Bariloche and the Lake District
Trip Start Jan 10, 2008
46Trip End May 29, 2008
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Where I stayed
Our next main destination was Bariloche but equally important to us was to see the Ruta Del Siete Lagos (Seven Lakes Route) so we made our first stop at the northern point of the route in San Martin De Los Andes. The small town, built aside a lake has a very swiss feel due to the first European immigrants that came from the mountains of Switzerland, Germany and Austria. Along with the mountains and lakes, beautiful log cabins with stone bases provide that swiss feel. The only problem is we could barely appreciate any of this because it was raining. It felt exactly like a cold rainy day during fall in New York when you can feel winter coming in the air. I shouldnīt have been surprised because thatīs exactly the season Argentina is in but it was just wierd to experience that kind of weather late in May. All we wanted to do was lay in a warm, comfy bed and watch the rain from inside and so we did just that. Thanks to the low season we were able to check into one of the top rated hotels in town for a really good price
Early next morning a private van picked us up for our ride down to Bariloche along the Seven Lakes Route, of course it was still interminably raining. Even though it was cloudy, rainy and cold we still got some decent views of the lakes on the four hour ride down. The nice part about the van was we could open the side door open to get a good view without having to step out into the rain but once the van dropped us off in the center of Bariloche we had to fend off the cold on our own. We werenīt very inclinded to do so and spent the rest of the day in bed peeking out the window, praying the rain would end. I wish I could say that was the end of our problems because there was also the issue of the active volcano nearby. We werenīt in any danger at all but our flights south were; apparently large volumes of smoke rising from the volcano had been cancelling flights for the past two weeks. As for ours, we would have to wait and see until the morning of the flight. We decided to put it out of our minds and just try and enjoy our time here and cross that bridge when it came. I should mention the one ray of light that day was the chocolate from Mamushchka, the top notch chocolate shop in a city famous for it. It again confirmed that dulce de leche makes anything better.
What do you suppose happened the next day? Our flight was canceled and it was raining again...ugh. There was no point in driving up or going to San Martin because it would just be raining the whole time. We decided to get the hell out of the area and jumped back on bus to San Rafael. At least over there it was dry season and considerably warmer. What a sad, sad dissapointment of a day.
The lakes region is beautiful, but definitely a spot better visited in summer (even if it is high season.) It was a shame that the rain tainted most of our time here, especially the 7 lakes drive, during which it was raining ice and there was snow on the ground. On top of that, I got sicker and sicker with each passing day I spent in the cold. My body is just ready for summer I think. On the upside, the cute little place we stayed in San Martin was fabulous - brand new and cheap, with the comfiest room ever complete with a towel warmer
As for the flights....I was totally bummed because I really wanted to see glaciers and penguins. But on the other hand I was sort of grateful to avoid another week of even colder conditions - Patagonia is another area I think is better visited in summer. So, hopefully we will get there on another future trip. This trip has really taught us both to be flexible with plans, because lets face it - things dont always go the way you want. In fact, they rarely do. Despite the fact that our initial plan and backup plan both fell through we tried to stay positive and come up with a practical alternative. And so it was decided to repay a visit to the glorious wine country :)