Ushuia 17-18th Dec.

17122011 Biking

 

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                Fueling up  

 

After breakfast and getting ourselves sorted out it was time to go to our “Office” and to send the Blog and catch up on our E-mails.

Today, instead of walking Lars suggested it was time for me to recover my old bike riding skills.

 

There are two ships fold-up bikes, very nice and compact with small wheels and multi-geared. Having mounted my steed I wobbled precariously along

the uneven planks of the Jetty until my nerve gave out on the narrow bit when a Wooly wind started howling and decided to preserve myself from any

loss of dignity should I plunge into the water, and walk the last length.

 

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                      Instrument of torture                                                             Smooth bit but rain ahead

 

Mounting up again we proceeded down the graded dirt causeway that links us to the Town, the ruts and loose rocks making for a bone shaking ride,

until we hit the promenade with its relatively smooth block work paving.

 

Computer work finished we had been discussing getting my air ticket from the Airport office as the crowds should be less.

This being some three miles away I was going to get a Taxi, when I foolishly, with my new found confidence, agreed to go their by Bike,

 

The roads proved nearly as treacherous as the dirt track with crumbling concrete producing great cracks and pot holes along with the risk of falling

under the wheels of three lanes of traffic competing to be first off at the lights.

 

Several hills were encountered en-route but it wasn’t the final incline up to the airport that did for me but the abuse to my rear-end induced

by a saddle the size of a razor blade and with all the properties and comfort of a pointed stick! Which forced me to dismount and continue much relieved?

 

My attempts at beating the town airline office queue were thwarted when having booked the ticket, the charming young lady said she had no facility

to deal with money and that I should present myself to the said office and make payment there.

 

After a beer and lunch it was time for the return journey, which much to my pleasant surprise was mainly down hill, but it wasn’t long before

my bum was under assault again as we hit the rough and now to add to my discomfort it has started to rain.

 

Finally we were back aboard and Lars offered me a cold tin of beer as a reward for my efforts and to relieve my discomfort but I was a little confused

as to which end it should be put to best relieve the pain.

 

That evening we are invited to happy hour aboard Mina2 along with half the boats on the dock. The hospitality is excellent,

a regular United Nations of sailors, with Norwegians, Swedes, Welsh, Canadians, Argentines, Germans, and of course our host English. Quite how we all squeezed into the Saloon I’ll never know.

 

 

18122011 Christmas Lights

 

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                  Seasons Greetings                                                  Spring flowers

 

Peter came back yesterday with the news that “Carrefour” the big supermarket up the road was having a “6 bottles for the price of 4” sale of wines.

As this coincides the near emptying of our wine cellar it was an opportunity not to be missed. They went off on the bikes for a pre-emptive strike

(Still traumatised I declined the offer) and went to work to removed the safety wire on the damaged rail ready for the repair man’s visit tomorrow.

 

They return with the shopping and two cases of wine, as much as the bikes could carry with news that the sale ends today.

 

Lars has got the Christmas spirit and has broken out the Fairy Lights which we hoist into the rigging.

Here they form a double stringed triangle to represent a tree and after much critical adjustment it’s the time of reckoning as we plug in, Oh joy! They work.

 

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          Hoisting the lights  

 

We are asked to move the boat up the dock so the crane can be accessed to re-step a mast in one of the small yachts.

As they lower it into place there is a little consternation and they all start searching their pocket.

I realise what the problem is and hand over a coin so they can continue the old custom of placing a coin the under a newly stepped mast.

 

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              Stepping the mast                                              Bob supplied the coin

 

Peter dashes off to join the Hikers while Lars and I go to the Office. Oh Dear! We order our coffee but are unable to get a Wi-Fi connection

as their system isn’t working. Downing the coffee we’re off to the Visitor Centre which we have used before with varying degrees of success.

 

Arriving there Lars tries to re-establish contact with Caroline who he was going to call back from the Café,

but Skype appears to be barred to outward calls on their system. Luckily she calls him and after a few drop outs all is well.

 

We then re-direct ourselves to the supermarket and twelve cases of wine, two bottle openers and a packet of bread rolls

we hail a taxi to take us back to base. It should be pointed out that bottle openers have been a problem especially when the last of the two onboard went missing (Later discovered in Lars jacket).

 

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            Filling the wine cellar

 

There was some consternation when Lars saw me grab a bottle of champagne and head for one of the Staff.

“What are you doing with that?” he asked , “Going to speak Spanish” says I. Making suitable gestures off a bottle opening kind to the afore said gentleman,

he calls a colleague who leads me to the “Opener” section and the object of my desire. Bingo, fluid in Spanish.

 

For dinner we decide to push out the boat probably because Shan had tickled my taste buds describing here birthday lunch that day,

and visit “Chez Manu” a highly recommended French restaurant, high up in the mountains overlooking the town. We are not disappointed, both the views and the food are excellent.

 

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                     Chez Manu                                                                                 The tank

 

 

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                            Residents                                                                           King Crab

 

 For a “Starter” we order Carpaccio de Lomo a la Fleur Sel. This turns out to be thin slices of marinated sirloin steak decorated with green shoots

described as “Sea salt”. The waiter enquires if we know what it is in English whereupon and much to my surprise I managed to identify it as “Samphire”.

 

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                        Samphire                                                                        Carpaccio de Lomo                                                               

 

 Further to this Lars gets onto their internet connection and we call it up on the web. There complete with a confirming picture is a write up all about it.

He’s overjoyed and rushes off clutching Lars phone to show the Chef.

 

We precede to a main course of Duo del Atlantico con Salsa Champagne (Sea bass and Cod) for me and Cordero Patagonia “Chez Manu” en dos Cocciones

(Lamb of the house with herbs) for Lars. This is followed by a shared Chocolate ice-cream on a bed of fresh fruit covered in a layer of meringue to which is added a flambé of Cointreau.

 

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                        Lamb                                                                                              Fish   

 

 

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                 Flaming                                                                Dessert

 

By now full of Seasonal goodwill we return to turn on our Christmas lights and they look great.

 

 

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               Lights on

 

Bob the Blog