Winter Wonderland - Bariloche Revisited
Trip Start Jan 20, 2004
187Trip End Ongoing
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Where I stayed
The cold weather has definitely affected our style of accommodation, and for several weeks now we have given up looking for campsites and have concentrated on seeking out small cabins
We spent several days exploring the area, including some hiking and a trip to retrace our steps around the Circuito Chico to visit Llao Llao. This time Cheddar's was closed for the season so we missed out on our afternoon tea treat, but the views across the lake with frosty summits in all directions were quite stupendous. Even though the Llao Llao Resort Spa was very tempting in its picture-perfect setting nestled under the craggy frigid heights of Cerro López, we again decided against staying over - a suite or cabaña here would set us back a mere US$650 for the night!
One more job before we left town was to look into booking flights back to Ottawa, now that a date has been set for Sharon's appointment with the Eye Surgeon (thanks Audrey and Ursula!). After checking out internet options we visited a few travel agencies and eventually lucked into meeting up with a cracker-jack travel agent at Viajes Dannemann. By the next day Liliana had found us a really good deal on LAN Chile through Santiago and New York, which allows us three months or more to spend with family and friends during the summer. Unfortunately, by the afternoon the clouds had settled down around the mountains and so we had to cancel our planned trip in the teleférico (gondola ski-lift) up to Confitería Otto - the rotunda perched at the very summit that we could see from the picture window of our cabaña.
Before we set out the next morning we decided that it might be prudent to pay a visit to the local office of the Automóvil Club Argentino. We had debated about whether to continue following RN40 along the eastern foot of the Andes as we headed further north, and were not surprised to hear that at this time of year there were several passes that might be totally blocked with early winter snowfalls. For once in our lives we decided to heed some wise words of caution, and planned a somewhat more sedate and easterly route along RN237 via Neuquén, eventually rejoining RN40 again at San Rafael. Although this would be a much less scenic route, it would be a lot faster and on better roads, and we would stand a much better chance of arriving in good shape to sample the oenological delights of Mendoza!