Published: May 26th 2011May 26th 2011
Ok, so we left El Calafate and 29 hours later (yes, 29!!!) we arrived in Bariloche! We have decided that is too long to be on a bus and will try to keep our journeys slightly shorter if we can!
Once again we arrived in the dark but awoke to stunning views over lake and snow capped mountains!
We are in a shared dorm again but had it to ourselves the first two nights (now have an English guy and an Argentinian chap in with us. The English guy is the same one that we shared a dorm with in El Calafate....small world with us travellers!)
We had arranged to meet Claudia (our school mate from BA who is now studying here) so had a wander beforehand - it was VERY windy, so we both bought hats (not great ones but they were cheap!).
G has had his eye on a Gaucho (cowboy) hat since we arrived.....we found a cheaper one and he has treated himself for his birthday! However, it was a bit windy to wear it much!
So we now have an abundance of hats!!!!
Bariloche is the start of the Argentinian Lake
District (which also crosses over to Chile) and is situated around a lake. Its quite Swiss (which is what appealed to Claudia!) and has chocolate shops everywhere! So of course we had to try some.....very rich but good! Turns out we didn't try the best one, so suppose we'll have to try more today.....(I wrote first half before we went out - so you can see later that we did also bought two huge slices of apple strudel for supper!)
We met up with Claudia and had lunch and then we came back to hostel and met up with her again in evening for a few drinks and a meal. We had been planning a trip to a Black Glacier and Claudia said she'd join us as school was closed Thursday. G found that we could hire a car cheaper than the 3 of us booking the trip so we got a little corsa for the day! (for £40 inc insurance).
Off we set at 9.30am with big blue sky and sun. The first hour was on a good road alongside the lake. We then turned off into the National park and drove for 2 hours on gravel!!!
Pot holes, boulders, you name it, G manoeuvered round it!
It was stunning though! (Claudia and I could at least appreciate the views!!)
The road is open one way into the park for a few hours and then open the other way to go back for a few hours so you have to time it right! We were just ahead of several mini buses of pensioners!
We got to the glacier - amazing and weird - all the ice was black (due to vocanic ash!!) Completely different from the Moreneo one! The three of us had our packed lunch there then wandered up to the base of the mountain, through snow! As we started to walk back to the car we met a few people....found the car surrounded by mini buses and bloody tourists!
So we moved on! The next walk we'd planned to do was bog ridden so we had a drink in the cafe and waited for the road back out to be opened again instead!
The poor little Corsa took a real beating but we've handed it back ok today!
It was another amazing day - most days seem to be
like that now!
Take today - a quiet stroll into town, tea and chocolate in one of the chocolate shops (ok, G had beer!) and then a bus to the cable car up the mountain. Claudia came with us and we got in a little car and up we went. The views across the lake were stunning and we saw a couple of eagles and a bird which we have since identified as a Cara Cara (good old internet!)
G wanted to walk up another hill but there were big signs saying prohibited to pass, so we asked a ranger and he said to walk up the path the other side of the sign! When G pointed out that said don't pass he just shrugged! So off we went - even higher and even better views where we sat and had a drink and some food! Another recommended picnic spot that's not in the guidebooks!!!
We have booked an additional 2 nights here, forecast not great for tomorrow so we're having a quiet day and will look to book the next stage.....into Chile.
There are more photos below