Days 5-7: Puerto Madryn to Bariloche
So many things are now happening it is hard to summarize them all. But here are some high points.
On Day 5 we had a Welsh tea in the town of Gaiman. I had no idea there was a Welsh area of Argentina where Welsh is the first language and Spanish is the second. Tea was good but the highlight was the children dancing in traditional dress. The second feature of the day was the sighting of a llama at the side of the road. Unfortunately stopping our car scared him and I didn’t get a photo. Still thrilling. Our hotel was definitely not the highlight, but most likely the best available in Esquel.
Day 6 to Bariloche put us in very different terrain. We are away from the flat coast, heading west into the mountains. We're surrounded by beautiful snow-covered mountains, which I think will be the norm for the next days. We saw gauchos on horseback with their sheep dogs, but the real highlight for Ed was the lunch stop in San Martin. We had lunch on the train platform and they had powered up the steam locomotive for us. Ed’s nearly first love is steam locomotives and he was able to sit in the engineer’s seat and pull the whistle. He really wanted to drive down the track, but there were school children onboard and they wouldn’t let him. He was in heaven.
We followed the gravel rally road in the afternoon into Bariloche to the upscale resort of Llao Llao: a picturesque place for our day off. The weather is now quite cold in the mornings but still warm in the afternoon.
Day 7 was a day off. People ask what we do on our days off. Well, it depends, but the parking lot looked a lot like a group picnic until you realized the stuff scattered on the ground was tool boxes and repair parts. Some were doing preventive maintenance, others major repairs. (We are still missing Ann and Ronald and their Camero. They had to replace an engine in Bahia Blanca. We hope they catch up before we have to cross the border). With a big thank you to Brant Parsons car 41 who changed our oil and adjusted the valves, Stewball is ready to head to Chile.