On the Dust Road Again, I Just Can't Wait To Get..

Trip Start Feb 26, 2011
Trip End Mar 10, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Monday, March 7, 2011

My travel fatigue was fading the next day when we rose for another great breakfast at La Raclette.  The coffee here is some of the best we've had on the trip.  We fired up the walkie-talkies and hopped into our rentals to head back the way we'd come along the dust road to Villa la Angostura.  We stopped at many of the miradors that we'd missed on the way into San Martin de los Andes and made much better time for several reasons.  1.  Todd and I were dust road pro's at this point.  2.  The morning allowed for less traffic and the shade/dew combo kept the dust to a minimal level.  3.  The sun hitting airborne dust is what makes visibility suck so bad, so the sun hid behind the mountains until around 11:00am or 12:00pm.  

We arrived at Villa de Angostura in the early afternoon and we all had lunch (more empenadas), did a little shopping (the best on the trip was on the main strip here) and check into our hotel/spa Antuquelen. We were super sad to hear that we did not get to stay here longer than one night.  The rooms were nice and the service was great.  Oh yeah, and there is a spa that we didn't get to utilize.  We totally under utilize spa therapy on our trips...  I take that back, in Thailand we had one to two massages a day and for cheap!  
We headed back down to Angostura's port at the lake Nahuel Huapi, the same lake that our beautiful house in Bariloche resided over over an hour away.  We bought tickets to a ferry (100 pesos one way) and also had to buy a national park ticket of some sort (50 pesos) that no one ever checked.  Our crew bailed on the informative speach given by a park ranger (as we couldn't understand what he was saying) and headed to the top level where the sun shone bright and the view was great.  I had the urge to take my shirt off but deamed it inappropriate, especially after the ranger's speach ended and almost everyone tried to force there way to the top deck. Chris G. won a stand off with several small children and an old man who were trying to annoy him out of his spot in the sun.  

The ride ends at a little port at the end of a penninsula where you can hike back to the Angostura or take the same ferry back. Our plan was to take the 13km hike back.  First, we were encouraged to walk around a wooden platform that shows off the rare arrayan trees that grow larger here than anywhere else in the world.  They are amazing little trees that take forever to grow, but the boats kept unloading tourists to an annoying level.  We elbowed our way into the little cafe located near the trail head where they give out cafe and chocolate when you present the ferry ticket.  Annoying crowds or not, we aren't giving up on free coffee or chocolate.  Anne and I mixed our to make a cafe moka thing and we were very pleased with ourselves.  

The hike back was leisurely as we ran into a sweet dog that followed us some of the way and we sang old camp songs or told stories.  The last 2-3 kilometers became much less leisurely as we had to climb several hills, but were rewarded with a nice miradora near the end.  Our feet were nasty and we'd been on the move all day, so I requested we walk along the beach back to the car so I could wash my dusty Chaco feet off.  Luckily, we ran into a little bar, Sunset bar I think, about 500 meters from the car.  The place was blasting music that was annoying at first but after a few songs we were asking the owner who the artist was.  It was Jorge Aragno a brazilian singer who is fond of chanting songs and I think I heard a ukulele.  We loved it and had several drinks and snacks that come with with before we headed back to the hotel.  Sunset bar (as you may have guessed) is a great place for watching sunset.
Back at Antuquelen we all bathed and our hopes of heading back into town for dinner faded fast.  Somehow Todd and Kiaralinda made it out, but the rest of us threw in the towel and convinced the hotel manager to make some pizza, and, you guessed it, empenadas. We had actually tried getting her to call us pizza delivery but she told us it would be bad by the time it got here.  We had trout empenadas with mixed results, but I for one, really liked them.  Back to bed for yet another travel day tomorrow.  Back to Buenos Aires baby.    
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