A Christmas celebrated outside our normal 'snow-ladden' Canada, was a first for our family of four. Recommended by good friends and fellow whitewater kayak enthusiasts, La Confluencia become our home away from home for a week at the end of December, 2012.
An eco-lodge hidden from the normal hussle-bussle of South American travellers is set overlooking a Class III-IV canyon on the Rio Azul. Of course we paddled it's 'aqua-blanco' leading
A serious 4x4 is needed to descend the final 3 kms of steep gravel crosses the Rio Blanco before climbing the final 500m's to the Lodge. If this Rio is too high, a 'nepalese' hanging bridge, complete with missing rungs is the only option. Sheep meandering through the pine forest lead your way up to the most beautiful sight imaginable...a bio garden well planned, brimming with ripe fruit, vegetables, delicious smells and colours that have you rush to capture on film. The expertly constructed log Lodge is built with an eye for beauty and eco-friendly choices, complete with its own hydro-generator that harnesses the energy from a stream a km up hill, wood-fired sauna and hot-tub, yoga room with a wood-heated floor, and spacious decks to enjoy the incredible views.
The kitchen is at the heart of La Confluencia. Ginna ( Guillermina, in Spanish) was our Argentinian chef, trained in Buenos Aires but also had two years of practise in New Zealand. She was at home with both the gas and wood cook stoves, enjoyed using the abundant local carne, pescados and produce. El Bolson is a micro-haven for agriculture and going to the local market 'ferria' is an ablsolute treat - a place I was able to gather many different berries for our traditional 'Rote Grueze' desert - normally originating in the freezer at home at this time of year. Dinner on the 24th was a combination of Argentinian and German Goose (my background) with the very Argentian tradition of an Asado on Christmas Day bringing the community together.
What was most special for us, was to be as close to nature as possible, together as a family, and avoid the stress of materialism that this time of year brings with it.
Thank you Mark and Eli for sharing your precious spot with us. We will be back very soon to continue exploring your paradise.
Claudia, Dirk, Katrina and Stefi Van Wijk
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- This Patagonian lodge, a model of sustainable construction, is in a remote mountain location within a 200,000 acre wilderness preserve with endless adventure activities on site from rafting to rock climbing, and a sauna and outdoor hot tubs with stunning river views. All meals are prepared with organic products from the Confluencia farm: vegetables, fresh milk, eggs, meats, and hearty breads from whole grains harvested and stone-ground at the farm. ... more less
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