After our road trip through the lakes, we hopped on a bus to head south to the town of El Bolson for two days. El Bolson is described as a ‘bohemian town,’ which basically means some hippies live there. The town is surrounded by hiking trails and is within its own microclimate, making it one of the few areas in this part of Patagonia that is great for farming. Although our time there was short, we had a few favorite moments and places in El Bolson.
Casona de Odile
We stayed at a hostel called Casona de Odile, which we decided might be heaven on earth. It’s a ways out of the center of town, but has a couple of acres of its own land that looks like the Garden of Eden with hammocks where it’s always the golden hour. The back of the property borders a river where you can swim and fish, and they offer yoga outside every morning. We decided to sample the yoga class, and let us tell you, that might be one of the best views we’ve ever had from the downward dog position. We soon began to understand why none of the staff were from Argentina, but rather were travelers from various countries around the world who had come to the Casona but never left. We loved having the opportunity to spend hours in the garden, sipping maté and talking about the documentary—discussing our reflections and what our next steps will be once we return to the U.S. to complete the remainder of the film. It was the perfect place to relax, replenish, and look forward to all of the amazing things ahead.
Humus Dairy Farm
When we did manage to pull ourselves away from the garden, we did some light hiking to some of the nearby places recommended by the hostel. One of these included a two-hour walk in the baking sun to a “waterfall.” We were slightly disappointed to find that it was really just a trickling stream of water down a rock face. It looked more like a pee stream than a waterfall. But, it wasn’t all a loss. We ended up hitching a ride back towards town with a friendly school teacher and her daughter who told us all about the area. They even dropped us at a local dairy farm, where we bought fresh home-made cheese and apple juice. Martinelli’s has nothing on this juice. After our morning hike it was just what we needed.
El Bolson Mercado Artesanal
What do hippies do best? The Argentinian answer to that is make crafts of course. El Bolson is known for its huge weekend craft market, so we spent our last morning in town drinking maté with the locals and perusing everything from jewelry to maté gourds, dream catchers and hand-carved drums, all while eating yummy empanadas and French fry cones.
For anyone traveling this region of Argentina, we would highly recommend a stop in El Bolson, whether to hike and camp or to take a break and unwind, it’s a truly wonderful place with lovely people and a whole lot of maté.