Christmas in Bariloche

Published: December 30th 2015
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Last week, we celebrated Christmas in San Carlos de Bariloche. The flight over there was quite bumpy - so much so that one of the kids in the row behind us puked all over his sister. The little girl started crying and shouting "HE DID THAT ON PURPOSE!". The mother tried to explain that the brother didn't do it on purpose, but that he got sick from the bumpy flight, after which the girl shouted: "HE COULD'VE OPENED THE WINDOW!". LOL. Made us forget all about the bumps... :-)

Bariloche is situated in the Northern part of Patagonia and is sort of like the Swiss Alps. At least, that's what the Argentinians want you to believe. And to be honest, it kind of is. There are snow capped mountains, lakes, chalets, cheese fondue restaurants and many chocolate makers. So we thought it would be a great Christmas retreat. Perhaps not as spectacular as Perito Moreno, but definitely beautiful as well.

We rented a car for the first few days, which we made very good use of. This time luckily all roads we took were paved. The day after we arrived we drove the ' Seven Lake Route' or ' El Circuito Grande' from Bariloche to San Martin de los Andes, which is a much more picturesque village than Bariloche, but as the rich and famous of Argentina and Brazil go to Bariloche to ski, San Martin is less known. The scenery along the road is absolutely stunning and we spotted quite a few birds of prey as well, including the mighty condor, although Michiel wasn't convinced :-)

The following two days we went hiking. One of the hikes took us to a weird forest of 'Arrayanes' trees, that look like red, stoney sculptures - nothing like we have ever seen before, which makes sense, as this is apparently the only place in the world where they grow. Truly spectacular! That day we had lunch at a 'criadero de truchas' (trout farm) - trout straight from the lake onto your plate. Fantastic! The second hike lead us to the famous ski resort 'El Catedral'. It's actually quite depressing to be in a deserted ski resort in summer time, but the views made up for that.

Although the Christmas atmosphere is definitely different in the Southern hemisphere, we had an amazing 8-course Christmas meal at The Butterfly, some say the best restaurant in Bariloche. We don't have much to compare it with, but it was definitely a great meal, as was the restaurant and the lake view.

So now we're in our last week in BsAs. Unbelievable how time has flown by. We had a great time, did some pretty cool things (cycling, watched and played polo, took a cooking class and Spanish classes, went kayaking, to a jazz concert and a food truck festival, visited museums and had lots and lots of good food and wine - oh, and we got introduced to this amazing Argentinian gin - Apostoles, which is our new favourite) and made some great trips, but we're also looking forward to our next travels, which will begin in Iguazu this weekend. To be continued...

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