We’ve been looking forward to it ever since we first saw its deep blue and crystal clear water from which the snowy mountain tops were literally emerging. Nahuel Huapi lake is already beautiful when seen from a distance but we still can’t imagine not coming close to it. There’s one more thing – mysterious arrayan trees and Victoria Island. That’s our goal for today.
Villa de Angostura is a tiny town that stretches along the main road with shops and restaurants on both sides. It’s crowded and extremely loud. I’ve never had such problems with finding a parking spot in Argentina. Cars drive not paying attention to the regulations (I kind of got used to it), pedestrians walk wherever they like since there’s no pedestrian crossings (got used to that as well). YOLO.
We pay a visit to Tourist Office in order to plan our day and find a place to stay. We ask about our cruise and realise that there’s just to options two choose from – 2 pm or 2.30 pm. We arrive shortly past 1 pm the next day. It takes us a moment to find the place where we can buy our tickets and we suspect forthcoming problems with buying those. We’re right. The lady at the booth tells us that there’s no more tickets left for today. Feeling a bit let down, we walk away from the booth and start thinking about tomorrow’s trip when a guy – a sneaky type – approaches us asking if we’d like to take the cruise today. Yeah, right – what’s the price man? It turns out to be surprisingly attractive – 800 peso instead of 900 at the booth. What’s more, it’s not a cruise on the big tourist boat that takes 60 passengers or so, but just for 10 people. Great. And we can hide in the cabin whenever Amelia feels cold, when it gets windy etc. Satisfied, we wait until 3 pm.
When we arrive at the meeting spot a bit ahead of the time, it turns out that apart from us, there are three other couples. We get seats right next to captain’s steering wheel which makes Amelia the happiest person on earth since she can talk with yet another person. The guy asks where we’re from and what are we doing in Argentina. He’s a bit surprised with us taking this trip with a child but still manages to smile.
It’s a nice cruise – mountains around, wind in our hair. It’s pretty, but not spectacular. No magnificent views around here – we’re not sailing to the iceberg. But it doesn’t matter at this point. I can’t remember the last time a felt so peaceful. We sit down and listen to the water. I lie down for a moment and feel that I might as well go to sleep. There’s a couple that’s approx. 60 years old sitting next to us. They ask me what are we doing in Argentina. I tell them what have we already seen and what are we planning to and ask what’s there opinion on this spots, what do they suggest etc. but it turns out that they haven’t seen most of it. It’s so weird that when you live in such a big country, you can spend most of your life travelling around it and still not see enough. It’s good that Poland is such a small country. :)
After an hour, we arrive on Isla Victoria so we can see the arrayan trees which Kuba wants to see real bad. It’s a rare tree type Walt Disney’s counsellors loved so much, that they decided to put it in the ‘Bambi’ movie. For me, it’s just trees. See for yourself :) I have to admit that they look good on pictures, maybe even better than in reality. A minute after we land, we plug Amelia into the baby carrier and she falls asleep instantly. We get some time to admire… the trees. Kuba takes millions of pictures while I walk around looking at all the other things around. :)
An hour passes and we return to our boat. It gets much colder since it’s almost 6 pm. Before we hide in the cabin, we manage to see some more of Nahuel Huapi’s crystal clear water. Supposedly a few species of trout live in these waters. The legend says that there’s also a monster living here that the aborigines called the teethed sea cow. We don’t notice anything suspicious, though. The experts who came to examine the situation in the 20s of 20th century didn’t find any creature either. :)