Patagonia: Places to Explore

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Gaiman

The most Welsh of the Atlantic Patagonian settlements, Gaiman (pronounced Guy-mon) is a sleepy country town that is far more charming than nearby Trelew and Rawson. A small museum lovingly preserves the history of the Welsh colony, and many residents still speak Welsh (although day-to-day communication is now in Spanish). A connection to Wales continues with teachers, preachers, and visitors going back and forth frequently (often with copies of family trees in hand). Even the younger generation maintains an interest in the culture and language.

Perhaps the town's greatest draws are its five Welsh teahouses (casas de té)—Ty Gwyn, Plas-y-Coed, Ty Nain, Ty Cymraeg, and Ty Té Caerdydd. Each serves a similar set menu of tea and home-baked bread, scones, and a dazzling array of cakes made from family recipes, although the odd dulce de leche–filled concoction is testament to Argentinean cultural imperatives. Most teahouses are open daily 3–8 and charge 45–50 pesos per person for tea (the spreads are generous enough to replace lunch or dinner, and you can usually take away a doggy bag of any cake you don't finish). Each establishment has its own family history and atmosphere, and a there's healthy competition between them as to which is the most authentically Welsh.

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