Published: February 16th 2011January 30th 2011
We arrived into Bariloche along with the rain. Instantly we were glad that we had made the decision to extend our stay in El Bolson, as this town was nowhere near as charming for us. Bariloche is a resort town set on the side of a lake, it is known for its famous Swiss architecture which can be found around the town square, but unfortunately not really throughout the extent of the main town. There were a few choice streets which were made up of pretty shop fronts and boutique cafes and bars, but as you walked a few streets back you found yourself surrounded by run down buildings.
Our bus drove through the centre of town to get to the terminal. We had to then get off the bus and buy another bus ticket back into town. We found our hostel, Periko's, quite easily and settled in. The hostel was one of the best we have stayed in so far on our trip- it was immaculately clean and the small things that as a traveller really make a difference were in place. For example, there were dispensable soaps and shower gels, we were provided with towels, and breakfast actually
As it was only 1pm we had plently of time to do something with the afternoon. At the recommendation of our host we headed down to the bus stop to take a ride into Colonia Suiza, a little hippie resort with a Sunday market, about half an hour away. It seemed everyone in Bariloche had the same idea and we had to fight through the hustle and bustle to get onto the bus. As we wound our way around the edge of the lake it suddenly became clear to us why Bariloche is renowned for its' beautiful architecture. Most of it wasn't actually in the town, but occupying the plots with the best views overlooking the lakes. We spent the majority of the journey with our noses against the windows trying to find our favourite houses!
Colonia Suiza was ok for the afternoon. The artesan fairs were similar to any other, except the fact that there were a lot of chocolate sellers as Bariloche is famous for its' chocolate. We sampled some and had to agree that it was good. It started to rain and it was pretty cold so we decided to head back after
having fresh waffles with homemade raspberry jam and cream.
We arrived back to the main square where we could hear music, so we headed down to see what was going on. The main square had the best view in town- it was positioned directly overlooking the lake. The sun was out by this point, and there was music being pumped out of giant speakers , and there were lots of people in the square eating ice creaams. But most important of all for us there were many St Bernards dogs which are used as rescue dogs in Argentina. It was a bit cruel how the owners seemed to be dragging them around as if they were show pieces, especially the pups, but we couldn't help going over to stroke them. We couldn't work out whether the money they were trying to collect would be going to a just cause or straight into their pockets.
When Luke could finally drag Kate away from the pups, we headed back to the hostel to make some dinner. However, we ended up chatting with some other guys at the hostel, and ended up going out for a few drinks around town before
heading back to make late night pasta with boiled eggs. We were shocked at the price of the drinks in the majority of the bars- we knew it was a popular resort, but luckily we found a local takeaway pizza joint selling beers at £3.50 still not cheap.
The following day we were going to take a cable car ride up to see a glacier, but decided against it as the weather was overcast again. Luke wanted to have a look around the shops in town as there were hundreds of sports and ski shops, so we decided to just mooch around. Some of the chocolate shops were so cool- like the size of department stores but only selling chocolates and cakes and all the stuff that they sell in Christmas sections in Notcutts back at home! It was very festive. In the afternoon we headed back to the hostel to change and get ready for our penultimate night bus in South America, to Puerto Madryn.
There are more photos below