What I"m thinking about today....
Thought #1) I HATE rain! Taking this trip in December/January was deliberate to escape the rain and gloom of Seattle this time of year and now we've done more riding in the rain and gloom that we have in sunshine. I'm feeling a little bitter.
Thought #2) We were in San Martin the day before we were in Bariloche and it was such a sweet little town. I would like to have stayed there another night but in the interest of making forward progress and my excitement to get on to Bariloche, we moved on. I remembered Bariloche being every bit as sweet as San Martin but with more spectacular views, a few more streets to wander down and fabulous Chocolate. As Nivs already described I was sorely disappointed in what Bariloche is today, vs 10 years ago.. I guess nothing stays the same for 10 years but one would like to think lovely things can stay lovely.
So instead of staying in Bariloche a few nights we blasted farther south to Bolson. Bolson is great (and the ride here was nice too -- great roads and spectacular scenery!) and we are staying in a rustic cabin with a tiny kitchen a huge dining room table that can easily seat 16 people. Bolson feels very much like a hippie town and especially so after wandering through the artesian fair this morning. Dreadlocks, weed, handmade clothing, drum circles and picnics are everywhere. The only thing missing is THE FRIKKIN' SUNSHIN!E! (sense that bitterness in my tone?) :)
Due to the ongoing rain (ARGH!), I spent a the afternoon reading a book in the cabin and then wandering to a grocery store for some food to cook tonight. Despite the rain, I do like this place and where we're staying
Thought #3) I finally got a new Mate, Bombilla and fresh Yerba. I was a little disappointed to discover that my taste for Mate has dissipated a little. It's a little too strong tasting for me now. I'll still enjoy it, just because, but when we get to Buenos Aires and have the heat and sunshine beating down on us I will thoroughly enjoy the Terere' style (which is using cold grapefruit soda instead of hot water...I know, sounds gross, but I sure used to love it when I lived here!)
Thought #4) I think I need a few more down days than we've been taking. It always takes a while to get into the groove of traveling and I think I'm almost there, but I think a little slower pace might be in order --not slower as in less miles / time on the bike on ride days but perhaps a few more rest days than we've taken so far.
Thought #5) Does anyone find a huge difference between "Vacation" and "Traveling"? I view what we're doing now as traveling. Not vacation. Both are wonderful and have their places but they're very much not the same thing. I haven't really been traveling in a while and I find that I've missed it and also that I've forgotten that it's a bit harder than vacation.
Thought #6) Oh how I've missed and love Argentine Castellano! It's coming back fast for me the other day the owner of the cabin we're staying in didn't believe I wasn't Argentine because my accent was perfect. I'm sure she could quickly tell that I'm not a native speaker as soon as she realized my vocabulary isn't complete nor are my verb tenses correct a lot of the time. However, it's enough to make me happy.
Thought #7) I really thought Argentina would be cheaper. It's not like we're spending tons of money on places to sleep but where the guide book (a 2012 edition) says a specific hotel should be $15 we're finding them to be more like $50 or $60. I wonder if it's just a seasonal difference or if we're missing something.
Thought #8) We packed a lot of stuff. Probably far more than we needed. But so far the only things that we haven't used yet (aside from some spare parts) are 1) a set of dishes/utensils we got from REI right before we left. Poodle and I are uncivilized and eat straight from the pot when cooking on the camp stove. and 2) some of the warmer clothes we brought for colder weather farther south and 3) a water filter that we don't need.