There is a hill behind the farm and last Sunday I climbed it. These are the views from the top of the hill. You can see Lake Epuyen in the distance.
That´s Andy in the foreground, Gabe yawning and Smiley in the background with a large metallic flower - that closes every night.
Gabe in Smiley´s apartment with his brand new travel guitar
Traffic was held up by striking farm workers whom I guess were demanding higher wages. Meanwhile, I was on my way to a farm to work for free. Ugh. The bus ride from Buenos Aires to the mountains was painful. It started out at the biggest, most crowded and sweatiest bus station I had ever seen in Buenos Aires. I had reserved a full bed (It´s like flying 1st class I was told) on a bus to Barriloche. The trip was supposed to take 19 hours to get there plus another 2 hour bus ride to El Bolson. In my section of platforms, the electronic board said that there were 3 different buses all going to Barriloche leaving within 6 minutes of each other. I had asked a guy with the bus company if an earlier bus was mine and he explained that there were lots and lots of buses going to Barriloche. I met some young folks with camping gear from Buenos Aires who were on the same bus as me. Then, a guy announced that our bus would be leaving from platform 37. So, we stood next to platform 37 and waited. Meanwhile, other people were loading up on other buses to Barriloche but I trusted the announcement, the electronic board and the porteños (locals from Buenos Aires) and figured that they knew what they were doing and that I would follow their lead. Well, that was stupid. Our bus left and I had watched people board it while I stood there and waited. The guys of the bus company insisted it was our fault. So, we ran upstairs to the ticket office and I hopped on a bus 45 minutes later - a bus without fully reclining seats and that took 26 hours instead of 19 with lots of stops in small towns across the country. One advantage of this bus was that I got to see local farmworkers burn tires...
Traffic was held up at maybe half a dozen of these points. The men would hold traffic up for 10 to 40 minutes and then let one lane pass. The farm workers who were striking were not hostile at all. I guess they just wanted to interrupt traffic and they smiled as we drove by.
Ah. The mountains. Getting to the mountains after being in Buenos Aires was a relief. This is Lago Epuyen with Quiln? and Dalia in the foreground.
spiderwebs from my bedroom window
Of course, we had to take whiskey shots and shotgun beers in the morning.
The experience made me think a lot about the evil resulting from our automobile and oil dependencies. But I was still grateful for Marcelo's car for it efficiently transported us from the city of San Francisco to a verdant mountain valley with waterfalls, river otters, a glorious rope swing and lots of bright orange lizards everywhere - scampering along the ground and even seeking shelter underneath our tent's rainfly.