Saturday, February 21

Patagonia 3

My next destination was Epuyen, a village about 100 k.m. to the south. My stay there was quite uneventful, with the highlights being the tranquillity of a place which could barely qualify as being a village. It was the first time in ages that I'd been in the countryside at night, away from all types of light pollution and able to take in a star-saturated midnight sky.

Next up was Esquel, which is known for being close to both one of the nicest national parks in the Andes and also to a village founded by Welsh settlers. The park, Los Alerces, is indeed something to behold. With trees that are over two thousand years old, and lakes that look like something out of the garden of Eden, it's a very special place indeed.

This was also the first time in almost ten years that I spent a rainy day camping. Sitting in a tent, with little else to do but watch water slowly dripping through a hole in the roof wasn't the most enjoyable way to spend an evening, but the feeling of having such a fragile shelter between you and the storm is something that's hard to describe, in a way, cosy.

Trevelin, the Welsh colony, was a bit of a disappointment. Although the people who originally founded the village spoke Welsh fluently, after several generations the culture has been largely lost. What's left are English tea houses that boast wide varieties of biscuits and something of a British complexion in the locals, meaning lighter skin and more freckles than their compatriots of Latin ancestry.


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