n:roomlavaropas:washing machine. Very easy to find inSouth American laundromats known as
, are less common.autoservicio:Self-service gas station or market.hostel:Most accommodations for trekkers in thePatagonia bear the name
.lomo:beef tenderloinsin planos:without plansbife de chorizo:New York-style strip steak. A less
expensive but equally delicious alternative to the
a = Mrs.
aremore commonly used as spoken titles.
The little cinder block garage that housed the washer wasa multipurpose facility: garage for the bus that had broughtus home, laundry room for the
and occasionalgringo guests, and rehearsal room for the son’s band. This,of course, was the same band that had kept us up lateonly four nights earlier.Long, hot showers were in order for both of us as well as a box of
down the street. Before leaving for dinner,I went across the street and grabbed our fine washables. For a “dryer,” westrung nylon trail ropes between the two twin beds and hung our wetclothes on them to dry. This experiment would fail miserably. We strolled down Main Street at 22:00 lookin’ for
in all the wrong places. “Weird menu,” “No beer,” and “Too expensive” were ourreactions to the first three spots that we checked out. Fortunately, wefound the
, a small cornerside restaurant with great music andframed posters from the Bogart/Bergman classic.
Bife de chorizo con papas fritas
and a frosty
only set us back ten pesos apiece.Over a second cold
, we laughed about the few stressfulmoments of the past ten days that now seemed downright hilarious onreflection. The first night’s quest for lodging in Rio Gallegos, thethunderstorm greeting in Torres del Paine, the Love Bus, the Ricardoparanoia and the ongoing uncertainty over how we should proceed upthe Chilean coast given our shortage of both time and money. If we hadlearned anything since leaving Buenos Aires, it was that traveling
was the only way to fly. More importantly, we had both learned someinvaluable lessons in teamwork, culture and communication never beforeacquired in the classroom or the cubicle.In search of a nightcap, we ambled down
where we found the rumored hotspot of El Calafate,
DonDiego de la Noche
.Unfortunately for us, ol’Diego must have turned inearly. The live band, theyoung bartender told us, hadpacked up promptly at23:00.