Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Chilling in Bariloche

Well, I've found myself the perfect daytime haunt in Bariloche, a café bar on a street corner, aptly named La Esquina. It's a lovely little place serving coffee, lunch, drinks, dinner. Locals meet here and the occasional tourist crashes the party.

I sat having dinner here last night reading the history of the Rugby Club de Bariloche. It is the inspirational story of the the club's stuggle not just to bring itself together and survive but to get a whole league under way in the Lakes district, to keep rugby alive and develop it. I have such a strong urge now to play, coach or just watch a game. Might be one on here before I head back to BA on Sunday. Or I could find a game to watch in BA probably more easily.

Today is Bariloche's birthday with festivities planned throughout the day and the rest of the week. I picked up a copy of El Andino, a local freesheet, which details everything that's going on. Amongst the processions, football matches and musical performances, at 2pm today there will be a hot chocolate in the Town Hall.

As I sit here, I see the name Herbert Read on a book in the café. I knew his grandson at school. I can't remember the relationship to Piers Paul Read, although I know that Piers went to the same school and wrote 'Monk Dawson', apparently about my housemaster (made into a film by another old boy, a few years ago). Piers is also the author of 'Alive: the Story of the Andes Survivors'. It's a book about a plane crash in Patagonia and the survival of the passengers by eating the remains of the dead. The story has twice been made a film, most recently 'Alive!' in 1992, I think. Meanwhile, I picked up a copy of Bruce Chatwin's 'In Patagonia', translated into Spanish, which is very entertaining reading.

The weather is due to continue unseasonally fine for a few days. So tomorrow morning I'm heading out to Pampa Linda to get a closer view of Mt Tronador and do a 3-day trek to Refugio Otto Meiling up by a glacier on the mountain, then the Paso de las Nubes. I think I'll go and watch the procession now, then sit on the lakeside beach.