Adios El Bolson

Most of my time in Argentina, I have not strayed far from El Bolson. I have come here in between farms and in between hiking trips to get on the internet, get supplies at the Verde Menta, eat amazing ice cream at Juajua and catch buses to further destinations. It is a fairly small place and Smiley couldn´t believe how many acquaintances I was running into on the streets. But finally, I am leaving! Tonight at 11 PM, I will sit in seat 28 on Feb. 28th on a bus headed south to El Chalten on Ruta 40, a very rough unpaved road that will take me deeper into Patagonia to the land of the glaciers.

My home base in El Bolson was Hostel Agustin Porro. Shown here are one of Agustin's many fruit trees.

Smiley on the passarela with Mt. Piltriquitron in the distance. Smiley and I parted ways this afternoon; he heads back to Buenos Aires. El hombre se viene, el hombre se va...en la carretera...


into the cajon again

Cajon Azul is just too beautiful to not return there. And so I had to show the spot to Smiley. We chilled there for four nights - 2 at the Refugio Cajon and 2 at Retamal.

before beginning our descent into the valley

Smiley in the Rifugio Cajon at breakfast eating pan with pan

striking a pose in the cajon

Passo de los Vientos...

Smiley and Laura at the Passo

Refugio Retamal: definitely the best onda of any of the refugios where we went. Never in my life have I been in so many houses built by the very people living in them. This is Mariano's home/guest lodge built by Mariano.

Laura with the ubiquitous maté and some of the chicos from Cordoba that we befriended, Mario and Cyro. These guys serenaded us nightly with songs in English and Español.

Ah! mi amaca! I realized the other day that I have slept outside in my hammock just about every day in the month of February.

I convinced Smiley that it was warm enough to sleep outside. He didn´t need to pay to sleep in the refugio, and so he smilingly slept in the dirt.

Hielo Azul

Smiley and Prager came to El Bolson where we kicked it at ultra chill Hostel Agustin Porro. And then Smiley and I hit the mountains west of El Bolson. We first went to Refugio Hielo Azul and hiked up to a small glacier at the top of the mountain.

Smiley in the lagoon of the melted glacier...

the lil´glacier

Why was there a black cloud creeping across the face of the moon? Oh, just a lunar eclipse.



Deep in the Circuito Mallin Ahogado north of El Bolson lies a farm/forest/creeks and center of permaculture called CIDEP. I spent two weeks here practicing my spanish with Argentines, Chileans, Americans and French. I spent my days working in natural construction - peeling the bark from logs, cutting down trees, carrying trees/logs from the forest, hauling rocks and sand, stirring a big pit of clay for the adobe mix of clay, sand and straw and building adobe walls. Que divertido! I met many great people and ate lots of amazing food. It was like summer camp!

making adobe bricks...

making a mixture with mostly straw and clay for floors

inside the solar shower

side of Alejandro's house - CIDEP reuses all of their glass bottles in their construction projects

some of the Frenchies who worked construction with me: David and Arneaux

Ximena and Cara

Asado! Good times, typical Argentinian style

Klaus - the German neighbor

Cajon Azul

One week into my stay at CIDEP (Centro of Permaculture), I left late Saturday afternoon and began walking towards Wharton and Rio Azul and ventured into the Cajon Azul. I was blown away by the place and I wished that I had 5 days to relax there instead of one night. I stayed at the Refugio Retamal and had a delicious dinner whipped up by Mariano.
After a chat on wild edible plants at CIDEP, the whole forest floor looks like a delicious salad. The amount of maté that I have been drinking is incredible. Every 2 hours at CIDEP we had a maté break. I think all of the yerba has changed my body chemistry.

Sheep Slaughter at Taiquén

The process in which a living animal is killed and becomes meat is fascinating. I was more intrigued than repelled by the stinking flesh and the bright red blood. I cannot say that I helped with the slaughter. However, I did chase the sheep, caught it and pinned it down between my legs in order to separate it from the others. I rolled up Gabriel's shirt sleeves and watched as he slit the sheep's throat. The meat that we ate later that evening was delicious.


Parque Nacional Los Alerces

very clear water in Lago Krugger in the morning


forest of bamboo or something similar from up in an alerce tree

tourist information in Epuyen