VIEDMA, NOT SO "UNREMARKABLE"

Trip Start Dec 03, 2008
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Trip End Oct 14, 2009


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Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Monday, January 12, 2009

Our 6 hour bus ride from Puerto Madryn to Viedma was the most interesting one yet. First of all, I was so happy when they played Meet the Parent's! Even though it was in Spanish, it was still great. We've been waiting for some good movies on these long bus trips - they have played some awful ones (Brian suggests watching Death Race if you want to waist two hours of your life). After that, Meet the Focker's came on - also in Spanish. It was good they played movies, because the landscape was nothing but completely flat Patagonian steppe with and few bushes here and there. There weren't even farm houses - there was literally nothing. A few times we saw some cattle wondering around, but it just made us wonder where on Earth the farm was that they came from - they must have had to walk for miles and miles. So, things were good on the bus until we stopped at a gas station and they told us we had a 10 minute break to get off the bus. I went in and got some ice cream. When I got back on the bus I saw some cops standing outside the door to the bus and one of them was shoving one of the bus drivers. Come to find out, two of the drivers on our bus had gotten in a fist fight! The police just happened to be at the station filling up. So, what was supposed to be a 10 minute stopover, was actually over an hour. We could easily tell who had been in the fight - one of them wore sunglasses the rest of the ride because he had gotten a black eye. But finally, we made it to Viedma - during a thunderstorm.

Lonely Planet describes Viedma as "unremarkable", but so far we have really enjoyed it. It sits right on the Rio Negro river and across on the other side is another small cute little historical town called Carmen de Patagonias. The first day here we went to 3 different museums in town. We got through them so fast because none of them had anything in English, so most of the time we had no idea what we were looking at - but it was still fun. That afternoon, we took a little ferry across the river to the Carmen de Patagonias where we walked around the hilly stone cobbled streets and got rained on.  You can either take a large bridge across - that is mainly used for cars - or a $0.50 ferry.

As soon as we got on the ferry it started pouring. We were just glad we took our rain coats with us. As soon as we got back to Viedma, it completely cleared up, so that was nice. That night we played cards outside on the patio and drank some muy bueno vino.

Luckily, our hostel let us use their kitchen, which I don't think they usually do for people. It is a great hostel. One of the best breakfasts we've come across so far too. They even have orange juice, fruit and milk! Usually, we just get bread and water. We got a nice room but it had one of those showers that just comes out of the side of the wall in the bathroom (Brian calls them Shower Sh*ters). Everything gets wet and we have to squeegee the floor afterwards. Fun stuff.

The other day we spent at the river front in Viedma. All the locals gather here in the afternoon and swim. Because it is so close to the ocean, when the tide comes in, the river water can't flow into the ocean from the river. The river rises at least 20 feet EVERY afternoon! Crazy! Yesterday around 3pm we swam and the water was flowing over the riverfront walkway. Today about 11am we walked down by it and it looked like boats couldn't even float on it, it was so low. Very interesting river.

I'm still trying to understand why this city is considered so "unremarkable". We highly suggest it to people who want to get off the beaten path - and stay at El Vasco - because it's great!

Also, side note: I don't know what it is about South America, but I have never seen so many people with their zippers down (including my own). Everywhere we go, I seem to find a couple more people that didn't zip up...really, everywhere.

So now we are waiting for our 6 o'clock bus ride to Buenos Aires. It's an overnight ride but at least we splurged for Cama seats (which recline full length into a bed). It's been really hot down here as we've moved further north out of Patagonia, so try and send some of those cooler temps our way and we'll do the same.
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Comments

the.squids
the.squids on

nice blog! We are in Viedma right now working and it was nice to see that other people can appreciate it. Gracias a los dos! Un abrazo!

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