El Bolson & the sea of hopps!
Call it luck or destiny, I'll say it's a blessing in disguise that our stay in El Bolson coincided with the annual artesian beer festival. The small Patagonian city has a reputation of being a 'hippy town' and people from Bariloche don't seem to sound about their neighbour town. Nevertheless we went because we've been recommended by many of our fellow traveller friends. Each one of them told us that El Bolson is a place we shouldn't miss.
The main activities here are trekking, kayaking and market wandering which takes place on the main square on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. It's a great place to go if you need to top up your hippy wardrobe with some cool tie die t shirts and encents.
On our first day we walked to a nearby waterfall which was an easy walk if you had decent sense of direction. We did not and got lost a lot. Whilst stranded in the forest we had no choice to ask a teenager wearing an LSD tee shirt to guide us through the waterfall. The path was sketchy but thankfully we made it and it was well worth it.
On our second day we headed to the 'harvest' a daytime event part of the beer festival. There we (literally) jumped into fields of hops, ate some barbecued lamb and drank some craft beers! All this in the sun.
At the Asado festival just swimming in the hopps... It was great but very sticky!
At the Asado, children were in charge of looking after kegs... Interesting?
We stayed in la Casona de Odile which is a wonderful hostel. It's 5km away from town but if you plan on sleeping there you won't be needing to head to the city centre anyways. There's a big garden with plenty of hammocks, a river to bath in, daily yoga sessions, a restaurant and its own microbrewery. Surrounding the area, you can pick up some local goods from the trout farm, daily shop and blueberry fields near by. It's a place made straight out of heaven!
On our last day we chilled at the Casona during the day and headed to the closing fiesta of the beer festival. It was set in the middle of the hopps fields (of course)! The fiesta came with a stage including lots of local acts and a Brazilian percussion band too. The most memorable moment of the night was when we thought the evening at died down and the Dj put on 'final countdown' on. Hundreds of Argentinians came running on the dance floor, it was unreal... Who what have thought that song was so popular here?
Chris and his cerveza...