один мир на двоих (stusik_i_sharik) wrote,
один мир на двоих

Heaven on Earth

"Heaven on Earth," said a Russian guy selling matrioshkas (babushkas) on the weekend artisan market. "You came here in the wrong time, though. In the summer everything here looks much livelier, but even now when it doesn't, this is still the best place to live. I have cabins near here that I rent, with banya (Russian sauna). Built it myself. I'm also building a house. Move over a bit guys, I’m still trying to sell here. Were was I, oh yeah, I'm building a house all on my own, bit by bit, and you know much the tax on my land is for a year? Fifteen dollars. That's all! Both my cars, never registered. If the police stops me, they just check on the computer that the car isn't stolen and send me on my way. 'Carry on chief,' they say. And so many things here are free. The gas, the education, medicine. It's communism, I tell you. The good kind. I know a couple of academics that came here from Simferopol a year ago with nothing. They started making little gnomes from play-doh and selling them at the market, just like I'm doing. Now they have a house, a car, and a motor boat. I'm telling you, this is the best place to live. Heaven on Earth."

Never say never, we rule out nothing. Who knows, may be at some point of our life some place we visit will feel like home and we just would not be able to leave. Till then, we continue exploring. Next stop – "El Bosque Tallado", sculpture forest.

You heard me right, a sculpture forest. Apparently, at some point, many local artists have come together and decided to display their work thirteen kilometers away from El Bolson in a forest under the mount Piltriquitron. That is actually all nice and dandy, but thirteen kilometers is no joke, especially considering it's all up a very steep hill, and now in the off-season, the only other way to get there is by expensive taxi. This sucked, even if we would take the taxi only up hill, it would still burn a nifty hole in our pockets, so we went to plan B.

Plan B was very simple – find two willing souls to share the expense of the cab, and in the end of the day just hike down to town. A perfect plan in its essence, if only the town didn't seem completely empty of travelers. Even the very nice hostel we were staying in was forced to survive solely on our presence. No worries though, the nice owner of our nice hostel has pointed us in the direction of another place we might find people, and when we got there, this is pretty much how it went:
"Hi! Sorry to barge in on you like that. My name is Sarit, this is Alex, and we were wondering if you were going to see the forest with sculptures tomorrow? Oh, you are! Great! Would you be interested in sharing a... Oh. I see you have your own car. Well, in that case, how would you feel about taking us with? We'll pay for the gas." And this is how we met Nick and John, two law students from the States.

And it's good we did. Not only have the guys saved us a lot of money, but also an enormous uphill climb. We did have to pay for it though, a whole of two crispy cold beers. It was the best deal we had ever made, but there was a small catch. If we wanted the guys to also drive us back down, we needed to wait for them to climb 860m up and down mountain Piltriquitron (2,260m). What to do, what to do. Eh, let's climb as well. What's another mountain peak for us.

Tags: art, climbing, places:south america:argentina, us, view
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