Sunday 9th February 2014
Puerto Madryn to Azul, Argentina (1,002km)
Today we were up at 3:30am to pack up our tents and set off at 4:30am for the extremely long drive out of Patagonia towards Buenos Aires. The weather today is fine and warm – we dozed on the truck for the first couple of hours and then again after the first stop. On the second stop in a small town we had breakfast by the side of the road and continued north towards our next camp site at Azul which is only about 300-400km from Buenos Aires. The countryside is flat and is mostly farming land where there are cattle, sheep and some horses as well as fields of a yellow looking grass type crop. There are more trees as you travel further north and it is not so windy, but essentially it is flat and mostly featureless with very few settlements between the large towns, only petrol stations that have (mostly) very nice clean toilet facilities. Each time we stop, all the group get off the truck and the young ones buy drinks, lollies, chocolates, ice creams etc. We appear to be good business for the service stations. We finally arrived at the campsite near the town of Azul. Seems like a very nice town because, as we drove through town, there were lots of locals picnicking in the park in the early evening and we eventually realised there was to be some kind of festivity. We took a shower – interesting glass shower doors for a public facility – then hung out our wet washing we had carried from the previous camp site. We walked up the road to the local shop and sat around chatting until a late dinner was ready. We went to bed around midnight and went to sleep listening to some dreadful singing at the festivity and, what sounded like, a motorbike grand prix in the streets.
Monday 10th February 2014
Azul to Buenos Aires, Argentina
Bonus, a sleep-in – left at 9am today heading towards Buenos Aires. It is fine and warm (about 28C today). We made the usual stops at service stations on the way to go to the toilet, buy coffee, sweets etc. We arrived in Buenos Aires at around 3:30pm and it was raining by then. It was apparent by the waterlogged fields on the way that the area had had heavy rain recently. Because we were staying in a hostel on the Florida, which is a pedestrian mall right in the centre of the city, the truck stopped around the corner and we walked the last 300 metres with all of our bags. We had asked for an upgrade (double room with ensuite) so for the next four nights we are able to be together instead of being in a dorm with another couple. Duly arranged for a small extra cost, we went to our room on the 7th floor with a view of the street down below. After an aperitif we met the group again downstairs and walked to the old port (now beautiful new apartments) and had a bit of a familiarisation stroll – we then came back and went out to dinner at a famous pizza restaurant. Very nice dinner then back to bed – pure luxury after the tent for the past few days.