A couple of times the temperature, when we got up about 8:30, was down to 11°C INSIDE (about 52 °F).
We knew it was time to think about buying a heater. So far the only way to heat the house a little is with the fire place. This is nice and also somewhat romantic, but we get to enjoy the effect only when we’re sitting pretty close to it. It definitely does not heat the room. And of course it cannot heat the entire house.
Good thing that Norbert has an account with “Mercado Libre”, which is a South American online platform, similar to “Amazon”.
Under normal circumstances we would have driven to the next hardware store (“Baumarkt”) and looked for a heater. But these days of quarantine are anything else but “normal”.
We ended up ordering a portable HEATER FOR BOTTLED GAS. They said it would heat an area of up to 40 m². The type gas bottle it needs (10 kg) is the same which we use for cooking and for the water heater.
The heater arrived within a couple of days. But, of course, it came without the gas bottle (here called “garraffa”)
Everyone here uses this type of gas bottles, for cooking, baking, heating. Electricity is comparatively expensive, the system is weak and quite unreliable. Especially during the summer months power outages are very common. 10 kg gas, on the other hand, only cost about 350 pesos (less than € 5) and, for us, last more than a month (cooking and occasional water heating if there is not enough sunshine for our solar tank).
One can buy gas bottles of this type on nearly every street corner. Every little hardware store, most of the grocery stores and even many some small “kioskos” sell bottled gas.
So we first went to the store where we usually buy the bottled gas for the house. The guy told us, that he can only sell in exchange of an empty “garraffa”. We explained our situation, he called his supplier and we were told that “maybe” with next week’s delivery we could count on a “garraffa” – at a price of 4500 pesos, EMPTY!
We declined. He suggested we try it about a block down the road with a gas supply company. They were closed.
We tried the gas station. They also wanted an empty bottle (here called “envase”).
We tried with about half a dozen other places – without success.
We next checked with “Mercado Libre”. Yes, they sell empty bottles for under 4000 pesos, but at the time of quarantine they do not ship them.
The guy, where we usually buy our drinking water (and who also sells bottled gas) promised to ask his supplier for an empty bottle which he would let us have for probably 3800 pesos. He said, he would give us a call.
¡¡¡WOW!!! WHAT AN ODYSSEE FOR AN EMPTY GAS BOTTLE!
Next day we saw a small truck full of garraffas stopped in front of a little store, obviously delivering. Norbert suggested I ask the driver if he would sell one.
¡¡¡BINGO!!! We paid 3100 pesos for a FILLED garraffa.
Now, in the morning, within little time the temperature in our kitchen raises from the nightly cold to a COMFORTABLE WARMTH.