Happy Birthday in San Martin

Trip Start Jan 10, 2010
Trip End Feb 20, 2011

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Flag of Argentina  , Patagonia,
Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Three hour bus ride to San Martin, we arrived to cloudy skies and empty stomachs. Found our way to the hostel, not so stoked on the accommodations at Rukalhue. You win some you loose some, this one was clearly a loss. O-well, off to see the town.

Our impression was San Martin is the travel destination for the local outdoor enthusiast: mountain biking, hiking, kayaking galore. Also, think Aspen more than Tahoe - very affluent. The overcast was setting a gloomy mood. Dana and I scoped out our steak spot for my birthday, glass of wine and called it a day.


We woke on my birthday to perfect sunny skies!!! Off to hike the ranges of Patagonia, over the ridge straight up non-paths we made our way over the first hump. We met a few goats, a scrapper of a dog and three massive beautiful cows. Our hike totaled about 7 miles. A nice start to tone the legs for the hikes to come.

Found an awesome place to score some Pinot Noir (very rare in these parts, this is Malbec country). We sipped and bought another to dine with but on the way to the restaurant and to our pile of meat and fried cheese, we dropped the bottle on the street! Ha Ha or as they say here (Ja Ja Ja).

Awesome dinner, the smashed bottle turned out to be a blessing. We obviously had to replace at the restaurant and we discovered a Cabernet from Luigi Bosca Gala 3. UNREAL, the best in Argentina!!!


The difference between Bariloche proper and San Martin? Affluence. Beautiful homes with well-manicured lawns littered the avenues. Restaurants and bars were a little bit more flow, but also offered more variety in wine and food.

So happy we were able to experience San Martin in the sunshine. The hike was epic and filled with surprises. Who knew we'd come across three giant cows grazing in the wild, ON THE TRAIL we were trying to cross. San Martin held the allure of an affluent village, yet was surrounded by vast agriculture and wild farm animals.

In the evening, we walked quickly to taste some wine for an aperitif, and then move on to the big steak dinner that Dan of course wanted for his birthday. We had lovely lamb also this time, and a fab Luigi Bosco cab. Followed by a glass of champers... HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY.

Next day, back on the bus down Route 40 toward Bariloche. There we would need to decide, are we southbound or is it time to depart Argentina.


Dan's Riggs and Fixes in San Martin

Squeaking slamming bathroom door, none stop all night.

Grade of predicament:
(1-10) Grade 8. Proximity to the disabled door maximize the need to remedy the Predicament

The Fix:
Olive oil on a Q-tip to the squeaky door hinge, bundled up tape placed at the point of contact to subdue the slamming of the door.

Level of Success:
Hinge fix A+. The slam buffer only lasted a few days B-.

Notable Coaches

2002 Audi allroad 2.5 TDI - Never encountered one in the states. I also saw an ad for the 2010 A4 allroad.

A bit about San Martin

San Martín de los Andes is a village in the province of Neuquén, Argentina. It is located in the Lácar Department in the south-west of the province, at the foot of the Andes, beside the Lácar Lake, 45 km from the border with Chile and about 1,545 km (960 mi) from Buenos Aires. It has a population of about 24,000 inhabitants in town and throughout its surrounding area

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