Esquel, supposedly Welsh as are some of the villages around the area. I stopped by for a cuppa in one of the ‘tea’ houses in Trevelin, just down the road.
I felt like this was one of the few missions on my trip. I had heard of these mythical tea houses where they would serve up a fine cuppa in bone china. It had been 4 months since my lips had supped a fine brew, so with excitement I sat at a table, a few other couples and my lonesome self, soon to be joined by a brew to keep me company.
‘What can I get you’, well she said it in Spanish but with a kind of Welsh Accent. She looked severe. ‘una taza de su té más fino, me dijo’, smiling my most smily smile. ‘You’ll ‘ave to come back in three hours, It’s a minute past closing time and I work long hours so go away’ she said, also in Gaelic inflected Spanish.
I left and didn’t go back, I had had my Welsh tea shop experience and it wasn’t good.
I did meet some wonderful people in Esquel though, a wee bunch of Ozzie/American/English/Argentinians who happened to be busking and dancing. We wiled away an evening in a pub tacked onto the local bus station, stayed too late and got up early for a bus to Futaleufu. Not French no, it’s a place just over the border in Chile, I was going back to Chile after a wonderful stay in Argentina where people had been welcoming/rude/lovely/human. Where the mountains had been perfect hosts, where people are just a lot more beautiful than in most other countries put together, where the land meets mountains like some terrestrial beach, culture, a lovely racial mix and good food. Yum.