Friday, October 9, 2009

FTTN: The trekkers bubble

After a not entirely friendly first conversation with Haim and Itamar, which included a cynical “wow, it sounds like your trip has been really hard” as a reply to our trek stories, and ended with a decisive “we're really not into trekking”, we actually bonded pretty well. Talk in our dorm room flowed really well [sidenote: that's if you ignore the two Ethiopian-born Israeli mochiclubber girls (for the definition of that term, read on), with which we had nothing to talk about, a situation we pretty quickly dubbed the “apartheid”. Isn't that what you're supposed to do with apartheid? Ignore it?]. I guess I knew before that that there were many kinds of travelers and many ways to travel (it would be very dumb not to realise that), and that not everybody that doesn't like treks and the outdoors (not mutually exclusive...) is one of the dreaded “check-markers” (same as above with the definition), that room is the first time in my trip that I had a good time with somebody who wasn't a trekker.

El Bolson- Beginning of March 2008

Next up on the road was El Bolson, a small hippie city on the slopes of the Andes. Reknowned to most people for its handcraft artists' market, the nice views from the mountains surrounding it, and its local microbrewed beer, and to Israelis for the “Hava” (farm in Hebrew), the biggest Israeliada in Argentina, where people go to eat Israeli food, smoke weed and "relax" from the rigors of their trip. From what I've heard, rarely is a non-Hebrew speaker seen yonder. Surprisingly, I passed.
I didn't do much in El Bolson. I visited the market, had some great ice cream and beer (I remember that dark beer very fondly. Through the mists of memory, deceiving as they may be, it seems like it's a candidate for best beer I've ever had. And that's saying something), and went up to a mountain called Piltriquitron to check out the Bosque Tallado: a small patch of burnt down forest that was sculpted by some local artists into about 30 tree sculptures, some still attached by their roots.