May 15, 2009

San Martin

The cruise down from Lago Huechulafquen into San Martin de Los Andes was just as marvelous as the ride up from San Junin de Los Andes. 90km in any other place would be about an hour drive, but given the exquisiteness of the area, it's a sufficient and spectacular days' ride in Patagonia.

Upon arrival in San Martin I searched out a recommended place (Playa Catitre) to set up camp for a few days. Recommended for a reason, Catitre turned out to be one of the most picture perfect sites yet. On the bank of Lago Lacar just outside of the pueblo San Martin lay this splendid little area, and once again, I was awestruck. A daily routine of fishing till sunset, feasting on asado, and falling asleep to the sound of a nearby arroyo kept me bright eyed for the first three days, I felt a wondrous welcome to the spot I would call home for the next couple of weeks.

I hadn't planned on staying that long, but some reckless riding on the third day led to a hospital visit and a self diagnosis of a torn MCL in my left knee. Bummer indeed, but no worries, some amigos I had met the day before offered up their house as a casa de enfermedad when they saw me hobbling down the cobbled street away from the hospital. Prescribing a diet of delicoius food (chefs by trade), and couch sitting, they tended to me like MD's of supreme stature during the week plus I spent with them in SM. I offered up my service of artistic creativity in lue of payment for such hospitality.. Whilst maintaining a strict diet of ibuprofen, ice, and good wine, I decorated the walls of the small house with the aesthetically pleasing, yet simple lines of Nazca, Peru. They were delighted to have a new decor, and we were all mutually pleased to have made new friendships.Daily accompaniments to the fantastic meals and five star friends, were conversations in pure Argentian slang (of which I was able to understand snippets) and busted up english (which made me laugh) while we poked fun of whatever object had most recently provoked such slander. It seems I had found a complementary companionship here amongst Hernan, Nico, El Capitan, Celeste, Sergio, and Alejandro. As they say here in Argentina 'que buena onda'- what good things, man.

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