On March 20, Day 16 of our Argentina Adventure, Argentina’s president told everyone to stay home until March 31. The IS Embassy sent us a note advising us in diplomatic terms to get the f*%#! out of here, which sounded like an excellent option except all domestic flights had been canceled and Patagonia is a long-ass ways from Buenos Aires.
Absconding with our rental car and making the multi-day trip across the country was an option, but not a very attractive one. Chef and I hail from high desert country. “Do you remember what the middle of Argentina looked like from the plane?” I hollered, trying not to holler, and then we had a quick team meeting about how the next few days were going to be hard, and being nice to one another would enhance our anniversary trip.
Between my marginal Spanish, the now omnipresent national guard, and the uncertainty of gas, food, or lodging, the motor escape got a hard pass.
Chef obsessively poured over the airline websites (and occasionally listened to the hold music which truly could use a little updating). I checked in on the US Embassy feed, and offered to be the new groundskeeper for our Air BNB hosts. Liliana let me chop plums for jam.
After the meditation of plum chopping, I glanced at my phone again. A new alert from the Embassy said a couple of airlines were operating out of a handful of airports across the country, including one about 6 hours north of us.
Chef swiftly purchased tickets for the next day, and then scored a flight back to the States on the 26th through Panama. Would their border still be open in a few days? And how would we manage in Buenos Aires without our new Air BNB family and our Bolsón home brew club? We are Podunks, not city people!
Chef is an incident commander in real life, so we calmly decided to address one crisis at a time. We needed to get our asses to Neuquén and fast.
Tune in next time for Episode 9.