Round Trip - Sierra de la Ventana

Published: March 27th 2007
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After yet another 2 hour bus journey we arrive in Sierra de la Ventana to be greeted by quite a pleasant town: small and quiet but one which has a nice feel. Townies retreat to Sierra in summer to get away from the high temperatures in the city and to enjoy the mountain air.

We find accommodation without a problem, however the old lady at reception is not very pleased to see us and is quite grumpy. We later realise it´s probably because we arrived slap bang in the middle of siesta....Oops!

Having arrived quite late in the day the only thing we can do is take a stroll around town so we visit the dyke at Rio Sauce Grande and enjoy a great view of the town from the top of Cerro Amor (Hill of Love).

Evening comes and we pop out to one of the local restaurants and enjoy the legendary and elusive, ´til now, Argentinian Steak!

The following day we decide to hire bicycles to see "Greater" Sierra de la Ventana and, although tiring, we get to see the two streams (arroyos) and the river (rio) that surround the town - Arroyos Negro & San Bernardo and Rio Sauce Grande. We also stop for a photo opportunity at the town´s railway station and take a short walk along the tracks and the railway bridge, safe in the knowledge that trains only run about three times a week - about an hour later we hear the unmistakable sound of a train pulling into the station!!

Our final day in Sierra comes and we decide to arrange an excursion before leaving town in the evening. Our taxi arrives and literally from the moment we set off the driver starts nodding off at the wheel and veering all over the road! We quickly realise it´s not such a good idea to have booked the excursion during siesta and start praying we make it back in one piece. During our white-knuckle ride we take in Cerro Ventana - the highest peak in the area. It´s quite cloudy and there is a light drizzle meaning we aren´t able to see the peak very clearly so we continue on to the Church of Our Lady Fatima then back to Cerro Ventana for another quick peak - no pun intended... well, couldn´t resist it!!

Whenever we stop it´s not only to take in the sights but also to allow Mr Taxi Driver to grab 40 winks in an attempt to stop him dozing. This has little effect - at one point he starts snoring so loudly we can hear him from about 25 yards away!! It gets worse....when we return to the car, he starts the engine and asks us if we were ready to go then promptly falls asleep again!! What could we do but laugh? This went on for most of the excursion. Anyway, before we safely returned to our hotel we visit another village nearby, called Villa Ventana, where we stop at a chocolate factory to purchase some delicious chocs.

Later we walked to the town´s bus station, which is two benches in front of a newsagents, and waited in the pouring rain for the bus. Whilst waiting we meet two Irish travellers - backpackers, not pikeys - with whom we exchange travel tips and Av gets the SP on drinking pocheen - typical! For the record, it´s hot with lemon and cloves.

The bus arrives and sees us on our way back to Bahia Blanca where we have a couple of hours wait before getting the nightbus to Puerto Madryn - this time it´s going to take a whopping 14 hours! However our wait is increased by almost 2 hours as the bus is delayed and doesn´t arrive until after 1.30am!

Additional photos below
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12th April 2007

TURTLE!!!!! know what I am talking about and what picture I am refering to!!!! Are you sure you were listening out for trains!!!!!
13th April 2007

Ha Ha very funny you TART!!!!! All i´m saying is B.B.P.B.B. Numero Uno!
19th April 2007

Looks like you are smelling something! Did you know which direction train comes from? Whatevever you do take care of yourself.

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