11.2.20 to 11.3.20
Neuquén is one of the most visually impressive provinces in the south of Argentina. We experienced the incredible hospitality of the Argentines and their friendliness towards us foreigners. We can now bake our beloved breakfast bread again…
In Copahue, a mountain village with hot springs and a huge outdoor bath, we camped a few peaceful days. We arrived in the off-season and were prepared – our mindset – for a deserted village. But far away: in the off-season all the pensioners come and bathe here once or twice a day. Many different treatments are offered. So we were at the exactly right place. Since most of the gentlemen were already quite infirm, we immediately felt young and sporty. We also wanted to enjoy the facility of course and queued at the information desk. After about half an hour, one of the three employees had time to advise us. It immediately turned out that he knew no other language than Spanish. He stopped the conversation because he didn’t think we could understand him. After about 35 minutes, a new employee appeared who spoke English. He very friendly explained the information sheet, which we had read and understood in the meantime, and showed us the next counter where we had to register. We waited in front of this counter for the next half hour. When it was our turn, the lady wanted to disappear immediately when she heard that we were not fluent in Spanish. Fortunately, we were able to convince her that we understood the three lines on the form, so we were allowed to fill in the form and hand it to her. The next counter went much faster, our money was accepted. After this efficient process, we were now authorized to take a mud bath. We had to register again at the mud pool so that they could check that we weren’t sitting in the 37-degree mango water for too long. More than twenty minutes are unhealthy. Gabi fled before the deadline because it was really uncomfortably hot at times. After taking a shower, we checked everything on our bodies and were frustrated to find that we hadn’t got any younger!
We have had many happy moments in Neuquén. We were able to fully or at least farsightedness of the volcanoes and the freedom during our hikes was a gift that we can enjoy now even more.
At La Angostura on Lago Aluminé we went on an excursion with Ernstli to the Mapuche Land. The paths are built for Defender and, of course, were a dream for Ernstli. The landscape with the infinite number of lonely bays and the old trees and almost no people invite you to linger. We enjoyed nothing but fun and happiness for a whole day. Gabi manoeuvred Ernstli through difficult passages and we stayed on lonely beaches and simply enjoyed our freedom and happiness.
On Lago Aluminé we met the two families Van Der Horst-Skou and Dufour, who were traveling with a semi-trailer camper and a new, large boat. The parents, several generations ago, all originally come from another countries: South Africa, Denmark, France and Italy. The two families live in the south of the province of Buenos Aïres and we provisionally agreed that we would stop by on the farm. More about this in the next travel note.
In Copahue we met Luzi and Carlos from El Bolson with their beautiful Mercedes Rundhuber. The two often travelled all over South America and gave us many tips from their wealth of travel experience.
In Andacollo, a mining village, we wanted to stay overnight. We searched the entire area, but definitely didn’t find a place that was big enough for Globi and that would suit us. Disappointed, we moved further north. Outside the village we saw a small property with shady trees far enough from Ruta 43. Spontaneously we turned on the way to the property. When we parked Globi in front of the entrance, the owner met us in his usual pick-up. We asked him if we could spend the night on his property since we couldn’t find another place. Actually, he didn’t want that, what we could understand, but we didn’t give up. He then agreed that we should also ask his wife. In retrospect, we know that this was actually a yes already, because he gave his wife the greatest pleasure with our visit. Pato, Feli with Maria Luz, Maria Sol and Maria Cielo welcomed us with open arms and immediately embraced Globi in their hearts. Pato wanted to know everything about our trips and foreign countries. Pizza was baked in the evening and there was no question that we were not allowed to dine alone in our Globi. When we wanted to continue driving the next morning, we were forbidden to do so under the threat of deprivation of love, since in the evening Feli’s father would come over and a goat asado would be prepared. Feli’s father is a die-hard motorhome driver and it couldn’t be that he couldn’t get to know Globi. It were as two wonderful days with the family who gave us such a warm welcome. We are deeply impressed by the human warmth that we received here.
Drone flying needs to be learned. At the rock formations of Bolillos it was time to try again. We let go of the drone. Gabi, the drone pilot, tried several flight exercises. Everything was fine, even the record button was pressed. Perfect. Now she was getting braver. She flew the drone around the rock formations, deep into the valley. We haven’t seen the drone for a long time and I couldn’t hear it without hearing aids. The recordings she delivered were beautiful. No problem, press the “Home button” and the drone will come back alone. Our drone was somehow not so well behaving, it didn’t obey. Now the pilot got a little nervous. We just let the drone climb up in the sky, hoping we could spot it somewhere in the blue sky, but unfortunately not. After turning the drone for hours to see something familiar on the screen, the road we took up here suddenly came into view. The battery indicator though was no longer where it should be! Without electricity, the drone would fall from the sky. Gabi flew along the path as fast as possible and finally discovered Globi: now she only had to land. She made it perfectly, you could hear the many rocks falling from her shoulders.
For a smile
We enjoy our bread maker. In the evening, Gabi fills the machine with the necessary ingredients, then we put it in the cab, which is then converted into our bakery. In the morning when you get up it smells like a baker’s. A luxury like no other. However, the bread was kneaded increasingly poorly. Gabi tried other ingredients, no improvement. One morning I just took out baked flour, a lump, inedible. The analysis showed that the drive of the kneading lever was broken. Ok, no more bread from the machine. Gabi was immediately active, because without breakfast bread we would die miserably. First she brought the well-known pan bread on the table and then she baked classic bread in the oven. Wonderful. The bread was super good and we continue to live happily with breakfast bread. But for Gabi it means significantly more effort.