Strange village in Argentina – level 3

20-11-2015 07:00

It may look like a scene from a zombie apocalypse film, but this is Argentina’s newest tourist attraction. Epecuen, which is 341 miles (549 kilometres) southwest of Buenos Aires, has been attracting tourists with its eerie atmosphere, after a flood submerged it in salt water for more than two decades.

Originally a busy lakeside village in the 1920s, renowned for its saltwater baths, Epecuen came to a sudden end in November 1985 when the town’s lake overflowed and water surged into the town. Residents and tourists were forced to evacuate and just days later their homes and buildings were covered by almost 10 metres of salt water.

Now, 30 years on, the water has evaporated and former residents can walk through the ruins of what was once their town.

“It’s really difficult to define how I feel. I miss the place with the noises, with its smells, = its feelings… One misses the people, friends, the warmth of the big family that we were – these things I do miss, but you lose your identity, your roots, your belongings, you lose a lot of things that only now you can start defining because up until now, and after 30 years, you couldn’t define it.”

The ghost town, which now attracts curious tourists for its bizarre landscapes instead of its thermal waters, really is deserted these days with 85 year-old Pablo the town’s only inhabitant.

Difficult words: eerie (strange and frightening), renowned (known by many people), surge (to move suddenly and powerfully), resident (a person who resides – lives somewhere), evaporate (to turn from liquid into vapour/gas), former (-ex), roots (origins), ghost town (an empty town or city that used to have people), thermal (heated), inhabitant (a person who inhabit a place – lives there).



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