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Update: El Calafate, Argentina (4/27/2012)

posted Oct 24, 2012, 8:18 AM by Matthew Gorzlancyk   [ updated Feb 16, 2017, 2:38 PM ]


Gaby had and I really had a great time together. We explored the city a bit, spent a fair amount of time at the Eco yoga park in Buenos Aires where Gaby was to do some research as to how they were running the place, shared my birthday together in the center of the city, and really, just enjoyed being close together while we could be. Time went by fast. 

            On the 17th of March I went with her to the airport to bid her farewell until we would reunite in Peru for her summer holiday, which would be about a month after I would arrive based on my projected time frame for the remainder of my tour. We said our goodbyes and I returned to Plaza once to wait for my friend to arrive.


My buddy Sam who I had met two times while on this trip (once in Los Angeles, California, and once in Costa Rica) was coming to give cycle touring a try from Villa Manihuales down. He was in high spirits and looking forward to some adventure… Adventure he would find!

            Sam arrived a few days later than planned, but we moved fast when he did arrive. We hammered buses, vans, hitched with some police, and took a little local bus from Coihaique to Villa Manihuales. Fortunately we were able to make it across the border issue-free for we met the police officers from Argentina at the border and they took us all the way to Coihaique. This aided us in encountering any problems at the border.

            We spent a couple of days in Villa Manihuales where Sam took in the sights and sounds of Patagonia, did some fishing, and assembled his two-wheeler for the ride to come. We took full advantage of the warmth, showers, and hospitality provided us by Jorge, El Cazador de las Ciclistas. Gracias por todo Jorge!!

            On March 26th Sam and I hit the ground pedaling. We did a short day and Sam received his first taste of roadside hospitality. We stopped after a few late hours of riding and asked an older Chilean dude if we could camp at his place which was nestled in along a beautiful river and mountainside. He told us that would be no problem and that we had to meet his buddy from Wyoming… were we in for a riot of a time!!!

            The guy from Wyoming had lived in Chile for over 20 years or something, had married a Chilean woman, had two kids with her, ran a fly fishing business, and spoke the worst Spanish I had heard in a very, very long time. His best friend was this guy, Hugo, the guy we were staying with, and he did not speak English. They just sat together drinking and smoking and making funny sentences and very broad statements as to how life is and should be. Best friends.

            At one point, Sam offered Hugo a beer. He told Sam he could not for he had had heart surgery. He said this as he finished his first bottle of wine and lit up a cigarette. Sam then said, “Oh, yea, I heard wine is supposed to be good for the heart.” It was a riot of a time. We stayed up late, then got back on the road a little late the next day.

            Things kind of continued in this form for us. We slept in some silly places, drank some dirty water, ate some horse and a ton of food a guy had prepared while caressing his infected toe, hiked late into the night (dangerously late one night), swam in Glacial streams, drank whiskey, fought 60+ mph winds, went to a carnival in Gobernador Gregores, slept at a Bocce ball stadium a couple nights, played with some kids, hitched a couple hundred kilometers to El Calafate (the first time I hitched on my trip to advance), slept in a hut filled with rats, hiked up to a beautiful hanging glacier, and Sam had some raging stomach battles. The adventures and stories were many. I just don’t have the space to share them all here. We really had an incredible time.

            Sam ran out of time in El Calafate. We enjoyed a couple last meals together, though they did not help his stomach at all, had a couple more beers, reminisced over our crazy month on bikes, and said goodbye at the bus station before his 3 day ride.

It was a blast Sammie. I am so glad you could make the time and come down and we could enjoy a very beautiful part of the world together. Good luck and see you soon buddy!!!