Monthly Archives: February 2014

El Mundo is Muy Pequeno

The parilla at Juan´s

The parilla at Juan´s

 

Mt. Fitz Roy and my mind being blown

Mt. Fitz Roy and my mind being blown

2 weeks at the farm was magnificent!  I learned a bit more about building with adobe and got to pick plums from the tree and pick up horse poop for maneur (there were way too many puns to be had with that one).  Working at the farm definitely sparked my interest in gardening and permaculture.  I really enjoyed hanging out and working with the other 6 volunteers and it was definitely sad to say goodbye to them.  I had 20 + hour bus ride to El Chalten, and on the bus, who hops on, but the girl, Amy, I went backpacking with in Bariloche!  It was great!  Along with this crazy coincidence, about 4 hours away from El CHalten, a window on the bus shattered, and what did the bus drivers do?  Not much!  It was pretty funny.

I was advised on a great and cheap place to camp In El Chalten, so once there, I made my way to Juan´s house, knocked on his door, and camped in his yard, as well as tried my best to speak with him and his family in Spanish.  The next day I met up with someone to go climbing and then ran into a guy, Charlie, from the bus and we decided to go backpacking together.  The backpacking was incredible!  Fitz Roy is unbelievable, I had trouble taking my eyes off of it.  When we got to our campsite, as we were setting up our tents, who shows up?  Amy and her boyfriend of course!  El mundo es muy pequeno.  Charlie and I spent 3 days, 2 nights up there, including a long day hike, and then I went back to town.

When I got back to Juan´s house, I told him I was going to get a ticket to Puerto Natales for the next day, and he told me that his sister and brother-in-law were driving there the next day and I could probably ride with them.  I had to clarify in Spanish about 5 times to make sure I was hearing him correctly!  That night, I met 3 other people from the US who were also staying at Juan´s and it turns out that 1 of them used to live in Salt Lake and we have several mutual friends. We had a huge feast called a Parilla, which is a type of Argentine barbeque, and it is quite the production.  I have never seen so much meat in my life.  It was such a fun evening, with food, great company, laughter, and hilarious dancing.  It was such an authentic experience and the perfect way to leave Argentina.

The next day I left with Mario and Maria for Puerto Natales, which was an adventure in itself because they only speak Spanish, and my Spanish is still only so so.  And of course… as I was walking down the street to get groceries, who do I see? Of course Amy and he boyfriend!  How crazy.  Tomorrow I head out for a 6 day backpacking trip and am super excited!

Fun, Friends, and Farms

 

Biking the Circuito Chico

Biking the Circuito Chico

imageThe past week and a half has been awesome.  I spent about 5 more days in Bariloche at a wonderful hostel and made a great group of friends there consisting of a guy from France, a guy from Belgium, another person from the States and an Aussie.  The 5 of us did a bit of adventuring and lots of cooking and laughing, especially with some language miscommunications.  If you didn´t know, Argentines start their nights to party late, and I don´t mean midnight late, I mean 2 am late.  This being the case, we decided to go out dancing with some Argentines from Buenos Aires one night, and of course, the night didn´t start until 1:30 am, so we danced until 5…and it was a blast!

The next day was a bit of a drag, I biked the Circuito Chico, which is a 27 kilometer bike ride around the lakes in Bariloche, and it kicked my butt!  I left the next day for El Bolson and ran into some friends from Bariloche at my hostel, as well as made some new ones.  Currently, I am volunteering on a farm in El Bolson.  There are 6 other volunteers: 3 from England, 1 from France, 1 from Belgium, and 1 from Ireland.  The week has been a blast and I´ve been learning a lot.  Rosa, the woman who owns the land, is currently making her house from adobe and that has mainly been what we have been helping with.  It´s a really interesting a process!  Being here has been great, we are all living out of tents and have a shack to cook and hang out in.  The accomodations are very simple and it´s wonderful.  To make it even better, there are 2 dogs and 4 cats that are adorable and cuddly and the other volunteers are really cool.  Originally, I was going to stay only a week, but as of right now it´s looking like I´ll be here for at least another.

The Places Your Feet Can Take You

My host family

My host family

Spanish school already came and went.  The week of school was great, I learned a lot and met some really fantastic people.  My host family was incredible!  In the house were my 2 host parents, Mariela and Jose Luis, and 2 other students, 1 from the States and 1 from Switzerland.  Every night the 5 of us laughed the whole way through dinner; the week was wonderful and I feel so lucky to have had such a good host family experience.  Jose Luis and Mariela are incredibly warm and kind people and I will miss them dearly.

On Saturday, the 2 other students and I went to bike the Circuito Chico, which is a loop you can bike around the lakes in Bariloche.  Unfortunately, we got rained out, so we hiked a short trail called Campanario.  The view from the top was beautiful and there was even a cafe at the top!  The bus ride back was an experience in itself; the bus was incredibly full and the bus drivers here are insane.

The next day, I packed up all of my backpacking necessities and headed to an area called Refugio Frey to meet up with 2 girls from the Spanish school.  The hike in is only about 4 hours, but the views are insane and the Frey is gorgeous!  The wind is crazy in Patagonia, so setting up your tent well is really important.  All over the hikes in Argentina, there are these little cabins called Refugios.  If you want to pay, you can sleep in the refugio and buy meals there, but if not, you can camp and hang out inside for warmth.  Being that I wanted to save money, I tented it, but I payed for my necessities: coffee and wine.  The Refugio Frey sits on a lake surrounded by mountains and the vibe at the refugio is so cool; it’s very cozy and warm and easy to meet and make new friends.  During my 3 days/2 nights there, I decided I’ve found my calling and I must work at the refugio!  I told the guys who work there this and they laughed and told me I’ll have to clean the bathrooms and build walls, to which I said “okay!”  So next year, you can find me at the refugio, because whether they hire me or not, I’m going to work there.

As for now, I’m going to hang out in Bariloche for several more days and then I’m heading to a hippie town called El Bolson at the end of the weekend to volunteer on a farm.  Sorry for the lack of pictures, I have no device to get them online at the moment.  Until next post!