Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Our Free Spirit Tour - the awesome adventure and bloody cold lakes

Supposed to go paragliding today and though its sunny and blue skies it is way too windy, might find my way back to Lanka a bit too quickly if i tried it today. So I have time to blog.

We spent two amazing days in the national park called Nahuel Huapi at a log cabin style hostel which had a lovely little fireplace, great homecooked food and a super cool adventure crazed guide. The place was run by the same guy who runs the hostel in town and his family took great care of us. Though his wife and kids managed to beat the rest of us at Uno (could have been the wine we were drinking that sabotaged our skills).

So we biked in the morning, though I wussed out and decided that a 25km bike ride potentially uphill for a lot of it did not merit my trying it, as I knew that I would just swear like a sailor or worse and make it unenjoyable. So Lee and two other South Africans we befriended, set off on that journey and I set off with Gito (pronounced heeto) our long haired Micheal Bolton look alike with muscles friend/guide took me to a lake side beach and told me to bike around there and then find my way through this easier bike trail back to the cabin. He left to join the others. It was superb because I got a leisurely ride, had a good sit down by the beach and then fought my way through narrow bike trails and heavy forestry that ran alongside a deep aquamarine blue lake, it was fantastic.

After a great bbq lunch, we decided (though it had started to drizzle, being in the mountains it was like experiencing English weather patterns) to go kayaking and boating on the big lake. So we set off, and good Lord it was the coldest, wettest and (did I say) coldest experience I have ever had. I am a tropical island girl and wearing the right clothes, winter weather is tough enough. Here I was in rolled up jeans, my UT flipflops and a rain jacket, and it was definitely nowhere near enough. After 5km of rowing, Lee saved me from nearly passing out from the cold as I was shivering quite alot more than it was deemed healthy and managed to carry me up the hill back to our cabin where I stood under a hot shower for 45 minutes. And then after that I managed to use all my limbs and talk coherently. It was a bit intense. But I have to admit, it was an adventure and it was real as opposed to guarded tours or watching from a large cruise ship, it was amazing to be on that massive lake and have nothing or no one around, except us, mountains, a boat and a few flipping fish.

Back in Bariloche now, and tomorrow we raft! Whoo hoo!

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