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Our little Volkwagon Golf found its way in and out of the 12 ¨lanes¨ of traffic on 9 de Julio, through numerous one way streets, out of BA and onto ¨Ruta 3¨.  The first day to Bahia Blanca was all lush farm land which seemed to alternate between sunflowers and cows. We arrived late in BB (which seemed like a bit of a dump) and wasn´t really on the bay as the name would suggest. Plan A was to go to the campground in the district of ¨Maldonado.¨ After asking 4 people directions, 3 (including 2 policemen) visibly shuddered at the mention of the name, advised it was very dangerous, that they had not been there and we should not go there either. The fourth (a toothless, homeless drunk) happily told us the way and said he´d been there often. We abandoned Plan A and went to a cheapish hotel in what seemed another dodgy part of town, though doubtless not as dire as the evil Maldonado.

The landscape changed the next day to a barren dusty scrubland dotted with guanacos and ñandus. (like minature emus)… It is what I imagine much of outback Australia to look like without the red dirt. It was also to stay like that for the whole trip south down the atlantic coast  (2000km or so!). We alternated between camping for free and staying in cheap hospedajes over the course of the trip. The highlight was probably Puerto Piramides on the Peninsula Valdes where we camped for two nights and vistited some sealion colonies. The Peninsula is famous cause of those docos depicting orcas emerging from the ocean to take baby sealions off the beach and for its whale watching. It wasn´t whale season but it was orca season… the guidebook told us we had a 3% chance of seeing the phenomenon. I liked those odds but alas, it wasn´t to be.

A visit to the Panaderia was a daily ritual where we bought fresh bread, facturas (sweet little pastries that are sold and eaten everywhere) empanadas (the south american version of the meat pie) and usually some other sweet treat to satisfy Jacinta´s craving for desserts.   The 2 dollar bottles of red usually accompanied our cheap cooking efforts of an evening.

Most people we met were extremely helpful and friendly. One wasn´t. A psychotic landlord whose pet hate seemed to be slammed doors (though it probably included everything including life itself) . He threw our money back in my face and demanded we leave just after we checked in. (Jacinta had just gone to the shower and shut the door a little too loudly)…. We were both exhausted so instead of telling him what was obvious (that he was a lunatic and it was clearly an accident), I apologised profusely, endured a 10 minute tirade of abuse and tried to explain as best I could that it was unintentional and would not happen again.

We ended up taking a detour to El Calafate instead of continuing south to Ushuaia as we were waiting for a permit to bring the car into Chile.  We were also keen to actually feel like we were in Patagonia and experience a real highlight after driving through endless scrub, guanacos and buffeting wind. A big kick ass glacier that dumps house size chunks of ice into the lake on cue for tourists seemed like just the ticket.


One Comment

  1. It is with great pleasure that I noticed a new entry today. It’s good to get some details of your adventuras. Keep it up, you can do it!

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