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HU 2008 - Argentina

2008-12-16

Well, with a travel distance of 30kms it ain't a bike-trip but where else to put it? After all it's the Patagonian HU-Meeting!

Summer in Argentina is full in action, and another year of travelling is about to be finished.And now,it's time again for the next traveller meeting. So it was announced for the last weekend »Welcome to HU-Meeting 2008« in El Condor Argentina!

Last year I left the meeting and sayed good-bye to Oscar with words like: »if I'm slow enough, I'll come again next year!«. Well, somehow it had to be like that! Luckily I was able to help him here and there, as I promised him before.

Already before the meeting had started, first travellers arrived in Viedma. So there were rumours about motorbikers, getting lost in town, in the week before. On friday morning the meeting began, with Ronald, Mathias, Andrea and Thomas we were indeed 100% german speaking! At least for the first hour, then Goh and Samantha from Malaysia and Singapore showed up, we were international again.

Friday was as usual very relaxed, bit by bit travellers showed up, one asked himself who will come next around the corner. Oscar was asked who's inscribed, others were telling stories of travellers who wanted to come by but nobody knew how many we would finally be. During the day the typical groups were built... german speaking on one side, all others on the other. Luckily this, not too nice habit, was gone pretty fast and everybody was mixing . The general mood was great, also because of the wonderful weather. Fantasic!

Pretty fast everybody agreed to leave the cooking pots alone this night. Instead of cooking alone we decided to make fire in the Parrilla. For some of us it was the first argentinian »Asado«, others passed a couple of kilos of meat already. Anyway the excitement was huge. A proper mix of beer, wine and meat made the first night a perfect party!


The next day began wonderful as well.For some reason it was not even windy. For the small village El Condor on the atlantic coast of Patagonia this was pretty unusual and a good sign for the meeting.

Together with those who arrived during the day, lots of information were shared, experiences told or only small-talks were held. So the day »off« was enjoyed by everybody, either sitting with food and drinks in front of the tent or while having a stroll along the beach to the kite surfer's contest.

Because nobody wanted to follow me, I prepared myself alone to go having fun with the bike in the dunes. Still a little knackered from the night before and absolutely overheated because of the weather, I wasn't too fit. After I digged my bike the second time out of the sand, I went back to the campsite. Allover sweaty and full of sand but with a huge smile I came back, after the shower, I joined the rest of the beer drinking group.

The beer delivery, supervised by Sunny, was in action again. In charge for supplies on the campsite and responsible for supply problems in the shops of the village. Like that, time went by amaizingly fast. Wind came up and in the shade it was a good bit colder. A little taste of Patagonia for the travellers heading south, so far they were way too much pampered by the good weather up here.

A little later, preparations for the next Asado started again, the supplies were clear... including Chorizos (Sausages) it was about 1kg meat per person (people in Argentina, is used to estimate 500 grams of meat per person. When we are talking about foreing people, 400 grams would be enough, as they're not used to it. This night, the idea was having some »more« in case some other travelers would arrive. But surprisingly, not only nobody else arrived, but the meat DISAPPEARED from the parrilla ,after a 3 hours dinner!!) While we left to get the meat, Mathias was dealing with a fishermen (or whatever he does), camping next to us. So we got fish (Lenguados) next to the meat on the Parrilla. Because Mathias and Sunny disappeard, Chef Richard was in charge of preparing the fish (after washing them in the toilette!!!). Later after a discrete consumption of meat, there were even some people who wanted/were able to eat the fish.

The group was absolutely happy and full of meat, beer and redwine. Together with travellers from all over the world, motorbikers from Argentina and family Knecht, we all had big fun!


The next morning wasn't as bad as that second morning last year. Last time, almost nobody was convinced at first to go on the bike and to visit the seal-colony. First I needed a cold swim in the ocean before I was ready to go. This year everybody was better and they left on time to »La Loberia«. Because of the group decision to make a present to Oscar, Marisol and I missed the visit this year and went shopping to Viedma. It's not too bad, we live next door to it, we'll visit the place later in summer!

On the way back from Viedma, we arrived under the clouds, coming from the Atlantic ocean. It got, together with the wind, definitely cooler. We met the group already at the meeting point for eating lamb for lunch. It seemed that the clouds were dropping the mood. But at least while eating that wasn't an issue anymore. Sadly the food and the service of the owner of that place wasn't as good as expected. For that reason plans will be changed next year!

After lunch there was already the first good-bye. The guests of honour of the meeting were about to leave. It was Joan and Daniel from Cambridge. On the road in Patagonia by bicycle. They had wonderful stories to tell and were a nice part of the meeting. The reason for spontaneous applause when they arrived was their age and SPIRIT!. We still don't know that detail exactly but it must be something like 65 years old! This time they make »only« Patagonia, they want to do it a little more relaxed than in their transamerica trip!!

After coming back to the campsite there was first a little tranqulity and some resting, because of the daytrip of 60km... Spontaneous Miriam from italy, agreed to be the chef this night. So that not everybody has to get out his own fuel stove. So it was italian pasta at night! The question for a kitchen and big pots was solved in the wink of an eye,by Oscar. We got the keys for the empty restaurant next to the campsite.

While the kitchen was busy, chef Richard came by and offered his help. In the beginning only in charge of peeling veggies, it didn't need too much time for the former Savoy-cook to take over half the kitchen. Finally they made an Italian and English menu: original pasta and stuffed peppers. Again a night we ate until we were bursting!

Thanks to Oscar we had a warm room to sit and to party in. Indeed the room was hot enough to fly outside again. Anyway everybody came together to listen to Oscar's thanking speech. Oscar's thanks to the travellers, without whom the meeting would be impossible, was appreciated by those with a big applause. After giving out the Horizons-Unlimited stickers, we had to thank Oscar, Nancy, Florencia and the missing Camila, as well. We gave them our just prepared gifts. The T-Shirt, painted by Silke and signed by everybody, as well as the asadoboard saying »thanks« in all languages present, was thankfully accepted. On Wednesday after the meeting, the shirt and the board were already under familiy Knecht's Christmas tree!

Here once again to Oscar, Nancy, Florencia and Camila!

  • Danke - (German)
  • Tanks - (English)
  • Jenkuje - (Polish) (???)
  • Tesekkür Ederim - (Turkish)
  • Aitäh - (Estonian)
  • Gracias - (Spanish)
  • Grazie - (Italian)
  • Merci - (»Swissgerman«)
  • Hvala - (Croatian)
  • Go Raibh Maith Aguit - (Irish)
  • Terima Kasih - (Malaysian)
  • &%§$%$§& - (Mandarin)

Please forgive me the missing special characters!


On monday, last official day of the meeting, it was again »HELADO!«. Together we rode to Viedma, after a short photo stop at »Plaza de los Immigrantes«, we rode down the Costanera, next to Rio Negro, straight to the ice cream shop. With amaizing nice weather and a slightly mood of saying good-bye, we had all together a nice and lazy afternoon in Viedma. After saying good-bye to family Knecht, we went downtown (two blocks further), for everybody taking care of his things to do. The most wanted was a cybercafe. Though all the near by were closed, Daniel, Miriam and Sunny were opening their own one. Power supply Daniel donored from his Land Rover, the wifi-signal was caught by accident.

The last night, chef Richard was in action and supervising his helpers: Andrea, Silke and Marisol.He was in charge for the delicious salad (Sunny:»green stuff...«). Because we had a couple of Chorizos left, and of my opinion, a couple of sausages are not enough to lite the Parrilla up, we bought one or another kilo of meat, additional to the salad. So it was a small »Asadito« (Sunny:»and animals«) as well in this night.

Like that, time went by during the meeting. We sayed good-bye to the travellers, this year all on the way south. The good-bye between them wasn't that sad, as they will see each other again anyway. Farewell for Oscar, Marisol and myself was a little tougher, though. Lots of people we met and now we had to say good-bye again. Some we may see again, others we only can follow by mails and reports online.

It was an amazing weekend with you - Thanks! Greetings from Patagonia - Viedma

Sebastian




P.S.: Please forgive this translation into English. It was the best we could make together in a proper team-work: Sebastian;Langenscheidt for German- Spanish; I; my Oxford English Dictionary, and my Larousse English-Spanish dictionary... can you imagine our table???? Now, I take advantage on this few words kept for the PS, to wish you all a Merry Christmas, a Superb New Year,and a great trip wherever you are going. Ride safe and enjoy lots!!! We'll be looking forward to seeing you again.

Marisol


The campsite's dog visiting guests
Oscar 'On Air' for the local radio!
Oscar 'On Air' for the local radio!
Oscar 'On Air' for the local radio!

Creating a group-photo with Le Mans special