Friday, May 4, 2012

The touristy Bariloche - good for a car trip after retirement

From El Chalten, we have planned to go to Los Antigos to cross the border to Chile, so that we might go north more cheaply. However, the season for berry harvest ends, also we were not sure about the frequency of transport crossing the bother and crossing the lake on the opposite side. We finally used up all our cash to go further to Bariloche. It was a place many friends recommended us to go.

It was a town near a lake. When we arrived it was 5am in the morning and everything was so quiet. We walked 1km to the downtown to find a hostel (it costs 160 peso for two person for a double room). Then we took their breakfast and started the day by going around the lake area. It was recommended to go the seven lake. An excursion of doing that costs 320 peso per person but renting a car was only around 400 peso. After a 20 hour bus trip we were too tired to search around for bargain, so we took a bus to the lake area and visited some lakes. It was called the Circuito Chico.

It was like a Swiss town with mountain, forest, lake and European architecture, also the big German dog, who claimed 20peso to take a photo with. There were also many chocolate shops. The day we arrived was the anniversary of the town and there was parade and different groups of people bringing their seemingly home-made pastries.

We waited for the bus in the central square and when we got the bus we realized that we must buy bus ticket and the bus takes no cash. The staff in the information center was not helpful to remind us about that. Luckily there was a Scotland couple paying the fare for us. We took off the bus nearest to Lake  and we walked around half an hour to there. At the middle we visited the cemetery of mountaineer. We found that there were many mountaineer highly recognized by the local mountaineer association died in the age of 68. What’s special about this age ? I don’t think they still climbed at this age. Certainly there were other who died as young as 25 and as old as 83, but the age of 68 was quite consistent among the tombstone. They should be quite healthy not to die that early. This question remains after we left.

We were walking along the Circuito Chico. The weather was not very good. Lots of cloud, luckily no rain, but still quite chilly to walk around. We walked into a lake resort to take the view of the mountain and had lunch. Then we walked to Lake Bahia Lopez to take the simple hiking trail and visited further lakes, one of which was a small but beautiful called “the secret lake”.

We had a leisure and happy walking in the area and took the bus back. We made a great feast (with stew, grill and baked lamb, plus wine) to compensate for the long bus journey. The next morning we started early to cross the bother to Orsono, in the middle we stopped at Aqua Calientes for our first hot spring of south America.

If I come to Bariloche again, I'll do it after retirement (?) and hire a car to go around the lakes.

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