08 September 2015

Argentina - Lake San Roque and Cosquin

Villa Piren, near Carlos Paz, Argentina
A slight noise on the tin roof in the middle of the night disturbed my slumbers. Next came thunder and lightning that lit up the night sky. Torrential rain followed, drumming on the roof like a pounding headache! However, we awoke to clear, sunny skies so set off to find Lake San Roque and Cosquin.
Travelling in a foreign country where none of the road signs are in English, and the tourist information from the resort reads like a puzzle badly translated from Google, I am amazed that we actually ever find anything! 

The area around the lake is picturesque and makes up for the very dry and boring road yesterday. We stopped at a braai spot where there were a number of fishermen trying their luck as the picnic tables were already laid out!

Whilst I always imagined Cuba to have really old cars and trucks, there are countless of these relics on the roads here. How they are held together is a mystery and all I can say is that there must be mastermind mechanics looking after these ancient vehicles. And they still go as fast as their modern counterparts!

We passed an impressive place called the Federal Plaza where all the Argentina provinces are represented. Unfortunately, the many water features are not operational and the few vendors looked as if they knew there would be no business for them today.
The villages are very higgledy-piggly and no town planning seems to exist. Shops sell all sorts of weird merchandise yet the plain old supermarket is hard to spot. Schools appear very basic although we did spot one with AstroTurf where the kids were playing hockey.

Cosquin is a more modern looking town although it is one of the oldest settlements in the region. It is famous for its folklore festival held annually in January.
Our aim was to take the chairlift to the summit of El Pan de Azurcar which rises to 1260m. We eventually found the gravel road which wound up the mountain for approx 4km of twists and turns. Only to find? Everything shut up and locked for "maintenance"  At least we were not the only fools up there! There was no sign of any maintenance crew so perhaps it's just an excuse for an extended holiday? The chairlifts were swaying tantalisingly high up above us. 

So down we went to find something to eat. An old man handed us some menus that we could not understand so we opted for a pizza instead of a sandwich. Ham and cheese seems to be a staple diet here! A small beer asked for ended up being a litre! Thankfully, he had not yet opened it so it could be changed.
Perhaps we should learn better sign language?

I had been warned about the loos but had been feeling safe as all were "normal" so far. Alas, this restaurant had the "open bin" policy for ones toilet paper and no flush handle in sight! Shades of Greece and very yuck!!! 

Anyway, enough adventure for one day so we headed back to Carlos Paz in heavy siesta traffic! Seems they shut their shops and then all take to the roads...

© Judelle Drake

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