Sunday 7 May 2006

The End of the Patagonian Adventure

Musician at El Jarro, BarilocheMy last day/night in Bariloche and Patagonia. I was determined to make it a good one. I was going to take Nico (F) up on his suggestion of going up to Refugio Frey for the day, enjoy the short trek and have a look around. As it happened, the weather was grey this morning, so I decided to skip it. It cleared up in the afternoon, so I had a bit of a wander around enjoying the sunshine.

I popped down to the internet place to check up on emails and found that while I had been up in the mountains, both IMD and INSEAD invited me to interview. Woohoo! Definite celebrations tonight!

Later, I went back to the hostel and sat down in the common room chatting with some of the guys there. A young lad from Dorset, Brandon, challenged me to a game of Scrabble... he'd lost just yesterday to a Dutch guy, so I didn't think too much of it. Rightly so. He then got beaten by the Dutch guy again.

Getting lateish, Brandon and I went down to the supermarket to get dinner. He was on a tight budget tonight so opted for some crappy food. I went for a prime cut of steak etc and a nice enough bottle of wine, a Norton Roble Malbec. That went down a treat.

We decided to head out for a few drinks later, along with the Dutch guy and one of the two Germans. Given that nothing happens before midnight at the earliest, we sat down to watch Terminator 2.

12.30, we moved out to El Jarro (means something like 'the tankard'). What a great, little place! Almost entirely full of Bariloche locals plus a couple of Italians in the corner and someone claiming to be from Buenos Aires behind us. An old chap was sitting at the front strumming his guitar, singing Argentian folk songs. This isn't Morris dancing pap. And he was very good. Later, he was replaced by a couple of slightly younger guys playing the same kind of music. Well, the night flowed on, so did the Quilmes and when the munchies came on, we starting ordering rounds of delicious meat empanadas.

Brandon revealed possibly the most ridiculous tatoo ever. He claimed it was a joke, the result of some bet: plastered across his belly, in gothic characters was 'Extreme!!'. He turned out to be anything but extreme, flinching at the slightly warm empanadas. By 2am, he was under the table and crawled home.

Around 4am, 3 Argentian guys came in, one wearing a River shirt. Along with Boca, River is one of the two top football clubs here, based in BA. They sat at the table next to us and we were soon chatting and taking the piss out of River, just because he was wearing the shirt and his friends were too. Soon enough we were best of mates. Mr. River was talking away to the German guy, both of them fully aware that he couldn't understand a word of Spanish.

They ended up paying for nearly our entire bar tab plus a whole load more empanadas. The night cost us around 30 pesos between us. At some point after 5am, the music finished and we headed out. On the way back, we decided to drop into a nightclub. I was walking ahead of the Belgian and German, with the 3 locals. When we got to the door, the doorman turned us away. We walked on, then turned and noticed the two other guys walking into the club. So we went back and asked why they'd been let in... apparently locals weren't allowed. I managed to get in after that.

I have no idea what time we got back to the hostel. It was light, so after 7am.Needless to say, I woke up late. About 1.45pm. My flight was 2 hours later. Quick shower, pack, pay and jump into taxi to the airport. Familiar story.

That's it for me and Patagonia on this trip. Sniff. Onto other adventures. Buenos Aires, next.