Hasta las rodillas en la nieve
Trip Start May 11, 2010
30Trip End Jan 06, 2011
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Bariloche itself is a lovely relaxed place, especially after crazy Buenos Aires. It's extremely nice to cross the road without navigating 26 lanes of traffic. It's pretty similar to the alps, and you can certainly see a Swiss/German influence in the chalets and cooking here, and the amazing chocolate parlours. It's very much low season at the moment, pre-ski season that will kick off in a couple of weeks, which suits us as we still got some good days and it's cheaper and very peaceful. Saying that, the police did shoot 3 people point blank the other day, including a 15 year old boy, for robbing, and his family gathered a whole troupe of people and rioted through the town throwing rocks at windows and so on. Cue everyone sitting round knowingly telling their tales of Argentinian crime rates and police corruption!
So, I've put up a few pictures - we went up to Cerro Campanaro that has amazing views of the whole area, and then round the Llao Llao route on a wooded walk, very pretty, and then went up Cerro Otto which was like walking through Narnia - very still and peaceful in the snow, with no-one else on the track we used. Was great to get out and about in the fresh air, and it's just so stunning. We finally did a bit more of a hefty trek yesterday through deep snow up to Refugio Frey, a mountain refuge. It was quite a relaxing walk and enjoyable til we reached a point where we were above our knees in snow and with a steep slope of 400m to climb. Decided to turn back despite being starving hungry and foolishly not brought any food or water, had to resort to a bit of desperate snow eating which is never all that satisfying! I was very proud of myself for keeping up with Andy until we hit a section of icy steep descents and I totally lost my nerve. Kept clutching at the snowy banks and freezing my hands off, and threw ALL my toys out of the pram - not against Andy, just the world in general! Andy had to have strong words ('either we sit here in the cold whilst you act like a small child, or you grow up, get on with it, and we both get home.') Felt very sheepish afterwards... In my defence I do think I've married the equivalent of a mountain goat, hopping about from icy rock to icy rock at top speed and with not a care in the world as if it was completely natural, he'd do well to remember that not everyone grew up on a fishfarm jumping from pontoon to pontoon and some of us are more used to pavements!
Hiking was much needed though as we're out of the submarino and steak-eating problem of BA and straight into medialuna heaven - I don't even usually LIKE croissants but these are a whole different world altogether, there's one panadoria in particular we walk past just salivating at their 'artisanes faculturas'. Very dangerous, trying desperately to think ahead to having to appear on the beach in Rio and how much we'll regret it...
Tomorrow we're hiring a car for three days and doing the 7 Lakes route through the national park here, staying in San Martin de los Andes and Villa La Angostura before taking our leave of Argentina and heading through the mountains to Chile.
Andy's gonna write the next one, so adios from me.