Estancia La Maria

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none, Puerto San Julian, Argentina

Estancia La Maria Puerto San Julian Reviews

southernman southern…
3 reviews
Getting the estancia experience May 30, 2011
Any traveller to Patagonia should visit at least one of a number of rural estancias open to tourists. I chose La Maria because of the cave paintings in some 87 caves (tho time does not permit seeing them all), and because they arrange the transport for those like me who do not have a car. I was picked up at my hotel in Puerto San Julian by a cousin of the owner's late husband. The rd. is almost all gravel & the trip takes 2 1/2 or more hrs. You will pass 2 houses & a sign to a 3rd one on the trip. You will pass thru gates, some posts of which are decorated by the heads of wild animals killed on the property. The house is a very attractive middle class home, with kitchen, dining, & sitting area in front & a hall to the bedrooms in the rear. Additional rooms are available separate from the house, as well as camping. Mrs. Behm, the owner, has a generator which she runs only in the evening, but cooks with gas; and I suppose, runs the huge 60 yr. old (made in Argentina) refrigerator as well. A unique contraption over the lavatory in each of the baths gives you enough light in the night to take care of necessary matters. Two hikes are offered. I took the 3 hr. trip to the caves, guided by Mrs. Behm's dau. They had much more variety than those found in the Cave of the Hands (Cueva de los Manos). They incl. guanacas, nandus, dots, lines & circles. As we began to return to the house in the late afternoon sun by a different route, we came atop a hill, & I could not believe how far we had come, nor how much above the house we were in elevation.

Still, it is an easy walk. Entertainment after supper is board & card games. There is no internet service. There are sheep, horses, chickens (downwind & far enough away so the crowing doesn't disturb your sleep); and Mrs. Behm irrigates a nice garden in the back yard. When the weather is nice, as it was when I was there, the midday meal is an asado in the back yd., with some lean-tos structured to keep the wind at bay. On the 2nd evening, there was a brief, light shower, after which the most magnificent full rainbow appeared. It was followed by a fiery red & blue sky in the west, during the long twilight. And don't forget to look out in the night at the magnificent southern sky. Truly, this is splendid isolation.
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