Monday, January 22, 2007

the bull may be injured, but he is not going down

Hola amigos,

Team Awesome is currently in El Calafate- the most touristy city this side of Nuevo York. The streets are paved with lovely cobble stones and every other store sells either fine choclates or ice cream for a pretty peso, but getting here was no cake walk.
When we last left off we were but moments from enjoying a coffee with Miguel and his family. Coffee turned to eggs, turned to piscola, turned to a tour of the city, a dinner with corn, salad, and the best leg of lamb Ive ever had (literally a leg, with femur, tibia, hoof,and all) and before we knew it, it was midnight, shots of cognac were being forced upon us and our 6 am departure was pushed back to a respectable 4:30 pm. These people could really talk, we enjoyed 6 hours of conversation (er, monologue) about the school system in patagonia, the legacy of Pinochet, the racial background of estancia owners (apparently a lot of them are Croatian, who knew?), and a number of other fascinatng topics. Of course, I learned all of this the next day and fully understood exactly one sentance: Ostrich eggs are very large and make delicious omelets. "ah, Si" I replied knowingly.

In the 250 km between Puerto Natales and here there are 2 things: a town containing one mediocre burger joint, a gift shop for toursists, and the argentinian-chilean border, and 249.9 km of Pompas, dry chaparral. There is also a famous Chilean National Park, Torres del Paine. We biked an extra 60 km to the entrance, but upon learning that it would cost $120 US for us to enter for a day we did the math and realized that this would make a major dent in the 3 pesos we save every week for the special fund that will go towards a secret present for Thea once we arrive in Caracas (Ill give you one hint, it involves a stripper named Jorge and fistfulls of pesos). So we turned around and biked out.
Around this time Matt started not feeling so well. He began to lose large levels of fluids from an orifice generally reserved for the expulsion of solids. "Suck it up, you pansy!" Thea yelled and so Matt did and he rode 90 km over dirt washboards. The man is a machine. If youve never experienced washboards, theyre like small speed bumps, set apart every six inches, with large rock in between them. By the next morning Matt was also losing fluids from the other end and it was decided by all that it would be best if he hitchhiked, so he rode in the back of an empty uhual while the rest of us biked the last 90km of paved roads to here, passing the 1000km mark on the way. Thea brought baloons, but they were flown at half mast to mark Matts absence.
I am happy to report that he is feeling much better now and was even able to do his part at a tenador libre (an all you can eat meat buffet- literally "free fork") last night.

Today Matt slept in while Ben, Thea, and I went to see a huge glacier that calves regularly. Ice falls off into the water, people take pictures, Ben murdered me in Chess, the regular. You can see pictures of the glacier on the internet, Im sure. In the hostel people are playing hotel california and pink floyd on guitar and we will be leaving early tomorrow for a mad dash across another 250km of pampas to make the ferry that leaves twice a week. Wish us luck.

Team CP


Anonymous mom said...


Loved your commentary and SO much detail! Do I know you? Take good care of Matt and don't be deceived by his largesse. See he gets plenty of fluids and coddle him a bit.

Love to you and your amigos,


8:22 AM  
Anonymous isabel said...

i got home and all the animals are fat. please stay dirty but wash your hands with all your might not forgetting the thumbs. stay healthy and we'll have the taco john's 10 taco combo meal warming in the oven when you get home.

love you

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harris: As you know Howard and I spend several weeks in Ft. Lauderdale over the winter. To help keep us old farts in shape, we bought bikes and felt rather daring for sharing the streets here with south Florida drivers. Your adventures have put us to shame.
Take care of yourselves and come home to your mother and father safe and sound.
Love, Auntie Donna

1:42 PM  

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