The bus from Chalten dropped us at the petrol station at a town called Perito Moreno which should not be confused with the glacier or the natural park. It is just a very small town. I somehow start believing that Argentineans does not have too much of an imagination when naming places. There are many places, towns, streets, parks with the same names all around the country. Anyway, this small town was so devout of tourists that the only money exchange was in the only hotel of the town and the hotel was closed. Never in my life have I seen a closed hotel before. So we went ahead and visited all the highlights of the city which took about 15 minutes including a short work out in the park. After concluding our touristic and physical activities, we hit the road again and after a short time waving our thumbs, a priest took us to a junction in the middle of nowhere to meet his wife and go back to town with her. At this stage in my life I already stopped trying to figure out reasons and conclusions and didn’t even wonder how a priest could have a wife (probably a different type of catholic?) and why they would meet there. Anyhow he did meet his wife but we during this time we were not able to find a ride for some hours. But during this time more than ten different vehicles came to pay respects to the makeshift altar of Gauchito Gil. The closest settlement to that point was 50 kilometers away and I found it very interesting to see people who would drive a minimum of 100 kilometers just to get to that altar. Maybe I need to read a lot more on the Argentinean belief systems.
The Gauchito Gil junction
Some hours later a Uruguayan guy picked us and took us up to his village. He was living in a very modest house but was extremely friendly and offered us to have a shower and played us some guitar, which we were extremely grateful. He then showed us a place where we could set up our tent. The next day when we get back to the road we have realised this small town also have a sample sort of pointless roundabout art syndrome. Why a town this small would spend money on such a thing I will never know.
Welcome to the glorious town of Gobernador Costa. G C stands for the name of the city as the artwork highlights.
From Gobernador Costa a carpenter and his son picked us up. Until we reach to Esquel we discussed a lot on Argentinean politics which were very informative to me. Obviously he can not be partial and give me objective views but even this enlightens me about the general perception of the people about politics in a country. My general conclusion is that politics is mostly the same in everywhere.
They dropped us in front of the tourist information in Esquel and we went in to get some information fit for the tourists. It turns out there was a celtic movie festival going on within a celtic festival. We were strongly advised to try the local specialty, the “Welsh tea”. Though I mostly closed my eyes to all reason and being ignorant, this was too far for me. I can be ignorant of the fact that some Celts, mostly Welsh came here to settle 150 years ago but still I had difficulty in understanding the concept of the Welsh tea. But for the time being I will call it a slow globalisation: Chinese tea, comes to England, drank by the local population some of whom are Welsh who then decide to go to Argentina and still keeping in touch with their Celtic roots and also still having tea. Without other references it becomes Welsh tea. (I suppose). Unlike the Scottish shower sold in Chalten, this at least made a bit of a sense. Maybe in a parallel universe though.
During our stay in Esquel another activity we did was political activism. We joined a group of teachers who were protesting the government for one reason or another just because they were walking to the same direction with us. This made sense as much as their seating concepts that we came across in our camping showers.
Just in case if you suddenly feel tired while having a shower
We have climbed the hill that overlooks the city and walked to the Laguna La Zeta which really was quite peaceful and it looked like a great spot to have a barbeque party.
Laguna La Zeta. Do Wales look like this?
I was not able to learn any lessons here. Maybe that human migrations and cultural heritage may be much more complicated than what scientists considering at the moment but I can not say that this has any personal side. Life really is full of surprises and we decided we should get surprised in El Bolson next.