and the trumpets created a great atmosphere. When we came closer to the president’s office, it got more and more crowed so we decided to sit on the lawn and have a look at the groups passing by. That was really great until a couple of guys put a huge banner in front of us.

So we decided to slowly go back to the hostel. On our way we found a nice coffee shop. We had a nice coffee there and watched the people passing by. Well I actually watched the Champions League final, which just so happened to be on the same day. Man, the 25th of May was busy!

Tomorrow is the day where Sigrid finally loses her screw and can start to train her leg again without being afraid that the long screw breaks.

Date: 26/05
City: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 12
Cumulative kilometre: 46507
Street: City roads
Weather: Sunny, warm

We arrived in the hospital an hour earlier and met the surgeon around 10:20AM. After examination of Sigrid leg he booked an OP and organized the tool for Sigrid screw, an Allan screw driver. Around 12:30 Sigrid got into the OP and an hour later the surgeon came out and told me that there is a problem. The screw driver didn’t fit into the screw so it couldn’t be removed. He closed the wound and will get another tool that is not available in the Hospital at this time. Great, Sigrid was completely devastated. After getting a couple of injection into the fresh scar for the numbing of the area, she had now a smaller open wound again without achieving anything – only the enjoyment to go through the same again on Wednesday. Not happy! To have something to do in the meantime, we decided to take tomorrow the ferry to Uruguay. As I said, it is not easy to lose a screw……

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