Villa Angostura

I spent 5 days in Bariloche, and tried to get out of the tourist infested town every day.  It´s Argentina´s Disneyland, and while it has some very pretty log cabin buildings, it is less than quaint.  Llao llao is a very pretty place, and I took the bus there a few times and explored a nice trail, a pretty cathedral, a very cute Swiss town (actually German).  As one Buenos Aires porteno put it, after WW II the Germans tried to get as far from BA as possible, and stopped when they reached a dirt road with no exit up against the Andes.  That is the location of Colonia Suisse.  I fled the touristic land of Bariloche to the more calm village of Villa Angostura, and have finally had chance to rest.   Two hostel mates decided to drive to Chile for a shopping spree, which I joined, though it was less than ideal.  I got a taste of being completely dependent on people I don´t know and more than once thought I´d have to get back to Argentina under my own power.  I didn´t have their phone number, nor vice versa, so most of the time I waited for them at the car, as I didn´t want to lose them.  I had a nice hike up a trail to a waterfall today, in a forest inhabited by some local Mapuche.  I spoke with one man in Spanish, and he told me how to find the trail.  He was very kind a gentle mannered.  I have made good friends with Pamela and Claudia, a very lovely pair of sisters that own a wonderful chocolate company, Nuke, in memory of their mother, who died of a broken heart.  I don´t have friends here, so it meant a lot to me to make their acquaintance.  I have also met a really nice Argentinian woman, Ferdinanda, who is currently playing for the Penn State tennis team.  She has been kind and helpful, giving me suggestions about where to travel and other helpful tips.  It is snowing at the moment, and there are several ski enthusiasts, both ski touring and downhill staying at the hostel.  The most prominent are one man from southern Germany, and a couple from France (the woman is from Russia and has skiied fairly extensively in Siberia).  I feel a bit lost having gone separate ways from Claudio a few days ago, and am trying to decide whether to continue on to Buenos Aires with him or not.  It is nice to have a break and only have to worry about myself, at the moment.  Today I enjoyed watching the Olympics and reveled in the tennis match between Federer and Fallas.  It was nice to watch a match again.  It´s been quite a while.   I send my love and hope that the summer isn´t too hot, and that you are well.



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