Entre Lagos to San Martin de los Andes


sandwich argentinian style
bike hostal
From Entre Lagos it was back on a paved and winding road that led to the Argentine border. It also led through a fantastic national park. I camped with Chris (he's just toured Route 66 in the USA and now finds himself down here...) in a great little meadow off the road behind some trees. The next day we set off up the never-ending hairpins until...er...they ended. Then, in the pouring rain, we shot down to Argentina, past the gorgeous Lago Espejo (mirror lake) and on to Villa Angostura. A nice enough little touristy town. Rain treated my tent to a well needed shower (to remove bird excrement) and I had a shower too.

In the morning I waved adios to Chris and set of up Ruta 234 (camino de los siete lagos) and set about counting the lakes. It was a hot sunny blue sky day and the scenery was out of this world. Only, sorry folks, I had no camera to record it. Nevertheless, I will try to describe instead. Basically you've got a gravel road, then on one or both sides a lake of deep blue water. Behind that you have either forested mountains with rocky outcrops poking out above, or higher more distant snowcapped peaks. When there is no lake beside the road you have raging rivers with big cascading rapids, or forests with unusual native trees that I don't recognise.

I reached a campsite beside a lake and popped in to buy bread, pepsi and biscuits. The man said to me:
"There is a big party by the lake tonight, man," and then with a conspirational wink ",there'll be muchas chicas..."
So, well, basically I was persuaded and spent the night drinking a couple of beers on the lakeside beach, playing guitars, eating bbq'ed cow bits, and watching the view, and the sunset.

Today the road was equally impressive but was soon paved all the way to SMdlA. When you hit the crest of the last pass it is a thrilling ride down to the town. The best moment for me was rounding a turn to see the full length of Lago Lacar and at one end San Martin.

I took in the town, interneted a bit, got a sandwich, bought a new camera, and was about to leave town when I passed "Bike Hostal" a hostal full of bits of bicycles and with a workshop at my disposal. The owner invited me in and we sat in the garden drinking mate. Oh well Junin tomorrow.

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