On the Road to San Carlos de Bariloche

We started the trip two days ago and somehow it seems a blur. The seats were comfortable but the scenery was pampas forever with the usual guanacos and some ostrich like birds called rhea, funny looking and flightless.

For hundreds of miles nothing moves on the pampas behind the six stands of carefully positioned wire fencing, posts placed every meter. Wooden gates every 50 meters are carefully locked so that the low shrubs can’t escape. Occasionally we spot cows or a sheep outside the barrier, dangerous close to the speeding bus. Icebergs the size of tuna boats float on the lake off to our left, on our right shallow depressions contain water spotted with flocks of flamingoes. Clouds roll between us and the sun sillouetting the brown hills.

UNlike BA there is little garbage, an occasional plastic bag deteriorating from a shrub. The bus driver has started the second of a very poor B soft porn movie, the sound so loud it is hard to read or write. An older Irish lady is scandalized.

We reach Perito Moreno and find our hotel as minimal as the travel agent warned us. Tom finds the metal handle for the lone window in the ash tray next to the bed. But at a local resto we eat an omelet and drink Malbec with the delightful Irish woman, 78 ( looks 60) traveling on her own like us. The next morning early we take a coffee under two shadow box framed collections of arrow heads and bolo balls. Tom is sorry not to have time to explore the caves in the area but we board the bus again for San Carlos Bariloche.

Along route 40 we find a new four door truck on its side just off the road. The wind shield is smashed, the roof badly dented in. A injured middle aged man with black hair and dark skin lies on his back by two folding chairs. He must have fallen asleep at the wheel.  A striped green and white towel has been anchored on the chairs and is being held over the injured man’s head for shade against the pounding sun. Three cars have stopped. A European looking man in Bermuda shorts scrambles to retrieve papers from the ground and a fanny pack belonging to the driver who can move his hands and speak. A cooler from the trunk is placed under his feet. A woman in tight pants scrambles after more material from the stricken car. Three well dressed children stand by a car carrying an orange surf sailer and a huge black and white panting dog.

The driver of the bus tries to help, then we drive away. An hour later we arrive in town. We never see an ambulance although the driver assures me one will come.


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