El Bolson

Trip Start Jan 03, 2007
Trip End Apr 07, 2007

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Saturday, February 24, 2007

El Bolson is a little town with the craziest street layout. There aren't too many streets that run straight for more than 5 blocks. Most intersect another or just randomly end. Only about 10% are paved too. There are water trucks that drive around watering the street to keep the dust down.Nothing like the smell of a freshly watered street! El Bolson is 120km south of Bariloche and our next step in working ourselves toward to bottom of the world. It is also surprisingly far warmer than Bariloche was. It is a haven for hippies and nature lovers. We arrived on Saturday on an enlarged van that they call a bus. Fortunately it was super cheap. Every weekend, Tuesday and Thursday they have a craft market here in El Bolson where hippies from all over come and sell the crap they sit around making in between drinking beers and smoking doobies in the central plaza. There are some more professional craft makers here, but the abundance is dreadlocked, topless, hippie Argentinians. They just take the summer to go venture out and be `free spirited` by doing nothing. They seem quite happy doing so. Rightly so, its beautiful here and all they do is party. Selling their crafts or busking to make enough money to stay numb.

Today Taso and I amused ourselves by the river. We had walked there in hopes of a patch of grass next to the river to play soccer on. No such luck. We ended up just playing in the river, adding the the dam that was already feebly standing. I spent a couple hours making the dam bigger, stronger and wider. I increased the height of the pool of water by maybe 8 inches. I thought this was quite impressive. Perhaps its not. It was my first dam, give me a break. It was painful walking on all of the stones on the bottom of the river moving rocks around. Taso suggested that I just wear my shoes in the river. Brilliance! I was on a mission after my feet were protected. Taso stood on the shore finding huge rocks and throwing them into the water. I would go over pick them up and put them in the retaining wall. Good system. After a few hours of river play we kicked the soccer ball around on the gravel road. We went back to our clean hotel room absolutely filthy. The receptionist was unsure if he should give us the key we asked for. He caved in.  The host family at our hotel is quite nice. The other night we were playing music out on the balcony. They came out and started talking, but they weren`t asking us to turn it down. They just wanted to tell us they thought it was sweet we had our music playing on the balcony....or so we think. Translations are tough with language barriers. Either way, they weren't angry about our music. The hotel is utterly spotless too. You can see your reflection in the floors if you look closely. Everyday they come and make the bed and bring clean towel, clean the balcony, water the flowers on the balcony, clean the bathroom and vacuum the carpet. They also don't rush you out of your room in the morning to clean it either. They wait patiently until you leave, cleaning in silence. Far better than the hostel we made reservations at that wanted to charge us $100 per night. We have a few stars more of class for $70 per night. Still kind of expensive, but that happens some times. You need to go classy every once and a while.
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