When our friend Martin hears what has happened, he advises Chris that we are both need to go to a place to de-stress. He knows a place that we can fly to which is run by a good friend and his wife. They have a lodge in the Andean mountains on a lake, which is tranquil and peaceful. You can, fish, hike, horseback ride and best of all do nothing!! He tells Chris he is carrying too much on his shoulders and needs a place to clear his head and recharge his batteries. So after collecting my computer with an extra added stress of us getting a message saying it won’t be ready until 6pm instead of noon. We packed up our stuff, pay our bill, check out of our hotel and are on our way.
Cholila Lodge is on a lake and in order to fly there we are supposed to fly a certain grass slip and Daniel the owner will come out in his plane and meet us. Then we will follow him to the lodge, where there is another grass slip in front of the lodge. The journey to the Lodge is wonderful as it is over the vast Patagonia country side which transforms from a dry and dusting looking land that looks like a desert with guanaco running around, to now various tones of green and lush vegetation ,with gorgeous wild horses dashing along trails, and deep valleys. We find the grass strip which is just pass a small airport called Esquel where we had planned on topping up our plane with fuel but find out from the air traffic controller on approach that they have run out of gas. We have enough to get to the lodge and on to Viedma or Bahia Blanca on our way north so are not concerned about this issue. We soar over the mountains and keep our eyes peeled for the grass field which after a few minutes is plain as daylight. We land, and as we step out of our plane we are greeted by a silver haired, kind faced man who is the Daniel the owner of the lodge, who has flown in to meet us in his vintage 1955 Cessna 180, with a friend who is going to take pictures of us as we fly to the lodge, what blast!!! How incredible to have a picture of us flying our plane with stunning landscape and mountains as backdrop!!!The flight was not only magnificent but the view from the plane was spectacular. The lake was the most bluest of lakes I have ever seen in my life, it looked like it had been photo shopped as the colour was so vibrant and bright. We flew in formation for a while, which was such a delight, and really good fun thing for both of us, I could not stop myself smiling at the thrill of it, and when I looked at Chris I knew he was feeling the same pleasure I was, as he grinning from ear to ear like a Cheshire cat!
When we landed I was totally impressed, as this was one of the most glorious picturesque lodges I have ever seen. It looked like it should be on the front of a post card, as it had all the features you expect that are pleasing to the eye. The sun was shining brightly, the temperature was hot, and in front of the lodge was a stream trickling down from the mountains that led to a couple of ponds with wild geese and ducks swimming on it,, this in turn ran down to the lake. In front of the lodge were friendly dogs bounding about and if you looked up at the front of the lodge towards the chimney, you could see the smoke bellowing out, this coming from the open log fire which was burning inside. On unloading our bags and leaving our plane COMPLETLY parked in front of the lodge (see pictures on website) we were warmly welcomed by the charming Silva, Daniel’s wife who showed us to superb room. The room had wooden beams as did most of the ceilings in the lodge, and a rustic, very cozy feel about it. The best thing I liked about the room was it had double doors that led to a balcony; and from that balcony, one was able to see snowcapped mountains! After settling our bags in our room, Silvia brought us coffee and cakes and Daniel, Silva Chris and I had a friendly chat about what we wanted to do. Silva explained that they had just had a huge group of guest leave and was expecting some more the next week but this was a bit of a lull and we were the only guest staying at the moment so we had free run of the lodge and to let her know what suited us. What a result!!! This was just what we needed no schedule, plenty of sleep, and peace and quiet. The best thing about this place was although there was internet; this was the Andean mountains so our expectations of sending emailing or receiving mail were low. We had come to rest our tired bodies, get over the expensive accident of the broken computer and calm our frayed nerves. We hoped to explore the beautiful area that we found ourselves in and take advantage of this unique opportunity to do some mountain activities.