February 10, 2008
Building Bridges (as opposed to burning them, for once)

Hey Folks; it was too darn hot up North and I am ahead of schedule anyway so I decided to turn around for a bit. I am (I think) headed way back down past La Siberia again and then far to the West. The rumor is (shhhh) that because of the ongoing border dispute down there there may be the kind of Argentine government backed land offers that occurred in El Chalten a few years ago which then resulted in the founding of that town for the same reasons. Nice sentence huh?  Anyway I thought I would check it out, but the access issues are pretty significant. No public transport is available because no one goes there (so of course I want to go there right?...) and it is on the far side of a huge stretch of dry nothingness if you come from the East, and a huge mountain range if you come from the West. I'll get it figured out.         In the meantime I made my way back down to Lago General Carrera and managed to talk my way onto the ferry, which landed me back in Chili Chico. I spent the last six days working with my friends there on their Chacra, and babysat the place for a few days while they were away.  We laid in several hundred bails of alfalfa, cut a few cords of firewood, and built a bridge! The bridge I was pretty excited about.  Always wanted to build a bridge.  Granted, this one is no Hudson, but still, come on; it's a bridge!  Water flows under it and cars drive over! Luckily I was working under the direction of an actual architect.  I poured the footers and put in the steel beam supports the first day, then let everything set up while I worked the farm and the family went on their trip. The last day I installed the top, which took some wrangling, but I think the whole thing turned out pretty well myself for a first timer. They named it "Puente Augustine" in my honor. I can hear you all laughing from here.