Start: February 28, Bariloche
Finish: March 23, Buenos Aires
Pounds of meat devoured in one sitting: 7
Times Luis did the dishes: 1
Three days after the self-inflicted meat coma that resulted from the Badass Bariloche Bovine Bonanza we head to the Argentinian lakes district for a little fresh air and maybe some salad. We finish the last photos for the upcoming cookbook and haul it to Buenos Aires to get some pages added to passports and visas for Brazil.
We spend nearly a week in a amazing apartment with our totally famous friends Luis and Lacey from Lost World Expedition. And finally meet up with Ruined Adventures before gorging ourselves on the best steaks and miscellaneous cow innards we have had on our journey thus far.
Our first stop in the Argentinian lakes district was not as glamorous as our previous digs, but then again, it was free. Soon after we set up our totally awesome $6.99 Chilean tarp awning, Luis and Lacey form Lost World Expeditions made an appearance. We construct a mini tarp city and spend most of the evening wishing for better weather.
The next day we head north to another camping spot on the river. It used to be a free camp, but now under new management with established fire rings, hot showers, and one fat price tag. But with a crystal-clear river and one spectacular view, we weren't complaining.
The only hitch was the lack of running water. Luis whips out a 12-volt water pump, wires it to his battery, adds a hose here and there and before you know it we have running water. So much for not doing the dishes.
Unfortunately the sunny weather doesn't last long and we spend the better part of two days huddled under tarps talking about food. Jessica mentions that there are still some photos that need to be taken for the cookbook: apple pie, curry, naan bread, pulled pork, South African fruit chutney and the newly added arepas recipe.
And just like that we have Luis and Lacey along for the ride, afterall, someone needs to taste test the recipes.
Just outside of San Martin de Los Andes, we veer to the west and find a great place called Quila Quina. Speedy internet, huge shelters and nice even lighting for cookbook photos.
First up, apple pie. Freshly baked over charcoal. Yes, that is possible. Photos were promptly taken and the pie consumed. I am not sure it survived until lunch the next day, something about coffee and apple pie and starting the morning off on the right foot.
For dinner, we make Jared's apple curry, a dish he learned to make while living in Holland. Jessica, our food photographer has to take the perfect photo before we can start eating. Murder for the starving overlander I tell ya.
After dinner we take the sixth and final photo for the day, slow roasted pulled pork. The wafts of which have been filling the air for 5 straight hours.
How do you test the pulled pork recipe you ask? Why you stuff it in the fresh grilled arepas. Did I mention writing a cookbook, taking photos and taste testing every recipe is a bad way to keep up with ones girlish figure?
Photos done, and the weather still freezing and rainy, we decide to finally head east toward Buenos Aires. After a couple very long days on the road we find a quiet campground in the town of Reta. The sunset on the beach with a beer in hand is just what was needed to prepare for the next days drive to Buenos Aires. Rumors had it that the traffic is some of the worst in Latin America.
After a stressful few hours we arrived in BA along with Lost World Expedition and moved into our fantastic apartment for the next five days. The apartment had all the luxuries, a jacuzzi, air conditioning, ridiculously fast internet and an at-cost wine menu. What more could five overlanders ask for?
With a well stocked kitchen, meals were made and wines consumed. Cookbook titles discussed, dismissed, finalists considered, revised and filed under "we should not be coming up with titles while drunk."
In order to keep the sanity when traveling with three people, we've had to make some rules. And one of the most important is that if you cook, you don't do the dishes. And if you didn't cook, you better get to scrubbin'. So, what do you do when Jared cooks and only one person can fit in the kitchen? You let Luis do the dishes.
But seriously, if you ever meet these guys, have Luis do the dishes.
We heard rumors of a fantabulous steak house with a 40% off discount if you get in by 7pm. Happy hour steak, this needs to be everywhere. The day before we finally met up with the crazy cats known as Ruined Adventures who joined us with Luis and Lacy on our way to a feast most fancy. As you can tell by Jessica's "hey guys the train is here" jump a.k.a "I want meat, so hurry the hell up" this is going to be a interesting night.
A group of overlanders seven strong, in a parrilla. No problem, right?
Turns out that all the tables are booked for 8pm, meaning that if the doors open at 7 you have exactly 1 hour to be seated, order, eat, drink, pay your tab and get the hell out.
With 20 minutes to go our food and bottle of wine arrives. Our tour guide and foodie for the night, none other than Luis (the lesser spotted woolly mammoth) and the lovely Lacey ordered beef loin and tripe. The best tripe I have ever tasted I might add.
Jared, not wasting any time, chows down on his steak as Brenton and Shannon put on their game faces.
Jessica poses while halfway done with her 1¼ pound rib-eye and the 45 million tiny side dishes that accompany the delicious hunk-o-meat. Tell me again why we ordered a salad?
Not being ones to waste food, we devoured every morsel, paid the bill and walked out the door with minutes to spare. Some of the best steak in Argentina at 40% off, ohhh yeah.
The best way to fight off meat sweats? A piggy back ride of course! The crew from Ruined Adventures shows us how it is done. Long time internet acquaintances, newly discovered overlanding soul mates, we can't wait to see this crazy couple again at Overland Expo in May.
Narrowly avoiding another meat coma, we set out to conquer the streets of Buenos Aires. Mission #1 is to locate a place that will change USD into Argentinean pesos for the blue rate. Best offer for the day? 8.2 peso for every 1 dollar. Almost double the official rate. Wahoo!
Jared becomes our "official" tour guide we head to the main square. I tried to tell him to make up some crap about the history of the landmarks and talk as loud as possible so the other English speaking tourists could listen in. He wasn't having any part of it. So, we headed back the luxury of our apartment to consume excessive amounts of wine. Again.
The following day we head to the Uruguayan border, lured by the promise of yet more obscenely delicious piles of grilled meat. I'm sensing a theme developing in South America.
This is the last photo we took of Ruined Adventures before they turned off the freeway and promptly broke down miles from the border only to spent the night in a gas station parking lot before discovering they had run out of fuel. Sorry we abandoned you dudes.
Up next: We head over to the river to Uruguay and discover the parrillas of Montevideo.