From Futaleufu we wanted to go to Esquel, that means crossing the border into Argentina. We were sitting at the bus station, waiting for our bus when a guy walked by yelling “Hasta el limite” (To the limit). We thought nothing of it.. until he came back, looked straight at us and told us to get going. Turns out the village at the border of Argentina is conveniently called “El limite”.
The bus drops you of at the border, then you cross border control and hope that the corresponding bus on the other side will turn up to bring you to Esquel.. Walking those 40km seemed somewhat out of question. Everything went according to plan and we soon set off to Esquel.
Esquel is small, much smaller than anticipated. We arrived in the late afternoon, under a thick layer of clouds. Nothing seemed spectacular at that time and it would stay that way for the next few days. We did all the little excursions around town, the Cruz, the laguna.. They’re nice but not exceptional.
It wasn’t until the clouds went away and we could see the moon-like landscape surrounding us that we understood the appeal of the area. Completely barren landscapes in grey,green and red showed up totally unexpected.. as the mountains turned out to be way higher than I thought. I ended up walking up to the Cruz again, just to know what it looks like in the sun. The first layer of snow on the mountain tops, just added its extra magic.. Even though most of it was gone by the time I reached the viewpoint. There’s something about clear skies, bright sun and snow that doesn’t add up all that well in late summer.
After that we continued exactly were we had left off in Futaleufu: Lounging on the very nice couches of the Pinto Hostel and doing pretty much nothing. Finally it was time for the last good-bye steak and our group, consisting of only two, split its way. I was going to the US and the other half was moving on to El Bolson, where I would follow shortly after.
(The graffiti in the featured image says “Peace starts with a smile” and made me smile every time I passed it)