I was lacking a report of this travel C: we did it last week, from Thursday 10 to Saturday 12. of course, the intention was seeing the active volcano, even though when we visited it, the plumes was far less awesome than when it erupted yet we had an Orange alert. some pictures of the road:Basaltic (?) formation we nicknamed "dragon's spine"Araucaria araucana+Copahue volcano+Mapuche guy under araucaria
Before anything else, Caviahue, a very small mountain village, is not far away from Neuquén (the city where my parents live and where I'm spending my days till Sunday), only 300 kilometres or so which is patagonian terms is just right there xD.
soo, the first day we arrived, we left Nqn in the morning and arrived to Caviahue at 11am or so. my parents, being the urban people they are, began to actually drive around the bunch of houses in order to find a hotel. funny part is, it being a tiny Patagonian town, and hot, most of the hotels seemed empty, and the reception desks were not even signalized. bless beautiful andean peace. but of course, my parents started to get nervous about it because tiny villages don't work like big cities, despite me and one of my brothers having left the car to ask around.
we finally found someone who had an empty beautiful and very big appartament with 3 dorms and 7 beds within them. as that week we had been dealing with visitors and my parents with work, we were all tired and lacked sleep, so after buying food at a deli, we took a good siesta till 16:30 or so. mom woke up first, then me and one of my bros, and we drank mate
because of course. then, at 17:30 or so, we left for a good hike, and we chose going to Cascadas del Agrio (Agrios's cascades). the town is by Lake Agrio, feed by river Agrio, where the cascades are found. it was hooooot, easily still over 30ºc so the first cascade was welcomed:basalt pillars <3
Climbing down towards this one was the hardest (for them C:<) and the longest, and my little 19 year old bro got a bit dizzy, plus my parents tired. of course we forgot bringing water, so we tried this and it had a lemon-like flavor (after all, "agrio" means "sour" C; )
we climbed back up to the road, til the second cascade, the highest of all and the road to it was easier too. my parents were about to not go, but changed their minds when they saw me and my bros standing in front of the fall, enjoying its coolness with arms wide open (it felt glorious, no kidding).
and then we headed to the last cascade, by far the shortest of all buy whose geography allowed a nice foot track through the river on its top.
before it, there was this neat formation, whatever it's called:
and the cascade itself (only 6 metres tall) :
we didn't go much further as my parents were exhaused, but me and my 24-year-old bro, David, went a bit further. in some moment, he forgot a shirt he'd been using to cover his head with.
that night went through more mate, more bought food, chatting, playing cards and such. there my bro remembered about his shirt. so, we decided to go the same place the following day, but make a longer walk- we overslept too, and didn't start it till 11am xD. this time we didn't climb down to the cascades (neither of which was too far away from the village), and decided to walk as far as possible. it was noticeably less hot, fortunately too. the araucarias forest dissappeared shortly after passing the third cascade, though the "Ñires" continued for a goods while (at that altitude, they grow as shrubs instead of trees), also, the rocks that dotted the ground would become bigger on average as we went further, we picked lots of recently emited small pyroclastys. all I have to say is, parents and lil bro got tired early, but me and David made it to... hard to estimate, but 4-5 kilometres from the base of the volcano. it was recocmended to not go far due to *toxic gases risk* and now I kinda regret not going closer. booh. but yeah, pix.
by the way, around here there was a fourth cascade, though right now I'm not able to tell its photos apart, and might have deleted some when I made the selection, but it was similar to the second minus the araucarias and had a more rocky surrounding. and yeah, the shirt was recovered.
that afternoon, my parents went to rest and me and my bros explored the town, which was more araucaria and lake than buildings, and had a good talk by the lake :p
saturday morning, our camera batteries were almost dead x) (we took hundreds of photos). we drove to Copahue, a yet smaller town, which gets emptied 6 month-a-year or so because the snow accumulates way above the roofs. there are thermal springs there, which we went to (no photos, sorry xD). we had to take a small medical check-up before entering, and there I learned I may have an abnormally low blood pressure: 90/50. odd, because I didn't feel any different than usual, so the doc told me if I felt sick, I was free to abandon the springs any time.
first, we went to aspriong called "Laguna de los chanchos" (pig's lagoon). it was a muddy, acidic (ph=2) water at 38 centigrades. we'd cover our visible skin save for the eyes area with hot mud taken fron its botton and spend up to 20 mins there. it was good for the skin or something :p
2 hours later, mate in between (hot water obtained from a 85 centigrades fountainhead obviously called "manantial del mate") we went to green Lagoon, a spring with greenish water at 33 centigrades and stayed the max allowed time there (30 mins)... we got given floaters so I could go through all of its whole surface (my feet wouldn't reach the botton in a considerable part of its surface). there were algae at its bottom.
when time ran up, moar mate ( we needed to wait at least one hour and half between two activities there), talking with people there, plus drinking from a fountainhead that had properties against allergies and breathing disorders (that spoke to me and my next bro), plus stomach issues, and we made it to our last activity there: the sauna. and, I went very well through the maximum 15 minutes we could be there, despite my low blood pressure.
and yeah, after that, we headed back to Neuquén, previous visit to some boring people, but that's irrelevant. we arrived to Nqn late at night.
so yeah, there is what possibly was my last travel with the family for I should graduate this year and start working. I enjoyed it alot, and wished we'd stayed longer, so plan on going back there some day, by myself and with some friend(s) C: (any volunteers?)
excuse my awful grammar in this entry, i'm really braindead as I'm preparing for going back to SMA this sunday, soooo, have more pics, in random order:Look how deformed these are! I've always admired tree's capablity to survive in very harsh climatic conditions, these are buried in snow most of the year.
and even more, here (out of order and from 3 different cameras ^^; ) :http://s220.beta.photobucket.com/user/LobaFerox/library/Caviahue-Copahue