Tranquilo in El Bolson


Camping in El Bolson. The first day off after Volunteering in Bariloche

How I learnt from a Brazilian boludo to calm down and chill.

During my volunteering in the Punto Sur Hostel in Bariloche I met quite a few inspiring people. Guests and other volunteers alike. One of the volunteers working with me was Lincoln from Brazil. Very uncomplicated, easy going, funny and multi talented person. He may hide his smart side behind a big clown face and behaveiour calling everyone boludo and telling everyone to tranquilo. But the fact that he is traveling South America on his own, manages to hitchhike 800km in the same car, speaking 4 languages fluently, always tells a funny joke…shows, how smart this guy really is. Thanks to this, he figured quickly I had some serious problems to tranquilo myself. So he started telling me to tranquilo every time I lost my temper, or ran around in the kitchen like a chicken gone wild giving commands to the others like „chop this, clean that, give me this, stop doing that.“

 I love giving commands. Maybe it’s time for a dog.

Well, let’s be honest. He told me to tranquilo every five minutes. He was right. I was not tranquilo at all. But I just recognized it after leaving the hostel behind. Working in Hostels – or helping out volunteerly in a place crowded with people gives me this kick. I can not tranquilo. Especially not when the people are awesome and I have the responsibility for the place. Love it.

After Punto Sur Hostel Volunteering it was time to put on the backpack and hitchhike to the next city, direction south. To El Bolson.

There comes a point when you realize – while standing on the highway with a thumb out for over an hour in the burning sun – it’s time to tranquilo.

Find a shady place. Sit down. Get your camping cooker out and make some awesome ass kicking instant coffee. Just sit and drink. Fuck the cars passing by. No point to rush. You can’t force it to happen. Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that these fuckers don’t pick up people. Even the ones driving a pick up don’t. Time to tranquilo.

There was a nice camping we ran into by the riverside in El Bolson for 70 Pesos (5.50€)…. A place full of creative Hippies who travel Argentina. Cool! So time to reconsider all plans and stay one day longer than initially planned. Why do we make all these plans anyway? They are just supposed to show the direction. Don’t rush. Tranquilo. Well, when making plans – that’s what I’ve learned from the crazy Brazilian – allow yourself to include one full day for relaxing and doing nothing at all to the plan (except recharging your batteries with energy coming from some self made very delicious food). It’s not easy. But that’s what I mean when I say that I only recognized my tranquilo issue after leaving Punto Sur. I had it in my mind because Lincoln said it so often.



Waiting for Cars to pass by during Siesta Time – burning hot sun… time for Coffee! //With Vincent from Huaman y Zaramama

And I share this because since leaving Punto Sur I have managed to tranquilo quite often. Lincoln you can be proud of me.

A quick selection of some of my Tranquilo times:

  • making coffee by the side of the road as a hitchhiking break
  • Taking a coffee and cookie break during a long hike in the most beautiful forest (Frey to Jacobs, Nahuel Huapi National park)
  • sleeping in late in a tent
  • don’t set an alarm
  • smoke weed and observe people
  • walk steady on the road in a slow pace
  • take a bath in an ice cold river to refresh
  • sit in the shadow of a tree and eat your awesome selfmade cereal bars
  • draw mandalas

Thank you Lincoln for telling me, the restless German girl, to tranquilo. I hope that this text can help some of my friends to tranquilo, too.

Lincoln on his bike through South America, from El Calafate to the border to Chile.


Visit Lincolns Facebook Page here: Uncomfort Zone

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