The next day I went on a little adventure and I headed to the other and most famous overlook of the city called ‘Bandurrias’.
The adventure was that I got there by foot. For me, it’s really different to see things through the window of the car than to be there, walking, smelling, feeling and being a witness of the whole thing. The trail was pretty traditional and it hadn’t enough signs to help walkers find the right place, so we just had to guess a little bit where to go, but that was really interesting, too.
I say ‘we’ because, despite I went alone, I found a guy there that was alone too, and it turned out that we were going to the same place and we ended up going together.
Going to the overlook by foot took no longer than 45 minutes and it didn’t represent much difficulty, so taking this alternative road is really worth it. The reward is better views and a very special walk through the woods.
From the 'Bandurrias' overlook, we could see the city from the opposite side we were the day before in ‘Arrayán’. There were several snow-covered peaks enhancing the view from the distance.
Later, back in the car, we moved on to 'La Islita' (Little Island) that is located on the other side of the same hill. A winding and steep road entered in the woods and took us to this almost secret place, from where a lonely and rocky island could be seen really near the shore. There was a nice and wooded beach full of branches and stones. In summertime this place is full of people enjoying the sun and the lake, but at the time we visited it, nobody was there…
'La Islita', the lonely island on the Lacar.
In the afternoon, the tour in the surroundings continued in the Quila Quina beach which is accessible by boat from the San Martín de Los Andes dock or by car, taking the Route 40 and diverting a few miles through a gravel road.
Once we arrived there, we encountered a bunch of stands of locals that were selling different types of souvenirs and products to the tourists. There was also a little cafeteria where visitors could drink or eat something and an information office.
In that office, a map was showing different places of the beach and it pointed one called “La Gruta” (The Cave). I talked to one of the locals in the stands and he told me how to get there, he warned me it wasn't a great thing but that it wasn't far away.
I followed the signs and I walked by next to a chapel pretty modern and new, built with wood and glass, in a perfect state. From there, a trail started to climb the hill. At this point there was no one around.
Lots of pines on Quila Quina.
The trail was inviting me to go on, to advance, there wasn't even one sign there and I wasn’t sure of where it would lead me.
The road was filled with pines, bushes and an absolute silence. After walking nearly half a mile I got to the cave which was the objective. Next to it there was a small waterfall, opening its way through the rocks, and it quickly run through a little river that had to be crossed in order to continue the road. The vegetation at this point was thicker and wilder and the trail wasn’t so clear, that’s why I decided to come back, though the road was still inviting me to carry on and I was still curious about what I could find ahead. It definitely was worth it to have gotten there.