So I am at the bottom of the world. What should I do next? First things first. Mark and I did a short ride through the other parts of Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego. And then spent the better part of an hour or less looking for the only car/moto wash in town. After more than five-hundred miles of dirt roads since leaving Torres del Paine, I know my chain needed a good cleaning. Plus the rest of the bike could use some spit and polish. Mark and wife would be heading North tomorrow morning while I’d gear up for a asado (barbecue) at Pepe’s place outside of town with a bunch of friends. A perfect chance to open one of those bottles of Chilean wine courtesy of Cristian from Santiago.
Pepe’s house is incredible. In an exclusive new development about 20 minutes outside of town, it’s built of a great mix of Patagonian cypress and stone. While the views of the water and the great snowcapped mountains were fantastic as the sun set, the best part was the built in asador – the barbecue. In Argentina, an asado is serious stuff. They never use propane or charcoal. No. Only leña – or firewood. And the choice of wood is important as the flavors from the smoke impart delicate nuances to the meat being grilled. Plus, tending to the coals and the height of the adjustable grill is equally important. All asados will feature various cuts of meat. And the grill keeps grilling and the plates of meat keep coming. These guys get together for an asado at least once a week – – sometimes more. I felt honored to be invited and took notes as I watched Pepe tend to the asador. Sausages were cooked first and cut up, then the next cut and the next.
Flavors? Delicious. Wines? Outstanding. Company? Warm. We cracked one bottle of wine after another. Then watched a slide show of an adventure some of the guys took to a remote part of the island toward Cape Horn on quadrunners. We finished the evening sipping an italian liquor with Coca-Cola while watching Pink Floyd and other bands on the Live AID DVD. Sadly, the night had to end and when it did they all asked if I’d be at the next asado. Damn. I hate tempting questions.
Pepe prepares and then launches into his amazing asado. Notice the built in asador in his house. I’ve got to put one of these in my new house someday.
For now. I’ll hang another day or two in Ushuaia. Then I’ll have to move forward. I’ve been chatting over email and phone with my good friend Tim from NYC. He’s booked a flight to Buenos Aires the end of the month. That means I’ve got a couple weeks to go 2,000 miles. Plus, I plan a stop in Bolivar to see my good friends whom I met at the Chilean/Argentina border in December – Daniel and Juan. It will be the start of wind down exercise as I get closer to Buenos Aires.
Although these guys were a bit apprehensive about a Chilean wine, they were gracious and enjoyed the wine together. Thanks Cristian!
Pepe takes time to relax after an excellent asado. I’l be back!