El Bolsón, ArgentinaMay 6, 2017 in Argentina ⋅ 🌬 13 °C
'It's raining Cat' and dogs.
El Bolsón is another hikers wonderland. If you haven't yet caught on, there's not much else to do in Patagonia. But when the hiking is world class, do you need anything else? You absolutely do. You need food - stacks of it. And grog. Appropriately, on offer is a mouth watering array of delicious and reasonably-priced meat (lamb and beef on point) and a ridiculously accessible and cheap selection of red wine. Artisenal beers and chocolate are unavoidable, as are tortas, empanadas, medialunas and all things pastry. How's that for a complimentary combination?
We arrived in El Bolsón in the rain at lunchtime to a very welcoming hostel full of like-minded hikers. By like-minded, I mean tired of the rain and steadily increasing the red wine consumption to compensate. Half a day of exploring town in the rain was enough to sodden us and our moods and provide us with common ground to whine about with the other guests. We spent the remainder of the day on the research and lined up an overnight hike, before retiring to beer and steak.
I'm not sure why you're still reading - this story has become very predictable. Our days in Patagonia revolve exculsively around walking and eating, and have done since we got here. Perhaps I'll call when we're done and you can tune back in...
The next day we engaged in a few short walks (told you!) to view points around town and to the nearby Lago Puelo. It was meant to be a light day on the legs yet we still clocked up almost 20km. We gave thanks for the serenity and lack of company and also for not getting mugged, as we later discovered was highly likely - woops. Glimpses of sun and the absence of rain made for an enjoyable day. We also prepared ourselves for the next day's overnight hike, with a food shop and a hard earned $3 bottle of red (told you again!). The next two days were spent on the track. I'll do another footprint 'cause we took a million photos of the sun (and moon!).
It's worth a mention that stray and owned dogs are equally as numerous as each other in El Bolsón (and in Patagonia for that matter). Even our hostel had four dogs which includes the most hyperactive puppy I have ever seen, much to Cat's delight. The dogs appear tame - aside from the incessant barking which breaks every spell of silence in the valley - but they are also very loyal and have a particular taking to following hikers, alone or en masse. Obviously it's in the hope of food but they'll go to great lengths - trotting entire days alongside their best friends for the chance of some granola bar crumbs. We thoroughly enjoyed their company and at times even relied on them for navigation (not kidding!).Read more