Carmella the waterskiing, bowling, fisherwoman – Nuequen, Argentina

After picking up Andres, our attempts to drive back to the lake were thwarted by a very uncooperative truck. We ended up stuck for hours while they tried to fix it. Car stuff bores me so I smelled the roses instead…literally. I found a some gorgeous flowers in some gardens nearby and since Max was preocupado with the fixing of the truck, I had time to play photographer.

We did end up getting to the lake that night but not until 330am, 7 hours late. Friday morning we woke to a sunny sky and a still lake just BEGGING me to try my luck at waterskiing again. I was apprehensive to say the least. What if I just can´t ski? What a bummer that would be. And the water, man, I remember how cold it was.

I decided to bite the bullet and give it another go anyway. This time, I went first so my wetsuit wasn´t freezing which was secret number one. As well, Max and Andres swapped jobs, Max playing teacher and Andres taking photos. First try, flop. Not just my face but my heart. I remember thinking ‘Ok, that’s it! I’ve had it with you stupid skis…work dammit!’ And guess what? Second try and I was off!

At first, I was terrified that I would lose my balance but that ended quickly when I began to gain confidence, even crossing over the fantail from the boat. We took one round then I forgot to let go so I went for another loop really exhausting my legs. The only thing that kept going through my head was ‘I´m doing it! I´m doing it!’ with the occasional ‘Wow, look how clear the water is’. At the end, I dropped the rope and slid right into Max’s waiting arms. YAY! Next, Max took his turn and ended up going all the way down the lake almost to the town!

We decided to take another fishing trip altho I was quickly learning that it’s more of an excuse to tour around the lake, soaking up rays and enjoying nature. Infact, after a few hours, I began to wonder if there really were any fish in this lake. They were not responding to my Fish Call song. Then I remembered that they prolly only understood Spanish so I adjusted the language.

We were just about to head into the town store to pick up something to make for dinner since we were obviously not having pescado. I thought about how funny it would be if a fish jumped on my line as I was reeling it in, as it happened so many times in Canada. Well, you can just guess what happened next. FISH ON! That’s not exactly what I said, but this is a PG site. Anyway, I was elated!

After 15 minutes of patiently coaxing the trout closer, I landed dinner! We still went to the store but to get fixings for the fish instead. Andres stayed behind and cleaned it while Max and I discovered mushrooms in the field. We collected up a whole bag full of them to go with our dinner after Max assured me they were not of the magical persuasion.

On the way home from the store, Max caught another fish but it was not an eating fish. It looked like a dinosaur with its spiney fins so Max had to be very careful when he was unhooking it. I watched quietly as he gently and very carefully swished it to and fro through the water. It was a very spiritual feeling when Max revived the dead fish and with one flip of the tail, as if to wave goodbye, it swam off.

I drove the boat for a while until it was time to head back in. We enjoyed a yummy dinner which we all took turns preparing before admiring the sky full of stars. The next day was pretty relaxed. While the boys brought the boat in for the winter while I busied myself with making some brownies. I had to get a little creative with the ingredients as we were out at the lake and all.

After I gave them one piece, the little piggies sneaked a few more when I wasn’t looking, then proceeded to get sore tummies. On the drive back to Zapala we stopped at a waterfall to fill up with fresh crisp and cool water. Needless to say, we stopped for many many bathroom breaks along the way.

We finally reached town and by the time we reached the hotel, I was feeling tired and grumpy. I think all the mileage we had covered over the past week was really starting to get to me. We had a quiet night but I still proceeded to sleep the entire car ride from Zapala to Neuquen. We didn’t have to catch our bus until that evening so we decided to take a look around the town.

Cousin Sergio, Max and I went to the mall. There is a restaurant with huge windows so you can watch people grocery shopping on the first floor. We decided play a game of bowling where I proceeded to demolish the boys with three strikes. I had to do some quick talking to convince Max that no, I am not a bowling hustler back at home.

We picked up a few snacks for the bus ride then spent the rest of the day trying to locate my lost wallet. When we finally settled into our seats on the bus back to Buenos Aires, we both decided that the trip was a overwhelming success. We realized that not only are we best friends, partners, playmates and sweethearts but we are excellent travel buddies. Bonus!

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