Yesterday evening I arrived at San Martin de los Andes after a 9 hours road trip. And I would almost have had a bad start here...! When I got out of the car I kind of lost the ground under my feet and fell. With the torch of my mobile phone I discover an open sewer, about 40 cm deep. I'm very happy I and my camera (which I held in my hand) are still in one part!!!
I like the hostel here, the room is cozy and spacious. And there is a good heating (which we didn't have in Chile)! There is a lot of motor noise from outside and dogs are barking all the time.
Today would be this spectacular full moon eclipse. We saw the moon rising on the way coming but now it's covered and raining. I'm little bit angry about this... Well, I would't have gotten outside in a strange town at night...
In the morning I first go to the city, have a look where I am and buy some delicious chocolate...! I realize that I don't feel like staying in the city for the rest of the day and go to the tourist information to ask what I could do. I get the recommendation to go to Parque Nacional Lanin, to do a boat trip on Lago Lacar and to visit Quila Quina. There is a Mapuche Community (native inhabitants) living there.
I buy some lunch and take the boat at 1 pm. I quickly find a nice hiking path at Quila Quina. Compared to San Martin it's nice spring weather here, not windy or cold at all. Many trees are in full bloom and have fresh leaves. As recommended I walk to the waterfall. What a nice place! I enjoy to just be a little bit, to have time to think about my trip and my live. I know that my trip is coming to an end soon...
In a round trip I go back to the small port. I pass some very nice villas.
Arrived at the port I take a seat at one of the picnic tables. Soon a young woman with a small child asks me if she can sit there too. Little bit later a elderly woman and a man join her. The elderly woman begins to prepare the Mate (Argentinian people always carry their Mate “sets” with them: the small pot, the straw, the herbs and a vacuum flask). She fills the small pot about half with the herbs and adds hot water. Mate is always shared so I soon get invited to drink with them. I almost burn my mouth but I know it would be rude to say no. They ask me where I come from and are little bit surprised that I drink Mate. As all Argentinian people I met they know a lot about Switzerland, know the most important cities and know that four languages are spoken. They tell me about their Italian ancestors. I don't understand everything word for word but I can follow the discussion and answer in Spanish. That makes me really happy. All of a sudden I realize that my boat leaves in one minute!
Back in San Martin I buy my own Mate pot and some gifts.
Afterwards I go back to my hostel and I'm too tired to go out again. I spend my last evening in Patagonia with writing on my blog and sorting photos.
I hope to transfer some of the things I liked here in my Swiss life. The Mate scene from this afternoon is a good example how open the Argentinians are and how they like to share...