Mirrored Lakes & Snow Peaks

Trip Start Jan 23, 2007
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Trip End Feb 23, 2008


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Flag of Argentina  ,
Friday, October 12, 2007

So we made it to Bariloche a day early with some new friends and big old mountains waiting our arrival... In the end we were in Bariloche for a couple of extra days thanks you the ever reliable sales staff here in Argentina...

Thursday

So upon arriving on Thursday, refreshed from our up-grade to a coche cama type bus....

Time out:

To clarify, in Argentina you can travel 3 ways: Plane (for rich people), boat (if there's water), and by Bus. We effectively chose bus for our travels and as I am typing this blog we are on consecutive hour # 22 for this bus trip from Bariloche to El Calafate (this also needs to be added to the 20 hours from BA to Puerto Madryn and the 14 hours from Puerto Madryn to Bariloche = 56 and counting folks...be jealous)! But I digress, so on this bus trip you have 3 options available to you Semi-Cama (bit more room than an airplane seat and you recline a bit past a 45 degrees, cold coffee and a stop every 300 kilometers to buy food), Coche-Cama ( your own arm rest, 30 degree incline, leg support, pillow, blanket, and 3 meals plus drinks included!!!!), and Super-Cama (You travel better here than in an airplane... you have your own queen size bed, personal assistant, and all that stuff you imagine executive class passengers get on planes: the Champaign, hot towels, needless to say Sarah and I have only heard rumors about this!)

Resume Game: (ready break!)

So we came from BA to Puerto Madryn in a Semi-Cama and I "slept" on the floor, and then we traveled from Puerto Madryn to Bariloche in a Semi-Cama where we "slept" legs stretched across the isle with a seat divider stabbing me in the rib cage. However half way to Bariloche we got upgraded by chance to Coche-Cama... and we had room and splendor and breakfast... so immediately upon arriving we started upgrading our tickets for our next trip to Coche-Cama... only to find out that we had been swindled back in BA when we bought our tickets. In a crazy attempt to quickly move across the country we were sold a ticket to "Fitz Roy" (Sarah and I thought it was the mountain where we wanted to trek) when really it's a town no where near where we wanted to be... all plans were then tossed and we "re-created" our plan... and now I'm on a bus for 30 hours....but it was for the better!?!?!?!

Finally...!!!!!! We got to the Hostel (Good thing we came a day early and staying a day late)... We spent most of Thursday gathering info, spending money, gathering more info... planning to spend more money...and so it is a vacation, always more expensive than you planned!!!

Friday ....

.... Was the bomb!!! So we went to Villa La Angostura, a tiny little pueblo on the other side of the national park... if anyone remembers pictures of the Leffring's (Harvey, Nancy, mom, dad... I know bad joke, but what ever I'm on a bus) apartment in B.A., this was a town made to look the same... all wood cottage buildings, nothing bigger than 2 stories, all fishing cottages...

Time out:

Did we mention the Movie are absolutely awful in Semi-Cama...

Resume: (Ready Break!)

So the big attraction to Villa La Angostura is el Bosque de las Arrayanes ( forest of the Arrayanes) which is the forest that Disney used for the inspiration in both Bambi and Snow White, they actually copied Snow White's house directly... The Forest had a 12Km hike that takes about 4 hours one way, so we took a boat out to one end and hiked back. The hike was kinda easy and we brought along a friend who didn't really understand what we were doing... Sarah and I wanted a work out...power hike... Dafna wanted to stroll ( this was also the same girl who half through tells us that it took her and her friends 5:30 hours to do an estimated 1hr long trek...it was bad communication about intentions but she survived!!)

At that same half way point it started to snow... Sarah and I (especially me having the advantage of being colorblind... in forests it's an advantage) got to trek amongst gold colored Arrayanes trees and giant Coihue trees along a mountain lake ... it was great!

As we everyday that followed we went home, I drank mate, watched sports, and we both fell asleep shortly... the days were really long 7am wake-up and out hike and excursions until 7pm then asleep by 11, in other words exhausted

Saturday

This was a huge day... Our big excursion was to go rafting in Bariloche... water was fridged, it was our coldest day there, and we were completely unprepared. Sarah was not happy that we were only suppose to wear a wet suit and a thin jacket on a 40 degree day in 40 degree water... she did not do well at all, we had a little freak out, but she gained her composure and decided just to smite me and curse the day I brought her on this rafting adventure...but that was in the beginning...once everyone in the boat lost feeling of their fingers and toes (effectively 5 min after entering the boat).... It was amazing. We went through some class 3 and 4 rapids... only lost one person who was later recovered... and before we new it, we had to immediately evacuate the boat to avoid floating down the Rio Manso into Chile!!!

Afterwards we had an asado with some Gauchos and talked Spanish politics with a large group of guys from Spain, and effectively collaborated with the whole group to copy the pictures from the overly priced CD of the trip. After some emails were exchanged Sarah and I now have places to stay in Bilbao and Madrid!!

Sunday

So Sunday was excellent because Sarah got to do some of her sight seeing... and then I made her watch sports all day!!! We took the Teleferico (her idea) up Cerro (Mt.) Otto to see some spectacular views and we had coffee in a rotating café on top of the mountain. A little upset that the trekking was closed due to snow so we set out to llao llao Resort and Golf Course.( pronounced shau shau) and walked around and looked at what it was like to be RICH!!! Cheapest room 300 dollars a night in low season!

All of a sudden it was 2 pm and time for the SUPER-CLASSICO which was a theme all day... first it was archrivals River Plate vs. Boca Juniors (one of the top sporting events to see in your life time). However it was heart breaking and kind of predictable that Boca lost, but 2 to 0 hurt! Next up Argentina vs. Scotland in the Rugby world cup, Vamos PUMAS! Siga Campeon!!!! So Argentina is now in the Semi's against South Africa (Ironic indeed!!!) and England, the returning champ, plays France, who lost to Argentina but just upset #1 ranked New Zealand... so all this being proof that 25 min of Sports Center and its like being back in the U.S.

And Finally... As expected by yours truly, the CHICAGO BEARS defeated the Green Bay Packers... and Sarah stopped talking to me for the rest of the night... ICING on the CAKE!!! RE-MATCH 12/23.... GO PACKERS!!!!!!!!! (Sarah's only insert for the blog!!!)

Monday

We went out to see a Volcano and the highest mountain in the lakes region of Argentina, Cerro Tronador. Tronador is on the border between Argentina and Chile. It's covered by 7 glaciers, on which broke away from the mountain hundreds of years ago and due to the fall it is now black. There are huge mountains of dirt that were displaced by the fall of the glacier... it's pretty amazing. The whole time we were there we heard many "avalanches" but we were never able to see one... they were all on the other side; although it was pretty neat to here!!!

Overall it was a nice day, I got attacked by birds (Sarah missed a great foto op), petted some horses, so over all a good day and great pictures!


Bariloche was a GREAT town with great scenery. We're off to El Calafate to see better and bigger glaciers and to do some more trekking!!! Enjoy the pictures and the video of us rafting!!! (videos are at the end of the pictures...)
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Comments

1023
1023 on

Amazing
Sounds and looks amazing, I'm jealous!!!!!! I could just imagine how happy Sarah was to step into that raft. Be safe and treasure each day you have in the beauty of God's creation. I'll be waiting for your next blog.
Love,
Karen

allcraz2
allcraz2 on

thanks for sharing
Dan,
I loved reading the blog. I'm wade awake at 2:30 am pretending to have jetlag in Texas after a 2 hour time difference. Mexican food, church, juicy hamburgers, family photos, movies without subtitles, cars in their own lanes, and shitless sidewalks...the fun has just begun here in Waco.

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