Argentina is across the river…

Well, it happened again. Bode got a little carried away playing with his bigger friends and ended up with a dislocated elbow. It had happened twice before, once back in the States, and again in Mexico.

The problem was that we were camping in the middle of Tierra del Fuego, Chile.  And, it was almost dark.

Although we had planned to meet the gang in Rio Grande, Argentina later the next day, they all decided to get up early and follow us to the hospital. This is actually a big deal with our group… it takes a while to pack up 2 tents, 2 VW’s and a motorcycle in camp mode. But, we enjoyed an amazing sunrise as we drove the last of the road in Chile.

Bode was a trooper. He declared he would not be able to do any schoolwork for 3 more days, and conned me into watching the Smurf movie (I had previously said that I would never watch that with him). We kept the bed down and stayed under the covers for the first few hours of the drive. It was damn cold.

The Chile border office at Pasa Bella Vista was small – in fact it looked closed. Then, two guys came outside and stamped us out – we didn’t even go inside. Good thing it was quick because it was not easy getting Bode out of bed and bundled up. They told us the Argentina office was across the river.

Then we drove another kilometer to find that the river crossing does not include a bridge. The guys got out and started the head scratching. A border official on the other side walked out and motions where we should drive, and our caravan plowed through. Paul went first, gunning the motorcycle and lifting his legs.

Camille and I rode in Fern so I could get some good shots of Red Beard swimming.

Immigration was slow and by hand, but eventually we all got stamped in with vehicle approvals for Argentina. No food inspections, which was a nice surprise.

A few hours later – after getting caught in a Patagonian traffic jam, and with time for Simon to destroy his alternator pulley – we pulled into the hospital in Rio Grande. Simon and MC accompaned me in to help translate. Jason went to find an ATM, since we were sure we didn’t have enough pesos for the visit.

We were directed to the Guardia (urgent care) and led immediately into a pediatrics room. Before I had shuffled the Uno cards, a nice English-speaking doctor appeared. He took a look and asked a few questions. Then, Bode let out a shriek as the doctor swiftly snapped his arm back into place. Quick. Efficient. Friendly. Free. No paperwork. Damn this anti-American socialist system.

We were out of the hospital and on our way back to our friends within 20 minutes, just as Jason returned with effectivo.  It was a good start to the day.

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