Sunday, 08 March 2009
Carilo is one of those places that I would never have been able to see had I not known locals to the area. I stayed in Buenos Aires for a month, and one of my favorite parts of my stay was my trip down to Carilo.
Carilo is just about three hours south of Buenos Aires, and is right on the beach. The way my friend described the area to me was a fairy tale-type town. When we finally arrived, after the long trip through fields and fields of cow ranches, I could see exactly what she meant. The way she told the story of Carilo was that the whole area used to be entirely made up of sand. At one point, a wealthier German man took a helicopter ride over, and sprinkled pine tree seeds all over the countryside. A few years later, the seeds began to take root, and the whole area is now a huge pine forest. Now, this all seemed a little fantastical to me - like a Jack and the Beanstock-type scenario, but whatever it was that caused the pine forest to grow there, I was not going to ask any questions.
The whole town is situated throughout the forest, with amazing homes poking in and out of the trees. The main shopping area is a very small, but beautiful, with German-inspired stone and wood structures with interesting shops and some of the cutest coffee shops you have ever seen. It was a welcomed difference from Buenos Aires, as the people were some of the nicest I have ever met. Everyone was extremely helpful, and more than welcoming. The supermarket is full of fresh cheeses and meats, and we were able to cook up an amazing Argentine barbeque at the condo that we stayed at that night. And, because it was off season and my friends happened to know the condo owner, we were able to stay there for an extremely reasonable rate!
That night we sat out on our porch and talked and barbecued our choripan, a traditional Argentine meal of sausage served on a roll with a fresh pepper sauce served over the top. It was so surreal, sitting out on the porch in the pine forest, listening to the waves roll up onto the beach. It is the perfect mix of the forest and the beach and incredibly cute architecture.
The next day, we went out to the beach to sit at one of the restaurants and have a cup of coffee. That was a tradition that I had become accustomed to while I was there - going somewhere to have a cup of coffee. The beach is enormous! It goes on for miles, and is basically untouched by any kind of commercial setting. There is a small restaurant here and there, but there is just miles and miles of beautiful beach. It was the winter season while I was there, so there weren't as many people as there are in the summer, but it was just such an amazing place to be. If you ever make it down to Argentina, this is somewhere that you definitely should not miss!
Have you ever been to Carilo? If not, have you been anywhere similar?