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Published: February 11th 2011
The Ruta 40!Continuing on from the previous blog
(From the bus back window), Chubut Province, Patagonia, Argentina
Leaving Perito Moreno, our first stop was at Rio Mayo, in the Chubut Province, where we had a comfort stop. It is just a sleepy and dusty Patagonian town. I got chatting to Sarah, from Ireland, and we were commenting on how expensive Argentina has become. Still cheaper than the UK, especially with accommodation and transportation, but Argentina is now a lot more expensive compared to when I first started travelling there in 2007. Sarah is traveling around South America for five months and plans to travel to cheaper climbs after her stint in Argentina. I was able to practice my French with a French traveller who was travelling around South America for six months.
We then moved on towards Gobernador Costa and we spotted some guancoes in the distance on our way there. Gobernador Costa is just another Patagonian town in the middle of nowhere. Slightly bigger than Rio Mayo. It seems the main stopping point for many travelling on the Ruta 40 and hence it was very busy! I wanted to use the atm but the bank was closed for siesta time and it seems that the atm is not accessible
Ready for the 2nd Day!
Belgrano Hotel, Perito Moreno, Santa Cruz, Patagonia, Argentina
then. Defeats the object of an atm - 24/7 banking! I will not miss Gobernador Costa.
Between Gobernador Costa and our unscheduled stop in Tecka, I got chatting to Manuela. She is Italian but living in Bolivia and has a Columbian partner, Oscar, and they were travelling around Argentina with Manuela´s parents. We had an interesting chat on various topics.
Our unscheduled stop in Tecka, a small village between Gobernador Costa and Esquel, because the bus had a punctured tyre. There was an atm and it was working! I did not expect to find an atm and more so that I was able to top up my ever dwindling funds. It seems Tecka is a place of surprises with interesting things from signs addressing the Malvinas (Falklands) issue to celebrating old sung Argentine heros!
It was very hot on the bus, no air conditioning and the fans were blowing out hot air and it was a very long ride to El Bolsen. We stopped near Esquel to drop some passengers off including Manuela. At El Bolsen, we stopped at a petrol station so were able to finally get off for an ice cream and drinks. From Esquel,
Dawn at Rio Mayo
Chubut Province, Patagonia, Argentina
we noticed Alpine scenery with the mountains and the fir trees which was a constrast to what we saw a day ago and it was a lovely ride to Bariloche from then on despite feeling exhausted from the trip and the heat!
We arrived in Bariloche around 9.15 pm and a short walk up a hill and a lot of steps led me to my hostel, Hostel Inn Bariloche. Very high up but we have great views of Lago Nahuel Huapi. It seems so far that all my hostels are on hills! It was nice returning to Bariloche after my visit in 2008 and I was looking forward to exploring as well as doing some recovering and relaxation.
I was glad to do the Ruta 40 but the two long days sitting on a bus with a few stops thrown in took a lot out of me and I arrived in Bariloche very exhausted. Because of exhaustion, I had to change some of my travel plans so I could have more time in Bariloche to recover from the trip and my intention was to take it easy for the next few days!
It was great seeing Patagonia
Chubut Province, Patagonia, Argentina
this way and this makes me appreciate how big Argentina is especially considering the distance from travelling from El Calafate to Perito Moreno (One Patagonian town to another one and both towns are in the same province, Santa Cruz!) It is an experience that I will never forget but this is something I will not be repeating! I would not disuade from anyone to do it and it does make you appreciate how big and immense Patagonia really is! If I plan to visit both El Calafate and Bariloche at the same time on a future trip, I will fly between both places.
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