Life goes on...
Trip Start Jun 21, 2010
43Trip End Aug 11, 2010
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After some mate and cookies (and a stray mutt that meekly kept on trying to be fed by us), Wictor suggested we head further west, towards both the famous "Siete Lagos" trail (a road that unites the small towns of Villa la Angostura and San Martin de los Andes through a scenic tour of seven Patagonian lakes) and the international border with Chile. As expected, the drive westward took us higher and deeper into the Andes, and we enjoyed the changing landscape, as the Valdivian forest grew denser, and eventually gave way to a Lenga forest (higher up in the mountains). We reached the international crossing, but without passports or any really intention to go to Chile we turned back home.
Anyone doing this trip will undoubtedly see a series of red flags and shrines in the side of the road. What are they? Well, good thing you asked, since Denise knew the story and shared with us as we descended from the Andes back into Villa la Angostura. The shrines are built by the followers of "Gauchito Gil," who "believe in the Gauchito." Legend has it that during the Paraguayan war of the nineteenth century, a gaucho-soldier by name of Gil (perhaps Gilberto?), who had fought valiantly and honorably grew tired of the war and decided to leave the front, heading back home to his wife and children. His commander had him arrested and charged with desertion. He planned to have him executed and made an example of, but rumor had it the General would pardon him, given his reputation and his desire to go back to his family
On our way back to Bariloche we took the "Ruta de Circumbalación" around the center of the city, to avoid traffic. This road was built a few years back to lessen the amount of heavy traffic in the already congested urban streets. Although most visitors to Bariloche never stray this far south into the city, about 2/3 of Bariloche's people leave around here, a lot of them below the poverty line or in squalor. This is "the other Bariloche."
We swung by an Empanada place in Villa los Coihues, and ate them at home while watching "The Proposal."
Life goes on after futbol after all....