Bahia Blanca is truly white. There hasn’t been raining for five months and due to the wind the dust plays a fundamental part in the colour formation of the surrounding landscape. Otherwise I couldn’t say that the town was remarkable about something. It was just an ordinary South American town like every other. Most of the buildings are short, there is garbage on the pavement, normal cars run on the streets, as well as clunkers whose only working part is most probably their engine. On some crossings you may observe the phenomenon ETWW (emergency team for window washing). Yes, yes, just like our little gipsies on the crossings, only that they were more different. The ones in there are not infant and they are really an EMERGENCY team. Only two seconds after the flash of the red at least 3-4 people throw themselves over the first car and from then on „there is no such thing like I don’t want to and Don’t do this”.

My host from couchsurfing is called Facundo, he is 22 years old and studies design at some art college. He lives with his mother in a neat little house in the good part of town. I spent two days at their place and I met some of his friends. Here when friends meet they don’t shake their hands in order to greet each other but they press their cheeks with resonant but somehow artificial kiss. That was one of the most complicated things I had to get used to. And after every similar greeting my hand remained hanging in the air, expecting a handshake.

A few people have already mentioned the mountain Sierra de la Ventana, that is located about one hundred kilometers in the north from Bahia Blanca – the place was very peaceful and beautiful. That’s why I decided to leave a part of my luggage at Facundo’s and go in there for two days. At Friday Facundo’s father passed by and drove me to the exit of the town. One hitch-hiker was already there on his post. Tough luck, I had to wait even more. Twenty minutes later third hitch-hiker showed up and queued up after me. Quite touch luck. But not as tough as when a fourth hitch-hiker appeared. When the fifth one came the situation already seemed tragic. The sun had fixed itself in the highest point of the sky and literally with every passing minute it was burning my skin. There were no signs for any car to stop. My chief weapon at the unequal fight with the local people was a big rucksack that that screamt „I’m a foreigner, please pick me up!” The boy who had come after me turned out to be very lucky because he has been waiting only for twenty minutes with a plate saying Pigue when some car passed by and took him. One more person managed to stop a truck in an unknown way. Even though the number of people didn’t decrease because one more applicant for a position in our line showed up. If they knew Bulgarian we could have started singing „We are at every twentieth meter”. At one time three hours after my arrival the first one in line managed to persuade some stopped truck to pick him up and that’s how I took the leading position. Just a little after that two more people dropped themselves out in there and against all hitch-hiker’s laws they stood twenty meters ahead of me! Heeeeey, waaaaait a lil, where `re ya going? Whooops, oh mine, come ooooooon, how could that beee? The first car that passed by took them!!!!!

Come ooooooooooooooon, ma`am, I’ve been waiting in here for 3 hours and half and I am a foreigner!!! The foreigners have advantage, hellooooo!!! Especially the roasted white foreigners!!!

A truck stopped. Under the tree on the crossing. But he couldn’t take me because he was transporting fuel and their insurances are really strict and don’t allow a second person at the cabin.

I HAVE ALREADY BEEN WAITING FOR FOUR HOURS… AND A HALF!!!

Ooooh, there is someone above… a little car stopped… FOR ME!!! I threw myself inside and the dude gave me cold water after which he played… no, he blasted a video of System Of a Down and we started singing. He even pulled out a phone in order to make a clip how we shout. Well, this is it, waiting for your guy for 4 hours and a half.

Above all, he even spoke a little English and we managed to understand each other. His wife’s sister worked at a tour agency at Ushuaia and he gave me her name and address in order to find her when I reach there – to advise me where the things are cheaper.

He left me at a crossing near the little town Tornquist and I started walking. 300 meters later a pick-up took me. A man and a woman from Santa Rosa, which is somewhere at the province La Pampa, were going for the weekend at the village of Villa Ventana, where I was going too. The village itself turned out to be not super but mega made for tourists. Non-asphalt roads with little restaurants, houses and bungalows everywhere. At every corner there were wooden plates indicating the above-mentioned stuff.

Sierra de la Ventana is a whole range of mountains, with height up to 1200 meters. Its name comes from a whole in the rocks, large around 9 meters by one of the highest peaks. Despite of its small height it is one of the two mountains in the whole area and it is truly remarkable among the surrounding plane. The combination of trees and greenery around it make the place very popular touristic destination for short outings among the local people.

I wanted to climb some hillock but I found that the nearest to the village are beyond some fields and they have been surrounded with wire because they are part of someone’s estate. For these reasons and because of the time that was well ahead I went out of the village and back on the asphalt road in order to like a place for sleeping. One dog joined me while I was going there and became my guard for the night. One kilometer above I found a comfortable place that was separated from the road through a little hill and provided me with a shelter from the wind. I left my luggage and the dog and me started exploring the area. I made photographs of the mountains and the fields where the horses and the cows were grazing peacefully. The dog was chasing both cars and something like giant rabbits that were running around the fields.

The night was warm and I didn’t even pitch my tent. I was lying in my sleeping bag and for the first time I was watching the southern starry sky. Pleasssssssure!

In the morning the dog was still lying next to me and after a little time spending in taking photographs I went on the asphalt road to the park where the mentioned peak Cerro Ventana was.

A car took me after 300-400 meters and drove me to the entrance of the park. I studied the situation – there was a camping site on the inside from where I filled water. In order to climb the peak you had to pay 10 pesos (around 3,60 Bulgarian Leva). The mountain seemed very tempting but it could be climbed only during the day therefore I wouldn’t be able to make any good pictures. I decided not to give 10 pesos but climb the near hillock that offers a good view to the massif of Cerro Ventana. Then I spent the afternoon in lounging in something like a little forest before the park. It became cloudy and just before the sunset the rays of light managed to squeeze themselves through various holes in the clouds and illuminate the peaks in a very beautiful way. In the evening I crammed myself among some trees a little more above the hillock and decided to stay only with the sleeping bag again. But this time there was no wind and the mosquitos were waiting just for that. 10 minutes later I raised the white flag and pitched the inside part of the tent. An hour later the wind started blowing again but a day too late for the fair.

In the morning I thought of returning to Bahia Blanca but the peak, even though it was a short one, was so tempting that I finally gave in – I threw my rucksack at a ditch under the road, I paid 10 pesos and went on above.

While going there I met a man and a woman from England with whom I spoke and after about one hundred meters we also came upon a grandpa who was tottering with his cane on the stony ground above. He was an Englishman too but he has been living in Argentina for years. His family has had an estate for 80 years and one day he came, he liked it and stayed forever. He has already climbed the mountain 5-6 times with his walking stick… Actually some of the areas in the part on the above were very steep and stony and required attention and physical effort. I saw a snake on the peak but it turned out that it is both not poisonous and an endemic type.

Four hours later I was by the road and waiting for someone to throw me at Tornquist. One hour later a pick-up stopped and I threw myself in the back by one ATV. My first ride at a pick-up trailer – the warm wind is blowing, you are watching in the rear at the mountains under which fields with cows have spreaded out far and wide and you enjoy yourself.

He left me 6 kilometers before the crossing where I had to hitch-hike to Bahia Blanca. I started walking because very few cars were passing and nobody stopped even though the sun was shining hot. On the crossing the situation was similar – I decided to walk 4 more kilometers in order to reach the other exit of town and complete my roasting. In the end of the four kilometers I was already boiling and even a summer Bulgarian tommato would envy the red colour of face. I got burnt! REALLY REALLY BAD!

Finally someone felt sorry for the tottering creature with the big rucksack, stopped their car and drove him to Bahia Blanca where Facundo’s bathroom was expecting him.

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