I’m in Europe! Wait, no I’m not! I’m in Bariloche, in the lake district somewhere in Northern Patagonia, Argentina. The trip is rapidly coming to a close, in fact I have less than a week before I’m on a plane back to Australia. Five days to be more precise. Tomorrow I head to Iguazu and cross the border to Brazil, and Thursday sees me fly into Rio. Three nights and then on the fourth night there, well, I have an evening flight. Yep, it’s all happened in a blink of an eye.
Bariloche and its surrounds include lakes, mountains and forests, so it’s really been the opposite of my trip. Well okay, there have been plenty of mountains, but these ones have trees on them, woods, hiking paths which are no filled with only rocks (the soles of my feet will never forgive me for this trip).
Look, there’s not THAT much to write in a place like this, photos say it so much better. The night bus was again, long. It took ages just to get out of Buenos Aires, I slept a bit as you do, it was another comfortable bus with huge seats called ‘cama’ here, food service, and I was surprised – the movies were in English with Spanish subtitles. Interesting choice because there isn’t an American film of any success that hasn’t been dubbed into Spanish, it’s a HUGE market.
The hostel is nice, I have a small, single room for a decent price (350 pesos) a good kitchen to cook in, can’t complain. It’s a very green area, there are more chocolate shops than I’ve ever seen in my life, there are a number of buses for easy public transport, and the weather has been perfect.
I went for a hike around the mountain Llao Llao on my first full day here. I walked somewhere between 12 and 15 kilometres so it was a decent hike, started late in the day. The sun is going down after 9pm here though so that didn’t really matter. I found a wonderful lookout over the big lake here, Nahuel Huapi. The track then took me to another lake, much smaller, Lake Escondido. On my way back to the bus I passed a third lake, Lake Perito Moreno Oeste. All were beautiful, the paths through forest so I didn’t even need sunblock, and I got some exercise!
Yesterday I was hoping to take a tourist steam train, there is no real information to say whether it’s running or not, and no-one here knew a thing. A tell-tale sign really. I went to the station to find it hasn’t run for years. So instead I spent time walking the town for a few hours. The cathedral here is quite nice, more pics of the lake were on offer, and of course, there were plenty of chocolate shops. Oh and in the square – St Bernards. Same reason as in Switzerland I imagine.
Today I took the gondola upthe mountain Otto. The view from up there, with the absoute clearestday imaginable, across various lakes was brilliant. There was even a revolving restaurant. I just had a drink and watch the mountains swing by. And then a quite challenging two-hour hike home down the mountain. A little rocky in places, I had two sore feet as I write this, which is why I’ve opted to write with my fingers this time.
And so, a quick summary of three and a bit days in beautiful Bariloche. I’m very glad I made the decision to come here. One day in a few years hopefully I can return to Patagonia and spend some serious time going southwards. Thanks for reading, May the Journey Never End.