We awoke early, skipped our typical fried egg, coffee and tea breakie; and hit the road to avoid detection at our possibly illegal campsite on the bank of Laguna Verde. After rolling through the exit from the national park unmolested, and fee free, we hit the supermarcado to restock the fast evolving array of familiar and beginning-to-be-familiar staple food cache. Todo is a main supermarket that lately we have gravitated to for the items we can’t find at fruit and veggie stands that pop up randomly on our daily tours; much to Andrews dismay we usually don’t stop at every single one. Avocados are always on the list for Mar, tomatoes for Andrew, and whatever fruit that’s freshest looking or most convenient for Brotherbear and I.
Feeding four animals takes a lot of food and a bit of creativity when finding storage for all of our food stuffs. As I write this Andrew is asking for me to do a pasta count, I’m refusing, knowing full well that he found a special on pasta and bought enough for a month… a week ago. It’s good to have his perspective as he often finds us deals or suspected deals and saves us money and time. I personally am one of the most impatient shoppers you’ll ever meet and reach my max super market time after walking around in circles with the three other animals in about 15 minutes. I much prefer the race in, around, and out method, always grabbing an ice cream as per tradition.
Baguettes, pasta, salami, cheese, eggs, olive oil, butter, sunflower seeds, boxed wine, bottled wine, onions, avocados, apples, Oreos, almonds, rice, Gatorade, chips, tang, and garlic salt were the haul today for a quick pit stop before heading to Parque National Los Alerces. Down a 70 km gravel road mountain lakes perch at the base of the Andes, it’s going to be bumpy and dusty but will be a good hide out for a few days of relaxing and fishing. Coincidently, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid hid out here for 5 years in the early 1900’s before the law caught up to them and they disappeared into the Utah like landscape for good. Andrew brought along a copy of In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin that delivers a pretty historical town by town account of the local history and it’s been great reading of the Patagonia history while touring through.
The van has a most excellent kitchenette setup with only the highest grade of 1988 motorhome appliances, including a double sink with a guesstimated 50 liter fresh water holding tank, water heater, 4 burner propane stove, working but not yet tested oven with ventilation hood, and a Swedish made Dometic RM2401 gas electric refrigerator. This combined with our well stocked silverware and kitchen utensil drawer we have a five star kitchen setup, we are now just missing the key component of a five star chef. I’m making frying the finest fried eggs, and boiling the rice and noodles as best as I can, while Andrew has proven his strength as a sous chef, with surprising hash brown and fried rice bonus entrees thrown in. Marlie has been making great strides and has nearly reached the third star of van cooking with her spice, garlic and fresh vegetable influence. Brian describes his cooking ability as “a fine dishwashing apprentice under Andrews guidance”, he still prefers a scrub brush over his fingers.
Thus far we’ve managed to cook all of our meals with the exception of a few empanada stand pit stops and a much deserved proper Argentine beef gorge, following our three day Cerro Catedral trek. Lunch is typically a fruit and sand which affair, as we are trying to eat a sandwich a day in memory of Warren Zevon, when asked by David Letterman (then stricken by terminal cancer), what he’d do with his life if he had more time, “eat more sandwiches,” he responded. Dinner is normally a wide range of pasta excellence, including but not limited to, spaghetti, spaghetti with beef sauce, pesto pasta, ravioli, pesto ravioli, chicken pasta, 21 different combinations of pasta and pasta sauce, stir fried veggies, left over 35 dollar steak stir fry, fried rice, and we are all anticipating Andrews much talked about Spanish Tortilla con huevos y cebolla.