Three weeks sounded like a considerable amount of time to see a country, but Argentina is the 8th largest country in the world. It is very roomy here, lots of extra space. However, my allotted time would only allow me to scratch the surface.
Before even landing in the country, I had already made up my mind to return to Argentina. This decision took the pressure off trying to see and do everything. The idea was to make this more of a reconnaissance trip to get a feel for Argentina.
Dating back to my climbing days in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle, Washington), I had dreamed of seeing the Patagonia Mountains in Argentina. It was time to fulfill a piece of that dream.
I have to be honest, my knowledge of Argentina was limited. About the only thing I knew was its location at the bottom of South America. So when I declared that I was on my way to see the Patagonia Mountains, I had no idea that it would take me another 24 hours by bus to get from the top of Patagonia to the bottom. This was like saying I am going to see New York City and take a little side bus trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona while I am in the country.
Buses are a cheap mode of transportation and allowed me to see the scenery. Except after 24 hours of the same landscape, a long ride does get a little tiresome.
“Don’t tell anyone. Keep it a secret,” the bus driver said to me.
Long-distance buses have different classes of seats. The upper deck is crammed with seats that have little extra room; the lower deck has a few spacious seats, similar to first class in an airplane.
The bus drivers had become my friends, and one of them invited me to take an open seat on the lower deck. It pays to be nice to people.
I gratefully accepted his kind offer. The ride to El Calafate just got a little easier.