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Published: April 3rd 2014
Bariloche is located on the southern shore of Lago Nahuel Huapi and is surrounded by stunning mountain peaks and crystal clear waters. In winter Bariloche is a popular ski destination & has a European ski town feel.
We stayed in a hostel just off the main square on the 10th floor of an ugly soviet type building but with fantastic views over the town, lakes & mountains, hence the name 'Penthouse'.
We climbed to the Cerro Campanario look out with another couple from our hostel. The walk wasn't particularly difficult but it did give us amazing 360 degree views over the lakes around Bariloche. It helped the weather was in our favour.
The following day we cycled a 37 km loop around Circuito Chico and Colonial Suiza. This was for two reasons: one it was a practice cycle before our cycle tour, and two, the area is very beautiful and the best way to see everything was by bike. We stopped at one point to hike up Cerro Llao Llao, which gave an excellent view from a different perspective.
After our day cycle we had a quiet day which included packing our panniers before we embarked on
four days cycling our very own Veulta de los Lagos (tour of the lakes).
We didn't get off to the best start as one of our bikes had a slow puncture that Gary changed before we could leave Bariloche. Eventually we were ready to leave and headed out of Bariloche. The first 18km was on the main road before we turned off & followed a mountain bike trail through farmland close to the river.
There were a couple of steep hills that we had to walk due to the very poor condition of the road (sand and rocks). Every now & then we would hit a sandy patch & our bike would fish tail but luckily each time this happened we managed to keep it together and there were no falls.
Eventually we made it to Llanquin where we crossed the river back to the main highway for the final 20km to Confluencia. During this final part of the day the wind had picked up & the road was busy with trucks & tour buses resulting in a not so pleasant home stretch. In total on day one we cycle 70km.
We woke up hoping the
wind had died down however we were not so lucky & started out into a strong headwind. The whole day was on unsealed roads & included two massive climbs (category 3). The climbs were made difficult as it was a dirt road and we were also carrying a fair bit of luggage. There was a lovely lookout at the top, and a few impressed tourists that had driven the route we cycled.
We arrived in the small town of Meliquina on lake Meliquina having cycled a total of 55km. As it was Sunday the little minimart was closed, so we decided to eat at one of the local restaurants, however when we went for dinner everything was closed as the main tourist season had finished. We ended up sharing a pear, an orange and a couple of energy bars. It was good for the savings plan but not so good for morale - lesson learned about small villages on Sundays though!
Before starting the next day out we stocked up on snacks & bananas at the local shop in Meliquina as we wanted to ensure we had some food if everything was closed again. The first 18km continued
on unsealed roads, until we turned onto The Seven Lakes road. It was great to be back on a sealed road & felt incredibly easy (relatively). This road was littered with little lookouts over lakes & waterfalls and was our favourite day of the trip.
We met the loveliest bloodhound cross (no pure breed in this country) he came from a ranger station to greet us as we were cycling past. We gave him a good pat but when we wanted to leave he started wining and wouldn't let us continue with our cycle. Each time we started to cycle he would wine & run in front of our bikes, eventually the ranger came out & took him back inside so we could continue our journey. Later in the day we heard that familiar sound as a ranger car went past with our good mate the bloodhound in the back.
We stopped at Lago Falkner by a campsite hoping they were open - when we pulled in everthing looked closed. While I was taking photos of the lake, the owner walked over to Gary & said they were open so we headed in & had fantastic hamburgers.
After 70km we arrived at our final destination for the day, a small campsite & hotel on the edge of lake Correntoso. We stayed in the small 'hotel' & had a great view overlooking the lake.
By lunchtime on our fourth & final day of cycling we had completed The Seven Lakes road & arrived in Villa La Angostura. We headed to the national park Los Arrayanes. The first kilometre in the national park Los Arrayanes was the most difficult of the whole trip as the path was a trekking route and included lots of steps. Gary carried his bike up the stairs & would then go back down & carrry mine from wherever I had got to.
Once we were past all the steps we stopped at the Pinto Panorámico lookout for lunch before before continuing with the final 11km to ferry. Along the way we found another little mate, he loved to run along beside us as we cycled. Whenever we came across other people or dogs he would have a quick sniff & then chase us to catch up. Whenever we slowed for a hill or stopped to take a break he would look up
at us as if to say hurry up! He was with us all the way to the ferry where we were no longer exciting & he abandoned us.
We caught the ferry which stopped at Victoria Island. We walked up to the Cerro Bella Vista lookout, it made a nice change from cycling as we were both missing our cycle shorts by this stage. The ferry dropped us off at Puerto Pañuelo, from here we cycled the final 7km to give us a total of 50km for our final day.
We had one night in Bariloche before heading to Mendoza on an overnight bus.
Tot: 0.065s; Tpl: 0.017s; cc: 16; qc: 82; dbt: 0.0158s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 1;
; mem: 1.4mb