Blogs from Río Negro, Argentina, South America - page 8

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Are we in Slovenia, Swiss Alps or Lake Tahoe? I am hearing more German being spoken and there are chocolate shops on every other block. The homes are made of logs or have split timber siding. However, lots of Spanish is being spoken and there are plenty of parillas to get your carne fix. Must be Bariloche! The ride here from Mendoza was overnight, 17 hours and tiring. Most of it was high altiplano and desolate. Then, miracously in the last 50 miles, the lakes and snow capped mountains appeared. This is the beginning of the Patagonia region. We are staying in a little hotel about a 10 minute walk to the civic center. The hotel sits right on the lake with a view of the snow capped mountains on the other side of the lake. ... read more
Bariloche
Bariloche
Civic Center


A day late we arrived in to Bariloche. A whole day! "Seems an awful long time for a bus to run behind schedule?" I here you exclaim with utter astonishment. Well, I have to confess that we attempted to "cheat" a bit here by getting an internal flight from El Calafate to Bariloche. Before you cry foul or begin to lose your faith in my commitment to this backpacking malarky let me try to explain myself. We wanted to take Route 40 north, however, this road is partly ripio and thus liable to destruction at the merciless hands of the winter weather gods. No buses run this route for a few weeks yet while repairs are made. The alternative was a 28 hour bus ride back along the same road we had come. I'm all for ... read more
Bariloche
In case the trees get cold?
Champers


Fiona was overly excited today as we were taking our first trip on an overnight bus. There wasn't any real reason for her excitement but she was like a kid in a Bariloche chocolate store. We had bought the tickets a couple of days ago down at the bus terminal so we knew exactly where we were going. We also knew exactly which seats we were in, the front row on the upper deck. We had seats known as cama, which meant they reclined but not flat. Unfortunately there were no flat seats on this route. We left the apartment mid afternoon and the landlady was pleasantly surprised at how clean we had left it. She hadn't realised that neat freak Toby was staying! Toby and Harriet dropped Fiona at the bus stop with the bags ... read more
Just out of Bariloche
Rugged scenery
The view from up top


Living in Melbourne you don't get to see too many glaciers. Fiona and Toby had been to Franz Joseph in New Zealand, but Harriet didn't even know what a glacier was. There are 2 glaciers right next to each other a couple of hours drive from Bariloche and so that was our plan for today. The road to the glaciers is one way. In the morning you can go in until 2pm and at 4pm the road direction changes so that you can leave. We were apprehensive about being at the glacier for a fixed amount of time, unsure if we would find enough to do until we could leave, but it turned out the timing was perfect. We left Bariloche quite early and drove past the southern parts of town. We had thought the town ... read more
Glassy lake
Los Cesares falls
Argentinian Grasses


On the circuito chico yesterday we passed a sign to the colonial suiza. This is a small village that was established by swiss immigrants. We didn't stop at it yesterday because we wanted to visit on a Sunday. On a Sunday and on a Wednesday there is a market and food for sale that is cooked underground. This sounded very similar to a hangi in New Zealand and we were curious to see more. Harriet was desperate for another long sleep in and so we left her in bed and went to mass at the cathedral. It was obviously all in Spanish, but there was a lovely atmosphere. We were pleased to see that there were lots of people attending and that they weren't all from the older generation. The cathedral itself was very beautiful and ... read more
Curanto cooking
Chocolate cake and dulce de leche
Some of the food stalls


When we were in Montone we had borrowed the landlords TV to watch the All Blacks. When we were in Rome, Angus had SMSed updates throughout the second Bledisloe match. Today the All Blacks were playing Argentina for the first time in the Rugby Championship and we had our own TV to watch the game. The bad news was that the game was in New Zealand and due to the time difference it was on at 4.30am, but that wasn't going to stop us. We got up in time and snuggled in front of the TV. Harriet missed most of the second half including the tries because she kept falling asleep, but she woke up for the replays each time. Winning the game didn't keep Fiona and Harriet awake, so after the game they went back ... read more
View from Campanario #2
What a view for tea
Llao Llao Hotel from Circuito Chico


We bought a three day pass for skiing and so unless there is a massive dump of snow in the next few days, today will be our last one skiing. We got up in time for the gondola opening at 9.30amonly to be told they had opened early today and would be closing early too. As we weren't the only ones who didn't know this was happening there was still hardly anyone up the mountain this early. The first couple of runs we did were a bit icy but there wasn't anyone else on them which made up for it. We did the same run a couple of times over and the conditions improved every time, until we were actually really enjoying it. Then we stopped for a coffee. The cafe had fabulous views and yummy ... read more
A submarine for the submarino
Mamuschka window
Fountain in shop window


We skied again today and had a much better time than yesterday. We managed to get on the snow earlier even though we left later. Win, win! It was a little icy, but if you chose the right path there were some lovely parts. We started on a different part of the mountain, going up a different lift from the village. We still didn't like the trail down to the lower lift that takes you to the very top and so we ended up going back over to where we started yesterday. As usual when skiing, Toby insisted we could go down a run that looked easy. Fiona, who isn't as good a skier, knew it wouldn't be easy but he insisted and after she had several falls he had to agree with her that it ... read more
Warm trees, warm heart?
St Bernard
The Andes


As a family with children whose ages are wide spread, the sports we have enjoyed the most are those which are individual but can be done together. This includes scuba diving and also skiing. We were really looking forward to skiing in Argentina and had really only come to Bariloche for the snow. We were expecting spring conditions, but Barliloche has a reputation for lots of snow and lots of snow for a long time. This was to be our second ski trip this year as we skied in Vermont, USA at the start of the year. Unfortunately when we were in Vermont they had the worst season for many years and there was practically no snow. We felt like history was repeating itself as there was hardly any snow in Bariloche and we were told ... read more
Harriet on the top of a cathedral again
Fruit and brownies to dip in fondue
The road to the ski field


If the same thing happened everyday, life would be monotonous. Variety truly is the spice of life and we are so glad that we can experience different places, cultures and people as we travel. Our holiday so far has consisted of plenty of sunshine and high temperatures as well as diving to the depths of the sea. The contrast then had to be cold and mountainous. Today we flew to the Andes for a spot of skiing.As we are late in the ski season we had chosen Bariloche. This is a little town in the south of Argentina and the ski season is supposed to last until the end of October. The town itself is famous for chocolate, St. Bernard dogs and ice cream. All good reasons to go to visit in our opinion. We took ... read more
Bariloche civic centre
A submarino
View to the west




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