When I left the shipping agents this morning they were frantically phoning every auto-insurance agent they could find to try and get me insurance to drive in Argentina. This is not a legal requirement in every country I have visited but until now when I have had to take out cover then there has normally been companies at the border area. However, here it is not so easy. There have been two main reasons for refusal, the first being that the car is too old (don’t tell Bridget she would be upset), and the second being that she is not registered in Argentina. However the agents finally found a company that would cover it and by good fortune the cover is also valid in Chile, so I shouldn’t need to do this again in a weeks time.
To those residents of Buenos Aires that have started to believe that Bridget the Midget is nothing more than a figment of my imagination I can now say, “I’ve got her !!” After spending all day at the docks and seeing countless pleasant, smiling customs officials I was finally taken to witness the unlocking of her container at 3:00 pm on Tuesday 26th May. The day had started slowly and looked doomed when I arrived at the docks to be told that the strike was still going on, but then I was told it would end at 12:00 noon. My assistant from the customs agent used the time to get some of the paperwork processed so that when the container was opened we would only have to wait for verification (searching the contents basically) and we would be able to take her.
After the container was opened they asked me to reverse Bridget out so that they could inspect her. That was when I found that whoever placed her in the container had left the ignition on and the battery connected!! She was unceremoniously pushed onto the concourse. Shortly after a rescue vehicle appeared and we connected jump leads to the battery. It took several minutes but to my immense relief she started up. We could now leave…. but then I was informed you cannot leave the docks area because your insurance is not valid until 5:00pm.
We eventually arrived back at my hotel around 7:00pm and I removed the battery for overnight charging. We will leave Buenos Aires on Thursday morning and head towards Mendoza which will take a couple of days. This is the wine producing centre of Argentina and I think we will spend another couple of days checking the produce.