With our 1st Chilean border crossing only one hour away, we left Rio Gallegos as a group. This way, our Globebusters team for Section 2, Kevin, David, and Jeff would all be there to help us learn the ropes for what will be 6 or 7 crossings of this border. Not too windy, cool (49 degrees) but dry, it was a perfect morning for a ride.
When we reached the Argentine border to exit to Chile, we were informed that the Chilean border guards were on strike so the international border was closed! It would be maybe 3, or 5, or whenever they felt like coming off their strike before we would be able to cross. Kevin decided that it would be better to return to Rio Gallegos rather than waiting indefinitely and taking the chance of accomplishing the paperwork to get into Chile, the ferry crossing of the Straits of Magellan, 100 miles of gravel, then the required crossing process back into Argentina farther south to get to our planned hotel in Rio Grande at a decent hour. Luckily, the Hotel Pategonia could take us back. My room had not yet even been cleaned.
Since I don’t have a lot of riding to share with you today, this is the perfect opportunity to let you know what happens on “rest” days. Even though I significantly prefer traveling with Larry, 24 years as a sales rep “road warrior” for 3M was excellent preparation for making the best of the situation of semi-solo travel. As many red blooded, American women do, I like to shop. I’m not a fanatic but I definintely have a higher tolerance for “the sport” than does Larry. Our rest day in Puerto Madryn gave me the perfect opportunity for me to enjoy seeing the local crafts. Then it was time for Spanish lessons. No, not the kind one pays for. I like the grocery store type. Strolling through the produce section, reading the signs, learning what to order at the next restaurant. Meat packages add to my vocabulary. They sell some pretty strange innards down here. After trying sweetbreads once last week, I will avoid if possible.
One evening, we hovered over a computer, watching accidents recorded by traffic cameras in China. Watching Chinese driving is like playing some silly video game. We sure laughed a lot, hoping we’d never show up in one of those videos later this year.
Each week we gather for a “group dinner.” This is a great system since it gives us time to enjoy time to ourselves or with a few others most evenings. We really appreciate celebrating with our entire travel “family.” Erwin is such a gentleman. He wrung the last few drops from the wine bottle for me. Salud!
12-Jan Rio Gallegos, Argentina – Chilean border – Rio Gallegos
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