Trip Start Oct 17, 2012
Trip End Mar 27, 2013

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Where I stayed
Hostel 41 Below San Carlos de Bariloche
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Argentina  , Rio Negro,
Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Please Note: This post was written weeks ago and we just realized it accidentally got deleted, sorry for jumping out of order.

Bariloche - The Swiss Alps of South America as they like to call it. A largely ski resort town it is filled with nice restaurants, expensive outdoor gear shops (seriously, I don't know what kind of import taxes they have or if keystone markup is nonexistent here, but a name brand daypack was coming in at $200USD when it would have been $75USD or less in the states) and architecture reminiscent of that log cabin/Tudor style that comes to mind when you think of pretty much any ski town.

Finally, we are officially in Patagonia and are so happy to see the beautiful mountains and to breathe in some fresh air after the incident in Buenos Aires left us shook up and feeling a bit defeated. We arrived in town after our first major bus ride of 21 hrs across the entire country of Argentina and plan to spend a day or so doing day hikes and relaxing before heading down to our work exchange in El Bolson. After finding a hostel, we settle in to our new dig in the late afternoon and go to the grocery store for ingredients for the nights dinner of the usual, pasta. Throughout our travels, we haven't come upon many fellow patriots, until now. The hostel has three obnoxious girls from the states doing work exchange there. Americans are almost always the loudest most outspoken people. And the loudest most talkative people almost always have nothing of consequence to say. It may be "hipster" to say but, these girls were going on and on about the "new" MIA song they just discovered. Aka her breakout single from 2007 (it's now 2012), that has been on the radio and in Slumdog Millionaire and sampled by Jay-Z and others for the last five years... These are just the kind of slow, confused, sheltered Americans that might have voted the wrong way this election, and since its a day before election night, we are avoidant. Not wanting anything to do with them we head out for the evening to a cozy bar close by, leaving them to play parcheesi in the hostel while they listen to their "hip hop" playlist consisting entirely of radio hits from 2000-2004. We try our first microbrew of Patagonia- a rosado (amber) and rubia (blonde) ale, both of which were quite tasty. The bartender has excellent taste in music and we feel very comfortable here. Alas, after salivating over a nearby plate of empanadas we head out the door, at our days spending limit.

The next day, Kendra wakes up feeling a bit under the weather and overall exhausted. Thus is the life of a traveler - you never get to sleep in, always on someone else's schedule or minding the hostels checkout time and and sharing a room with 8 strangers, you never get a decent nights sleep. Kendra takes advantage of the fact that we are here for two nights and goes back to bed after breakfast while Lydia sets out to see what this tiny town has to offer. After wandering a bit, and having a cafe con leche, Lydia comes back to get Kendra to make her lunch (fried cheese, garlic and onion empanadas), and prepare for a midday trek.
The day hike that is recommended by our very lovely host is up to Mt. Llao Llao., pronounced schjao schjao... (Life is so hard with all these different accents.) The hike is absolutely beautiful but reminds us how out of shape we truly are and makes Lydia a bit worried about our future ten day hike in Torres del Paine. We stay in this evening working on future plans and blog writing, and anticipate the mornings election results.

An interesting note while traveling close to the election time is that most everyone (South American, German, etc) we've met mentions something about it. And, to no surprise, no one from any other country is for Mitt Romney. Amazing that so much of the world cares about our politics and that they mostly all want Obama when only half of our country is for him. We is cray. It was cool to hear conversations about election night amongst Israelis, Argentines, Koreans, and people from Ireland and England- kinda weird really. The following morning, Lydia keeps having nightmares that Romney won. After 4 times of waking up and falling to sleep to this same dream she gets outta bed to check the Internet. 4 more years :)

We lazily pack and head out to catch our bus to El Bolson. Kendra buys Lydia a lovely child's school bag to replace the stolen backpack and we're off to hippy country.
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My Review Of The Place I Stayed

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