South America, Part Two
As I mentioned before there were four of on this trip. Al, Barry, Perry and Terry. Three guides from Montana and Terry the salesman from L.A.
With the slow fishing on the Rio Grande and the fact that we were almost completey out of food, we decided to break camp and head to Argentina. We finished off the lamb while we were waiting for the ferry to go back across the straits and it was still delicious. On the trip over the wind wasn’t too bad and although still a bit rough in that little ferry. On this day as we waited and watched across the straits all of us were very quiet. The wind was howling and the sea was quite angry. I finally told the guys that I didn’t think that little ferry would be coming today, but Perry said I think I see it. As we watched you could see this thing coming a ways off and then it would dissapear behind the crest of a wave. It finally got there and we headed back across. I went up on deck with the video camera to capture some of this on film but as the first wave came crashing over the bow it sent me below in a hurry. For the rest of the voyage we all stayed huddled in our rented vehicle with fingers crossed. What makes it really scary is that the coast all along there is littered with wrecked ships.
We were still in Chile so we took a right turn and headed for the Argentine border. When we got there we must have looked a bit rough or something as the border guards decided to search the entire vehicle. They were doing quite a thorough search and then one started yelling something and pointed to this bag. He was motioning to me to take it out and so I did. It was what was left of our meager food supply–a partial bag of potatoes. We had forgot about and it is illegal take any veggies or fruit across the border. He kept yelling at me and Perry said I think he wants you to put in that incinerator over there. I started to do that and he started yelling louder and was waving his M16. I thought now this is great, I’m gonna get blown away for a baggie of papas (potatoes). He kept pointing his rifle at this other bin and I was saying okay, okay, just don’t shoot me. When I got there I could see why he wanted it there instead of the incinerator. There was enough booty (fruits and veggies) to feed all the guards and their families for a week. With that little episode over and the other guys laughing and commenting about how they thought for awhile that he was really gonna shoot me, we headed into Southern Patagonia. We made for the city of Rio Gallegos which is a seaport on the southern coast. We were in desperate need of provisions,tires and a shower and we almost made it there when we blew another tire. A friendly Argentine couple took pity on us and gave us a ride to town. They actually videoed us, our truck and blown tires. The guy at the tire shop didn’t take any pity on us. For a used, bald tire he charged us $100 and it was take it or leave it. As we were driving into town we saw this sign that read, Nevada Hotel and we all said that’s us.
That evening we thought we would go out and check out the town. Terry from L.A. heard about some strip joint and of course he had to go and finally coaxed Perry to go with him. Barry and I went to a local bar just a couple blocks from the hotel. They were having kind of karokee event going on but without the karokee machine, just a couple guys playing background music. The locals would get up and sing their favorite song and they were really good. At one point this really good looking gal got up and did this traditional Argentine dance (fully clothed through all of it I might add). It was a sort of dance where she was trying to entice her lover. All he did was stand there while she whirled around him and kept looping this long scarf around his neck and slowly pulling it off in a teasing manner. I thought to myself, now this is my type of dance partner. It was the sexiest thing I ever saw.
Terry and Perry got back to the hotel about 4:00 am and completely broke. They refused to comment about the events at the strip joint. Perry just mumbled something that he was never going to go with him again.
Let me back up a bit and relate another event with Terry from L.A. the Mr. Lady’s Man who is gonna show us hicks from Montana how to have a good time. On our way from Punta Arenas down to the Straits we came across this little local joint that had a couple rooms in the back for rent, so we decided to stay there rather than setting a camp somewhere for the night as it was already dark and we couldn’t get the ferry until morning. When we went in there were about a half dozen local gauchos just having a good time . Mr. Hollywood started to freak out and kept saying that they were going to mug us, and rape us and steal out truck and god knows what else. By now he was starting to tick me off and I told him they were no different than ranch hands in Montana having a good time on Saturday night and why don’t you go sit in the truck and lock the doors—so he did. After about an hour these gauchos were wearing our baseball caps and we were wearing their traditional berets and just having a blast. Mr. Hollywood was still sitting out in the truck armed with a broken beer bottle waiting for the attack.