Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Marble roads and smoked salmon

The road out of the campsite was right into the mouth of the beast! The elevation began to rise as we headed for the mountains. The road started out as brand new asphalt, then it went to crumbled old asphalt and then when we were ascending for the pass it went to dirt and then as we crested the ridge line we wished for the crumbled asphalt again instead of the 2 inch marbles and dust we were now navigating with extreme caution. This crossing of the Andes range was beautiful, but it was hard to look around for a while. We made it to the Aduana and took care of the exit paperwork and headed further down the "gravel" road, dodging herds of horses and gauchos using the highway to move their animals. At the top of the road where we were about to cross the border into Chile, there was a massive gathering of people all selling and trading their wares. There were tents everywhere flying either Chilean or Argentinian flags and people scattered all over the moonscape. The wind was whipping up a dust storm so we decided to head out, but it was definitely a strange scene in no man's land. The border was a line on the Garmin, but it was also marked by the return of the pavement! I rejoiced with some speed as we headed down. The entry paperwork was a breeze and before we knew it we were heading for the coast and the town of Concepcion. The dirt and the border activities had really cut into our day and we knew we wouldn't make it to the sea until 8 or so, just about the time it was going to get dark. We pushed on through the rain and made it to a holiday inn just as the sun was setting. We got cleaned up and headed to an amazing seabass feast at a nearby restaurant. The hotel was brand new and we slept great! The breakfast was good the next morning with scrambled eggs and not a ham and cheese sandwhich or croissant in sight! We got going earlyish to catch a glimpse of the pacific before heading inland. Driving down the highway we were all of a sudden struck by the smell of ripe berries wafting through the air. We pulled over and feasted on tons of wild blackberries for about a half hour. We stopped for lunch and had some amazing soup called casuela. The restaurant sold pottery including tea pots with a funny shaped spout. After lunch we made it to a little town called Pitrufkin before the rain shut us down. We found an amazing little hotel called Millaray and the innkeeper drove us around town to buy some smoked salmon from his friends, who opened her store just for us, and even drove us to his favorite restaurant because it was raining out. The restaurant was excellent and we even got a ride home from the waitress! The people were so nice and went so far out of their way to make our stay great.

1 comment:

  1. "funny shaped spout". understatement of the trip, well played.