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I’m now in Montevideo, it’s Friday evening, and after a few lovely days with HJ before she goes off backpacking again I’m in a bit of a quandary which I`ll try to explain…

I’ve got my new Manta saddle, thanks to Jon and wonderful DHL even though it turned out that at the Scottish end they forgot to put a street name or phone number on the address label so it was sent to Dominic Luther, The English Cycle Tourist, Bicycle Shop, Montevideo, Uruguay. And still made it to me… or well, I could pick it up at a nearby DHL office. The old one got left in a place where it’ll hopefully make it’s way back to Duda.

My Rohloff internals need switching. It’s very rideable, problem free in 11 of 14 gears, but not perfect. Rohloff are happy to send me a replacement and I can take it to a bike shop for a bit of help swapping it out. I emailed Thorn Tuesday night, had a reply by first thing Wednesday morning but was slow and didn’t give them an address until Thursday afternoon. I was told that on Friday morning that it’d be in the post ASAP so… They say 1-3 days and maybe one more for customs. I was hoping to get a reply this afternoon, but didn’t so my original hope of it arriving on Monday or Tuesday if I was lucky is seeming less likely.

My sleeping pad is impossible to fix. Big Agnes have accepted it as their fault, and are willing to ship it to me but aren’t full of confidence referring to shipping to South America as a nightmare. Even though the fault is with their pad, I have to pay shipping (still waiting on a quote even though I contacted them last on Wednesday) and it’ll take a completely unknown amount of time.

A couple of parts of my tent have seams that are coming a bit loose, and Big Agnes said that I should replace it. They think it’s just because it’s been poorly stored and so it’s my fault and while they’ll give me a discount to replace it, that then leaves me with the how do I get it to Argentina/Paraguay/Uruguay issue. I also asked them about the length of the pole that I lost, so I could try to find a replacement, but they’ve not got back to me on that either. I’ve definitely gone off Big Agnes as a company. They are great, if you’re in the US, but as a world cyclist their support seems to be lacking. I’ve heard really good things about MSR, who make Thermarest and the Hubba Hubba tent so that might be the future.

The thing that really complicates matters is my friend Gaz, who I did a cycle trip with, and I’m still unsure if he’s coming over. He applied to renew his passport at the start of June and instead of the 3 promised weeks it turned into 7. It finally arrived this morning, but flight tickets have gone up hugely. If he comes across, the sleeping pad thing is sorted out because I’ve got a Thermarest waiting for me, but I still don’t know if he is coming, or when he will arrive. I’d assume he’ll get to Buenos Aires, but I’m unable to find hosts because I know neither how many people there’ll be or the arrival date cos I don’t knowif Gaz is coming or when the Rohloff piece arrives. Worst case, the Rohloff can get sent here, me and Gaz do a round trip, end up back in BA, and I pick them up here when we get back. Life is confusing!

edit – Gaz DID buy his ticket and will be arriving at 8:20am on Monday morning in Beunos Aires and will then fly back on the 28th of August. Planning time!

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