El Bolson, Argentina

El Bolson Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 35 › view all entries
nice backdrop for the town

El Bolson is a smallish town south of Bariloche. We decided to come here as the weather was shizen at Bariloche and hoped we get a break from the rain somewhere else (south is not the logical move, but hey?). We took the dodgy two hour bus and arrived about 11am, plenty of time to find a place to stay and work out things to do.

We decided to stay Refugio Patagonia (not sure where Patagonia actually finishes but they keep claiming the further north we go). It was a nice place on a small farm located about 10mins walk out of the town. 10mins doesn´t sound like much, however its enough time to pick up 3 or 4 random dogs along the way. The place was nice with a big common room and a large kitchen area, dorm accomadation as usual.

Empanadas! you little ripper.

The first afternoon we spent getting some washing done and shopping for dinner for tonight and the next night which we were planning to stay at a refugio. As we were waiting for the washing we found a nice little place that makes about 20 different types of empanadas (little pastry pies). No big Argentinean steak like i´m getting used to though.Back at the hostel we met a couple of Aus girls from Lilydale and had a few beersbefore going to bed.

Went to the local market in the morning, which is supposed to start at 10am, however these argentineans are slackers and decided to not turn up in any real numbers before we left at 12. We were planning to head up to the ridge which is a highly recommended walk, however somehow we missed 10km of walking in the equation when we were deciding, so that changed our plans pretty promtly.

El Bolson market place
Instead we decided on a walk along the Rio Azul to a refugio.

The walk to the refugio was about 10km in total and we caught a local bus to the starting point of the trek. The trek was relatively easy, but went through some beautiful country with large mountains in the background and some fairly dense forest. A couple of good river crossings with some pretty dodgy bridges, but we didn´t get wet, so they were good enough as far as the argies are concered. Only saw one other trekker along the 3.5 hours of the trek, so we weren´t sure whether we were heading in the right direction, but we arrived without too many problems. The refugio was located just past a gorge that was pretty amazing. The Rio Azul is a reasonably large river and it all goes through about a 5m wide gorge, we were standing about 50m above the water level.

start of the trek to ´the blue canyon´ (cajon de azul)

The rufugio was very nice and quaint. It was run by a spanish dude who didn´t speak a work of english, our espanol is very limited so there wasn´t much said, especially seeing as we were the only ones staying there. However it was a very nice night and he warmed the water up for our showers by liting a fire beneath the water tank, was a good shower too. We cooked dinner and decided to hit the sack pretty much straight after food as there wasn´t much else to do. The sleeping quarters comprised a floor with about 10 matresses scaterred around thr room, very cosy indeed. Quite the little love nest!

As we went to bed about 8pm, we had no problem getting up early and heading off pretty close to sunrise. As we left the refugio a little cat decided to follow us, we assumed he´d (assuming its a he) turn around after a while and head home.

swinging bridges a-plenty
However after an hour or so of following us we decided he wouldn´t be able to find his way home and were telling him to go away (not in that nicer language). After two hours he was making so much noise we started to feel a little sorry for him that he was probably going to get eaten by a Cougar in the woods as he was struggling to keep up and he was letting us know about it by making a heap of noise. After the third hour we were completely turned around on the little man and wanted him to make to rest of the trip. I was calling him Mittens and sarah was calling him Bert. We gave him some chocolate chip biscuits and he was good to for the rest of the trip, he even made it over the shonky bridges. We past a little refugio on the home straight and the little bastard decided he liked it there better and stayed there, stupid Mittens.
some more treachorous than others

We made it back to the road after about 3.5 hours to find the bus wouldn´t take us and that we´d have to wait another 2 hours in the rain. Sarah stuck out her thumb and we hitched a ride in the back of a ute. Was quite the trip for 10mins or so, i was watching the speedo and he maxed out about 110km/h, mum won´t be happy with me.

Had a big hamburger to finish off  and we headed back to Bariloche on the afternoon bus.

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nice backdrop for the town
nice backdrop for the town
Empanadas! you little ripper.
Empanadas! you little ripper.
El Bolson market place
El Bolson market place
start of the trek to ´the blue ca…
start of the trek to ´the blue c…
swinging bridges a-plenty
swinging bridges a-plenty
some more treachorous than others
some more treachorous than others
quite the un maintained bridge
quite the un maintained bridge
views to the homesteads below were…
views to the homesteads below wer…
AC about to throw me over the edge!
AC about to throw me over the edge!
the walking looks just like tassie
the walking looks just like tassie
the Rio (river) azul
the Rio (river) azul
the water is crystal clear and an …
the water is crystal clear and an…
some man made ladders to help with…
some man made ladders to help wit…
the refugio a very picturesque loc…
the refugio a very picturesque lo…
the blue canyon quite spectacular …
the blue canyon quite spectacular…
inside the refugio
inside the refugio
the sleeping quarters
the sleeping quarters
cat following us over the swinging…
cat following us over the swingin…
Mittens made it over!
Mittens made it over!
Vegemite on biscuits for lunch by …
Vegemite on biscuits for lunch by…
El Bolson
El Bolson
El Bolson
El Bolson
Empanadas
Empanadas
El Bolson
photo by: scacos2006