Ein schones dorf!!

Trip Start Jun 01, 2009
Trip End Dec 10, 2009

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Where I stayed
Apart El Chanar

Flag of Argentina  , Central Argentina,
Thursday, July 2, 2009

We got a mini bus to Villa General Belgrano and passed gorgeous scenery on route.  A little out of the city it changed to a dry landscape with the Sierra mountains all around - that's what I'm talking about!  As we drove on further we were driving along a winding cliff road and below us was a gorgeous lake and the sun was beaming down - gorgeous!  We got to the bus station and got a taxi to our home for the next 4 days (we initially planned on 2 days but Ror found us a gem of a place!)  Its called El Chanar and basically they are self contained cabins or apartments.  We were met by the owner, Tom, who was the nicest man.  His wife came out to welcome us and was kissing us like we were long lost family!  She didn't speak English but Tommy did and he was only too delighted to have the opportunity to practice it!  We literally thought that he would never stop talking to us and I mean that in the nicest way because he was so friendly.  He took out a map of the town and started showing us what we could do and where we could go.  He took out a marker and started marking out routes, a different colour for all the different places lol.  It was hilarious but I have to say that I appreciate this kind of detail.  He showed us into the cabin after about 20 minutes and we were blown away - it was gorgeous and all for 150 pesos a night which is under 30 euro which we had been paying for some double rooms in hostels so we really landed on our feet.  It had a cute little kitchen with dining table and a living room with futons and satellite tv.  The bedroom was dotey too, all woody.  We initially were only going to stay 2 days as already mentioned but decided that the place was so nice we'd stay for 2 more and rest up for a few days.  We strolled down to the town to have a look around but we were in siesta country now - everything shut from around 1-4pm so we had lunch in a place Tom recommended and it was top notch.  The town itself is a German town.  They even have an Oktoberfest every year which would be cool to see.  The main street is full of touristy wooden shops - sehr schon but unfortunately I didn't get to use my German from school as Spanish was all that was spoken so back to sign language!  We went back down town in the evening and before we went we wanted to speak to Tom to book horse riding for the morning but he wasn't around.  We were minding our own business and someone pulls up behind us on a moped and was saying something to us - wasn't it Tom!  We think that he heard we were looking for him and went off in search of us to see what was up - lol what a beauty!  We decided that we better cook dinner so off we went to the supermarket.  They didn't have any baskets but these small miniature trolleys.  I didn't know if they were for kids or what but I took one anyway.  I looked comical but I am only a petite little thing anyway so one might say it was the right size for me!  Anyhoo we got a pizza base and bought a few toppings to put on it - cardboard is all I can describe it as.  Ror ate it but I made do with a hot cup and a packet of oreos (we are very partial to an oreo since this trip began!) and we settled in to watch a movie in our cozy little cabin!

Ror was dying to try horse riding - I wasn't but said that I would push myself and go for it.  Tom organised a 2 hour session with Doris.  Off we went the next morning at 10 and we were dropped off in the taxi at a modest looking home with lots of horses in the field.  Doris or her son who met us didn't speak English.  We were just helped onto the horses and I was told very quickly to hold the rope around the horses head in one hand and quickly on how to turn right and left - I didn't have a notion.  Off we went out of the house and down the dirt road - I hated it straight away.  Our horses were obviously not fed in a long time as they kept going into the ditch and eating the leaves!  (I'm only joking about not being fed - I bet all horses do this but I was just scared shitless!)  As the time went on I got braver and was trying to pull the rope back to stop him but he was a determined little fecker to eat so I just went with it.  Rors horse seemed to want to lead all the time so that suited me fine but my horse kept dragging me down by the ditch and through the trees then.  Ror told me after all he could do was laugh at me and the guy that came with us was in stitches as well - so much for gentlemen!  At one stage one branch came flying back and nearly hit me in the face that I had to bend my body back to avoid it and nearly fell off the horse - the 2 hours booked quickly became 1 hour!  It might have been better had we been given better instruction but I am still glad I did it - don't know if I'd repeat it again though.

The day after was the Mens Wimbledon final so we lazed around watching that which turned out to be a brilliant match.  Afterwards we walked down the road and set off to climb the Cerro de la Virgin.  Being cooped up inside we didn't realise that it was actually quite a hot day outside and we both put on our sweatpants.  They were soon rolled up to knee height (not a good look on either of us!) as we climbed up some steep man made stairs with the sweat dripping off us and a big red face up on me with the strain of it all!  It was a really tough trek up which took us about 30 mins (thankfully).  At the top there is a statue of the Virgin Mary which was erected in 1981.  The view down was incredible over all the fields and Sierra mountains in the distance - we could see for miles around.  It was so peaceful up there so we stayed for a while to catch our breath and say a few prayers and we were off back down again.  That night we ate in Tio Rico which was a pay by weight buffet restaurant and we got the most divine chicken and rice dish in a creamy sauce - makes a change from all the stodgy food we have been eating.

Last day and Tom popped over to say his daughter had had a baby girl and they were off to Cordoba to see her so he said goodbye to us as he probably wouldn't see us again.  So nice!  He told us not to leave the area without going to la Cumbrecita so we took his word for it and went off on the bus.  It was about an hour away and another German town but much smaller.  He showed us a walk we could do so we visited a waterfall in the area (let just say it was no Iguazu) and a few little lakes.  It was a nice day but I guess we have seen such amazing things recently that we probably didn't really appreciate it like we should have done but in saying that it was a really pretty place.  Back to the cabin for our last night in Villa General Belgrano.
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