El Bolsón is a nuclear free zone bursting at the seams with hippies. There are dreadlocks and rastas everywhere. Thankfully I haven't detected too much patchouli. This is where you want to come when you arrive in Patagonia. More like the real Argentina, I think. Bariloche was so disgustingly commercial, this is much better. Tomorrow I am going to visit Lago Puelo and an outpost of ex-pat Isrealis who've set up homes near the lake. Saturday I am planning on heading into the hills again for some trekking. There is a nice open air market here on Thursdays and Saturdays. I am staying at a guest house owned by a 77 year old Patagonian native. She is a gardener and seems twenty years younger than she really is. She took me on a tour of her garden this morning and explained about her plants, the seeds, the amount of water this one particular plant sucks from the soil (more fun than it sounds).
I was separated from the three guys I was hunkering down with because we were forced to take different transportation out of Pampa Linda. I have no idea what has become of them. I sat in the front seat with the driver of a small van on the way out. When the driver suddenly says " ¿Americano, miras la agua?" what he really means is " The bridge is out and we are going to attempt a river crossing!" He suddenly turned off route into the bushes and drove too fast parallel to the river for about fifty yards into an open area. He manuevered the van into strike position. With all the gusto the van could muster he charged into the water, then downshifted as we lost half our speed when we hit the water. There was a chuckle or gurgle or something he half released when we made it to the other side.
I am pleased to be in El Bolsón today. I am cooking steak for dinner. This place is swarming with Isrealis as well. Ciao