A Travellerspoint blog

May 2008

Hippie chocolate and homebrewn beer

Winenuts go nuts in Argentina


View MAP OF THE JOURNEY on AnnaMickus's travel map.

We have done it again. We couldn’t stay away from the cold. At the moment we are back up in the Andes close to the Chilean border in Argentina. We just had to come and see this place because we have heard so much about it. And it was worth it. Although it has rained nearly every day, it was worth it.

We are staying in the coolest place. Augustin Porro and his wife Laura have a house just outside town. They usually have cows as well, but now because of the volcano that has been active on the other side of the border (I told you about that, right?), they only have some chickens and two dogs with 7 puppies. The town has been covered with ashes from the volcano the past few weeks, but now that the rain came, the ashes have disappeared. For the tourists the Porros have built a couple of extra cabins on their yard. But because of the weather we are the only tourists here at the moment so we have a cabin all for ourselves. The Porros have lived here all their life and have 7 children. They make their own bread and milk, which seems to be known around town. Their whole garden with its houses has a hippie feel to it and on their front door there is a huge peace sign. When cruising in his 70s Fiat, Augustin shows the peace sign with his fingers to people he knows.

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The yard

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Outside our cabin with Augustin

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Inside our cabin

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The dogs

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Even in this tiny place there is WiFi :)

El Bolson is a small town with a population of about 20 000 and is located in a valley between the mountains, and therefore it has some spectacular scenery; anywhere you look you see beautiful mountains. El Bolson was the first town in Argentina that declared itself a non-nuclear zone and an ecological municipality. In the 1970 a lot of hippies flocked here. You can still feel the hippie vibe, but I’m sad to say that it feels like it is fading away. We talked to some people that have lived here for over 10 years and they said it has changed a bit during that time. When they moved here there were almost no cars, just horses, and nowadays it is forbidden to ride a horse in the centre...

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In the city

But anyway this place has lots of cool stuff going on, one of the most interesting for us being the locally brewn beer. El Bolson produces almost ¾ of Argentina’s hops and they have loads of local breweries with tasty beer of good quality. Thanks to Augustin we had the privilege to visit a bar that was just about to open in a few days, which serves different kinds of homebrewn beer. They have their own little factory that produces about 3000 litres of beer per year. And the beer is just delicious! Really soft and tasty, none of that mass production tastelessness and bitterness stuff. And the town has lots of these breweries....Imagine that...

Another very nice thing about this place is that they do a lot of artisan stuff of different sorts, including chocolate! Yihaa! You can imagine our excitement when we stepped into a chocolate store and you could fill your own bag of handmade chocolates by picking them from a huge collection. And we didn’t stop there: afterwards we walked into the ice cream shop next door with a massive assortment of artisanal ice creams. The mint ice cream with chocolate chips was delicious.

Posted by AnnaMickus 17:04 Archived in Argentina Comments (0)

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