13th of December 2016
Imagine a spa town on the shores of a salty lake. Thousands of tourists visiting each year, arriving by train from Buenos Aires. Hotels, ice cream shops, souvenir stands, a lively main street.
Then it starts to rain. Heavy rain. The water can’t flow out of the lake – it has no outlet. People say that there is also bad management involved.
Two weeks later, the water level has risen by three metres. The small town is flooded, the inhabitants evacuated. It will remain submerged in the saline waters for 25 years.
Today, the waters have lowered and Villa Epecuén is a tourist attraction. People wander between petrified trees, look at the ancien slaughterhouse (the only building left), take photos of the piles of rubble.
Carhué is a lively town a few kilometres from Villa Epecuén. They’re building a new spa complex by the lakeside. But when you approach, you notice that construction has stopped. Empty basins, concrete deckchairs jumbled together, a row of forlorn straw umbrellas, unfinished buildings.
Later you go online and you read that financial and management problems have halted the project.
Enjoyed reading this? Here’s the full series of Diary of Last Year.
Or else, browse other posts about our trip here.