25/11 – Après les Lacs, enfin la Patagonie et…… Julian

Nous quittons Villa La Angostura pour retourner à Bariloche sous un ciel bleu. Le bus longe les lacs, et les montagnes qui l’entourent se découpent nous laissant un spectacle qui ressemble assez à la  Savoie, côté suisse…….Et c’est d’ailleurs à l’auberge de jeunesse que nous rencontrons un suisse francophone, anglophone,germanophone et suissophone…. Julian c’est son prénom. Le soir après le repas nous échangeons quelques mots et ce sera d’abord un immense fou-rire qui va nous lier. Imaginez : un suisse vivant au bord du lac de Genève qui vient en Argentine pour se dépayser et qui après 15h d’avion et 22h de bus arrive à Bariloche, ville de montagne au bord d’un lac, avec des chalets. Sortant de l’hôtel, sur la première place qu’il croise, il voit un tas de touristes se faisant prendre en photo avec des chiens……St Bernard. Poursuivant sa visite dans la rue principale de Bariloche, le premier restaurant qu’il rencontre propose à sa carte……une fondue savoyarde Et un peu plus loin un immense magasin de chocolats dont l’enseigne porte le nom de Weiss…..Tout à fait argentin!!! Julian nous demande s’il est vraiment parti de Genève et qu’est ce qu’il fout là……De cette histoire nous avons bien déliré, n’est-ce pas Julian!! Julian, la quarantaine, est journaliste chargé de l’actualité culturelle dans un grand journal suisse, il doit épuiser des congés que sa Direction lui impose de prendre……crise oblige. Hésitant à poursuivre son voyage en Suisse-argentine, il décide de venir avec nous vers les Parcs des Glaciers de la Patagonie.

Cela doit faire environ 2000km en bus pour rejoindre les parcs. Il faut traverser l’Argentine d’Ouest en Est et revenir en Ouest. Pour éviter de prendre la fameuse Ruta 40 ( route de terre et pierres : le ripio) Nous faisons cela en 2 étapes. La route est un spectacle de beautés naturelles : sommets enneigés, lacs, espaces inhabités…Nous faisons halte à Sarmiento après 12h de bus.

Sarmiento……accrochez vous!!

Nous sommes les seuls à descendre du bus à Sarmiento. Même le chauffeur nous interroge, l’air très surpris de nous déposer dans ce village au beau milieu de rien du tout, balayé par des vents violents, avec un ciel bas et gris. Nous sommes en Patagonie. Cela ne parait pas un bon plan…et pourtant le lendemain en attendant de reprendre le bus du soir, nous irons tous les 3 en “Remis” ( taxi au forfait ) vers un lieu étrange : El Bosque pétrificado ( la forêt pétrifiée )

DSC03946 DSC03943

En effet, nous voici à nouveau dans un paysage lunaire ressemblant à ce que nous avions vu dans le Parc d’Ischigualasto (cf. 13/10 Chilecito ) en moins immense. Le sol est jonché d’éclats de bois et de troncs pétrifiés. Ces arbres ne sont pas tombés sur place mais ont été charriés depuis les régions montagneuses il y a ……65 millions d’années, ont été recouverts de sédiments provoquant leur pétrification et l’érosion les fait réapparaître à ciel ouvert.

DSC03948 Le vent est très fort et glacial. Nous restons quand même pour admirer ce lieu un peu fantomatique. Nous apprenons que dans cette région ont été trouvés les restes du dinosaure le plus grand du monde: 42m de long et qu’il est reproduit à l’identique au musée de la ville. Nous en concluons que nous avons finalement eu le nez fin de nous arrêter à Sarmiento.

En route vers les parcs des glaciers

Nouvelle nuit de bus confort pour traverser la steppe patagonienne avec quelques estancias que nous apercevons au lever du jour. Nous passons devant une espèce de restaurant “routier” perdu au milieu de la steppe. L’enseigne porte le nom de Estancia Lemarchand, nous pensons à nos compatriotes qui se sont installés dans cette région et qui ne sont pas gênés par les voisins. Chacun peut imaginer les raisons qui les ont poussé ici….mais il ne faut pas avoir oublié les allumettes sous peine de faire plus de 200km pour en acheter. Là encore les immenses espaces; nous n’avons pas assez d’yeux pour voir toute l’immensité de ces terres avec quelques animaux. On dit que la steppe de la Patagonie est sans intérêt. Au contraire ici la nature est aride, sauvage, livrée à elle même, et les grands espaces qui se révèlent à nous, nous rendent minuscules et fragiles. Nouvelle correspondance de bus et nous voici au début d’une nouvelle aventure à El Calafate.

Bernard

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