Asado under the lighthouse

Trip Start Mar 01, 2006
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Trip End Dec 01, 2007


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Friday, March 2, 2007

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I woke up at aroun 7 in the trailer, and saw the morning light: a nice orange hollow was peering through the curtains, and I knew the sky was clear.
We got up at around 9, and got ready for 10. Fabio had got up earlier and taken back croissants and hot water, so we had a proper breakfast with coffee.
At 10 Hector came to pick us up.
 
We went to his place, where we picked up his son Leandro and a friend of theirs Maximiliano, who both were with us on the boat to Isla de los Pinguinos the day before.
We attached the trailer (small trailer with the diving equipment) to the 4WD, picked up Leonel, the life guard of the swimming pool, who was going to dive with us.
On the way out of town we stopped to buy the drinks and wine for the asado. The boss at the shop was a friend of Hector, and was our "safety": he had to expect our return at around 7pm, as the place we were going to was remote and not connected at all. Discussing with the guy, he told me his grandpa was from France, from Tarbes in fact, and thatīs just 20km from where I live, and thatīs also where I went to university for 4 years,
 
Off we went, and first things first: while Hector was driving Leonel was serving the mate to all  seven of us in the car.
 
We were getting somewhere completely lost. After 20minutes and a police checkpoint, we took a ripio (gravel road) across the pampa, and there was nothing at all, except a sign every 20 km indicating the way to an estancia another 20km away. We drove one hour.
 
The lighhouse of Cabo Blanco appeared as we were driving past a huge salina, which is a depression in which salt deposits and forms a white bowl ofseveral kilometers in diameter, with bacterias adding in some places a pink color. Cabo Blanco used to be a stopover for fishing ships which would fill up on salt. We arrived on the cape, near the lighthouse. There was an old construction, that was a telegraph station from the time when they wanted to install a coastal telegraph.
 
The dive entry was on a gravel beach under the lighthouse, but there were too much waves, and entering and exiting the water would have been too dangerous.
 
Hector went to prepare the asado, while the rest of us climbed up to the lighhouse. The view from up there was incredible, the place was incredible. We could hear the sea lions on the nearby islands, barking at each other. There were quite a lot of them, many babies, and near a hundred in the water, diving and swimming and fishing. The wind was very strong too, the sky was blue and the sea was a darker blue, from up there we could see the cape was between two large beaches and it is a special place, a place that is unique, where you can just sit and feel the nature, the earth, the universe, yourself, everything, without even thinking about it. A place that gives men the will to live, just as a small creature, to simply enjoy their being.
 
We paid a visit to the lighthouse wardens, who lived in a house just a bit lower on the cliffs. They were two young soldiers of Armada Argentina. They work in 25 days rotations. The house was big, they even had a ping pong table and a fishing rod, a serious one. They also had a radio and a register of visits, that we filled up. They explained us the type of work they were doing there, mainly controlling traffic and helping organise it. Cabo Blanco is not a big settlement but it is an important maritime place, as many boats pass by on their way to fishing zones, and as it is used as a ravitailment place sometimes.
 
We went down to the rocks on the coast, and found Hector and the asado, which was not ready yet. The sea was no better than before, so we continued our excursion visiting the rocks. We fond Leandro fishing in front of two islands where a big colony of imperial cormorans nested. Maybe I forgot to mention, after the pinguins my favourite birds are cormorans(unless there are macareux, but these I saw only once in Scotland).
 
We walked further, Leonel telling us about the geologic creation of the place, which was first thought as the result of a volcanic eruption, but that more recent studies describeas theresult of an explosion from a tectonic rupture.
And also the place had been used by the local indians as a summer camp, where they could shelter in the rocks while hunting sea animals and picking up fruits. The kind of rock  was definitely suited for making stone tools.
 
We came by a siphon, as they call it, where the waves shoot out of the rocks in a geyser fashion after going through a subteranean anfractuosity.
 
Finally we had our asaso of cerdo (lamb), it was great, and there was chorizo too, which is a big beef sausage, tasty and greasy, that you eat as a sandwich they call a choripan. We did not drink too much wine, in case we could dive later.
 
So out there we were Me and Lionel the swiss and Fabio the Argentinian who was travelling with us, and then the locals Hector and Leonel and Massi and Leandro. The whole time, we were not really in an excursion, they were having as good a time as us, like a weekend picnic with friends. Tranquilo. We had lots of discussions, and it was just so nice, eating the meat when each piece was perfectly cooked, walking on the rocks, chating, resting, just hanging around.
 
At around 6pm we decided it was time to leave, and when all was ready, Hector said that it was a shame that we were leaving cause the sea looked better than before...
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