To Tell the Truth

We were westbound on the Chile Chico road when we saw them.
We’d been through the rough stretch from town to the mine and the subsequent narrow, single lane portion that clings to the cliffs along the south side of Lago General Carrera with its stunning views.
The huge lake, deepest and second largest in the continent, is plopped down astride the Andes as if a challenge by God to the Chileans and the Argentines to share something amicably. I’m not sure how God would evaluate them on that score since, in typical Chilean – Argentine fashion, the lake has one name in Argentina, Lago Buenos Aires (literally, “good airs”), and another in Chile, the aforementioned Lago General Carrera.
Having grown up fishing on the commonly named lakes that straddle the United States and Canadian border, this seemed strange to me. It was as if Lake Superior was called Lake McKenzie north of the Canadian border or Lake Ontario was named Lake Jefferson south of the U.S. border. But, if nothing else, travel teaches us to work hard, every minute of every day, to view the world not as it is most comfortable for us and best fits our cultural norms, but as it is, where it is.
Consequently, I tried hard to envision a big red line across the lake’s shimmering waters as we crossed the border. The best I could come up with was a mental image of signs floating on large rafts saying Welcome to the Land of Good Pizza facing Chile and Welcome to the Land of Amazing Fruits and Vegetables facing Argentina. It had been a while since lunch so this may have influenced my perceptions.

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