Published: May 12th 2012May 2nd 2012
San Carlos de Bariloche is a tourist town. It is set in the lakes district and surrounded by mountains. People come to enjoy water sports in the summer and to ski in the winter.
On our second full day, 1 May, we decided to venture out. Our plan was to catch a local bus 17 kilometres to a chair lift then go on to a hotel for a cuppa and be back for a late lunch.
We arrive at the ticket booth to find it closed for May Day. We walked the main street looking for somewhere to buy a ticket getting advice from local shop keepers. Just as I had given up I saw some people holding bus tickets. Despite our language differences we were able to communicate and they showed me where to get the tickets. Only 45 minutes behind schedule we jumped the bus. When we arrived at the chairlift after a 15 minute bus ride, we discovered it was closed for the day. In a fit of “I will not be beaten” stupidity, I decided to follow the young couple that got off the bus with us and tramp up the mountain. Eileen realised her
knees would not cope with the steepness and so she opted to wait at the bottom. It didn’t take me long to nickname this hill “heartbreak hill”. 15 minutes later I renamed it “heart attack hill”!
A 40 minute climb later and I was enjoying the spectacular vista from the top. After a coffee at the top to warm up I headed down to find a not very happy Eileen – very cold and not in a very good mood! I cannot blame her, I would have been bored sh*tless waiting and she was VERY COLD after waiting in the wind for over an hour; if only I had given her the bus ticket so she could get back to town ... ouch!
Eileen had read about a historic hotel a little further on the same bus route so we headed for the very grand Hotel Llao Llao. We strolled in as though we owned the place. I decided that a bite of lunch was in order. We split what was probably the best cheese burger I have ever had (vastly better than Fidels) and an antipasto platter. The antipasto platter was spectacular; salmon, cold smoked trout, salami,
wild boar, venison, cheese, olives, and some smoked dried beef and cheese rolled together. The smoked trout was really good and the salami as good as any that I have ever had. The cost was $172 pesos or NZ$55 which included an excellent hot chocolate for Eileen.
The setting is spectacular, the views are fabulous, the grounds are immaculate, and the interior includes big puffy leather sofas, large comfortable armchairs, great art works and stuffed animals all in rooms with a 20 foot stud. Impressive! Lady Eileen was right in her element!
We finished our lunch and as we headed for the door we passed a sign in reception which advertised a suite for only USD$2,000 per night!! Eileen's comment was "even if we had just won the 22 million dollar Lotto, I would not be comfortable spending USD$2,000 for a bed for the night!" As we left the hotel we asked the receptionist for directions to the bus stop. We chortled later about the receptionist’s comment that we should get off the bus at the same place when we return from our visit to town! It’s nice to know that we look like we might fit in
with the rich and famous.
There are more photos below