11.1.20 to 10.2.20
Argentina has a Gaucho culture that is in no way inferior to the North American cowboy culture. We can experience them up close and get to know the very friendly people who live here.
Festival Nacional de la Esquila
Shortly before Rio Mayo Gabi reads on an iOverlander entry that there should be a big sheep shear festival in Rio Mayo at this time. We spontaneously decide to visit this traditional festival. We arrive at Rio Mayo a day earlier and can explore the rural place a bit and look for a suitable location for us to camp. During the festival we feel transported to the Wild West, time seems to have stopped here. We dive into the wild world and feel very comfortable. Sheep shearing is the theme of the festival, but the rodeo is much more dominant. The horses are somehow made to behave like wild horses and the wild gauchos try to stay on the horse back the minimum time. It looks spectacular. We feel at least as sorry for the horses as the gauchos, which are catapulted back onto the horse’s back from an appealing height. The choice of the annual king and queen of the festival is of course very important as well. All of the country’s beauties present themselves and are chosen in an infinite ceremony that we cannot fully experience because otherwise we would fall asleep on our feet. In addition to the many street food cars, there is also a classic Asado. The size was very impressive. About fifteen to twenty sheep are roasted on a huge fire at the same time. Of course, we definitely wanted to try it. Unfortunately, everything is sold within seconds and we go empty-handed.
In Villa Traful we happen to meet another local event. A horse-riding championship for young and old. It is amazing how young the children can ride here and how well. Same with the older semesters, even older ones than me, ride amazingly well around the obstacles. For sure I want to take a few pictures and take my photographic equipment with me. As always, a spare battery is part of the equipment. Clever as I am, I notice after a few minutes already that the spare battery must have fallen out of my pocket. I eagerly search the route I have walked so far. A corresponding battery would definitely not be available in this part of the country! After what feels like an eternity and an endless search, I have to give up frustrated, the battery is no longer there. When I mourn my battery like a lot of misery, a nice, young mother comes to me with her boy and asks me if I would look for a battery. Immediately I sat up and took notice hoping that she would have found it and would like to offer it back to me again. Unfortunately, this is not the case. But she saw a young Gaucho who just found a battery on the way and took it with him. As soon as she saw him again, she could get us in touch. The hope to see my battery wakes up again! But the gaucho didn’t stop by. An entertainer comments on the event in detail over a loudspeaker system. Gabi comes up with the idea of asking him if he could not call out the battery gaucho via his system. I immediately climb to the podium and put forward my request. No problem, he calls the Gaucho and less than 30 seconds later the young man stands in front of the platform and handed me my battery! What would I do in my life without smart women?
The official campsite of San Martin de los Andes is situated a little outside of the town and is definitely equipped in a way that Globi would never be able to enter the location. According to the tourist information, camping is only allowed there. When we asked what it was all about the place on the lake, where all Overlanders camp, we were informed that this is forbidden, but no one abides by the ban. Anyway, the place is completely crowded, hence we would have no space and on top it is extremely loud. Luckily Gabi finds a dead end in the middle of the city right next to the “Jubilados” (retirees) building. Accordingly, we immediately feel at home and park there. I try to get in contact with the neighbors. The gardener of one of the houses explains to me that camping here is not a problem. Whow, we live in the middle of the city, so to speak, and can do all of our errands on foot. On the second evening we get to know the owners of our neighborhood. Silvia and her friend Pato, two retired sports teachers. We arrange a date to hike with them. It is a nice experience with the two. The hike takes us to the weekend house of Silvia and her family, so we also get to know the other family members. The aperitif after the hike, which we took in our home Globi became very cheerful and Kuku, the husband of Silvia, joined us later as well. After our multi-day trip to Lago Quenin we were invited to a dinner with them. The dinner was extremely cordial, and we became friends. A very nice experience.
We are always proud of our safe, automatic, pneumatic drawer lockers. All of our cabinets close automatically as soon as we start Globis motor. We learned this from the experience of travel colleagues, who fridges opened while driving through rough terrain and the open milk poured onto the floor and under all furniture. We didn’t even want to imagine the sour smell under the furniture. Since then we never buy any milk containers and have the crates closed automatically. Pneumatically, i.e. with air pressure. This is not a problem with a truck, because the truck has anyway compressed air for various processes one way or the other. The pressure in the pressure vessel must first be built up by the compressor. Globi naturally warns the driver that he must not drive away until there is at least six bar pressure. What the engineers at MAN forgot during development is the fact that nine bars are required to lock the furniture. As a result, the warning at Globi goes away much too soon. Actually, I know about this weak point in the construction and in recent years have been waiting of course until Globi showed nine bars; but for once I didn’t! Fortunately, we didn’t bring milk with us for safety’s sake, but of course the capintes all opened. Unfortunately, some of them so quickly and fiercly that some of the extracts broke. In tedious, tedious little work, we first gathered the balls of the ball bearings and then put the bearings together again. Two balls are missing, but the excerpts are working again! We are proud of our craftsmanship and less of my inadequacy.
For a smile
Finally, all conditions are right, and we start our drone. The drone is supposed to track Globi as we drive over the runway. To do this, pilot Gabi has to sit in the Globi and control the drone, partly without seeing it. This works very well right away. Globi follows the drone from different positions and even films at the same time, everything as desired. But at some point, the batteries in the drones run out. Smart as the built-in software is, it calculates the minimum battery power for the return flight to «home», which is the starting point. As soon as the minimum is reached, the drone automatically flies back to its launch site after a small warning. It also does this while we are driving around with Globi. The starting place is of course far behind us and with Globi on the narrow piste it is not possible to turn around as quickly. The drone just runs off, we can no longer see it. After the successful turning maneuver, I followed the drone at a high speed and maybe even reached it, but then Gabi finds the emergency button and can take control of our drone again. She then lands the drone safely in front of Globi and we can take it back to the Globi with protection.