22 September 2015

Argentina - San Martin De Los Andes

Our landmark in San Martin de los Andes!

Does the wind always blow in San Martin de los Andes? The dust swirls in all directions, battering one's face with tiny, stinging bits and making one's hair feel like straw. And the wind chill!
This town is located on Lake Lacar and is well laid out. It appears that there are strict town planning laws which have certainly helped to keep this town looking charming with its many interesting buildings.
We wandered around enjoying the crisp air and the gorgeous trees all decked out in pink.
There are many shops selling/renting ski equipment as the well known Chapelco Ski Resort is about 19 km away.
The nearby Parque National Lanin offers numerous opportunities for hiking and for the very fit there is the 3 day trek to the crater of Volcan Lanin. At 3776 m this is the highest peak in the park.

In our wanderings we spotted a menu in English! Yeah! La Casona is a family run restaurant with a friendly ambience. It's off the main drag and very tastefully decorated. My chicken with mushroom sauce was served with tons of potato croquettes but no vegetables! I am missing the Cape Town restaurant scene and will even welcome the spinach and butternut a La Spur!!!
We were seated at a window and gazing up at us with pleading eyes, was the cutest dog. He just kept looking at us and if eyes could talk...oh my word. As my chicken piece was huge I cut some into bite sized chunks and sneaked out the door to feed him. Well he gobbled this up and then vanished without even a thank you!!!

After lunch we headed back to the Plaza to find our car. Well yes - that was the plan. How does one lose a car in a grid - lined town? It seems easily! At this stage the town was also very quiet as the World Cup Rugby match between Argentina and New Zealand was being broadcast. So nobody to even ask for directions!
The clouds were getting thicker, the swirling dust relentless and the temperature was starting to plummet.

We had visions of walking in circles around these grid-lined streets until we dropped from sheer exhaustion!
Eventually, after about our 5th circuit we spotted the Red Bus parked at the Plaza and there on the opposite corner was our trusty vehicle, quietly awaiting our return.
James just about hugged the car - I don't think he has ever hopped in the drivers seat so fast.

The entire town is covered in this beautiful pink - truly stunning.
We headed back down the 7 Lakes Drive still marvelling at the beauty despite the heavy, dull cloud cover which showed no sign of lifting.
The roads were very quiet this Sunday, maybe because most locals stayed home to watch the WC Rugby 2015? Unfortunately, the Pumas lost to the All Blacks with final score being 26-16.
So there are some sad faces around.....!

© Judelle Drake

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