When we made it back to el Bolsón, the local police invited us to stay longer. We needed to be quarantined until March 19 —14 days after our arrival to Argentina — to show we were symptom free after 2 weeks. That meant one day of staying put in our artistic Air BNB, sleeping in, getting pizza delivery, washing our dirty hiking socks, and generally recovering from the kilometers we’d hiked. No big deal.
Double checking my increasingly jumbled Spanish, I clarified that on March 19, we were good to go. Sí, no problema.
As we quarantined, the Argentinian government was getting busy! They canceled all domestic flights until March 25 (there is an executive whose job it is to pull dates from a hat). By all, this included our flight to Buenos Aires. Hmmm. This was getting tricky.
Now our kilometer recovery día was becoming emergency logistics día, which is not as relaxing.
Then, before we could eat all 12 empanadas and drink our stockpiled Malbec, the airline sent us a note telling us they had re-considered our flight from Buenos Aires to the states. (Please see this post if you are worried about our fiber intake during these trying days).
Things were starting to get muy interesante.
For this reason, we decided to head to Cholila, several kilometers from el Bolsón, where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid fled when things got a little caliente for them in the States.
This seemed like a logical choice at the time. This part of Argentina is quite remote so having the highway to ourselves was not a terribly new situation.
The roadblock to the town was novel, however. “Is this a restricted area?” I asked in my best español, to which the nice Army man replied something along the lines of “Lady, it’s a restricted country. Only for residents and official business can come come here. “ Chef looked at me pleadingly. Surely a visit to the Butch Cassidy casa was official business, no? No.
In the same way, when we returned to el Bolsón we were greeted with a small parade, and instead of autographs, they wanted our vital signs.
The whole country was now on lockdown with the only allowable reason to leave your casa was to buy groceries or medicine. No mention of Butch Cassidy at all. The nice Air BNB owners asked us if we would like to move to the apartment with the full kitchen. Uh oh.