The wedding was Friday. As you can see from the previous pages, it was wonderful. After, we were all tired. But on Saturday, we promised Chelo and his family that we would be out there in the morning for a breakfast of panqueques (pancakes). So Quique, Ceci, Judy and I caught the bus in the morning and Chelo brought us from the main road to his house.
Quique mixed up some great panqueques with bananas and walnuts and we used some of the maple syrup they had brought.
Sunday was a day off for Quique. He has limited vacation at his work but he can work where ever he can get on a reliable internet connection. The plan was to go on an excursion boat to Puerto Blest which is the western arm of Lago Nahuel Huapi to see a small ecosystem that was not covered by the last glacier. The forest there has remnants of pre-glacial flora. Ceci majored in biology at university in Bariloche and we would have a great guide. However, when we got to the kiosk to purchase tickets, that departure had been canceled. So: Plan B
We got tickets for another trip on Lago Nahuel Huapi, this time to Bosque Arrayanes and Isla Victoria. There were high winds and lots of ash in the air. From the boat, we saw streams of ash floating on the water. The winds were from the NW which brings the ash from the volcano.
The winds picked up during the boat trip to the point where it was blowing the tops off the waves.
We made two stops and could take short hikes at each stop. First we stopped at Bosque Arrayanes. The arrayan tree is not unique to this area but this is the only place where they can be found in forests. There was volcanic ash everywhere – a thick layer of dust throughout the forest. We were restricted to a boardwalk and the walk took up all the allotted time. We returned to the boat and departed for Isla Victoria.
At the next stop, we debarked and followed a trail to some ancient rock paintings, some estimated to be 700 years old. Then we walked through an area of sequoia trees that had been planted in 1928 from seeds brought from California. Other trees and shrubs were being grown – a large plant nursery.
The ground and leaves were all covered in ash and at times the dust was so thick that I covered my face with my handkerchief to breathe through.
Last night, we called via Skype to my mother and greeted her on her 99th birthday!
Today (Monday, 9 January) we slept late then took the bus to centro. We are now in the process of planning the rest of our time in Argentina. We went to the Spanish Language school that I attended for two weeks in 2007 and met my teacher. She has a travel agent that she invites in to help students with travel plans who will help us make arrangements for a trip south probably leaving later this week.