Sierra de la Ventana

Published: April 22nd 2009
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After waiting for two hours in the Junin de los Andes bus station next to the Smelliest Man in History, i got on a very long journey to Bahia Blanca. Upon arriving there, i immediately bought a ticket into the Sierra de la Ventana, one of the nicest hilly parts of the southern pampa. I had two hours of waiting in front of me, so i went into town, which was very refreshing. For the first time since leaving Buenos Aires, i felt like being in the human world again, with all its noise and fumes (not a bad thing after more then a month of quite villages and wilderness). I had a pizza and a beer, and headed buswise to Sierra de la Ventana, where i found a camping spot. The next day was spent exploring the surrounding hills: a very gentle and pastoral site, with fine views over the pampa. It was not as instantly impressive as Patagonia, but in all of its tranquility it was overwhelmingly nice.
In the evening, i went to the base of cerro de la Ventana, which i intended to climb the next day. Evening and night held venturing onto the shortest trail on the park, making a fire on which i cooked a fine green peas stew, and cuddling dogs - until a massive thunderstorm sent down some rain, and very fine views and sounds amidst the mountains
The next morning, it appeared that the peak was closed 'because of clouds'. I tried convincing the guard by saying i had a lot of experience -i dug up the snowstorm story- and that i would do it on my own responsibility, but to no avail. This region is pretty family-oriented, and my wild plans were not compatible with that. I ended up walking a bit to the other section of the park, climbing a very mellow hill offering quite fine views, and visiting the botanical garden, where i socialised with Pepi, who offered me mate and food. Nice!
After all that, i hitchhiked to Tornquist, on a ride with political talks. My driver thought Argentina was complete shit, i thought it looked good though, and we concluded with 'Muy linda mierda'. After a short exploration of Tornquist - there's a nice park in the centre, some very communist buildings and fine murals at the cemetery - i got on a bus to La Plata, from where i made my way to Chascomús.


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