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Southern Lake District

April 2, 2013

On our way South we had driven through Chile and skipped the Argentinian Lake District. The weather at the time was terrible around the lakes so this was probably no bad thing but now it meant that we had to drive clear across the country to get to Esquel which is the gateway to the Southern end of the Argentinian Lake District.

Lake in Alerces National PArk

Esquel is a lovely town that is much less touristy that the towns further North in the Lake District. From Esquel we visited the small Welsh town of Trevelin for another Welsh Tea.

Nain Maggie Cakes

Trevelin is a much nicer town than Gaiman but unfortunately the Welsh afternoon tea that we had at Nain Maggie was very disappointing. The decor of the tea room was very bland as well.

Nain Maggie Sign

 

We also visited Nant Y Fall which is a series of three waterfalls only a few km’s away from Trevelin.

waterfall 2

waterfall

However in this area the highlight is National Park Alerces which is one of the few remaining sanctuaries for the massive and ancient Alerce trees. Unfortunately in order to visit the ancient stand of Alerces you have to pay (on top of the park entrance fee) an extortionate sum for a boat tour which consequently we didn’t do. There is however a hike to a younger Alerces tree at only 300 years old which we went to see but to be honest a young Alerces tree isn’t that exciting and nothing like the Giant Redwoods of California.

Los Alerces View

The park is very pretty though and has free campsites right on the lakeshore so we still enjoyed our time here despite some disappointing weather.

alerces path2

From Alerces national park we made our way North to the small, slightly hippy town of El Bolson. We had some business here as we needed to pay for the insurance that we had previously arranged with an expat German called Klaus who runs insurance for a whole fleet of overlanders.

Las Rocas view

El Bolson has a market around the main square which the Lonely Planet really talks up – it’s really not that exciting though with lots of carved wooden clocks, jewellery, a few Mate gourds and some jams and preserves. The cool thing about El Bolson is that the local brewery runs a campground so it didn’t take us too long to decide where to stay!  Along with your camping fee come tokens for beer, finally a campsite that gets us !

El Bolson Brewery

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