We spent the night among new friends.
Six months ago or so, Jason had met Simon and Marie-Claude at a gas station just inside Argentina on the Santiago-Mendoza border. They were having trouble with the bus they had just bought in Santiago, so he sent them to Beto (where we had just left) for repairs. They’d kept in touch and though we had different circuitous routes around Chile and Argentina, they caught up with us. We were able to warn them to bring extra gas down the Careterra Austral. They had reached Coyhaique the night we left and said it was a ghost town with only 1 restaurant open. They left the next day and surprised us in Rio Mayo.
Maria and Patrik and 2-year old Elias had emailed us and offered to help us by meeting us somewhere with gasoline, but they too had trouble finding it in Argentina. They’d been stuck in El Bolson for a few days. They also pulled up unexpectedly in the campsite at Rio Mayo. It was a weird day.
The next day we had a lot of trouble deciding on a route, but finally we said goodbye to Phil and got moving. The first part of the drive had all 3 VWs in a convoy. But we stopped with Simon and MC in Perito Moreno for a couple days while Maria and Patrick kept going. We’re hoping to catch up with them later.
Ruta 40 (La Cuarenta) is a highway that runs the length of Argentina. This particular stretch through Patagonia is infamous because it is largely unpaved and sparsely populated. We did find some pavement near Perito Moreno, so that was nice. And, it’s nice traveling with others, especially after being stuck in Coyhaique for so long.
Since Simon and Bode seem to have the same fascination with zombies, the dinner conversations are quite interesting too.