LUGARES MAGAZINE Nro. 28
Page. 50- 53
By: Julia Carara
Pictures: Nestor Paz
It was a sunny morning when we began our drive up the Altas Cumbres leading to Route 15, which takes you directly to Villa Dolores. From there, making a left tum there are only 8 km of unpaved road to reach the fabulous Lejanía. We were welcomed by Henry and Nicole Barret, the owners. A lovely story, that of the Barrets, which began when Henry arrived in Cordoba as Engineering Director of Renault. After his first visit, he went back every time he had a chance.
The Barrets don't have any regrets about their decision to try out their luck in this part of the world. They are proud of the changes and reforms they produced in La Lejanía. Since the time they bought it from a German couple who used it as a Tea Salon and a General Store, they have done a great deal to it. Of course their philosophy was to leave the main house, a relic dating from the last century, exactly the way it was. It was not necessary to alter the original layout. However, what most appealed to Henry, was the natural beaury of the surroundings.
With enviable energy he personally showed us around. We were taken to see their private river which descends from the hills and crosses the back part of their property forming an enchanting beach. There he was, this French conqueror, heading his expedition at a brisk pace and pointing out his secret, favourite spots. The opposite bank of the river is within the limits of the estancia Las Conanas also bought by the Barrets so that their clients can enjoy their own exclusive river. The Barrets have their activities well worked out: Henry is in charge of public relations, whereas Nicole organises and personally prepares the food served there, which is absolutely delicious, by the way.
In the afternoon, La Lejanía becomes a tea house, and believe me the cakes are amazing. The inn has two dining rooms, one exclusively for guests with no children. Service is excellent, and the staff make sure everyone is well taken carc of. On our last aftcmoon before our departure, Henry suggested we explore the other stretch of the river we hadn't yet been to. So we walked and climbed for 10 minutes until we reached Los Cajones, a rock formation which narrows the river flow. We dived and swam wherever possible until we reached the fifth waterfall. I cannot put into words the sensation of swimming in black water. It looks black because of the virtual lack of daylight. It's a shuddcring experience to feel how the current carries you to thc next step. The inn is open during the Summer months, Easter as well as the Winter vacation in July, the rest of the year they are engaged in redecorating.