The Diary


13th January 2004

In the morning, we got up early and walked to the beach with for a bracing dip in the sea. It was really sunny and warm, but the water was absolutely freezing - a good way to wake up all the senses.

Back at the campsite we cooked up breakfast, decamped and headed back on the road towards Buenos Aires. It was a fast road all the way...

.....and eventually we stopped off at Viedma, 960km south of Buenos Aires, ready to call it a night.

Viedma is Rio Negro's provincial capital and a reasonable sized town. We stopped at the tourist office to find out the best place to stay with parking and they were really helpful, marking a few hotels on the map. There was a large, and reasonably posh-looking hotel near the town fountain on the main road, the Hotel Austral (25 Mayo y Villarino). They quoted us 89 Pesos for the room for the night, including breakfast, and finding this incredibly cheap, we had to ask again that this was Pesos and not US Dollars. That was just $26! They confirmed that it was Pesos. The confusing thing in Argentina is that Pesos are depicted with the US Dollar symbol - ie $89 - whilst US Dollars are shown as US$, so you are never quite sure when you see Pesos on their own.

The hotel rooms are excellent value, clean and comfortable. There is also secure open air parking and a huge garage which is locked at night.

We checked in, and taking advantage of the secure garage, had a good clean out of the landy, getting it ready for shipping, and then had a welcome shower before going out for dinner. There are lots of restaurants along the road from the hotel. We stopped off at a pizza place, had a really good meal and then headed to bed - only two days' drive to Buenos Aires.