Arr here after short bus trip again thru beautiful lake country w/ snow capped mtns in background, lots of forest. This town is a hippy haven, we see lots of old cars driving around. Jake & I go looking for ON after our attempts at going as a group only found us at several places either full or too $$$ or just not good enuf for the price! We found more of the same as well as several just not open...finally arr at the location in LP where Hospedaje Salinas
was supposed to be but no sign or any indication that it was open. Luckily Dona Eugenia saw us peeking over her gate and came out. Nice 82 yr old lady (just back from a month in hospital - 1st time in all her yrs needing hospital!). She had nice clean basic rooms, shared bath w/ hot water & outdoor kitchen. W/in our price range...she said she doesn't advertise just gets what comes her way via LP cause she only likes foreigners like us who don't get drunk & are roudy!
Went for walk about town and ended up at a great pizza place just 3 blocks away. Returned and met an Irish fellow living in Chicago last 16 yrs in business w/ his brother. Great conversation re: economy, healthcare, politics, etc...again enlightening us, informing us, making us aware of other ideas-points of view. His opinion (I now paraphrase): it ain't over til it's over, more pain on the way, and the conscientious folks are going to do the suffering while the bailed out bankers, heavy borrowers, and those who never should have been lent $$$ are getting off w/o any change in the system that allowed it all to come down! El Bolson Wiki Info
Up & did major laundry, great place for it w/ outside sink, hot water, and lines for drying. Later took bus to Lago Puelo & Natl Park of same name...saw Argentinians recreating on their weekend, even some flyfishing on the lake (see pics). Also saw hops growing along the way, area famous for many micro brewers as well as hippy types. Now the $$$ is flowing in so changes are coming fast and furious here.Lago Puelo Natl Park Wiki Info
A hike at noon to an overlook, Cerro Amigo, 4km w/ great views. Very reminiscent of Bitterroot valley, tho much narrower and mtns steeper. Got back too late for earlier buses, now lvg for Esquel at 5 arr @ 7+pm. Perhaps the travel season is here for real, harder to just walk into an ON...maybe we must make reservations & buy bus tickets ahead of time from now on.