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Published: April 7th 2016
Bariloche was a town we had looked forward to when we started planning our year abroad traveling the world. The pictures of the bright blue lakes and snow capped peaks surrounding a quaint ski village resembled a town you would see in European alps. The place had our mouths watering and imaginations wandering. Bariloche was also our last official workaway. After these three weeks working in a hostel we weren't committed to any more work for the next six and a half months. We were ready for a vacation!
We crossed into Argentina, feeling run down and in the early stages of getting sick and to our dismay we were thrust into our duties the day we arrived. Our job was extreemly simple but what made it tough for us was that we were working the graveyard shift, being that our Spanish wasn't the best and we wouldn't have to converse with too many incoming or outgoing guests. I ran the midnight to 4 am
shift while Kristine took over at 4 and finished at 8 and then headed to Spanish class for 4 hours....I give her heaps of credit for her hard work and determination for learning the language while I struggle to
say hello and goodbye in espanol. Our first week was frustrating because we didn't want to waste any spare time outside of working but we both were sick and trying to adjust to a different sleep schedule, all the while doing so in a hostel filled with kids in the early 20s that partied all through the night.....oh those days! Those 6 or 7 days were the least active we have been since landing in Costa Rica in early September but our bodies were telling us something and we had to listen. Our first week ended while bringing in the new year with the American couple we met in Pichilemu, Chile and another couple from Australia who were traveling for 2 years whom Kristine was taking Spanish classes with. We quickly learned the cultural differences in celebrating New Years while looking for a restaraunt to eat at. We walked the entire town and only found a handful of places that were open. After talking to some people we found out that Argentines celebrate at home with their families and once the clock changes everyone goes out into town to meet with friends. So the bars and restaraunts didn't open until 1:00 am
. So instead of partying we headed back to the hostel, had some foood and toasted champagne with some of the international guests and went to work right after.With the turn of the calendar to 2016 we ventured out into the mountains for the first time since arriving in Bariloche and it was exactly what we needed. We met a girl from Colorado during breakfast who decided to join us for our New Year's Day hike. It was a refreshing way to start off the new year. The weather was perfect and the views were what we had hoped we'd see when researching Bariloche. As much as we wanted to settle in to our new job, just like we had done with the previous ones, it was difficult not only because of the schedule but also because we were bounced around from room to room at least once or twice a week. Moving rooms wasn't difficult but it was the roomate or roommates that made it tough. In one of the rooms our situation was 2 bunk beds in a tiny room for 5 people which meant that someone had to sleep on the floor....turned out that would be me.
In another situation we had a room where it was just the two of us but at 11 pm
a random stranger who looked like he had just finished burying someone came in and slept in the bed between us. It was pretty awkward and I wasn't sure if Kristine would be there when I came back from my shift. We decided to treat ourselves and go somewhere for our weekend off and hopped on a bus and headed to a town called to stay at a place we had found online called the Earthship. It was this quirky, hippy, eco friendly and fully sustainable hotel. The place was pretty much off the grid......apparently they are opening the first urban one in the US and it's supposed to be in Philadelphia. We caught up on sleep and filled our souls with plenty of hiking as well. It was a nice change of pace to Bariloche. The final week in Bariloche was spent much like the previous...work, hikes, swinging in the hammock and catching up on sleep. We had mixed feelings leaving and couldn't help but think if we left something to be desired....maybe next time on our second world tour.
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