El Bolson and the End of a Mountainous Month

El Bolson was described by the guidebook as a “hippy paradise”, with artisanal handicrafts, a peaceful mountain location, and locally made cheese. It had me at cheese.

After a short trip from Bariloche, through scenic mountains, I arrived in El Bolson, a small town with mountains peeking through the thick clouds. After picking up a map in the tourist office, I set out to look for a hostel. Not an easy feat, it turns out. Having arrived before the start of the peak tourist season, I found that most of the hostels were closed. As if to further dampen my spirits, it began to rain, as I plodded to each hostel location marked on the map. I thankfully found an open hostel, and dropped off my bags before turning back to explore the town. The weather, unfortunately, had other plans, and it began to pour down with rain. After waiting out the worst of it in the hostel, I walked out into the drizzle just as it was getting dark. I wandered until the lure of pizza and beer called me, and settled in to the nearest open restaurant.

Having had a less than successful day, I was glad the next day that the rain had stopped, allowing me a chance to explore the town further. It’s a pleasant enough place, but I’m not sure about a hippy paradise. The craft market made for an interesting stroll, and of course I managed to pick up some local Roquefort. The clouds cleared enough to allow the surrounding mountains to peek through, and I considered hiking up one to get a view of the town. No sooner had I decided against it than the rain began bucketing down again, and I quickly retreated once more to my hostel (only this time I was armed with cheese). Stuck indoors, I retreated to bed with my book. Shortly afterwards, the electricity cut out, leaving me staring into the dark, contemplating my unsuccessful trip to El Bolson, wondering how I was going to fall asleep at eight pm, and, most importantly, would there be time before my bus tomorrow to buy more cheese…

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