Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Lakes, Penguins,and Bumblebees

In Argentina, when you see someone on the street or on a path or walking around, you smile at them and say "¡Hola!" and they smile back and reply "¡Hola!". It is a small thing perhaps but, I like that. When I was in Fiji you did the same thing only you would smile and say "Bula!" It means hello. If you dont smile it means goodbye. Hola just means hello, but it is better with a smile.
I am in a place called Angostura. It is about 90 kilometers from Bariloche in the Lake country in the mountains of Argentina near the Western border with Chile. I am staying in a FABULOUS resort called Los Balsas. It is a 5 star (cinco estrella) resort on the shore of a beautiful alpine lake. It is listed in a book called Relais&Chateau, which lists the most beautiful and exclusive small resorts of the world. How nice is it? The bath towel is so big and fluffy that if it were the only thing in my backpack, it wouldnt fit!! They have a spa, a sauna, an indoor swimming pool, a gym, A fabulous restaurant. I am in a room that is a suite. The bathroom has a huge bathtub and a huge shower. Sitting in our enormous bed with a dozen pillows, you look out on this beautiful panoramic scene of this gorgeous lake, (Long Indian name I cant pronounce it or spell it). Okay okay so what gives what is rambling Robert doing in a room that costs $200.00 US per night? Ahh the advantages of traveling with Kimberly.
She bought two room nights at a charity auction in California for a battered womens shelter and so (blah blah blah) here I am!! I went out for a long stroll/hike around the lake and in the surrounding forest today, took the binoculars and spotted some fabulous birds and some orange bumble bees. Way cool for me. I never saw an orange bumble bee before. Wonderful ducks and snipes and hummingbirds and geese and doves, Trout jumping out of the water on the crystal clear lake, 20 degrees (70F) and not a cloud to be seen.
Fantastic breakfast spread included with the room. Nice buffet with flavored yougurts and many cereals, fresh fruits, fruit compotes, fruit salad coffees teas, milk, croisants. You choose some stuff and sit down and they bring a basket of nice fresh baked toasted breads and these little ping pong ball size lemony scones. A nice ceramic 3 compartment tray with black raspberry preserves, strawberry jam and Rose pettle jam, ( Oh my GAWD) english black tea with cinamon cardomom,ginger and cloves added to it, local honey, sweet butter. A pitcher of steamed milk for coffee and a pitcher of cold milk for the tea! Then there is a little menu with crepes and eggs, omelets and bacon and hams and cheeses and you get to choose what you want off of it too. Sitting at a table that looks out on the lake (all the tables look out on to the lake here)Keith Jarret on the stereo.
I couldnt help myself, I had to count how many plates and saucers we had on the table, 23 not counting the lids or the stemware or the baskets!!! Im styling now huh kids??!! So anyway tomorrow we take a bus to Bariloche and move into a hostel into a mixed dorm with the usual 3 bunkbeds, for 20 pesos a night and back to Reality. But it sure was nice to visit FantasyLand!! Thanks Kimmy.
We arrived here from the city of Puerto Madryn in Patagonia on the atlantic coast of Argentina. Patagonia is mostly dessert and looks like Texas or Arizona for the most part not real pretty. Lots of Beef Cattle and sheep graze freely on the vast plains and there are at least 3 herd animals that look like Lamas in small medium and large grazing here . They are raised for the fabulous Patagonia wool to make textiles with. We were there for a couple of nights and went to Punto Tombo and visited the worlds largest Magellanic Penguin colony.
They say there are a million Magellanic Penguins who come here to mate and nest and raise their chicks and otherwise do their Penguin thing.Lots of the birds have already begun their migration north to the coast of Brazil but there were THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of these beautiful birds all on the shore and in the waters off the beach. You can watch them swim under the shallow waters and they swim with the grace agility and speed of a fish due to the ease with which they swim, but you like visualize them as like a bird flying, but flying under the water instead of in the air. Hard to explain but interesting and beautiful, a true wonder of nature, like a link between birds and fish.On land, they have no fear of humans (lucky for them they dont taste good) so you can walk right up to them and they dont panic. They are so cute!! they have wings but they dont have featheres on the wings and They are really more like fins on a fish. They are actually a lot like a seagull except for the wings and they are a little more...how shall I say?...Portly. They kinda have a bowling pin profile. They waddle more than walk and they have like little duck feet but with toe nails. Just beautiful creatures. The goddess had a great day when she thought of Penguins.
I am really enjoying Argentina. Too bad for the Argentine People that they had an ecomomic meltdown a few years ago but it is great for travelers. For the most part things are amazingly cheap here and the infrastructure is as good as Europe or New Zealand or America and the busses are very comfortable, and frequent, so it is very easy and pretty cheap to get around.The people are very friendly, and very pretty to look at. The women are just lovely. Many are of mixed heritage with the largest minorities being Spaniards, Welsh, Italian, and native Indians. Kim says the men are beautiful too. Harrummph.
It has been great fun traveling with Kim but our time together runneth short. We will most likely say goodbye in Bariloche. She can only stay there a couple or 3 days and I will probably spend a week there. There are many beautiful lakes here and I want to explore several of them. They rent these little paddle boats and I think we will try one out tomorrow or the next day. Too bad the water is a little cold for swimming.
Next update from Bariloche.
Ciao for Now!
Rambling Robert the Traveling Man (O el viajero del Mundo)


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