The Diary

18th December 2003

Having spent a comfortable but windy night in our chalet, we headed off early the next morning. The owner of the hosteria had given us one of their leaflets and it showed that we were currently on the Ruta 39, about 75km south-west of the Ruta 40 which would take us directly to Gobernador Gregores.

Again the route was very rough with large gravel and corrugations, and interspersed with numerous sheep and cattle grids (guardaganados) so it took us over six hours to reach our destination (approximately 350km).

We arrived mid afternoon and it didn't take us long to find the only campsite in town - Camping Nuestra Señora del Valle on Roca y Chile. The place was deserted apart from a man in a kiosk at the entrance. As we had no small change and the cost of camping was only 5 Pesos each, he said we could pay the next day.

We parked up alongside one of the BBQ pits and then wandered into town to get some food. The town was small (population of about 2200) and very quiet. We had no idea how we would find an insurance office the next day as there seemed to be only a few businesses and just residential properties - definitely not a town you would stop in unless you had to! There was only one supermarket and we stocked up as best we could.

Returning to the campsite we cooked up our first Argentinian steak - hopefully not the best one we would eat in Argentina as it was definitely not on the tender side - and whilst eating, a group of locals arrived, setting up for an asado. It wasn't long before they brought in a whole lamb, spreadeagled on large skewers and placed over the fire. We were definitely in for a noisy night.

We were also in for a very windy night. Shortly after turning in to sleep, the wind picked up and we had to strap the fly sheet of the roof tent down with bungy cord to stop it flapping around and possibly being ripped off. The Patagonian weather was certainly living up to its reputation so far. But at least it was dry.........