Trip Start Aug 03, 2010
152Trip End Feb 01, 2012
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Where I stayed
Camped in Rover
More driving… around sunset, we pulled into a campground and discovered recent rains left an inch-thick layer of slick mud over hard, clay-like earth, creating a near impossible driving situation. On a perfectly flat surface, all four wheels spun and got us nowhere, tire treads filled with mud that looked exactly like chocolate frosting (yum!) we slipped and slid as if on ice. Steve lamented not having mud-tires on Rover (a big debate he had with himself before leaving, he decided on tires that would be better on sand and road than in mud). A traction mat placed just right and a lot of pushing allowed us to get free and find a place that would be easier to negotiate. We found a campsite along the Uruguay River and celebrated our mud escape with a whiskey and coke. We sat overlooking the river, enjoying the mild climate, listening to cows mooing and roosters crowing in Brazil, on the opposite bank. Rain descended on us in the night and all the next day, everything was wet.
The heat of driving helped dry everything out. We found another campground near another river, a nice family welcomed us and gave us a big fish they caught earlier, we wrapped it in foil with butter, garlic and onions and cooked it in a fire. After dinner a man came whistling into our camp nonchalantly carrying a rifle (we didn’t feel threatened although at times it aimed at our faces, he made no attempt to point it away). From his high-speed Argentine Spanish we gathered that he was a policeman living up the road and would we want to join him for lunch tomorrow. Well, OK. Turns out Robby was there hunting capybara (the worlds largest rodent) on his vacation and he’s an excellent cook. He made capybara milanesa from a 100 pound capybara that he caught and it was delicious. We stayed a few days, experienced more rain, and more Argentine generosity as he ended up feeding us lunch three days in a row.
After five days of slowly meandering, we made it to Ibera, but not without some more driving excitement. The road was muddy and slippery after the rain. Again, we slipped and slid as if on ice, I’m glad I wasn’t driving, Steve managed to keep us from going into a ditch. Ibera has a great campground including wood-heated showers (much appreciated after many days of camping) and quinchos with parrillas (thatched roofs with bbq’s) making for a comfortable camping arrangement. Unfortunately both of us had colds and just convalesced for a few days. It was nice to have somewhere to hunker down during more wind, rain, lightning and thunder… we vowed to go inland where the weather is dryer.
Our next destination is a National Park on the other side of the estuary. It’s a short distance as the crow flies, but we’re not crows, so we’ll have to drive around the swampland to the other side.