Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Staying at Camping La Florida

Our stay at the campground extended to almost 3 weeks. We are in a holding pattern, waiting for the refrigerator to arrive from the States. It will ship from New York on December 16th and is due to arrive in Buenos Aires, January 10th. We expect the earliest we can pick it up will be the 11th and that is only if the planets and stars are aligned correctly and the world says a collective prayer! The reality is we can only hope that it is not too delayed. We are very aware that after February, the weather in Patagonia will start to get colder and we only have a small window of opportunity to get down there before their winter. That being the case, we decided to stay in VGB as the campground is quite nice with hot showers, power, water and internet and it is very accommodating for Winston with plenty of places to walk him. It is close to town with all the amenities of supermarkets, smaller grocery and specialty stores, lavanderia etc. Also, people that we had met in Arapey started to arrive. Besides Michael, Wolf came with his wife Ilona. In Arapey, Ilona had been visiting back in Germany, so we had not met her. Another German couple also arrived that had been in Arapey briefly. Wolf and Ilona have been travelling South America for 12 years now. They have been through Central America and up to Alaska twice and visit Patagonia every few years. Michael has been travelling for 2 years. They gave us many tips on travelling and we may meet up with Wolf and Ilona in Patagonia as they are also driving down there this year. We are also keeping in contact with Anne and Jon. Biologists, we met them in Costa Rica last year and they travelled the west coast, whilst we went on the east. They have already been to Patagonia and are now headed north. The plan is to try to hook up in Buenos Aires and exchange information. We settled in to the easy life of camp. Besides small routine tasks around the motor home, we read, walked to town, walked Winston and explored the countryside. We tried a few different restaurants and were not disappointed at the food and cost. Argentina is substantially less expensive than Brazil, with beef and wine being the best deals. On our first visit to a restaurant, Tom ordered a beer and I red wine. I chose a mid priced wine from the list about $7.00 so imagine our surprise when we realized that that was for a whole bottle, not a glass! That night, Toms 2 beers cost more than the very good wine. I looked at Tom, eyes gleaming – “I think I’m going to like Argentine…a lot!” On our last Sunday at camp, Bettina and her husband Rolf hosted an Assada. An Argentinean barbeque that is similar to the Brazilian churrascarias. Rolf began the cooking around 1:30 in the afternoon and at 5:30 we were all still eating. It starts with a variety of sausages, 5 or 6 different types then pork in the form of spare ribs and pork loin and then huge porterhouse steaks in addition to a variety of veggies - corn, red bell peppers, mushrooms, different squashes and bread. All slowly roasted over hot coals. There were 12 people to dinner, all German with the exception of Tom and myself. The conversation was fast, rapid German and fortunately Wolf and Ilona were able to translate most of it for us. If you are ever at Camping La Florida join in on Sundays. It was tremendous fun and a fabulous last night for us. Before leaving Bettina had us write in her journal and she took our photo with Winston in front of the RV. She has 4 books now, filled with photos and writings of people who have stayed with them. We were tempted to stay longer but we need to head south to Rosario to visit with Luis and Sylvinia who we met in Uruguay and then to Buenos Aires on Wednesday night to hook up with Anne and Jon. So much going on and it is so exciting.

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