Friday, January 27, 2006

Bariloche

Up at 8:30, not having slept well. Maybe four hours’ rest

I went to the “Cyber Café” for five or six hours today. There, a tall fellow introduced himself: Steven Sohrakoff from Newport, Oregon. He's riding a KLR, on his way back to Oregon from Tierra del Fuego. He said he’d never go there again. "Cold and boring." Torres del Paine, he said was "like Disneyland"; Fitz Roy is a much better destination.

Upon closer "inspection", I found the busy "restaurant" across the street is in fact “Abuela Goye Chocolates”, one of two chocolate shops my server recommended last night (the other being “Mamucka”- sp?) Of course, I couldn't leave without a purchase.

Took a three-hour nap in the afternoon. Afterwards, I felt "drugged". (Any connection to that chocolate?)

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Dinner at “A Los Bifes” tonight, another parrilla restaurant. Here, you receive a tiny cup of raspberry wine as a greeting.

Chose the vacio al asador, a kind of beef roast. But it's a stringy meat, not much to my liking. A great chimichuri salsa brings some life to it though. The vegetales a las brasas, grilled vegetables, were rather dried-out. Tried a 375ml bottle of “Trapiche” 2005 Malbec. (Young! A light simple wine, some strawberry fruit, but not much character. I suspect it’s this well-known winery's lower-tier product.) It was warm, so I asked the server to put it on ice “como Champagne”.

The drinking age is apparently 18 here (at least, that’s what the wine labels imply!)

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I don't think I've ever seen as many hitch-hikers as in this region. It's a common and accepted mode of travel for teenagers, single women, families, backpackers. locals and foreigners alike. It must be fairly safe.

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About 140 days since leaving Texas. That’s about how much time I have until Jessica’s graduation!

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