This country seems undiscovered. We spent two weeks driving down to El Calefate and back, through a massive chuck of Patagonia, all the while wondering where the people are… why isn’t this country saturated by tourists, adventurers, opportunists, and entrepreneurs? It’s not hard to spot these people in the streets of any major city, but the country is still so vastly unpopulated- and gorgeous… really, even the broad expanses of shrubbed desert are serene and attractive, spotted with estancias which managed to find a water source and irrigate their fields lined with massive, luscious tree towers. And driving just the two of us in our Volkswagen Gol made it all the more enjoyable. We pulled over just as often as we liked for pictures, pisses, craps, stretches, etc. Sometimes our curiosity took us down strange little roads, where nothing would disappoint because anything was expected. We slept in the car and in the hammock-tent at various spots: parks, campgrounds in little towns, and out in the middle of nowhere. And in between we splurged in the major towns getting double rooms in hotels and dorm beds in hostals. We had no set itinerary, mostly letting the decisions come when they needed to- occasionally using the coin flip’s insightful decisions making abilities to aid us. What an adventure that was…
The day before Christmas we arrived back in El Bariloche. All told we drove 5603 kilometres or 3,481.54 miles with me behind the wheel and Lada at my side preparing snacks, switching cds, navigating, and generally taking care of me as only she knows how. It was the most pleasant time we’ve had on this whole trip- just the two of us with no one to rely on or worry about but ourselves. If you ever take trip to Patagonia, I highly recommend you rent a car… it’s cheap too.
Now, we’re in the massive and wild city of Buenos Aires. It’s ok as far as cities go… busy, lots to do, fast-paced, pretty in places, and there’s plenty of stores to piss away your money like crack-addicts. Personally, I get tired pretty fast of cities. You could fall in love with BA, if you spent enough time here. But I’m a tourist in transit- and I’m not getting much out of this city other than interesting new experiences. Tango is ubiquitous. There’s also just every other kind of cultural show/dance/theater event you would expect in a major metropolitan city. We went to an Armenian restaurant and watched that strange traditional dance, clapping as encouraged and shouting “Opa!” at regular intervals. We tried to learn Tango at a school, and witnessed various professionals wow us in the streets. We’ve managed to adjust our sleeping/waking schedules so that we can eat dinner around 11:00 pm and go to the clubs around 2:00 am… sleeping until 11:30 the next day. Today we’re relaxing so our bodies will be ready for the all night punishment we’re hoping to give them for the New Year.
The day after tomorrow we head to Argentina’s favorite city: Rosario. Then it’s up to Iguazu and then on into Brazil. I haven’t been too compelled to write these days, as I’ve spent most of my time enjoying every passing minute with Lada. She’s purchased her ticket- on the 23rd of January she’s flying our of Rio de Janiero… back to Thailand: work, family, and country. We’re hoping to spend a few days at Jim’s house before she leaves. Jim: I’ll send you the details of our plans as soon as I’m done with this entry.
As for photos, I managed to get most of them on: http://picasaweb.google.com/augman
All from Argentina and Patagonia still need to be uploaded. I’ll do that before I leave BA, probably… there’s some good one’s in that batch.
Well, I hope you all have a Happy New Year!!