19 Feb 2019

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head

No, its not raining. In fact the weather has been amazing since the last blog and if I plan the route right we should not get any rain for a while. The title relates to the cabin that Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid lived in for 2 years, after they fled from the US and took refuge with the Sundance Kids Girl Friend Etta Place in an attempt to settle down . Of Course, nothing escapes the intrepid Hodgetts! I found their hide-out - I was just 113 years too late!

The Cabin is on the East Bank of the Rio Blanco, just north of the small town of Cholila (where we had an excellent steak and salad for lunch) in the Province of Cholila. It is not a tourist attraction (its completely deserted), but I think the plan is that it will be sometime.. There is a small tea shop/museum just before the cabin, but it was closed when we found it (according to the opening hours it should have been open).

Not long after this we pull into a camp site and find the front left tyre is going down - and so begins the next saga!  Next morning we pump up the tyre and find a repairer just along the road, but he soon finds it is not the tyre but a cracked wheel (the second one), the guy welds the wheel, all seems OK so off we go. On to El Bolson, the hops capital of Argentina, where 70% of the countries hops are grown, so understandably it is full of Cervecerias (pubs) - is the pope catholic! So we find a camp site within walking distance of the centre, put the tent up and walk to the centre, where there is a large drinking establishment with some excellent beer. There we meet up with an English couple that have been living in Australia for the last 30 years, have a few beers, then another amazing steak and a bottle of wine.

Next morning the tyre is going down again, so we find another tyre place, the manager speaks good English and suggests using an inner tube. That done, we set off up the road and the wheel is vibrating badly, so we take it back to be balance. That sorted we decide to stay in El Bolson another night, but stay in a different, rather quirky site a bit further away.

Next morning the tyre has gone down again! so back to the tyre place, where they find they caught the inner tube when fitting the tyre, so fit another one (more carefully this time) we decided to stay at the same campsite.

Next morning the tyre hasn't gone down but the valve has almost disappeared inside the tyre, so back to the tyre place, they make a slightly bigger hole in the wheel so the valve fits in properly and off we go again. This time we really leave and so far the tyre has been fine!

Before we left the camp site a German couple also staying told us of a pub in Bariloche that allows overlanders, excellent idea and also did good steaks.

After that we travelled up through the Argentinian Lake District, camping at San Martin de los Andes and now in a Hostel in Junin de los Andes. We stayed in this Hostel last year when it was really cold and wet, and although the weather is good this year (we are a month earlier) we decided to stay again as it was so nice (and only £4 a night more than we paid for camping the previous night)
This cracked me up! The squawking bird followed the other one all around the huge camp site we were on for the 3 days we were there, fortunately the site was so big we were not able to hear them a lot of the time, but every so often would appear. Talk about hen pecked!

Moving on through the Park

Butch Cassidys Cabin is just out of view in the woods up yonder. the gate was locked so I climbed over and walked about a kilometre

And there it was

Empty but not locked and looked in pretty good condition.

And this is the area it is in.

This was the quirky camp site we stayed at in El Bolson. This is a rather clever BBQ (Toby please note - or at least somebody please show him)

And a Hobbit House! The round windows are bicycle wheels

One of our fellow camp mates was a street museum and as there were some foreign guests (us and a German couple) he decided he would do a little concert, he was very good and we did buy a couple of CD's, (the German couple did not come out of their motor home)

Haven't found many new road signs lately, but I did like this one.

Some of the view of the Lake District, OK so there is no Lake in this picture

But it is just below

Lunch on a beach by a river

Today alongside the small Town of Junin de los Andes we find this huge Sculpture Park, 23 sculptures depicting the life of Christ. This one is Joseph and Mary holding up baby Jesus and I was really impressed by the expressions on their faces 

I think this is Jesus being tempted by the Devil, but I am not sure if he is pointing to heaven or making a more base suggestion!

There were also a lot of Mapuche symbols (Mapuche being the aboriginal inhabitants that live and work in the area)

I think this angels wings were not big enough for him to fly so they had to give him a bike.

Carrying part of the cross, interesting as it did not have a specific area, just walking up the path

And being mounted on the cross

Right at the top of the park was this depiction of Christ lying on the Hill, maybe 100 feet tall, made of glass on a metal framework

There is a gap in the chest and steps up inside with another at the back of the head.

This is the view from inside, it is not possible to see much through the glass as it is so dirty, but you can make out the face in the middle.

And this is the walk up, it is just possible to make out the leg just below the top, but the contour of the hill prevents seeing the head from down here.

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