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La Montaña
Mt. Tronador
El Bolson
El Catedral
El Calafate
El Chalten
Torres del Paine

El Bolson, Argentina
January 16-17, 2003

El Bolson is a small town in a beautiful valley nestled in the Patagonian Andes two hours by bus from Bariloche. It enjoys a protected location with a unique microclimate allowing for the cultivation of many fine fruits and vegetables. In fact, one special area is known as the southernmost location in the world where wine grapes are cultivated. El Bolson is famous throughout Argentina for its exquisite strawberries, raspberries, cherries, currants and other produce produced on a multitude of small farms known as "chacras".

I travelled to El Bolson with my language teacher - providing me an opportunity to work on vocabulary of the many farm terms that I will be using in the future. Just for grins, I contacted a local real estate agent enquiring about the possibility of buying a chacra. He ended up giving us a half day tour of the area! I found out that you can buy a chacra of 60 acres, with exquisite views, good soil, water and a small house for around $90K US. You never know...


El Bolson is a town, or "pueblo" sheltered from the patagonian winds by the abruptly rising mount "Pitriquitron"
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This tidy little chacra is what the valley is all about. Although this valley was originally populated by the indigenous Mapuche indians, many "back to the earth" sorts arrived in the 60's and 70's.
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This field of hops is one of the many specialty items grown in El Bolson. From these hops, several tiny local breweries produce distinctive hand-crafted beers.
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Although modern agricultural practices are commonly used, many of the "paisanos" stick with the age-old method on their chacras, where they produce all they need. This fellow, in a neighboring, more arid valley, was very friendly.
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The south end of the valley at "El Hoyo."
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Lago Puelo is one of several mountain lakes nestled in the mountains above El Bolson.
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Time to break for lunch. This fabulous grilled trout, or "trucha", is raised on a fish farm in the valley. Other artisanal products mad here include jams, jellies, yogurt, specialty breads and craft products which are sold in a twice-weekly market.
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Adios for now.
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Copyright © 2003-2005 John Foley