Rio Azul and limited resources

Trip Start Oct 17, 2012
Trip End Mar 27, 2013

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Flag of Argentina  , Rio Negro,
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Even though we are supposedly staying on a farm, we buy all of our food. And by "we" I mean Simon, and by food I mean pasta and onions- pretty much every meal. The exception has been sausage, which is something Kendra has NEVER eaten. Ugh, the idea of ground up pig stuffed back into a skin like casing (edible condom), and the phallic shape of it has made it completely unappetizing. However, that stuff was tasty, really tasty. And Kendra was the one to suggest round two of sausage night.
This farm had also been the second place where we couldn't drink the water. To be fair though, they call this section of El Bolson "the drowned swamp" and the only other place we couldn't drink the water was in the delta, which was also a swamp. The only real reason here though was because his water source is a canal that extracts water from a nearby river. Since the canal passes by two sheep fields and sheep carry a parasite that can get in to the water, it's probably not the best idea. We simply boiled it and we're good to go. But there are places here were you can drink the water- everyone told us to do the 10k hike along the Rio Azul, where the water is bright blue and fresh straight from the tops of the nearby mountains. So we did the hike... But given we had limited resources at the start, and one of our water bottles was stolen, we only carried one. Totally not enough. Even refilling at the river crossings we were dying. Plus it was another 6-8k from Simon's to the start of the trail, under the hottest sun ever, with only one granola bar and an apple for nourishment. It took us around 5-6 hours.
But once we got there we were rewarded with a completely empty camp yard with a fresh mountain stream running through it, and literally the most rewarding thing Lydia could have wished for: a kitten. But we also sampled the Refugio's overpriced ($10 liter) home brew to wash down our Trader Joe's brand Easy Mac. Mmm.
At the Refugio, we met an 18 year old Hawaiian girl who was doing work exchange there and backpacking, by herself, for a year in Argentina. She encouraged us to hitch hike to save money on the buses. If we spoke better Spanish, this might be a real option for us, but so far we haven't tried to hitch further than the 18k from Simon's into El Bolson for the market. Anyway, food for thought - pretty much everyone has told us hitch hiking is the best way to go.

The next morning we made some oatmeal, drank some mate, and headed back down the rio to the farm. This time it was cloudy and it took us about half the time to get back as it did to get there. One water bottle and a granola bar was enough to last us until our sausage and pasta dinner that night.

Note, not sure why it is tagging us in Bariloche, but it won't let us change it, at least for now. location: El Bolson, Argentina and Refugio Cajon del Azul
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