Sunday, January 19, 2014

Patagonia, Part 5: El Bolson, Argentina: Beer and trekking

After the hustle and bustle of Bariloche (okay, it wasn't that bad), El Bolson was a welcome change. It is kind of a hippie town, lots smaller and more art-sy, but still with good beer. Adrianne and I were down with that. The first night there we stayed less than a mile apart, as we couldn't get into the same hostel. We walked into town--all the nice places to stay are outside of town--and hit up the local artisan market, including a street/busker show, ARTISAN BEER, and various neat things that I did not have room for in my suitcase. We missed the bus so decided to check out a cerveceria while we waited for the next bus. It was not so bad.

That night we had dinner at her hostel, which was yummy and fancy homemade pasta and the hostel's homebrew. Dang, do these South Americans love their carbs or what? But it was good to carbo-load, we had a hike the next day.

The next day: we teamed up with a lady from Wales, a guy from Australia, and a girl from London to do a hike called Cajon del Azul. You have to take a longish cab ride from town to the beginning of the trail. The first mile-plus is a really steep downhill 4-wheel drive road. Then you get to the pretty river, the first bar (I knew I was going to love this) and two Non Mother Approved super shady wooden bridges. I mean, SHADY. There were missing boards, boards that cracked when you stepped on them, long dropoffs below, and swaying. I'm not afraid of heights; I felt way safer crossing that rope bridge in Peru though.

Anyhoo, after that crossing we did a great hike. I liked it because unlike Colorado, there were ups and downs mixed up. And later on, safer bridges. And more opportunities to drink beer. And beautiful blue water. And fun new friends. What more could a girl ask for, really?

So after about 4 hours we made it to our destination, which was one of the refugios. These are half-lodge, half-restaurant. A lot of people stay in them overnight, but you can also just stop for a meal. We brought PBJs (duh, Americans) but we ate pizza and beer instead. Yum! 
After that we took a loop back to the trail that had some steep dropoffs to the river below where we could (kind of) see some guys diving around down there, and we did some scrambling over rocks to arrive at this GORGEOUS water. I mean, the pictures don't really do justice to just how clean and beautiful the water was here. 

Then we hiked back.
Then we had beer.

Then we paid a guy with a big vehicle to drive us home, including the last mile of steep steep road. I felt like a genius.

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