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Piedra Buena – We were going north when our vehicle went south

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

resizedbrokencar_1.jpgThere is a 150-mile stretch of highway north of Rio Gallegos with a whole lot of nuthin´on it.  We got about 142 miles before our truck decided to give us a little extra time to appreciate the stark beauty of it all.

One of the wheels got tired of rotating (can´t really blame it all that much) and just decided to take an unscheduled mate break.  The Argentines have this really nice custom of drinking this herb called mate (mah-tay).  Everywhere you go you can see someone with a thermos of hot water, or a mate cup with a silver straw.  The first time you try mate, it makes you wonder what happened to the tastebuds of the Argentine tongue.  How does someone willingly drink this?  After some time, it becomes bearable, then not unpleasant, then you would probably sell unimportant appendages to get the stuff.  Giselle and I are somewhere just past the first stage.  For me, the real attraction of mate is the vessel.  There is an incredible variety of the things ranging from a plastic cup (horrors!) to what I am surmising is the traditional hollowed-out gourd, to wooden ones covered with ornate leather, to silver and gold, to cow horns and other non-permeable bovine body parts, to just about anything that holds water.

Oh yes, the wheel.  There was nothing I could do on the highway, so we decided to hitch to the next town.  It took all of ten seconds before we got a ride with a trucker hauling a double trailer full of gasoline or some other flammable liquid with warning signs on it. 


Long story short, we are spending the night at the gas station hotel which is actually infinitely better than you would imagine.  There is even a restaurant with a lovely view of the gas pumps for no extra charge.

Tomorrow Pepe (really) gives us the verdict on the reluctant wheel. 


VERDICT: GUILTY OF HAVING CRUNCHY BEARINGS! Those little scraps of metal on the wood panel on the ground were cylindrical at one time.







Rio Gallegos

Sunday, March 26th, 2006

The big attraction in the town for us was the hotel.  From Ushuaia we crossed the Argentina-Chile border twice and had to wait for a ferry to cross the Straits of Magellan.

Ushuaia, Ar – It´s the end of the world as we know it!

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006
truck in the south.JPGAfter 30,000 or so kilometers (who is counting?), the road ends here. Anybody interested in buying a gently used Ford Explorer?  It comes with tattered maps of ... [Continue reading this entry]

Torres del Paine Park, Chile

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006
resizedtorresdelpainesun_1.jpgTowering towers of granite tower above us. resizedtorresdelpaine_1.jpg   resizedtorresdelpainevicuna2_1.jpg resizedtorresdelpainelake_1.jpg    

Wild Life

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2006
Rheas everywhere.  These giant flightless birds are quite common throughout parts of Argentina and Chile. Taste like chicken.rhea torres.jpg   Man, that is one goofy-looking rhea. Sheesh.  [Continue reading this entry]

Ripio Rodeo

Monday, March 20th, 2006
Ripio is the Argentine word for gravel road.  We have driven thousands (at least two thousand we figure, but who´s counting?) of miles on the stuff.  Long stretches in Argentina are just straight with gently rolling hills. There is a ... [Continue reading this entry]

El Calafate, AR

Monday, March 20th, 2006
Glaciers galore! The ice is blue and it tastes like chicken.  resizedglacier3_1.jpg resizedglacier2_1.jpg   resizedglacier_1.jpg

El Chalten, AR

Monday, March 20th, 2006
rain, clouds, bites

Bajo Caracoles, AR

Monday, March 20th, 2006

Population 31.  This place is in the middle of nowhere and consists of a gas station, hotel, hostel, campground and police station.  We got a room at the hotel and sat down for a coffee.  Who should walk in ... [Continue reading this entry]


Monday, March 20th, 2006
Don't go here.  It's a not-so-attractive, overpriced town where the cabanas are full of earwigs.  Ick!