... Just rested up in a '4x4 pick-up' farming town, 1 good museo, so quiet, so still...
‘pissing down with rain on boring old Mondays', Weller sang, got that right, mountain passes slowly, bleached skies, blanched mountains, coffee, cafe and Camus, all that’s missing, a whiff of Galaouis… Even French hip-hop in background.
Travel tip - on a long wait a for transfer, take a half-day excursion, fills time between raindrops and coffee.
Watery sun, big bagged hikers, boots and North Face suits, hiking towns all over the world, pints and pies, pintas con empanadas, sun and rain.
Overnight buses, even in the wide open Patagonia badlands, ain't Hollywood, swaying, crunching, stone roads, overheated, and under slept, cooled at Gas station, and then slept ‘til dawn broke. Purples, oranges, and gold, hills distant black, a horse, a llama, that’s life in 20 minutes on Patagonia's plateau.
Bus station still to open at 7-15, bags into town, most welcome coffee in weeks, watched small town Petrio wake slowly, cars, dogs, bread, school, work, sit, sip, read, reflect. 20mins and the rush's done, just wind shakes trees and Tuesday Tuesday torpor.
Workaday towns, seeing them wake, ain’t all pancakes, chocolate with oat milk, and ‘Camino’ chatter, not a North Face jacket in sight.
Long day, but amazing, curve de manos, 8,000 year old humans' skill and Intelligence, or just pre-history tagging, what ever... Impressive, simple colours, how was it discovered, couple o’hundred feet up on cliff face, how did they paint the ceiling? more than expected, valley hugging walk, thin strip of valley floor life . Storms drifting in, skies immense, dwarfing a horizon of hills God knows how far away. Caliante Canyon stroll, flecks of rain, hot bald head, welcome cooling touches, momentary marriage, inside smiles.
Learnt how to pay through ‘whatsapp’, good for tech slow adopter AND... Saw first real Gaucho, horse, hat, 3 dogs, 2 cows, gone before camera found.
Mainly spanish travel mates, but tech talk has context, weather, glacial history, biology, GCSEs even 45 years old go a long way… Understood more than expected, tour guide scored understanding 7/10, but spanish at 4/10. More work, or money for lessons need…
‘ALL TIME 20 BEST USA, FM ROCK TRACKS… EVER!!’ on every bloody bus!!
Patagonia's dirty stepps, sweeping Andes to coastal Commodoro, the stepps flat, treeless as ever, even less grass, shorter shrubs, more wind. Then clusters of nodding donkeys, silver pipes, rusted storage tanks, yesireeee Texas comes to town… waste lands of wasted lands, oil pits, abandoned shanties, oil in the air, and under the stepp. Dogs wild, so do the towns, still with so much open space they reckon an odd eco-disaster is worth the price. Depressing journey, an alternative Argentina, suppose summat has to give in a nation in crisis. But then sun shadow’s, dark Atlantic, golden sweeping bays, truly beauty and the beast.