May 25, 2020

Joy(us)Adventure: Day 21

img_3466Distances in places like Patagonia are far.  Just like in Alaska, distances are just bigger than in the rest of the world.

We got up and headed to the El Calafate Airport, moseying through security.  I found a map that made it easier to comprehend just how far away from home I really was.

The realization gave me oppositional emotions: I felt both an intense longing for my husband, who I’d not seen or talked on the phone to (we emailed and texted) for three weeks; but I also felt an intense pleasure in just how big my world had become.  I looked at the map, tracing my path from four years ago when I moved from Anchorage to Savannah, and then our current trip, Savannah to Santiago, to Easter Island, to Buenos Aires, to Bariloche, Chiloe Island, and then El Calafate.

Map to everyone's home.
Map to everyone’s home.
Ushuaia, from my seat on the plane.
Ushuaia, from my seat on the plane.

img_3222But our travels weren’t over yet.  True, our destination was Buenos Aires, just over 1700 miles to the north, but because that day was the first day of the Off-Season, we would head to Ushuaia, the furthest Southern tip on Tierra del Fuego, first.

We stayed on board the plane in Ushuaia, which was a bummer, but it was only a thirty minute turnover time, and we were back up in the air, winging back to Buenos Aires.

The ride was uneventful, though they insisted on showing episode after episode of this extraordinarily stupid kids show on the communal TVs.  I slept and read, but man, it was hard to ignore these kids “playing pranks” on adults in city parks.  I—I can’t talk about it.

Buenos Aires. The futbol stadium is a giveaway.
Buenos Aires. The futbol stadium is a giveaway.

We landed in Buenos Aires, and we started hearing whispers about people not feeling very good.  I wasn’t feeling too hot myself.  I ended up getting my own room, as Mary Joy had a presentation to give in just a few days in Washington, D.C.  We had a few hours of down time, so while others went on a walk tour, I went to my room, laid down on the bed and ate the rest of my chocolate chip cookies and listened to music with my eyes closed.

After the rest of the sleeve of cookies and a few hours of shut-eye, I felt like new.

img_3464We met up and went to another fantastic steakhouse, Villegas.  Another meal filled with delicious chimichurri, massive slabs of meat, and perfect Malbecs.

That man has a pile of steaks to hand out.
That man has a pile of steaks to hand out.

 

Are you sick of me describing these steaks, cooked medium, perfectly juicy, and an inch and a half thick? Are you hungry yet?  I could continue with the chimichurri sauce, a sort of onion, pepper, garlic, and spices sauce that can be put on your roasted potatoes, or alone on the sopapillas.  And the Malbec? Round flavors, with just a hint of smokiness, but ripe cherry notes for the tip of your tongue.

Alright, alright.  I’ll stop teasing.  How about this instead?

Food was good.

Another massive feast together
Another massive feast together
That was one cute baby.
That was one cute baby.

The owner of the restaurant had his family come by, so they could show off his newborn granddaughter to Nicole.  Both Nicole and Patty were completely transfixed by this very beautiful baby.  I guess our conversation wasn’t stimulating enough to keep their attention.

How many different ways can I say we were sated?  How many different times can I describe a full belly, and laugh lines in our cheeks?

Linda, in the righthand corner, is expressing how most of us felt, I think.
Linda, in the righthand corner, is expressing how most of us felt, I think.

 

Well, they were there again.  Sensations etched deep over the last three weeks.  This was technically our Farewell Dinner, but we had just one more escapade the next day, our last hurrah, all together.

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