Jan. 19, 2011: Chacabuco, BA, Argentina

Well, this was an interesting day!

After a wonderful evening, I woke up to extremely loud crashing and banging. Poking my head out the door led to the discovery that there was a thunderstorm situated, roughly, in the hotel courtyard. It being only 6AM, I went back to bed, hoping it would dissipate in the following few hours.

It did not.

I hung around the hotel as late as I could, but by 10:30 it was check-out time, and I had to hand in my key. The proprietor looked at me rather incredulously, verifying that: yes, I really did want to head out in that torrential downpour? She had a room available the following night, she assured me.

Well, perhaps "want" wasn't the right word, but I felt a need to be on my way. The thunderstorm in Buenos Aires on Sunday had abated by about 2:00 or so, and I was crossing my fingers in the hopes that the same would be true of this one.

I headed out toward the highway, and made it about... 4 blocks. The water in what had been streets the previous night was up over my axles in many cases, and the same was about to be true of my backpack. Instead, I resolved to make the best of the delay, and went looking for a locutorio (internet cafe).

I found one — well, actually I found three — but the internet in Carmen de Areco refused to understand my camera, and I wasn't able to upload any photos. So, nuts to that: I wandered around the town taking photos when the rain abated at all, hiding under awnings when it didn't.

Which is when I got interviewed for some Argentinian TV station.

There was a news crew out filming... something, I'm not sure what? And when they saw me taking pictures, they flagged me down, asking for an interview with the crazy fool out on a bicycle in the pouring rain with a huge backpack, a plastic thing ("Creo que lo llaman un... ¿casco?") on his head, and taking pictures.

So now there's apparently an interview with me on Argentinian TV, trying to explain in my questionable Spanish just what I was up to. I'm not entirely certain what station it was; I think they said it was one of the stations affiliated with Telefe, but I might have misunderstood.

At any rate, the interview over, the rain was starting to let up, so I took a deep breath, grabbed some empanadas from a bakery, and headed out on the highway.

With good timing; as before the thunderstorm stopped at 2:00 almost on the dot, and from thence there was perfect biking weather: cloudy with sunny breaks, not too gloomy but not too sweltering and sunburn-y.

I made it as far as Chacabuco, but it was late enough that I wasn't up for the 55km to the next town, so I found a hotel with free wi-fi (I was amused at how upscale I was getting, after the first night in Moreno, but then realized it was still only $CA 30 per night) and checked in.

Went out to see what there was in the town, and discovered a folk music festival that night! Bonus! Had another Thanksgiving parilla dinner that couldn't be beat, went to sleep, and didn't get up until...

Er wait, no. Went to the folk festival, then went to sleep and didn't get up until the next morning, when luckily, there was no court date awaiting me (or 27 8x10 coloured glossy photos). Just a bicycle. With yet another flat tire. Sigh.

Tonight's wine: Comte de Valmont Cabernet-Sauvignon Malbec Pinot Noir 2008. Kind of blah and generic. Nothing stood out one way or the other.

Posted on: Friday Jan. 21, 2011 @ 17:30 MST
Alice's Restaurant
On the off chance that they don't (and care): http://www.trichotomy.ca/audio/Guthrie,_Arlo_--_Alices_Restaurant_Massacree.mp3
(Warning: 18MB download).
Posted on: Friday Jan. 21, 2011 @ 06:46 MST
Re: Chacabuco, BA, Argentina
Does anyone from your age group remember Alice's Restaurant? (Arlo Guthrie)

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