Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Patagonia

I spent last week in Patagonia with Mike and his friends! it was really really amazing. I'm trying to do work right now so I will just make some notes and maybe come back later to fill in the details.
1. flew to Bariloche on Tuesday morning


2. rented a car and drove to Villa La Angostura and stayed in a little cabin in the woods.


3. wednesday morning took a ferry ride from Villa La Angostura to the end of the Quetrihué Peninsula.


4. visited the Bosque de los Arayénes, a very special forest which grows at the end of this peninsula.


5. hiked back up the peninsula, 12 km, back to Villa La Angostura. Mike and Mat and Jan jumped in a lake for an icy swim! We hiked through magical forests and met horses and cows in grassy clearings under the trees.


We got lost in the woods on a very steep mountain. We enjoyed breathtaking views from the top of the mountain.


We made it to the end of the trail, hot and tired and hungry.


6. Thursday we drove the Ruta de los Siete Lagos (that's the Route of Seven Lakes) which actually passes nine lakes and winds between the mountains


from Villa La Angostura to San Martin de los Andes. It turned out to be a rough dirt road, sometimes one lane; it was a little scary but an amazing day of picture-postcard views.


7. Friday morning we went back to Bariloche and met our cabalgata guide, Carol Jones, and four other gringos and saddled up for our two-day horseback expedition!


This was one of the most amazing experiences EVER.


Also it was one of the most painful, because apparently my butt is not made like other peoples' and I am too bony to ride a horse without excruciating pain. We rode mostly through fields, across creeks, up and down foothills, with the Andes all around us, and camped at around 1200 meters elevation. Carol served us steak from her own cows, cooked over the campfire, and it was delicious.


After the second day of riding, Carol drove us in her 1968 Land Rover over treacherous dry(ish) creek beds and dirt "roads" for at least an hour until we got back to the paved road to Bariloche. We collapsed into our hostel, took long, hot showers and slept a lot. Flew back to Buenos Aires first thing in the morning.

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