Tag Archives: Villa de Angostura

Mountain biking through Argentinian forests

The next day we started early-ish on what turned out to be a 30km mountainbiking trail. This time it was already my birthday in Argentina and I could not have wished for a better way to spend it. We rented our bikes and all the necessary equipment, and off we went. We were heading towards a national park and of course it wasn’t easy to find, as none of the streets had names so the little map we had was no use at all. Eventually we got there and the super nice lady at the entrance cautioned us: “The first km is uphill so you will have to push your bikes up and then also carry them up some stairs. The second km is downhill, a very steep slope, so please for your safety make sure you walk alongside the bikes for this one as well. Two months ago we had a young man who descended on his bike, fell and poked his eye out. You have another one of these slopes at km 8, but other than that you should be all right. Buena suerte chicos! (Good luck kids!)” Oh but how… encouraging! 🙂

We looked at each other … we came mountain biking and we’d have to spend he first 2 km not only not up on our bikes, but even carrying them up the stairs! What else could we have wished for?:) It took us 20 minutes to complete the first km and we felt we were doing a great workout. The second one we completed in less than 5 minutes (as it turned out the steep slope was just a small portion of km2, and the rest we could descend on our bikes – wind in our hair, adrenaline, total awesomeness!). It was the first time any of us were doing proper mountainbiking and we gained a whole new appreciation for the guys and gals we’d seen on TV biking through forests, puddles, branches and roots… it was definitely an exercise not for the physically unfit and we could see the benefits of doing such an activity weekly.

11km and a couple of hours later we got to a lagoon that completely took our breath away! If you poked your head out of the thick forest you’d see this patch of green grass interrupted only by a few (humongus) (??) trees, and by it the lake that seemed full of gems sparkling under the smiling sun. By the time we got there Silviu was already sunbathing and the dogs accompagning us (of course we could not be left alone on this trip either) were creating a real spectacle, playing in the water and being happy as only dogs can be. We took a moment to sink into the atmosphere and had a rest in and around the largest tree of the lagoon, which looked like, if asked, could tell the story of the last few centuries…

The national park was practically on a peninsula, and we were still one km away from getting to the end. We biked there and got to see some other special type of trees, with orange trunks and again ancient looks. We could just not get enough of this scenery! Another way to get to see the forest would have been by boat, so the end of the peninsula was the place where the boat came to drop people off/pick people up. A bloke we had met on the way decided to take the boat instead of biking the 12km back but no-oh, that was not going to be us! We were fuerte (strong) people and we could definitely handle all that!

We could have stayed there forever but the lady at the entrance had warned us to make it back before dark not only because of the dangers of being there at night, but also because of the cold that would settle in once the sun went down. We got back to the entrance just in time to see the sun setting over the lake nearby and we were extremely proud of our perfect timing. It was past 7pm when we got back to the bike rental shop and our butts and legs were in considerable pain. We gathered all the energy we could to pass by the supermarket and grab ourselves some dinner, and then had a little celebration at the house with tsunami (the Chilean drink we had became fans of – white wine with pineapple ice-cream) and facturas (different kinds of pastries put together) as a birthday cake. I went to sleep that night full of gratefulness for the love, joy and specialness I had experienced not only on my birthday, but practically every single day since on the trip… and not only.

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Bicó túra a hegykben, avagy ezt még lehet fokozni

Másnap akármennyire fájt is a fenekünk kibéreltünk mountainbike-okat és nekivágtunk egy 30km biciklizésnek a hegyekben. Mire odaértünk a parkhoz már kicsit fáradtak voltunk mert egy 1,5km-es emelkedőn kellett végig biciklizni. A bejáratnál mondták, hogy az első km emelkedőn felfelé lesz és nem igazán biciklizhető, a második pedig lejtőn lefelé, ami szintén nem alkalmas a biciklizéshez, így csak a 3dik km nél ajánlják hogy felüljünk. Hát ennek nem nagyon örültünk, de legalább igy is volt 10km biciklizés a végpontig. Elindultunk és toltuk felfelé a biciklit a hegyen, ami már ősz lévén falevelekkel volt terítve. Majd bicikli cipelés egy pár lépcsőn, s végül lefelé tolás, vagy inkább bicilki visszafogás. Végre eljött az idő, hogy felüljünk. A hátralevő 10km hol sík terepen, de legtöbbször hegynek lefelé és felfelé haladt. A terep fárasztó volt és közepesen nehéz, viszont a környezet ámulatba ejtő. Csodálatos fák és tisztások mellett haladtunk el, míg el nem értünk egy kis öbölig ahol le is heveredtünk egy kicsit a minket követő 5 kutyával. Eszméletlen, hogy akármerre megyünk mindig kutyák vesznek körül minket. És álltalában nem egy, hanem több is. És nem vézna kis jószágok, hanem szép kutyusok. Sokszor úgy is érezzük, hogy haza akarjuk vinni egyik másikat.

Ott feküdtünk a fűben, pihegve a mögöttünk lévő 16km-től, élvezve a ránk sütő nap sugarait és bámulva a csodálatos tájat. Majd elmajszoltuk szendvicseinket, aminek egy részét persze a kutyák ették meg, akik nem győztek egyikőnktől a másikunkig menni egy falatért.

A hazafelé vezető úton már alig éltünk. 1km-el se tudtunk volna többet tekerni. Miután leadtuk a bicikliket összeszedtük utolsó erőnket és beugrottunk a supermarkettba egy kis ennivalóért s otthon egy pohát bor mellet ünnepeltük Iunia szülinapját. Gyönyörű nap volt, kívánni sem lehetett volna jobbat.

Villa de Angostura-t ismét egy 20 órás bus úttal hagytuk el. Cruze del Norte busz társasággal utaztunk Lujánig 511 Pesoért, ami rengetegnek számít, főleg a mi kis budgetünknek. A egyetlen motiváló dolog az volt, hogy csak 3 ülés volt egy sorban, így tudtuk, hogy végre kényelmesen elférünk majd.

A buszon nagyon készséges volt a személyzet, amiben már nem is reménykedtünk az Argentinai busz utak után kiábrándulva. Elindulás után jöttek a filmek, becsomagolt takaró és párna, majd sütemény, később croassant és végül vacsora következett. Minden nagyon finom volt, sött még meg is kérdezték, hogy sört vagy bort innánk e a vacsorához. Iuniával mi a vörös bor mellett döntöttünk. Sajnos ezt nem volt időnk elfogyasztani, mikor jöttek a pezsgővel, hogy kérünk e. Hát nagyon megörültünk, de mivel még boros poharunk tele volt (vagyis nekem volt 2 teli boros poharam, mert Iunia közben meggondolta magát és nem mert inni, mert nem érezte jól magát), így nemet mondtunk. Viszont annak legalább örültünk, hogy megtapaszaltuk a híres Argentín pezsgős buszokat. Izgatotan szálltunk le a buszról, mert a várva várt ECO Yoga Parkba voltunk úton, amire már 4 hónapja vártunk…

Ha tetszett neked a bejegyzés, lécci osszd meg velünk véleményed, gondolataidat a ’Leave a Coment’ szövegre kattintva.

Villa de Angostura – how the horsies helped us learn more about ourselves

We went horse riding the first day, and there’s no way words can actually do justice to describing the experience. Boca and I had done some horse riding before through the jungles of Malaysia, but this was going to be a completely different scenery. We were extremely excited when we got to the place and were assigned to our horses. Daniella made an interesting remark about how each of them resembled us, our characters. So in connecting with the horses we each had to ‘deal’ with… our own selves. And that was not only challenging, but also eye opening.

We had started our track late afternoon and some of the horses were already tired. So my horse, Temporal, was obviously not happy about going into the forest again, and this time with a crazy haired Romanian on his back too. He showed signs of restlessness and reluctance quite from the beginning, so getting him to move faster and keep up with the others soon became a challenge. I tried the nice way, then the firm way, then the frustrated way (which clearly did not work) until I finally understood that he was just me! He was tired and did not feel like doing what he was made to do, so he was not going to pretend he liked or wanted to do it. He was not going to be sociable and a pleasant company either, because all he wanted was rest, regroup, reflect (to the extent that horses can do that). And there was no way I could make him feel differently by poking him a bit harder, raising my voice a bit more, or getting frustrated with his disobeying and not following my instructions. Nope, none of that was going to work.

That made me think of the common ways of raising children, of parents who always use the same strategy over and over again: screaming, threatening, being frustrated and raising their own blood pressure just because their don’t understand their child or do not deem it necessary to explain why they should do/not do certain things. In other words, they choose not to treat the child as an adult but instead as a creature incapable of making judgements, only able to follow the precise instructions from ‘above’ because ‘I am the parent, and while you live under my roof you do as i say!’. They are then surprised when that misunderstood child becomes rebellious and they share their dissapointment with others: ‘I just can’t understand him/her, I don’t know what’s wrong with him/her’. Hmmm, might be because the parents have not even tried to understand the kids, but just wanted them to as told so they can declare how proud they are of their ‘good boy/girl’. But this subject is for another post. 🙂

Coming back to Temporal, instead of doing any of the above I changed my strategy a little and I just spoke to him in a mixture of English and Spanish (my Horsesh is not that developed yet) in a loving and gentle voice… I told him I understood he was tired and irritated and did not want to be doing this at the moment, but that was the situation and neither him nor me had any choice about it so we’d have to spend the next couple of hours together whether we liked it or not. I told him that after getting back he’d have the nicest food and rest. I told him what a fantastic horse I thought he was and how privileged I felt that I was riding him. That I thought we could do this together. I kept appreciating him every time he did something well and I just gave him love, all the way. I let him lag behind if he wanted to, and took that opportunity to admire the breathtaking scenery instead of trying to make him go faster. And interestingly enough, after a while the little bugger actually started to listen to me… By the time we got back I had understood not only how to deal with him when he was tired and irritated, but also how to deal with myself when I was in the same state.

The same thing happened to the other guys and their horses. Selis’s horse was leading and he was one of the most calm and chillaxed horses we had ever seen. He walked always at a steady pace and followed the trail perfectly. He was a good example for the other horses to follow… Not all of them did, though. Hah! Daniella’s horse, which started just behind Selis, was the youngest and also the most stubborn of all. He was not afraid to show when he was unhappy with certain instructions and many times he would just not want to move at all. Towards to end, to show his unhappiness, he started banging her against trees and by the time she got off the horse her knees were all bruised. Silviu did not have this particular problem, but his challenge was to get the horse to stop eating while on the trail hahaha. He was swinging between moments of high motivation, when he just wanted to take over the others and be the first, and moments of complete indifference when he could not be bothered by anything else besides the green patches of grass or leaves along the way. Boca’s horse had started as the 3rd in line but while still in the city he just did not want to move. It was written all over his face: “I’m bored and no matter how much you insist, I will not do as you say. Because I just don’t want to!’. The moment we hit the forest though, with the trees and hills and difficult paths, her horse seemed to catch on fire. He got highly motivated, happy even, and seemed to be getting lots of energy from what could otherwise be perceived as an energy consuming task. Such a learning experience for us all!:)

The track through the forest was quite challenging, as there were plenty of little hills the horses had to climb and then plenty of ones they had to descend. We could tell this was not at all easy for them and I could understand much better why Temporal was not happy about doing that for the second time in the day. We stopped by a waterfall and could not believe the gorgeousness surrounding us, the huge trees that seemed from another era and the thick energy all around. By the time we got to the top of the hill is was getting dark so we got to see the sunset over the lake from up the horses’ backs. Without a doubt an unforgettable sunset and experience!

We planned on making salmon a la pobre again that evening, as we had seen the kitchenware and thought we’d have better chances this time. We actually found salmon, although not the fillet but we made do. It was a perfect dinner that ended a perfect day! Who knew what the next day had in store for us… .

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Villa de Angostura, the place we had dreamed of

We were now getting closer to the place we had decided to go to during the planning stages of the trip: the Eco Yoga Park in Argentina. Daniella and Selis liked the idea very much so decided to join us, and we liked that idea very much. There was one last stop we wanted to make on the way: when we had gone down to Chilean Patagonia we had to cross to Argentina at some point, and one of the places we passed by was so incredibly beautiful that we decided we’d stop there for a few days on the way back up. We knew this place was just a bit North of Bariloche but we had no idea what the name was. After looking at some maps and asking around we thought we found it: Villa de Angostura, a quaint little town 1 hour North.

Ever since we had started planning our trip there was one thing we had in mind and could not wait to find: a quiet cabana in the middle of the mountains, with the unique smell of fresh air and a nice little terrace we could hang out with mugs of hot tea and inspiration to write. Two months into the trip, we actually found it!

As soon as we got to Villa de Angostura we knew that was the place we had seen on the way South, and as soon as we saw the cabana we knew that was the place we had seen in our dreams. It was on the last street of the little town, right at the entrance into a forest; it had 2 rooms with 5 beds (perfect for the 5 of us), a fire place, barbecue pit and terrace, and it was surrounded by trees, mountains and a deafening silence. It was everything we had wished for and more, and to top it all, it was on my birthday! I could not believe the special birthday present, and I had no idea that was going to be only the beginning. It was pretty funny being on this continent at this time because my birthday back home in Romania had started 5 hours earlier, and in Singapore even earlier than that – 11 hours. When birthday wishes started pouring in so much in advance I realised this was going to be a 35-hour birth day. And hell if I was going to complain about it!:)

We found out about the activities that could be done around there and decided on two we had not done since on the trip: horse riding and mountain biking through hundreds of years old forests, on the way to waterfalls, lakes and lagoons. Little did we know that besides the beauty beyond imagination, they’d also turn out to be amazing learning experiences. 🙂

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Villa de Angostura, a kisváros varázslatos erdőkkel

Lovaglás a 100 éves erdőben, naplemente csodálás lóháton, biciklizés a hegyekben – mindez Iunia szülinapján.

 Mikor még Chiléből először áthaladtuk Argentínán Iuniával megállapítottuk, hogy a határ utáni kis erdei város nagyon tetszik nekünk. Faházak sorakoztak egymás mellett a hegyek tarkította városban, amit ép akkor belepett a frissen esett hó. Voltak üzletek, éttermek persze a legtöbbje fábol építve. Elhatároztuk, hogy mivel Bariloche nem adta az erdő széli kis kunyhó érzést, mindenkép ellátogatunk ide. Ugyan eleinte nem tudtuk a nevét e kis városkának, de hosszabb utána járás után kisilabizáltuk, hogy nem más lehet, mint Villa de Angostura. Sikerült is jegyet vennünk 22 Pesoért via Bariloche társaságnál, amiért most sem voltunk oda. Sött az emberke, aki a csomagunkat rakodta be a csomagtérbe még 1-1 Pesot el is kért szolgálataiért.

Azért persze boldogan érkeztünk meg s rögtön útba is ejtettük az információs irodát, ahol sikerült egy egész faházat (cabanas) megkapnunk csupán 50 Pesoért fejenként. Ez rendkívül olcsó ár volt, szóval nagyon örültünk. Aki többed magával uatzik, mindenkép nézze meg a cabana opciókat dél amerika szerte, mert fejenként ugyan annyiba vagy még olcsóbba kerül, mint a hostel és legtöbbször sokkal jobb.

Mikor megláttuk, hogy a házikó az utolsó utcában van az erdő szélén még boldogabbak voltunk. Ezt csak azt tudta tetézni, hogy bent minden szép és tiszta volt konyhával, nappalival, kandallóval és kerttel. Iuniával már utunk kezdete óta vágytunk egy erdő széli kis kunyhóra, ahol nyugalomban tudunk írni és pihenni, s 2 hónap után rá is találtunk. Sajnos csak 2 napig maradtunk e paradicsomban, mert Barilochéban túl sok időt pihentünk.

Első nap befizettünk egy lovas erdőnézésre 150 Pesóért fejenként. 3 órás volt a lovaglás a több száz éves erdőben, tavak vízesések és egy kilátó mellett elhaladva, ahonnan megcsodálhattuk a naplementét. Mindig is szerettem lovagolni, tehát már maga az élmény remek volt, és az, hogy mindezt egy gyönyörű erdőben tettük meg csak mégszebbé tette. Iuniával már lovagoltunk a maláj dzsungelben, de ez a túra még különlegesebb volt. Valószínű a gyönyörű szinek és a kihivó terep miatt, hiszen meredek hegyoldalon kellett föl és lefelé baktatni, amit még nem volt lehetőségünk kipróbálni. Mindig is kiváncsi voltam hogyan nem esnek el a lovak lefelé menet a hegyoldalon ráadásul emberrel a hátukon. Végül is csak bízni kell benne, hogy a lovacskák tudják mit csinálnak és nem botlanak meg. Az én lovam remek volt, nagyon biztosan éreztem magam a hátán.

A túra végén Daniella megjegyezte, hogy lovaink mennyire tükrözik saját személyiségünket. Példűául az ő lova egy fiatal jószág volt, aki nem félt kimutatni nemtetszését a különböző utsításokhoz. Közel 20 perc menet után, nem is nagyon akart már menni, s túra vége felé oda oda lökte Daniellát egy egy fához.

Selis lova maga volt a nyugalom és magabiztosság. Biztosa vezette a többi lovat, példát mutatva, amit sajnos egyik másik ló sem volt hajlandó követni 🙂

Silviu lova hol folyton előre furakodott, mert ő akart lenni az első és a leggyorsabb, hol pedig rá sem hederítve a többiekre csak azt nézte hol lehet megállni egy kicsit csemegézni a fákról.

Iunia lova nem csak a szőre szine miatt hasonlított lovasára, hanem abban is, hogy nem próbálta meg palástolni, hogy mennyire enm akar mégegy túrára menni az erdőben, hiszen csak most ért vissza az előzőről. Az egyetlen dolog, ami megváltoztatta rendkívül lassú kullogását az volt, hogy Iunia folymatosan beszélt hozzá szépen és szeretettel, hogy megérti miért nem tetszik neki a menet, de együtt tovább tudják csinálni e túrát.

S végül az én pacim, aki elhagyva a lovardát, végig sétállva a városon, még noszogatásra sem volt hajlandó gyorsabban menni és az arcára rá volt írva: „Ez unalmas és nem akarom ezt csinálni!” makd beérvén az erdőbe, ahol a környeet szép és jó illatú volt, s ahol a terep kihivással teli volt, szinte megtáltosodott és alig lehetett visszafogni, hogy ne rohanjon annyira fel és le a lejtőkön. A kihívás motiválta… (rámismertek? :-))

Azt  is érdemes megemlíteni, hogy egy különleges lóról beszélünk, mert csak egy füle volt 🙂 örültem, hogy én kaptam őt.

Kis térd és fenék fájással értünk haza, de annál nagyobb örömmel. Csodálatos élmény volt, mindenkép szeretnénk többször is ilyet csinálni.

Estére vettünk lazac pogácsákat és azt grilleztük meg tükörtojással és sültkrumplival ala pobrét imitálva. Azt nem tudtuk, hogy az ABCben nem adnak zacskót, így a sok öszzevásárolt dolgot kisebb nagyobb dobozokba kellett berakni és úgy hazacipelni 🙂