LUGARES MAGAZINE Nro. 39
Pags. 62 - 67
By: Soledad Gil
Photos: Federico Quintana
An Inn on the banks of Lake Cholila. We began our descent in Epuyen. Despite the terminology "going up" and "going down" being inaccurate as far as the subject of geography is concerned, in Patagonia we felt the overwhelming impression of heading downwards.
The temperatures also were declining as we moved on. Perhaps because of the colder climate, the harsher landscape and the total absence of almost everything else, one is more aware of even the most insignificant detail. Mario, our guide, Ied us along Reute 71 towards Cholila. This small town has several things going for it. To begin with it has a typical general store, La Casa de Piedra, where one can stay overnight or just stop for a cup of tea, as well as the classic inn, El Trebol.
We were conscious of a distinct intensity in the light about the place and the sensation of being in a legendary town (see Lugares 10). Even more so after seeing the Hostería del Pedregoso 15 kms. from town on the banks of Lake Cholila.
Maria Silvia Ruiz is the manager of this ideal inn, which is just perfect for a relaxed vacation, and offers fishing and wonderful gourmet Patagonian cuisine served at dúmertime. It is set right beside the lake at the mouth of the Carrileufú River.
To reach it one must leave the car at the parking lot, at the rope bridge and walk across the bridge of loose wooden boards over the Pedregoso River. The seemingly complicated access however has no effect on the service on offer at the inn. There is always someone available to give one a hand with the Iuggage on arrival, so that one is still fresh enough to fully appreciate the charming house, painted in yellow with a grey zinc roof. The colours of the house complement the intense green, brown and blue shades of the imposing mountain Dos Picos.
Additionally, it is also a practical colour for those who fancy taking a ride in a microlight aircraft, as they will very easily be able to spot the inn from the air. The house has enormous windows overlooking the lake, a fireplace in each room, as well as in the main lounge, all of which gives the place a cosy and peaceful atmosphere.
For fishing fans it is paradise, with plenty of trout and salmon in the Iake and rivers. The local rules however are that all catches must be returned to the rivers and in the lake any salmon caught must also be returned. Boats can be hired, with a guide if required, for a half or a whole day. There are also canoes for guests' use, extremely comfortable loungers in the garden, the latter are ideal for dozing in the sun, or for relaxing with a good book and a sandwich in hand.
The days at El Pedregoso seem to have more hours
than elsewhere or maybe the minutes are simply fuller. Whichever the case, we left this enchanting inn with delightful coloured memories of our stay.