meet the sea. The name
(blue sea) responds to the intense color of the ocean around these latitudes and Las Gaviotas (the seagulls) is a tribute to the large amount of these sea birds that hover about the area during the entire year.
But we were aiming at the lighthouse. It was the first building of the present district of Villa Gesell, it dates from 1922 and it is located 30 kilometers from the village.
After traveling for almost one hour and a half, a long sand path deposited us in front of the vast sea. From there, going up and down enormous dunes, we followed an imaginary line that would take us to the famous lighthouse, which until 2009 will be under the protection of an agreement for the Preservation of the National Heritage.
This reserve, where the lighthouse is located, has a surface of 5,757 hectares of dunes. Apart from the quads, double traction vehicles can access the area, provided that they travel along existing tracks in order not to endanger the local fauna and flora.
Therefore, the almost twenty excursionists that got out into the adventure on the quads were informed of that in advanced. As we approached the lighthouse, all the drivers formed a queue so as not to cause any damage to that majestic natural ecosystem hardly ever visited by man.
Sand gusts made us cover our face and wear sunglasses; but even the bad weather, the sand, the water and some fall or other would add excitement to this kind of adventure.
In the distance, we made out the just painted white and black silhouette of the 54-meter tall lighthouse, with a 276-step spiral staircase and a light scope of 18 nautical miles, which equal approximately 20 kilometers, although the distance seemed much greater inside the water.
And when we only had a few kilometers to go, almost unintentionally, we began to speed up the quads to such an extent that an endless race started, as we wished to see who would come first.
We slowly left passion aside and got rational again to think about the preservation of nature, which to the writer of this report is not only a choice but also a duty as a citizen of the world. The Arrival in the Querandí
After correctly parking the quads in the entrance, Hectór Rolando Pelayo, who is in charge of the care and performance of the lighthouse, was expecting to tell us about the activities carried out every day, essential for the sailors of the area, as well as for fishermen.
Like in all the lighthouses that dwell the sea littoral, the Querandí is technically a strategic location point on the shore that enables us to be geographically located when we are in the high sea; and should it not be for its validity and permanence, nautical accidents would be much more frequent.
Nowadays, the lighthouse is visited by hundreds of tourists during the summer season, which means that it is necessary to constantly condition and preserve not only the correct performance of its main activity -that is to say giving light- but also the infrastructure necessary to receive the visit of tourism.
And an incredible marathon that summons the most outstanding sportsmen and runners in the country and crosses forests, sea, dunes and beaches, leaving from Mar de las Pampas to the lighthouse has been organized for the last couple of years to take place in October.
Going up the lighthouse was a wise choice and, as we gained height, we watched the spiral effect of the staircases from the top and from solid ground. A unique photo preferred by the lovers of shapes, colors and sensations, and a wonderful postcard that shows beautiful Villa Gesell and outlines a brief idea of the not so far away city of Mar del Plata
On the way back to the village, we would go before our friend the wind; therefore, the quads quickly sped up racing one another like the wave crests in the sea.
Undoubtedly, the sea shore is an ideal site to slide at full speed in the afternoon, when there are no swimmers. The sound of the waves and the vastness of the horizon made us forget that, in the heights, there is always a lighthouse watching which is worth visiting.