On the road

Trip Start Sep 2005
Trip End Sep 2006

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Monday, December 12, 2005

At last I finally picked the car(Corsa) up and headed to the National Park wilderness. I arrived at a campsite just as a thunderstorm was begining. Not the best time to work out how your new tent works, but I figured it out just in time, though the design was a new one on me. The car seems ok, though it's a bit awkward getting used to the left hand driving. I keep rolling down the window everytime I want to change gear. It took a long time before I got her into 3rd. She doesn't have a name yet but I'm sure we'll get on well. And in answer to the ladies question, she's dark grey.

The Argentinian roads will take a bit of getting used to, and the drivers. Once your off the main roads it's back to second gear again, and if you're really lucky, third. The National speed limit is 110km/hr but the rental guy advised 40 on the secondary roads, which I thought sounded a little extreme, a bit like he was trying to look after his motor. But sometimes you'd be lucky to do 40 on them. Times it's like driving on a dried up river bed, which is full of boulders and holes. Other times it turns into a speedway track and your car starts driving like the little black car on the yellow slippery road sign. It's definitely 4WD terrain, not the best place to be bumping along in a car that was designed for doing a once weekly trip to the post office. You feel like a little old lady who's somehow stumbled on to a rally track, as the 4WD's go speeding by.

They're very strict about driving without insurance over here, and there's lot's of checkpoints where you have to produce your documents. I've discovered that it's best not to keep your papers in your wallet. Otherwise you end up opening your wallet and flashing a load of notes at a police man, you feel like a floozy flashing her knickers at him (I guess). They're fairly laid back about the highway code. The cops saw me driving thre wrong way up a one-way street (to be fair, it wasn't signposted). They just honked their horn and drove on.

There's nothing like opening your front door and stepping out into a National Park. It's a perfect sanctuary of nature. There's whooping geese, that make a whoopee noise, curkeys, a bird that has head of a curlew and the body of turkey. Loads of green trees, and bushes and flowers and grass and stuff. At breakfast when I was sitting admiring the splendour of it all, a big fat trout cruised past on the shingle, about 20 ft from my tent. The family of geese who had moved in beside me overnight were heading down for their morning swim, with three little goslings in their slipstream. Gangs of parakeets were swooping from tree to tree. Save for the noise of the birds there was just the distant rumble of some faraway river dumping last nights thunderstorm into the lake. And apart from that, there was just the silence that you get on a huge lake. And the buzz of the early morning hatch.

At last I got doing a bit of fishing. My first official days fishing was great. I ended up catching my supper at 9pm, and it was sizzling away on the pan at 9:10. It couldn't have come at a better time as I was really ravenous. There was no way I was letting him back into the water without at least taking a bite out of him. It was a brook trout, which looks like a cross between a Rock Bream and a Brown Trout, with really beautiful colouring. And the flesh is blood red like salmon. Very tasty.
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