Alpacalipse Now

So for some of you it came and went and for some of us its still here. What am I on about? The 21st December 2012. The End of the World ?? Seems like it didn’t happen…..or did it?We are nearly at our destination. Somewhere not quite a far south as Doncaster is north. However what I can tell you is, its bloody freezing and its mid summer day on the 23rd we think. Check out the Map to see where we are.We managed to get Ggas. Not the type that comes with poor digestion but the type for cooking. We managed to fill both bottles. Preparation in South Africa with all manner of adapters and valves paid off. They filled both bottles with Propane. We have more gas than we’ve had on the entire trip previous to this. I’m happy as I do not have to worry about it for another month and I also know they can be filled using standard South American connectors. We did try two places though.We’ve met a few bikers and overlanders and theya re all on the path to Ushuaia for Xmas. We wonder what it will be like. Cold for one and busy with Gringo’s for another. The weather is terrible. As my Dad pointed out we are blessed by the Gulf Stream in the UK and its much much warmer there ! We had hail yesterday and the wind is,,,windy. Imagine a chav coming here and saying its “well windy”. Or even Jessica my niece saying it. Not that some of you know my niece but shes a bit like that. She doen’t read the blog so will never know. She’s not a chav but too much television and all that….The journey to our current location (YPF Service Station in Rio Grande) was really strange. We had to leave Argentina with all the formalities that entails and enter Chile, again with all the paperwork for the car. We were in Chile for a few hours and back into Argentina and doing more paperwork. This is all pointless and they could just sort it out with a few politician’s talking to each other.  They could section off the entire area with single border formalities. They’ve got part of the way there with the border staff sharing the office but the fact that you have to sign out and in for a few kilometers is hysterical. They should come to Europe and see how it should be done. Its not like you can get to mainland Chile from this place. You have to go back into Argentina. Another example of the Xenophobic countries/governments of this world.The Chile customs has some strict rules on food so we were careful to read all the stuff on the web. It wasn’t as bad as we thought but they seem more bothered about Fruit , Veg and Jam. When they were asking for Jam I think they meant Honey. Cheese, It seems is OK but they asked for Eggs and also Meat. Theres a pretty good list on the web on the SAG website that you can translate. We eat all our eggs and veg in the days before and cooked the meat. The strangest item they wanted to know about was spices. We have all sorts of spices and they would have had to get the Chilli powder from my cold dead hand….they wern’t having that. The food is Argentina is bland and not spicy. Even when you ask for extra-extra spicy its as hot as gravy. What I’d give for some birds eye chillis so the powder is priceless. How else would we make our Chilli Con-Carne.Not taken many photos recently as to be honest there has been nothing to take photos of. The road from BA to here is 3200km of nothing. Its got to be the most boring road in the world. Honestly it really is. I’ve driven about 300miles per day for a week and we are only just here. We’ve seen nothing that i’ve said “look at that”. I’ve said that a lot on the journey and I think we’ve not said it once in a week. Its REALLY boreing. The truck stops as service stations are great. Most have a good cafe and free Wi-Fi. These are all YPF Stations.The Ferry was $200Ar and runs about ever 20mins. You pay on the boat. I think you could easily get away without paying. We paid ! Its much cheaper if you pay in Chilean Pesos though you need to get some and there is nowhere we saw.Don’t arrive at the border at 14:00 as I think they went for lunch from 13:00 to 14:00 as it took us 2 hours. As we were leaving there was nobody waiting so it would have taken 10 mins. This is the longest border process so far. Its pretty well signed but on leaving Argentina do not stop at the first post and go straight to the second “Chile” border. You do everything there, even the leaving Argentina parts. If you stand in the queue there you’ll be wasting a lot of time. This is the Austral border and all formalaties are at the Chile side. On the way back we think its the reverse with all formalaties at the Argentinan side.

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