The Fourth Seat


The two recline in front-row seats atop the double-decker to Puerto Madryn. Stretching after served meals, feasting on a Patagonian panorama. A solitary road stretches to the horizon, nothing but a pattern of poles, carrying  communication through the wilderness. Our vista: constant pale scrub, wisps of cloud, blue sky.

Occasional green signs reveal the vastness of Southern Argentina. Twelve hours travel from Buenos Aires and Madryn remains 360 km away, Ushuaia a further 2500.

I sit behind, chatting. Travelling in a threesome invites strangers and possibilities among us. The fourth seat today brings Felipe, aboard for 40hrs from Misiones Province, with eight more hours to go to Santa Cruz. We eat together and he talks about family and politics. When armed police board, checking documents, he reassures us. Many will share a spare seat with us during our year in the unknown. Le cúnamh Dé, they will be kind.


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