When I got to San Martin de los Andes it was REALLY windy and the dust was flying around like crazy!It was like taking a dust bath! Yuck!The town was beautiful though, very Swiss looking w/ beautiful trees w/ red berries.I also had a great ice cream called San Martin de los Andes (chocolate w/ berries - mmm).I met some cool people at the hostel & even got to interview some of them to use w/ my students later on.It was also the first & only night I actually went out during my trip so far - it was a nice place & I got to dance a little meringue & salsa before it changed to Spanish rock/dance.
My first tour visited the nearby town of San Junin de los Andes where we saw a really unique & beautiful church w/ a mix of native Mapuche (indigenous meaning people of the mother earth) mixed w/ the Catholic.The circle was predominant as well as the sun and its points.There was a special statue of an indigenous girl turned saint after sacrificing her life for the happiness of her mother.The stained glass windows actually had pictures of her life on one side and of another Indian saint on the other side.Also, it was the first time the altar showed Jesus resurrected instead of being crucified.We then went to Huechulafquen lake where we were supposed to see the Lanin volcano from there but because of the rain it was the Lanin cloud instead!I took the optional boat tour anyways and saw some nice views despite the rain including Goat island & a little mini forest that grew up in volcanic rock so it never got enough nutrients to grow tall.
The next day I did 3 different things in one day!I took the morning tour around the southern end of Lake Lacar to Quila Quina.It was a pretty ride through the forest where I saw some sheep & then had a nice little walk along the beach.Between that tour and my second tour to Hua Hum, I hiked up the Bandurrias trail to a beautiful lookout of the lake w/ the mountains as well as the town down below.The next tour to Hua hum along the northern edge of the lake almost to the border w/ Chile (less than a mile) was also great.We had a nice walk to a waterfall & at the little restaurant there I tried a submarine - a bar of chocolate dipped in hot milk as well as an alfajor (cookie) with rosa mosqueta jam (rose hips) & sauco (some fruit I don't know in English!)Back in San Martin de los Andes I tried 3 regional dishes - smoked jabali (wild boar), & trout & ciervo (deer) en escabeche (cold).I was scared but I actually liked everything - especially the deer.The jabali tasted like beef jerky - a little too salty.