Wednesday, March 30, 2011

El Bolson

Wild Camping
The following day we left the park, and spent most of the time on a gravel road. In early evening, we were quite tired from the ride on the difficult road, but we were out of water and didn´t find any rivers or streams. We stopped next to a group of road workers, who filled our water bottle and told us there was a stream 8 km ahead where we could camp. We followed the advice and cycled there. We got there quickly as the road suddenly became paved. In the morning, many cars and a truck stopped there to fill in water.


The Way to El Bolson
The next day started with bad face wind and a long descent. While going down, we met a Japanese cyclist fixing a punctured tube. He came all the way from Alaska in 1 year and 8 months. Later, we passed through a beautiful valley full of blackberry bushes. We tried them, but they weren´t good. On the way, there were many camping sites and places selling Dulces and other tasty stuff, but we were on a rush to El Bolson, so we didn´t stop to buy some.


We thought Dulces meant pastries, but later we figured out they were all selling jams of blackberries and other fruit.


El Bolson
We reached El Bolson very hungry, so we went shopping, ate lunch, and planned to cycle on. Our plans changed when very heavy rain started. We waited a bit in hope it would stop, but it didn´t. So we asked some people for cheap hostels. This didn´t work very well, as one place we couldn´t find and another was too expensive. We decided to consult with the tourist information office. On our way there, some guy in a passing van offered us a double room for 100 AR$. At the tourist information we were told that prices for dormitoris start from 45 AR$. Only after asking about double rooms, the woman there suggested rooms for 90 AR$. The room we were offered for 100 AR$ usually cost 140 AR$. As the cheaper one didn´t include breakfast, and we obviously prefered a private room over a bed in a hostel, we tried it. In the street of that hostel, Amit´s tube exploded, and his tire was torn. We managed to carry the bikes and gear to the Pehuenia Hospedaje (Azsu√®naga 140,, and received a nice room with beds for 5 people (!) all for us.


Amit had to go in the rain to a bicycle store to buy a new bad tire (60 AR$) and then to change the tire and tube. The rest of the evening was enjoyable. Shoham got notified of her acceptance to Cambridge with a full scholarship, and decided she would go there rather than to any of the American universities that accepted her. Amit cooked us a great dinner: stir-fry and humus paste.


We spent some time talking with a nice Australian couple, that did some cycling tours in the past, but prefered the comfort of a normal backpacker trip in South America.

The Way to Bariloche
In the morning it was sunny, so after the great breakfast (pastries the hostel served, some porridge and fruit salad we made) we decided to leave instead of staying another night in the nice hostel.


They insured us that the price for any other cyclists we send there would not be higher than 100 AR$ per room, including breakfast (just say that SHOHAMIT sent you). The road towards Bariloche was easy and fast even though we had to climb a lot.


In the evening we entered the Nahuel Huapi national park, and we camped there (illegally) in the forest.


While opening the tent´s zipper in the morning, ice dropped on us. Apparently, it was freezing cold outside as well that night. We dressed up heavily and continued the climb we started the previous day.



Only at lunchtime it was warm enough for us to take off some of our clothes. Near Bariloche, we saw a frightening herd of wild dogs that were crossing the Ruta 40 from side to side. After entering the city, a fruit vendor ran after us to give each of us a peach for the way (¨por el viaje¨).


                     Shoham & Amit

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