when i last left you, i was in the company of my intrepid argentine adventrurer friend in puerto madryn.
we spent a night there, staying with friends of his, sonia, her son mauro, his (seventeen year old) girlfriend pamela, and their seven month old son astor. much maté was had, and a very tasty patagonian tort that i can´t for the life of me remember the name of.
we decided to head out on the night bus to trelew where we could pick up a collectivo to ruta 3 and spend the night at the station and wait for a truck. before that, though, ché b. needed to find some porro material and so we stopped at to see a friend of his at the feria artesenal. while he went off and did stuff, i stayed with the bags and played accordeon, attracting the attention of nearly every one of the artisans who came over to ask if they could try it out. i walked around and found a necklace for a certain someone who has helped me out quite a bit, no names yet it´s a surprise, and one for myself, and the artisan threw in a free piece of petrified wood from a prehistoric forest in the heart of patagonia.
of course i had to put it in my hair.. if not, i´d lose it, for sure.
by that point the children of the artisans all came over and started playing with my midget. and then started fighting over it. so i had to put it away.

we got on our merry way and got into trelew at 23h30, and then jumped on a bus to the outskirts of town and spent the night drinking maté, chatting and exchanging travel stories. at 6 we went to a station about 1km away where there were more trucks and therefore a better chance of getting picked up. after about an hour, i furiously started rubbing my thumb on my st christopher medal, and roughly 10 minutes later a trucker who had said he was going to ushuaia but didn´t want any hitchers finally honked at us and told us he´d leave us at comodoro rivadavia.

his name was claudio and he´d been driving for 10 years. he married a french girl and was expecting a child. he liked dire straits, the grateful dead, traditional argentine folk and old metal a la g n´r, and had a battered copy of castaneda´s the teachings of don juan in his truck. i figured he couldn´t be a bad guy!
he fed me some sort of pickled cow tongue for dinner, and i HATE tongue, reminds me of summers at my grandparents´ with my cousins, looking at eachother wondering how we were going to succeed in stomaching my grandmother´s leathery, slimy tongue dishes. but this was actually pretty tasty, maybe because it was in between two pieces of bread and i´d been living off of cheese and crackers for 2 days.

or maybe it´s just my grandmother´s cooking was nasty and tongue is actually pretty good.

after a joint and a couple matés he decided he´d bring us all the way to rio gallegos. so we spent the night sleeping in a field under THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SKY EVER (tm), i saw 3 shooting stars in less than a minute, and could clearly see the milky way and satellites. amaaaaaazing, as jes would say.

this morning at 5 we took off and i saw the sun rise over the plains and almost cried. every fibre of my being started to sing and i swear i felt i was going to have a heart attack my heart was going so fast. guanacos looking up at me, and then away, jaded, "another one of them killing machines, meh, ooOoOoh, look, a shrub!" *chomp*. claudio put on use your illusion and did his best axl rose impression while i threw on my hat and did my best slash impression and we all burst out laughing.
he drove us 1200km to a gas station called san cristobal (GASP! A GOOD OMEN? not really.) here in rio gallegos where i´ve been since 10 am.

i said my goodbyes to ché b. and we parted, and i tried and tried and tried to find someone to jump on with but they´re all going north to el calafate, so i decided to walk down ruta 3 through the city and ran into che b who kindly offered to buy me a beer and some internet time.

it´s a shame claudio didn´t bring me all the way to ushuaia, cause now i´m stuck in this sandy, depressing town and no one wants to pick me up, and the bus costs over 100 pesos and i have 200 pesos for the next two weeks so that´s not really an option. my options are either stick it out until someone picks me up, or stick it out until tomorrow at noon and take a bus to punta arenas in chile.

in the meantime.

patagonia is beautiful. i think i´m in love with her. every night i sleep with her, and every morning i wake up to find her peeling off another layer for me to discover.

now. my main concern is getting the fuck out of here.

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