Going on a bike tour on a regular bike with saddle bags in Argentina is a trip to say the least. This was my second bike trip of my life, and one I have great memories of. I think it would probably be hard to find someone who has horrible memories of any bike trip as they tend to be the best time of your life.
Argentina is a massive country. Don’t be fooled otherwise. I am not one for doing much planning, and in some ways I paid the price for my lack of planning. But in other ways, it was all part of the experience.
My bike tour started out with the airplane landing in the Buenos Aires airport. For some reason, I sat next to a girl on the plane ride from Houston, and she passed me a sleeping pill which she was also taking. I am not one to take random pills from others, but this worked out well. I literally woke up just a half hour before the plane was landing…pretty impressive sleeping pills.
Once on the ground, it was time to get oriented in the airport and find the baggage claim. That wasn’t too hard, and my cardboard bike box was there in one piece without any holes in it with my Ritchey mountain bike. I carried my two saddle bags and my yellow dry bag onboard as carry on luggage. Just in case the bike didn’t make it, I always figured I could easily buy a new bike and just go from there, but of course that wasn’t necessary.
As I made it outside into Argentina for the first time, I quickly met a taxi driver who agreed to take all my luggage, bike box and all inside his small car. I speak decent Spanish, so I told him to take me to a town about 100 kilometers outside of the city. I told him I didn’t care where, just some small town where I could spend the night. He told me he would take me to San Antonio de Areco. I said great. And off we went.
It’s somewhat of a strange feeling starting a bike trip in Argentina inside of an unmarked taxi cab with a taxi driver named Ariel Camacho and heading out of a super large capital city. But, as I don’t like biking in busy cities with tons of traffic, this was the next best option, and for only about $20 cab fare, it was well worth it. When we arrived in San Antonio de Areco, he took me to the “Tourism Center” and he arranged for me to stay with a woman for the night in a rented room for about $10. The woman was so nice, she even made me a super breakfast in the morning. Also, my taxi driver agreed to take my bike box back with him, and he gave me his business card so I could call him to retrieve my box when I returned to the capital in three weeks. And of course he wanted another fare to the Airport(which he got!)