Many Menagè-a-trois

Ok, so that was a completely unnecesary title, but Tom and Maya say that the more racy the title, the more hits we will get. It is also a tribute to our favorite hostel worker, Juanny Depp, whom Autsy has referred to in her posts. The night we went for the moonlight swim, he said, ¨After the swim, we can have many menage-a-trois¨, of course he meant orgy, but didn´t know the word, but the idea of the thirty people on the beach clustering up for many of them gave us a giggle. I love messed up translations.

Since my partners in travel have been very good about updating regulary, I thought I would just do another played recap. I´ll try to estabolish myslef as the big picture girl, while they can write about the details.

Thursday of last, the three of us hop on a bus to Bariloche. The ride is ok, except for the very loud Jack Black movie playing. If I haven´t commented on the state of the movies of the overnight busses, I should. They are horrible. I mean 2 of them were on the Seattle Times movie critic´s list of the 5 movies she wishes she could forget. The drive was beautiful, desolate for much of it and then out of nowhere comes trees and huge lakes. Our main goal for heading was to escape the heat and get some good lake swimming in, but like most places on this trip, it was not what we expected.

The first day there, it was cool and windy. The town, as you can see in Mike´s photos looks quite German, set on a hill sloping down to the water. We went to the rocky beach the first night and realized why we hadn´t seen anyone swimming in the lake — it was haultingly cold. I mean, my foot cramped as my toe was barely touching the water. Perhaps I even gave a small yelp!

The first night we spent in a double room, Autsy and I on the bed, Mike on the floor (he offered!). It was really nice of the guy to give us the room, many people wouldn´t have allowed it. We really noticed how nice and relaxed people were when w got there. We think it might have something to do with the climate. That day we got our first glimpse of Hostel 1004, which has been raved about by both of my companions. The minute we stepped foot in it´s luxurious common room, we knew we had to stay there. Having no space avalable for the next 3 nights, we made reservations when we could get them and looked for a car rental place. The next morning we found the cheapest deal in town and headed to El Bolson.

In El Bolson, there were a lot of Hippies. Everyone had a backpack and people were all over the streets and the plaza. It was a small town set between two mountains. It actually looks a lot like North Bend, in a valley, with hills all around. Since we had a car, we were able to drive out of the center to a great little place in a the middle of a big garden or park or something. It was cute and made of great wood beams and had the nice wooden details that makes a place charming. We went to town and got to eat at what seemed like the most popular area in town. First had locally made beers and ice cream at an outdoor table, while doing some good people watching, then had diner inside. The food was pretty good, but we had to go back because Mike and Autsy had been having ¨stomach issues¨ since the buffet at the Iguazu hostel — another hazard of travelling, but we have been pretty lucky.

The next morning, we asked for another night, but they were full, so we decided to hang out at one of the nearby lakes and swim before returning to Bariloche. At breakfast, we picked up a fourth, a girl named Nadia from LA, who was spending time in a desert in Chile by herself to become happy again. Of course a long story, but detail is not the name of my game. We took her to the lake, which was f-ing cold as well, but Mike, Autsy and I were determined, so we went in to the stares of all the other people on the beach. More yelping and we mad Nadia take some photos of us for proof. I wish I could blog temperature, but this computer does not have the ¨feel function¨ yet, someday. We stopped at the cerveceria for some lunch before heading back to Bariloche. Stopped at a lake, Mike skipped rocks and took some photos. He is becoming a self-proclaimed ¨nature photographer¨, but much of the wildlife he captures is Autsy and I (see the photo of me eating the burger in his post).

Made it back to Bariloche, had a nice dinner, stayed at a nice hotel, left the next morning for the 7 lakes tour, which we ended up messing up and taking the longer route. It was beautiful, both Mike and Autsy learned how to drive stick and both took some really hard terrain. Stopped at some remote lakes, ate at a remote town, drove on dirt roads for probably 4 hours, almost ran out of gas, found a cute place that ended up being more than we thought, and turned the car in Monday morning. Having a car in my experience is always worth the extra money. Everytime we rent one, the feeling of freedom is tangible and we are always sop light and happy having control to stop wherever we want.

We cheacked in to the best Hostel ever and spent the next 4 days hanging around the town. We took a trip out to Llao Llao, which is the fancy hotel out on the point, our view was better and we only paid $13 per night versus $390 for the cheapest room. We met a bunch of cool people and got most of their cantact information. We cooked dinner in every night, which was a great experience because most of the 30 other people staying in the hostel did the same thing, so there was a sense of community and there were new people to talk to without having to go out. We went to the vegetable stand every night and cooked fresh veggies or had salads. Every morning, they gave us an oatmeal concoction for breakfast that was great. We went out for lunches and spent the days either walking around town or heading to the local rocky beach, the one that I dipped my toe in the first day, but now we would actually go in since the moonlight splash. It broke the seal in a way and we went in everyday following that event. At night, we could sit out on the balcony of the hostel and look at where the houses on the hill hit the water and across the lake to all of the untouched shores. From our room, we could see the lake and the moonrise and the plaza, which unfortunately came with a lot of teens playing really loud, not very good music at full blast from their cars. Who knew sound travels up so well.

The last night was a little sad, they had a BBQ, not for us, but sort of because we had asked about it. We got prime seats for the view and the weather was so warm we could sit there until well after sunset. We kept asking ourselves why we would want to leave, it was so good to us, but it was time. We caught a bus to Puerto Madryn last night, got in at 7am, a better idea in theory than in practice. Everything was shut down in the small beach town and we waited around until 9:30 to find a place. It is what all beach towns are in the summer, crowded and commercial, with lots of bad restaurants and families trying to have a good time together. It made me realize how little experience I have with this culture, as we never seemed to, and still don´t travel much in the summers. We have a car reserved to drive down and see some penguins and up to see some whales. In a way, I´m glad it is so different from Bariloche because at least it isn´t a lesser version of something great. The landscape is different and the feel is opposite. We are spending tonight readjusting, using the internet and catching up on some sleep that we lost on the bus last night.

For fun, here is a picture Mike took of Autsy and I on the last night at the Hostel. These are our prime seats for the BBQ.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Many Menagè-a-trois

  1. JoAnne

    Well, you hooked me right in there!

  2. The Chop

    I agree with Joanne / Tom. Title is everything. Shamelessness is a virtue. You had me at Menage.

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