CAR TRIP DAY 1: Bariloche to San Martin

Trip Start Jan 15, 2010
Trip End Jul 30, 2010

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Flag of Argentina  ,
Friday, May 7, 2010

One night at the hostel we had the pleasure to meet Alex, a 36 year old inventor from the UK who was travelling around South America for a fair while. In fact Alex, who had been a wise bunny and converted a warehouse into flats, was able to travel indefinitely in South America if he watched his pennies. Alex is a great guy who we both get on well with and by spending at least a week in a hostel with him we were able to ascertain whether he was a raving mad. He wasn't. Well at least not when he’s not climbing volcanos (more about that later). I was impressed with his estimation on how much time he needed to travel through South America, I overhead him saying out loud... "Well, let’s see, it took me 2 months to travel from here to here. That’s three fingers worth. So I’ll need three fingers to get to there, three more fingers to travel to there, another three for Peru, then three fingers to cover Colombia, and then another 3 fingers for Brazil. Ok, how many fingers was that?" 

I pointed out to him “Your fingers went through the Colombian Amazon, which you can’t do, so add another month. Plus you didn’t account for meeting a beautiful Spanish lady.”

“Ah, yes, your right. I’ll need another three months for her and another month for Colombia. What’s that then? About a year and a half?” He replies with a cheeky grin. I’m jealous but I shouldn’t be because we’re on an 8 month holiday ourselves! But oh! A year and a half would be delicious.

The catalyst for our entire car trip was a post dinner conversation at Penthouse 1004 whilst Alex, Gus and I were conversing about travelling and the joys, or lack thereof in getting around on a bus. The idea to hire a car and go for a road trip was hatched. It took numerous days of planning, wondering, pondering, pouring over a map, asking other’s to join us, finding out that they didn’t want to come, thumbing through Lonely Planet, consulting the map, consulting the map again, comparing car prices, checking dates and finally we were on the road.

We were a bit sad to leave Bariloche as 1004 was a lovely hostel but the day finally came where Alex and I went off to get the required vehicle. Once the ink had dried on the paperwork it was a quick (almost teary goodbye to Javier and Gladys) and then off we headed in our lovely white Renault Clio sedan. We had a rough plan in mind that we were going to drive through the Seven-Lakes route of Argentina’s Lakes District and head to San Martin De Los Andes at four hour, 194km trip on our first day. After that who knew which road we’d take, we would decide each morning, but our final destination was Pucon in Chile for Gus and I to get the bus to Peurto Montt, in preparation for the Navimag.

As we left the state of Rio Negro and headed into Neuquen we caught the last glimpses of Bariloche and the mountains behind it. Our first stop for the day would be Angostura for a hearty lunch and from there we planned to stop at all 7 lakes along the way. At the end we were slightly 'lake’d out’ but we appreciated them all as each one was different in its own right. It was a wonderful day filled with stunning scenery and easy roads to drive on. Something that couldn’t be said for our second day...

Questions from the day (we couldn’t answer these ourselves – i.e. without google) can you?

Q. How long are the Andes Mountain Ranges and what the origin of its name?

Q. What’s the origin of Australis? And also Australia?

Q. Is it only Condors that have ‘finger’ wing tips? Or do other eagles have them too?
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Connie on

I think you'll forgive me for not hopping onto google to search for your answers. I'm busy on the net tonight organising my own trip (yes, I'm going!!) but I think australis means south or southern xoxo

Rosie B on

Of course I read the blog back to front this one is not as exciting thank goodness as the second one but the scenery is wonderful. Continue to enjoy. Love Rosie/Mum

Sari on

Wooooow.....such stunning scenery!!! You kids are so lucky...What a beautiful world we live in huh? ps what happened to Gus's kankle?? xxx

gusandjess on

Connie - Wonderful news! I'm so happy for you! What's the plan?

Mum - Yes, we have boring days in between the exciting (and dangerous) ones :o)

Sari - Gus re-aggravated an old injury in an attempt to climb a mountain, then later that night he forgot about his ankle and was so sure he was a wicked tango dancer, he burned up the dance floor... He woke this next day almost unable to put any weight on it. Three weeks later it 96.78% better.

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