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Published: June 25th 2013
The first thing I'll say about San Carlos Bariloche is that the sun does not rise very early. Ok, so being 21 June, today is the winter solstice and we very much made use of the additional hours of darkness. I awoke with a start when I heard Rach beside me yell “crap, we've only got 15 mins til breakfast finishes”. We'd both slept the morning away and didn't wake up until 10.15am!! At this time of year, the sun doesn't rise til about 9.30am and it was made even worse today by the gloomy overcast morning which made for excellent sleeping in conditions.
So we jumped out of bed, through on some clothes that were barely adequate for breakfast, put our thongs on and trundled out to the breakfast room. Thankfully, others were also caught out by the winter solstice too and we weren't the only ones in there. Now being a 5-star hotel, you would've thought the breakfast would've matched the $120/night price tag however unfortunately it was kind of basic and ordinary at best. At least the bread was fresh and they had these little muffins that we could easily wrap-up in napkins and stow away for our afternoon snack!
We peered out of the window at breakfast and although it was a beautiful view looking out on to Lago Nahuel Huapi, the rain had settled in and it was grey and murky that you could even see across the other side.
We spent the morning doing 'admin'; looking at apartments in Brisbane, searching for used cars etc. whilst we waited for the weather to improve. Unfortunately, it didn't and we eventually bit the bullet and took a taxi into town, hoping to achieve something from the day. We got 'lunch' at Rapa Nui, a popular chocolate shop and cafe. I put lunch in inverted commas because we basically got dessert and called it lunch. Rach naturally had a berry tart and I got an apple one. We both got the famous Rapa Nui hot chocolate and we could literally feel our teeth rotting as we drank it, that's how sweet and sickly it was. It was good however we were on a massive sugar rush for the next 3 hours.
We wandered around town for a bit, looking in souvenir shops and quickly discovered how expensive things are in Argentina. Although the weather had cleared a little bit, it was still freezing cold and we had to keep darting into chocolate shops so Rach could thaw out.
We headed back to the hotel and rested up until dinner. We decided on a place right around the corner called La Salamandra Pulperia. It was a quaint little place, owned by a husband and wife; he does the cooking and she does the waitressing. The restaurant was decorated like it was a little hunting cabin, with various knick-knacks plastered all over the wall. We had read on trip advisor that the thing to order is the steak. So we both ordered the rib-eye and washed it down with a bottle of Mendoza Malbec. Although the steak was seriously salty, the meat was excellent and we were reminded that we were in fact in Argentina.
All in all, a disappointing day weather-wise however we filled it in and hopefully it brightens up for tomorrow.
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