Hola, Bariloche!

It took 21 hours to get here via a first rate bus driven by a crazy guy who paid no attention to the double lines, weaving around 18 wheelers on a two lane road with a split hair between our vehicles.  Hey… But we made it!  And the drive was well worth it!  When we awoke and gazed out our bus window on Thursday morning, we were greeted by the Andes, looming overhead in purples and grays.  And it only got better.

Within a few hours we drove into our destination, the beautiful resort town of Bariloche.  Many compare it to a town in the Swiss Alps because of the architecture. The town is full of cute shops, restaurants, and best of all, chocolate everywhere you look!

Immediately we hailed a taxi to our airbnb and was met by our kind host, Alicia, who showed us around our dwellings (small but an entire apartment and very quaint with wooden rafters and antiques throughout).  After receiving recommendations from her, we walked 4 blocks downhill to the town center and grabbed a bite to eat, then found a chocolate store to delight our palettes – Ahhh…delicioso and so rich.  A cup of cappuccino helped top it off.

Then it was time to explore and what better place to begin than the Nahuel Haupi lake, only a block away and surely the most beautiful lake in the world!

imageThe vast Nahuel Haupi lake is a perfect Mediterranean blue, smooth and clear as glass, and surrounded my mountains (several of the peaks resemble ones I used to draw as a kid -very sharp and pointy and a few In the distance even have snow on them).  My pictures won’t do this scene justice so hope I can keep clear images in my head.  Of course, the first thing we did was  to find a rock so we could sit and dangle our feet in the chilly water – brrrrrr, just as I had imagined!  Once our feet were numb, we dried off and took a short walk along the lake.

Before it got too late we decided to take the gondola to the top of Cerro Otto.  The ride up was quite steep but oh, what fantastic views.  The most spectacular ones were at the summit however – below us…the crystal blue lake, the deep green firs covering the slopes, and of course, the sweet town of Bariloche. Just can’t get enough of it!  I think Wes and I were both a bit jealous of the guy who was hang gliding across the cliffs and lake- at least he waved at us.  Maybe one day we will try hang gliding ourselves but not on this trip.  So we took a more laid back approach and enjoyed a drink in the rotating restaurant instead.  It was getting late so hopped on the gondola and headed back down.  Tomorrow we visit even a higher mountain – yay!

The evening was muy bueno – enjoyed a drink at der Tiroler (certainly a German influence here) and then dinner at La Marca.  Since we are on a fresh lake, we opted for trout – muy delicioso!

After dinner we decided to make an early evening of it (around 11) so we began the steep climb uphill.  Whew!  Hopefully, we walked off today’s chocolate.  Tomorrow, we may decide to taxi up 🙂 A good day! Buenos noches.

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