I will fill you in later on my long journey from El Calafate to San Carlos de Bariloche (Bariloche for short). What you need to know for now is that it was a long, excrutiating almost-29 hour bus ride that ended with a fantastic downpour that delayed me further due to darkness and low visibility.
I had rented a beautiful house on the Nahuel Huapi peninsula and because my host is currently traveling, his parents were due to pick me up at the bus stop. No sooner did I descend from the bus did I spy a really cute octagenarian couple (nona? I can’t be sure) holding a sign with my name.
Because it was pouring rain, they suggested that I spend the night at their flat which was in the centre of the city as it was too dangerous for them to try to drive 14 km out of the city in the rain. After spending 28 hours in solitude, I welcomed the idea of spending an evening with a cute old couple (and also the thought of another long car ride was not appealing). Plus my host had already told me that his mother would cook me some pasta. I was starving at this point and had tremulous headache from both hunger and one too many horrible, loud action movies playing on the bus.*
“Some pasta” ended up being a feast! My Argentinian abuelita served up a fresh, citrusy cabbage and tomato salad, an appetiser of cheese, ham and eggplant, a cheese and ham assortment and the piece de resistance – massive home made agnolotti filled with cheese and spinach served with a tangy tomato sauce. Dessert was canned peaches with home made whipped cream. I could not have been luckier or more grateful. I felt completely satiated. We were also joined by the two boys living next door – Ben and Fen. We all chatted, shared wine and jokes. My Argentinian abuelo, who used to be a tango singer, played some tango music. It was pretty perfect. We were discussing the inclement weather and how I would probably end up doing nothing if it persiste the following day. Ben offered to show me around in his car. Considering I was a total stranger, his gesture was quite grandiose but I agreed.
I slept like a baby that night and the next morning, my abuelita served me a delicious breakfast of homemade bread and homemade jams of plum and rosehip. How gratifying. I lapped it all up. I felt even more human after a scalding hot shower to wash off all the dirt from the day-long trip. I went and took a walk with my abuelo who showed me the centre of the city (barely steps away from where we lived). And then my abuelos took me for a ride in their Renault all the way to the beautiful lakehouse where I was meant to stay. It was beautiful – way prettier than I expected and literally on the lake, so much so that you couldn’t walk too far cause you’d get your shoes soaked (which I did). The lakehouse also had its own apple orchard and the garage was full of beautiful apples. I don’t even like apples so much but I was mesmerised by how the whole area was perfumed by the smell of fresh apples.
I spent the next couple of hours taking in the views and the bright sunshine while I waited for Ben and his car to show up. More on that in the next edition of the Misadventures of Jups in Argentina.
*I am not exaggerating – they actually played all of these movies on the bus one after another. Die Hard with a Vengeance, Apocalypto, Django Unchained, GIJoe, Get the Gringo and Taken 2. Yes. Exactly.