Lakes, snow covered mountains and pine forests.
07.09.2007 - 17.09.2007 5 °C
On September the 7th, we woke up on the Andesmar bus, and still had around six hours to go to our destination. There were some movies, and then they decided to have a bingo game on the bus. We all got little bingo plates, and the bus guy called out numbers. To my great amusement, Alan won! The price was a bottle of Andesmar bus wine - and the steward then asked Alan if he would say a few words - hilarious! Alan responded with his best Elvis imitation voice: "Thank you very much". Really made me laugh.
We arrived in Bariloche, and checked into Albergue El Gaucho.
We then realised we had left our fishing rods in Mendoza - typical. So we went to a tackle shop and bought some new ones - really cheap actually, and this time we got telescopic ones, so they fit in the bag.
September 8th, we went on a trip up to the top of the nearest mountain to Bariloche, called Cerro Otto. The altitude at the top is 1405 meters. We took a free bus from town to the base of the mountain, and then took the cable lift up to the top, for 35 pesos. Not cheap, but the ride was cool.
The weather was slightly cloudy, but still, the views from the top were spectacular.
There was snow at the top of the mountain, and people were skiing and toboganning right there. There was a revolving restaurant at the top, and we had a cup of hot chocolate there, and took in the views.
September 9th, we got up late and went down to the living room in the hostel to watch the Ireland-Namibia rugby game. Then we walked around and had a look at the town. Its a very charming, tranquil town to just stroll around in. Most of the architecture is in an alpine style, with logs and stone as the main materials.
September 10th, the weather was miserable - grey skies, light drizzling rain all day, and the sun never showed its face. It felt like a mid-November day in Denmark. We didn't feel much like going out, so we just cozied up in a warm room.
September 11th was a brilliant contrast to the day before - warm, sparkling sunshine, tall blue sky and clean, crisp mountain air. We went out for a walk out of town along the lake shore. An hour or so in, we flagged down a bus and rode out further, to an area called the Llao Llao peninsula. There's a little town there called Puerto Panuelo, where they have boats across the lake Lago Nahuel Huapi to Chile. We had the fishing rods with us, and were trying to find an access to Lago Moreno, where you are allowed to fish this time of year. But the whole lake shore was private property, with fences and "keep out" signs. Guess we were on the wrong side of the lake - we'll have to take a different bus next time. But we had a nice walk around the area anyway, and the views of the Lago Nahuel Huapi were nice.
After a while, we took the bus back to town. When we got back to the hostel, Jay and Milena, whom we had met in Roatan, had arrived.
September 12th, we had a lazy day. Read a crappy book, and then we swapped movies with Jay and Milena, and looked at eachothers pictures on the laptops.
On the 13th, we went toboganning on Cerro Otto mountain, with Jay and Milena, at a spot called Piedras Blancas. A van picked us up at the hostel, and took us to a rental place where we got some gloves and waterproof pants. Then he took us up to the mountain, where they rent out little sleighs and have lifts and runs. Its coming in to spring now, and the snow was quite wet. But it was still great fun, flying down the mountain side on this little bum-sleigh. The runs were around 800 meters long,
At 3pm, the van took us back to the hostel - wet, cold and tired.
September 14th was another grey day in Bariloche.
We were sore from all the falling over the day before, and just chilled out and relaxed at the hostel.
On the 15th, we went in search of bus tickets out of Bariloche. We walked all over town, but we had forgotten about the Argentinian siesta - most shops are closed from 1pm to 5pm - annoying. We waited around for the offices to open, but then we couldn't find a company that went to Puerto Madryn. We will have to just go to the bus station.
On the 16th, we took a long walk around town, just enjoying the air and relaxing. Found some funny phonebooths, in keeping with the town's alpine theme.
They even have Saint Bernard dogs around town, with little barrels of booze, that you can have your picture taken with.
We also spotted a hilariously named children's clothing shop, which made us laugh:
In the evening, we had a traditional Argentinian sunday barbecue, and ate lots of meat.
September 17th, Alan and Jay went snowboarding at Cerro Catedral, Bariloche's main ski area. I was feeling lousy, and stayed at the hostel. Al said he enjoyed the snowboarding to en enxtent, and had fun - but its not his kind of thing (no surprise really).