I'm in Chocolate Heaven!

Trip Start May 03, 2005
Trip End Oct 31, 2005

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Feel like I haven't stopped for the past few months so I have arrived in Bariloche with the full intention of taking it easier for at least a week. It is a really quaint little town with swiss style houses and chocolate to die for! There hasn't been such heavy snowfall here in 10 years and, as a result, the ski season has been extended by almost a month.

Am staying in a rather sweet lodge filled with Swiss and Argentinians and have managed to get a really comfy double bed. Sheer luxury, eh? Stop laughing!

I have serious chocolate guilt, having consumed 100g of scrummy chocolate in the space of 30 minutes on my second day here. Thankfully I've been doing quite a lot of walking since to work it off.

Spent the first few days exploring various national and municipal parks close to the town. There are mountains and lakes everywhere. It really is beautiful but the crescendo for me had to be the view from Cerro Campanario. I took a cable car up to the top - a rather uninteresting ride facing quarried rocks. What a shock to see the stunning view at the top - I was literally gobsmacked. I don't think I have ever been so awestruck by a view in my life. I have been told that it has been listed as one of the top 7 views in the world. I just want to know how I can wake up to that view every morning? And can anyone tell me where the other 6 views are because I've got to see them if they're on a par with this one.

Have a look at the photos but they probably don't do it justice.

I finally overcame my fear of horse-riding after 20 years abstinance. It was a shame that the weather was so awful but I was going with Aurelia, a french girl staying here, and it was her last day. I have to say that it wasn't as scary as I thought it would be, except when Gringo (can you believe the cheek of them calling the horse that! LOL!) decided he was scared or decided to go from a super slow walk to a serious trot/canter with no range inbetween. At the end I was a little afraid to gee him up incase he took off again. Glad that I did it, even though I had to be careful the way I sat down for 2 days afterwards.

It was a gorgeous day on Tuesday so decided to go for a serious walk after a relatively lazy weekend. Headed up to Cerro Otto - serious off-road climb and then somehow I managed to walk up a dried out ski slope!!! Don't ask! To say I was knackered by the time I got to the top is an understatement. To cut a long story short, I ended up in the middle of a drying out ski resort and I couldn't climb any further up as I was surrounded by icy snow that was shin deep. A little frustrating when I returned to the hostel and some of the guys told me that they'd got the cable car up and then walked down a perfectly clear path. Ah well, it was good exercise if nothing else. I also managed to come back with a sunburnt face - really clever and am still looking like a plonker now.

Took a boat trip on the Bahía Banuel. It was a fantastic day with beautiful blue skies and we sailed through the view that I mentioned from Cerro Campanario. We stopped off at a wood with the tallest Arraganue (I'll check that spelling) trees in the world. The same trees were animated in Walt Disney's Bambi (I know, I'm a wealth of information). We then stopped in Isla Victoria where they carry out all tree experimentation for Patagonia. There were some absolutely enormous trees from all over the world. In spite of my intial fear of the mini guided tour being really boring, it was actually really interesting. Maybe I'm just a tree hugger at heart afterall.

I'm really enjoying it here in Bariloche. There is plenty to keep me occupied, even though I haven't been skiing. I was told that this wouldn't be the best place to try it out for the first time. Hoping to head north this weekend, although, it may not happen as there is a public holiday that I only found out about yesterday. Ah well, I can think of many worse places to be stranded.

Hasta luego!
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