Words and Photos By: Aaron Bardo
*The full travel feature is available in the Fall 2011 issue of WHOA Magazine available in stores Oct. 11.
The next day we woke up lazily around ten, just in time for breakfast’s last call. We ate some hardy eggs on Anadama and slices of apple kuchen accompanied by tea and juice. Between bites we decided that today we were going to try our luck on the open road, we just needed to find a means to do so. When faced with car-less road travel in South America, it’s important to carefully consider any and all options; ours read accordingly, listed from most expensive to cheapest:
- Rent a car, but that’s a risky business in terms of insurance, road conditions, scams, etc.
- Take a taxi, but the views seem to lose their luster reflected off of tinted windows.
- Take a bus, but they run just as leisurely as the country folk (every half hour if you’re lucky).
- Gracefully extend your thumb to the heavens and hope that one of these country folk will pick you up before the bus does…and that’s exactly what we did.
A large tanker filled with salmon containers pulled off the dirt road as Cata’s arm fell back to her waist. We scaled up the side, introduced ourselves, and were on our way to Ensenada. We had been told that Ensenada was a great place to visit, but twenty-five minutes down the road, when Cristóbal (our gracious chauffeur) asked us where we wanted to be dropped off, I met his glance, confused. Looking around I saw no more than a handful of houses and a convenience-looking store, “Um, en el centro?” “This is the center,” he candidly replied behind a broad smile.
After bidding farewell, we started off towards the only restaurant in sight. Restaurant Bordelago didn’t look like much from a distance, but as we got closer, I caught the savory smells of a fresh asado (BBQ) on the brisk air. At the top of the parking lot sat a boy and his grill. The grill looked like an extended metal shipping barrel that had been split lengthwise, opened up, flipped on its backside, and then mounted. Inside the barrel, embers from a dying wood fire seared fine cuts of lamb, cow and chicken; the boy graciously invited us to take a few turns at the grill’s helm. We accepted, and with each revolution of the skewered meats, our salivary glands dilated.