Cycling Chile/Argentina '04 | El Calafate Index Day 19 Day 21
      Day 20: El Calafate Got Mate?
Finally get to have our free breakfast. When we were joined by two more parties in the dining room, we experienced a bit sense of sharing the Argentinian way -- the manager always move the milk jar to the last person coming in to the table from the one before. And we were the lucky first people.

But nothing gives you more sense of sharing than drinking mate. No matter how many people in the group, everybody uses the same bombilla (the name of the smoking pipe thing) and passes the same mate pot around. There are so many places selling everything Mate in El Calafate that we felt complied to get one.

So, we bought two calabash Mate pots, the most common ones, one big one for Brian, one small one for me, two bombillas, two kinds of yerba, the herb, and even a Mate book detailing all the ins and outs about Mate.

It was another rest day for us. At night, we would take a bus to El Chalten some 230km away. With the O'Higgins boat leaving in a couple of days, we had no time to cycle. Plus, I was still a bit sick.

Wandering the streets of Calafate, we discovered a nice panaderia - bake shop - a bit out of city center. We got some facturas, pastries with different fillings, and empanadas, small baked pie filled with ground meat, cheese, onion, egg, olive. In fact, we liked the empanadas so much that 10 steps out of the door, we finished all 3 we got and went back to get another 5 of our favorite.

6:30 at the bus station, a small van pulled in and there was no way our bikes would fit. Got bumped but tried to make the best out of our situation, we rode to the city campground to have dinner and gave our first try at making a Mate.

We followed the direction on the Mate book. Put some yerba in the pot, jammed the bombilla inside, added hot water. But something went terribly wrong. I ended up sucking in more of the fine yerba powders than drinking any Mate. The bombilla was so clogged that Brian could not even get a single sip out of it.

Well, we tried.