After hanging around in the Bariloche wilds for a good while I moved into town as I was in need of some simple company. The Refugio Cordillera, has become more of a place for catering to the cycle tours around the Circuito Chico, than for being a hostel. The owner has been running the place for too long and has become very set in his ways, has the propensity to go into sulks when he decides that only Spanish can be spoken, which can get tiring, but all in all a fine fella and a great little place to pop one’s hat up for a while.
I headed into town to spend a few days with people who spoke the same language, this led me to trot up to the lovely Refugio Frey with a couple from The US. The sharp mountains of Cerro Catedral rose like, well, a cathedral above the lake-side refugio. Within the refugio the young people running the place were managing to cook up some great food, somehow they carried everything they needed for the home-made bread and delicious sauces up by themselves, they carried all of the rubbish back down with them. They got a little upset when someone asked where the rubbish was so that they could empty their rucksacks of litter, surely common sense would tell you that you had to take away with you, whatever you brought with you.
I also got to hang out with a lovely couple of Anglo Indian origin, Harp and Aman. We had a great time and talked up a storm, after a while of broken English Spanish it was a breath of fresh air to talk about anything and everything and we did. We got a bus out to Angostura where there are magical woodlands that reach up about the little lakeside town that seems to have little connection with the famous bitters, the woods had a Tolkienesque quality and the high cliffs, with the back-drop of impressive mountains, only heightened the feeling.
On Sunday we cooked up a Sunday roast chicken. It was a lovely moment for me to sit down with these two lovely people who in some way had such different roots, yet I felt more at home with than almost anyone else I had met on my journey. Harp with his funny banter, the empathy of them both. Thanks Harpreet and his wife Amanjot for one of the nicest chickens I’ll ever get to taste.
Whilst at the bus station we noticed a sneaky little train station hiding away, on a whim I decided to head to Viedma for the sake of a train ride, the journey across this country the size of India was to cost around $20US and that was for a medium posh seat.