Bariloche is a nature lovers dream spot. It is casually situated along Lake Nahuel Huapi with the ever imposing Andes Mountain range posing as a serenic backdrop. This place is extremely beautiful and has more potential for enjoying outdoor activities than a hooker on North Ave. (oh wait, I thought I wrote backdoor activities). You can go white water rafting, kayaking, mountain biking, mountain climbing, treking, fishing and a slew of other things. For some reason I think of my Uncle Neiders when I first get here and how he would go crazy over this place. The town contains a multitude of pubs, restaurants, jam and chocolate shops most of which are housed in cabins built out of logs or at least fake logs that look and smell like the real thing
. This place reminds me of Switzerland even though I have never been there (but I saw "Just Married" with Ashton Kutcher and Britney Murphy which is just like being there, great movie btw, not really).
I hit the ground running and I rent a mountain bike for 5 hours in order to cruise the Circuito Chico which is 62km and supposedly awesome as it winds around a few stunning lakes. I have a long day ahead of me though as it is super hot out (like the Royals for the time being) and the ride has a lot of up and downs (in 2). I am cruising along and I get to the first lake (after Huapi) and I cross this bridge (see pic of me with the bike, sorry my shirt is off as I know a lot of you are sick of those pics, but it was FLIPPIN HOT, SO BACK OFF) and all of a sudden this gorgeous girl from out of nowhere who is sitting on the front seat of her car with the door open asks me for "un Fuego". I respond with a pimp line, something akin to "huh". She says "a lighter", oh yeah, fuck, I knew that. She catches me a bit off guard but she is smoking so I have to come up with something really quick and she obviously speaks english which should help ease the transition from someone she just met to someone she falls in love with. I ask her something about if it`s possible to swim in the lake and she says it is but the water is cold. I ask her if she wants to get her swim on but she can`t because she is going kayaking, man if I had a million dollars for everytime I heard that excuse I would be semi-rich
. Ok, well, I tried. I walk my bike down this sandy decline in order to get to the lake and I find a rock to sit on about 20 feet out in the lake and I just chill and let my sensory perceptions become overwhelmed. I talk to some American girl there who is chilling with her Argentinian boyfriend and they are both super cool but they would be a lot cooler if he wasn`t there as she is pretty decent even in a bikini (most girls look worse in bikini`s. Unless they are hot to begin with, then they look even hotter, but just a cute girl in a bikini usually looks worse, just my opinion, girls could probably say the same about dudes). The water is a bit cold but it`s so hot out that it`s actually perfect. I hop back on my bike and I see the chick`s car who asked me for a light (at least I think that`s her car, there are a line of parked cars) and I bust out a piece of paper and write on it something like "If you want to meet me out later for dinner or a drink give me a call, phone no., the guy who didn`t have a lighter, shawn", and I leave it under what I hope is her car`s windshield wiper. Man, that`s so dorky it has to work. I hope so because she is definitely one of the hottest chicks I have seen since I got to SA, no joke.
I come to this huge hill and I actually have to walk my bike up it (I`m a bitch). But when I get to the top I am greeted with the best view I have probably ever seen (see the two pics), an absolutely perfect vantage point from which to view Lake Moreno and the surrounding area and once again I feel as though I am in Switzerland even though I have never been there
. I hang out here for about 20 minutes and I jump back on the bike of death (it`s a piece of crap, but at least I fit on it and it`s a legit mountain bike as opposed to the Dorothy bike I had in Rio) and start flying down the steep decline which added a bit of adrenaline to the so far perfect day. I get to km 28 and all of a sudden the fucking chain on the bike snaps. It doesn`t fall off, no, it fucking breaks in two and now I am fucked. I mean if I was at km 10 I could just walk back or if I made it most of the way around and got to km 50 I could just walk back, but there is no way I am walking 28 fucking km. Ok, think, what to do, what to do. I start walking my bike back from whence I came and I decide I have to try hitchhiking. There aren`t a ton of cars out here but there are enough that I should get picked up pretty quickly. The problem is though they have to have room for a mountain bike. I walk for about 45 minutes and I try to hitch with probably a dozen cars and not of them picks my ass up. What the Fuck biatches. Now I start to worry a bit. But then I see a cab and although I don`t want to take a cab as today is supposed to be a cheap day I realize I have no other option. The cab though even passes my ass up but he must have called up ahead to another cab as one comes rolling by and asks if I need a lift. Fuck yeah bro. He asks me if I am too tired, hah, no dickweed, my bike chain is as broke as MC Hammer.
So the stupid bike only cost me $35P but the taxi back to town cost me $50P
. Sweet. I take the bike back and they give me a new one and I jet off towards some restaurant I saw earlier by one of the lakes. It sucks that I didn`t make the entire circuit but there is no way in hell I am starting over. I am already pretty beat. This restaurant is stupid as you can get a 355ml Warsteiner (beer) for $4P or you can get a 500ml Warsteiner for $7P. I love finding shit like this. Why would you ever order the 500ml Warsteiner, it would be much to your advantage to order two 355ml Warsteiners as you would get 210 more ml for just $1P more. If you order the 500ml beer it costs you $1P for every 71.43ml. So if you can get 210 ml for $1P you are coming out ahead. To come to the conclusion of this long drawn out boring story I order two 355ml Warsteiners. This reminds me of that time in SF when you could get a pint for $2.50 or a half pint for $1.00 (have I told this story yet, the one with ninja swords, $6,000 and $1.00 half pints of beer, damn I forget, it`s pretty entertaining, but I will skip it as I don`t want to be redundant). After the restaurant I go chill on a beach at the lake. Nothing exciting happens though.
I walk around town that night and I realize this place is really cool looking at night with all the chalet type places and A frame houses and buildings everywhere. It may not be a huge party town but you can`t say that it lacks atmosphere. I get a couple of beers at some bar and I am back at the hostel by 2am. That stupid chica never called, Slut.
Ok, finally got the pics uploaded for the Penguin entry. Bolivia is great but it struggles in regards to technology.